Friday, July 30, 2010

Meat Loaf Muffins

I am continuing my quest for healthy meals for our family and here is one that I tried last night. I had a lb of ground beef in my fridge that needed to be used last night and because my family is absolutely sick to death of spaghetti and meatballs, I had to brainstorm. I thought that maybe I could do a meatloaf or something so I googled 'sugar free meatloaf' (we are trying to limit the sugar intake and most meatloaf has ketchup in in). Didn't find anything appealing so I decided to google egg-free/dairy-free meatloaf. That's when I came up with Meat Loaf Muffins. You can get the recipe HERE. I used less ketchup to lower the sugar grams (Hunts has a 'No High Fructose Corn Syrup ketchup) and I just left the egg completely out of the recipe and it held together just fine. I, also, substituted bread crumbs for the crackers. I like the taste much better. Bread crumbs normally have milk in them, but I buy Panko brand and the one I have has no dairy. They turned out great and take less time to bake than a whole meatloaf. Putting them in muffin tins also provides a great portion size for children and makes them easier to store for later. I served them with steamed broccoli and sweet corn. YUM. The fam loved it. And if you really want to be sneaky, add in some extra finely chopped veggies. Hubs and the children had no idea it had onions and carrots in it. {I love it when a plan comes together!}

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I {heart} America!

We had a fabulous Fourth of July! Long weekends are always nice, but when you celebrate America's birthday over a long weekend it is just that much more fabulous. Our weekend started with a short trip to see my fam. It was a nice day to drive through the mountains and we just had a lovely time. The girls were so happy to get to see 'the cousins' again and only asked, "Are we there yet?" about 90 times and "What state are we in?" approximately 107 times. But we made it with our nerves in tact. Soon as we got there, we woofed down our lunch and got right back in the car (it's really a van, but I call it a car all the time....I don't know why. Does it really matter?) and headed for the lake. Sister and Bro-in-Law have a boat and we hadn't been on it since B-I-L gashed his foot open on the propeller a few years ago, so we were happy to take a little boat ride Saturday. The girls loved it. Firstborn even surrendered her fear of open water and jumped onto the Tube with her cousins and went for a ride behind the boat. I was so proud of her! She is not our fearless, adventurous one so this surprised me. After the boatride, she even got into the lake with The Cousins with her life jacket on and did so well until the fear returned and she nearly drowned her favorite cousin, causing Hubs to have to jump into the lake before he was ready to jump into the lake and rescue her. Evidently he wasn't getting her back to the boat fast enough because she declared {very adamantly} "GET ME ASHORE!" I totally thought about videoing this whole episode because it was hilarious, but I didn't want her to know we were laughing when she was having such a hard time 5 feet away from the boat....with her life jacket on...and her daddy holding her. That, and the fact that I couldn't hold the camera still from trying so hard to hold back the laughter. Bless her heart. She was brave, though, and I was proud of her. I told her so. We spent a couple hours out on the lake and then headed back to the house and had BBQ with my parents. It was so good to see them. We played a mean game of Scrabble and called it a night. Sunday we celebrated our freedom to worship and went to church with Sister and fam in the morning and then to my parents' church to hear Daddy preach Sunday night. It was a great day. After church, we drove Downtown and watched the fireworks from the top of a parking garage. Best seats in town! Monday we were able to go and swim with all the cousins and Grammy and Papa at their friend's house. It was a fun time. I was surprised at how much more brave my girls were this year in the pool than they were last year. The Baby (who is not really a baby anymore) makes me nervous because she's fearless and it's a fight to keep her water wings on. Much to our surprise, though, the girls did not sleep all the way home. Maybe just a few minutes each. But we did put them to bed while it was still bright as day outside and they slept 12 hours last night. It was a fun weekend! So great to be with family! Now it's back to the grind before we finally go on vacation!! I can't wait!