Recipes from a NON chef: Meat & Taters

I don't claim to be a chef. Nor do I claim that I can "throw down" in the kitchen. However, I will tell you that I can, indeed, cook. And very well, might I add. My husband loves my cooking...even before he was my husband and had to tell me that everything I served was the best thing he ever tasted. ; ) So, with that lengthy list of credentials, I thought I'd share with you a recipe or two of what I cook here at the Hamilton House. You might even see recipes pop up on CR every now and then.

Now, I'm not your conventional "soul food" cook, and I don't really follow the "like-my-grandma-made-it" handbook. I'm one of those that can dress up a can of green beans or sweet potatoes and make them taste like they're homemade. I'm, also, one of those people that hate to go to the grocery store, so I improvise a lot with what I have on hand. Now that I think about it, I don't think I've ever followed a recipe to the letter. It's just not my style...or that serious.

So, on the menu this week: meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans, mac & cheese and cornbread.

Make-em-come-back-for-more Meatloaf:

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  • 2 lbs of ground beef/chuck
  • 1 small finely chopped or grated onion (or a lot of the dried chopped onion you find on the seasoning aisle)
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 eggs
  • 8 saltine crackers (or 6 or 10 or breadcrumbs...whatever)
  • 2 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp of regular salt
  • 1/2 tbsp of seasoned salt
  • 1 tbsp of black pepper
  • a little onion powder
  • some garlic powder
  • some dried (or fresh) chopped parsley
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Mix up all your ingredients in a bowl with your hands (be sure to crumble your crackers before mixing). Transfer the meat mix in a loaf pan. Put it in the oven for about 30-45 minutes or until the center isn't pink anymore. Boom.

Red Meatloaf Sauce (it ain't just ketchup):
  • 1/2 can of tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup of ketchup
  • 2-3 tbsp of brown sugar
  • 1 dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cap full of apple cider vinegar
  • a little bit of onion powder
  • a little bit of garlic salt
About 5 minutes before you call your meatloaf done, take it out of the oven, spread your sauce on top and put it back in the oven just until you see the edges start the caramelize from the sugar (or turn golden brown).

*I PROMISE you...this is the best meatloaf I've ever had. No lie...even better than my mom's or grandma's.

Buttery Mashed Potatoes:

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  • Just follow the directions on the box and at the end, add more butter, a little sour cream and salt & pepper. Done.
Greatest Green Beans: (recipe from Sweetie Pies...but, blessed by me!)

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  • 6 cups frozen green beans (or 2-3 cans of green beans...drain the liquid)
  • 1 small russet potatoes peeled and cubed (or any white potato)
  • 1 1/2 cup of water
  • 5 tbsp chicken stock
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 1/3 tsp granulated garlic
  • 2 tbsp chopped onions
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (or not)
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium pot bring water, butter, and chicken stock to a boil. Add garlic and potatoes. boil until potatoes begin to soften, approx. 10 min. Reduce heat and add green beans, onions, red pepper, and sugar. Simmer for 10 minutes or until green beans are tender.

Cheesy Mac & Cheese:

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  • Follow the directions on the box and add salt, pepper, a little paprika & a palm full of Parmesan cheese.
Just Jiffy Cornbread:

Corn muffin Box Photo
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  • Use 2 boxes of Jiffy cornbread mix. ALWAYS!
  • Follow the directions on the box.
That's all there is to it folks. And it's soooooooo goooooooooooood! Mr. Marcus will request this meal, eat it for dinner, eat it for lunch the next day, and then eat it for dinner again. It's that good. Not to mention, you're done in 30-45 minutes start to finish. And what's even better, you can't mess it up. That is, unless, you're that person. Poe thang. smh.

Anyway, try this meal. Make it for someone special, whether its your significant other, roommates, parents, whoever. They'll love it, I promise. You just gotta come back and let me know how it went.