Planning Help: Meal One

It's nice when I find a meal where the foods compliment each other because it simplifies my life by knowing what to serve with what. Of course I don't have to stick to any one meal plan; I can mix and match the main dishes and sides, but a lot of the time I'm in a hurry and don't have a lot of time to think about it. I already have quite a few meals like this up my sleeve, but when I find a NEW one to add to my collection I get happy because it adds a little more variety to our meal choices.

I'd like to share some of my new and old meal plans with you in hopes of helping you with the question `what do I make for dinner'. Here's a meal that we have tried lately where the foods complimented each other really well. The food items aren't necessarily new for us, but the flavors are and that makes a big difference.

The Meal:

  • Honey Barbecue Meatloaf

  • Ranch Mashed Potatoes

  • Your choice of vegetable (I just heat up a can of green beans or corn)

  • Apple Cinnamon Muffins with Honey Cinnamon Butter

Make Ahead Tips: You can make the Honey Cinnamon Butter ahead of time and refrigerate until serving. You can also prepare the meat loaf and refrigerate it before baking.

The Recipes:

Honey Barbecue Meat Loaf

I'm not usually a meat loaf eater but I love this one and the family does too.

1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1 egg
1/2 cup oats -- quick cooking
1/3 cup barbecue sauce -- honey flavored
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon mustard -- prepared
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 pound ground beef
ketchup

In a large bowl, stir together soup mix, egg, oats, barbecue sauce, onion, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, garlic powder, salt, pepper and chili powder. Add beef and mix well. Press into an ungreased 8-in. x 4-in. x 2-in. loaf pan. Bake at 350* for 1 hour. Top with ketchup. Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until meat is no longer pink and a meat thermometer reads 160*. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Ranch Mashed Potatoes

Make mashed potatoes as you usually do but omit the butter and add ranch dressing and cream cheese to taste along with less milk than usual. Top with grated cheddar cheese.

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

My kids love these (so do I) and there's never any leftovers because of this. We also make them for breakfast. Be sure to try them with `Honey Cinnamon Butter' (recipe follows).

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons applesauce
1 medium tart apple -- peeled & grated

topping:

1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter or margarine -- cold
1/2-cup oatmeal -- old fashioned

In a bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Add the egg, milk, oil and applesauce and stir until just moistened. Fold in apple. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. For topping, combine brown sugar and flour. Cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in oats. Sprinkle over muffins. Bake at 400* for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Serve warm with Honey Cinnamon Butter (recipe follows). Yield: 1 dozen.

Honey Cinnamon Butter

1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl; beat until smooth. Serve with muffins, toast, bagels, French toast or pancakes. Refrigerate any leftovers. Yield: 1 1/3 cups.

In the meantime, keep your eyes open for Meal Two.

About The Author

Copyright, Monica Resinger

Monica Resinger is editor of Creative Home, Creative Gardening and Creative Home Money ezines. Join one or all of these fun and informative ezines and get answers to your homemaking, gardening or money questions! Our readers are sure to have an answer for you. One informative article is also included in each issue. For more information, go to: http://www.geocities.com/plantldy.geo or send a blank e-mail to the appropriate address to join: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]

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