Friday, October 29, 2010

Foody Friday: another meatloaf variation

Hey hey hey, this is my first Foody Friday installment in a long long time! And what do I feature but that old versatile favorite, MEATLOAF! The one you pop in the oven and eat, not the one you (well, *i*) listen to, LoL!

About a year ago I talked about my turkey/soy flaxseed meatloaf experiment, which ended up a little oily/slimy. I'm sure I've revisited it since then yet I have no recollection of doing so. Anyhoo, yesterday I decided to whip up some meatloaf, à la lynne, of course.

Here's what I used:
    1 packet Jewel Onion Soup mix
    ½ cup milled flaxseed
    ½ cup instant oatmeal
    2 raw eggs
    ¼ cup hot bbq sauce from Lil Porgy's
    ¼ cup sweet vidalia onion relish
    ¼ cup diced celery
    1 can petite diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained

    1 packet Morningstar Farms fake ground beef
    1.25 lb ground turkey

    1 cup shredded cheese (I used mexican fiesta blend)


Instructions:

Mix the first 3 ingredients well in a (very) large bowl, then add the subsequent 5 ingredients. Mix well.

Add the meat & fake meat, mix well.

Slop about half into an aluminum foil-lined loaf pan, press down well.

Spread the cheese on the meat mixture in the pan.

Fill in the rest of the meat mixture, making sure to mash everything in well, I think that helps reduce the crumbliness of the cooked product.

Pop it in the oven (preheated to 350F) for what turned out to be about 1.5 hours. I got the internal temperature to 150+F, ideally it should have gotten to 160F but it had been cooking so long I didn't want it to dry out. Perhaps I should have upped the overall temp to compensate for the greater volume of stuff I put in there!

And here's the finished product:

MmmMmmmMMmmmMmm cheeeeeeeeeeese!


It was cheesy with a bit of a bite thanks to the chiles *and* bbq sauce: delicious!

It was also rather crumbly,
but this usually improves once it cools / is in the leftover stage

Here's what I would do differently next time:
  • Mix the cheese in with the other dry/wet ingredients, which was what I had meant to do but forgot until I had already dumped half the mixture into the pan :p
  • Look into what makes a good binder: I like not using nutritionally-worthless breadcrumbs, I wonder if I could just up the oatmeal used?


I enjoyed this experiment. Tell me if you try this out for yourself, k?

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

It's been almost 2 months!

My oh my, can you believe it's been over 2 months since my last *real* post here? (the Hey Soul Sister and F--k Me Ray Bradbury ones were mostly filler). Poor poor poor neglected Life after Work!

Although... I might be needing to rebrand this blog since in theory I'll no longer be a jobless bum starting next summer... in case you're not following me on Twitter or friends with me on Facebook, let me share with you the biggest change in my life right now: I am training to be a Massage Therapist!!



Classes started in late August, and right now it's midterm exam season, which has me freaked out not because of the exams per se but because that means we're already halfway thru the first of two semesters... that means I'm already 25% through the program! A little scary :p

There are only 5 of us in the class: it's smaller than the organizers hoped, but it's great for us since we benefit from the much more personalised interaction, whether student/student or student/instructor.

We're learning Anatomy & Physiology ("the human body and how it works"), Pathology ("things that go wrong in the body"), and Kinesiology ("the body in motion") in addition to the actual hands-on practice: so far we've done Swedish Massage, Chair Massage, and are halfway through Sports Massage modalities. We are totally struggling with one topic in particular, one that's deemed a gone-case "necessary evil" that just can't be taught in an interesting manner: I think the defeatist mindset isn't helping!!



The course has had more than its share of hiccups, though: we *are* the guinea pig batch, however, so some of it is to be expected. Sadly, we lost the bestest instructor ever (don't ask), though, and his replacements (yes, plural) fall way short. Such a pity. Hopefully things'll get better over time..?!

My Springfield tweeps & pals have been benefitting from my kneading (haha) to practice on a variety of body types :) I'm supposed to practice keeping my full-body massages to an hour, but that timing tends to go out the window because I'd rather my intention be to help/heal rather than "to squeeze it all into an hour", y'know?



Borrowing one of the massage tables from class for use at home has been quite the pain, though: "portable" my a$$! Just because it folds and fits into a carry case doesn't mean it isn't heavy, bulky and friggin awkward to lug up/down stairs or fit in/out the car! So today I'm taking the plunge and buying a table of my own (probably this one: Earthlite Avalon XD Portable Massage Table Package .. free shipping from amazon!!): a decent table costs a pretty penny, but it should easily pay for itself once I am licensed and can charge for massages!

I've also been spending a small fortune on creams/lotions to use for the massage:
  • There's an "all-natural Herbal Muscle Rub" by Afterthought Farms [available Saturdays & Wednesdays at the Farmers Market], $10 for 2-2.5 oz. It's really strong (the camphor!), could be a touch creamier, I tend to use a lot of it at a time.
  • Then there's the Zum Rub brand of salves/balms, available at Food Fantasies for $8 for 2.5oz. I really liked the understated scent of the clove-mint one, but when I ran out it was no longer on the shelves :( So I bought tea tree-citrus instead: it too has a mild understated smell, and glides on nicely.
But compare those prices with $32/32oz or $10/8oz for the stuff we use in class! Yikes! Sorry local businesses but I think I'll be buying the much cheaper ones off of the 'net/catalogs: even with added shipping charges it still comes out way cheaper!

Hope this update helps to tide y'all over somewhat... I will continue to blog, no doubt about that, but just know that it's going to be rather erratic! So if you haven't already, how about subscribing? :)

Cheers!

Photo credit:
massage by grietgriet from morguefile.com
skeletal system via wikipedia
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