Sunday, January 27, 2008


Before Alyssa went back to school, I wanted to make her one of her most requested meals... MEATLOAF! This recipe is from but I tweaked it out of necessity and it turned out to be great! **The recipe calls for quick cooking oats which I realized that I didn't have. I did however, have a box of cinnamon maple brown sugar INSTANT oatmeal. What the heck! I took out my fine strainer and opened up each packet dumping it into the strainer to get the sugar and flavoring out. I then used that oatmeal. Well, the flavor was GREAT to say the least. So now when i make it, I add some cinnamon and a squirt of maple syrup to the mixture!

Here's the original recipe:

Mini Meatloaves

15 Min
45 Min
1 Hr
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound ground beef
2/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons prepared mustard
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a large bowl, combine the egg, milk, cheese, oats and salt. **SEE NOTE ABOVE Add the ground beef, mixing well, and form this mixture into eight miniature meatloaves. Place these in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish.
In a separate small bowl, combine the ketchup, brown sugar and mustard. Stir thoroughly and spread over each meatloaf.
Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 minutes.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


I'll admit it. I actually thought TODAY was the SUPERBOWL instead of next week. It just goes to show you how much I hate football!! Every time I make this, it looks and tastes different. I just throw together whatever we have on hand. I make this in layers separating each ingredient in half. Make one layer of each ingredient then start with chips again and repeat. I start with a layer of chips, then add cooked chop meat that has taco seasoning mixed in. This time it was chipotle taco seasoning by Ortega. I also added a can of black beans, a can of sliced olives, a small can of chopped green chilis, (red) salsa, Tequila Lime Salsa and cheddar cheese. I put that in a 350 oven for about 15 minutes. When I took it out I added chopped tomatoes and chopped scallions. It was way too big for us but tastes yummy the next day put into wraps!

Friday, January 18, 2008


Nancy raved about this brisket. Her family LOVES it! It's a great dish to make when you're expecting company. You can make it a day ahead of time and reheat it 30 -40 minutes before you want to serve it. Makes for a quick and easy meal and an easy clean up! Being that cold weather is coming this weekend, I decided to give it a whirl. When I was letting the brisket cool, I kept sneaking pieces of the carrots. I can't wait until we eat it tomorrow!!! YUM!
**Note that Nancy doubles the sauce recipe and I quadrupled it (4x). I only did that because my brisket was a little bigger than called for and I used a large pan. There wasn't enough sauce to cover everything.
Here's the recipe:


2-4 lb brisket
1 - 8 oz jar of French Dressing
1 - 8 oz. jar of Apricot Preserves/Jelly
1 package of dry onion soup mix

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Clean, peel and cut carrots and potatoes. Mix sauce ingredients in a small saucepan to just heat a bit so the ingredients 'melt' together.
Pour a small amount of the mixture on the bottom of the roasting pan. Coat the meat with some sauce and place in the bottom of the pan. Dump in the carrots and potatoes and pour the rest of the sauce mixture on top. Either cover pan with a tight fitting lid or use aluminum foil making sure it's tight. You don't want the steam to come out.
Cook 2.5 - 3 hours. Cool brisket completely. Cut into slices. Put in a pyrex or something that it can be heated again and served in. Add sauce, potatoes and carrots to it. Cover with foil.
**You can do up to this point the day ahead of time. Put it in the refrigerator until ready to heat up.
When you're ready to heat it up again, cook for 30 - 40 minutes at 350 degrees.


It's quite simple! You make P.J.'s JUNK MEAL! This is true comfort and not really healthy but what comfort food is? It all started some 28ish years ago when we were newleweds. P.J. got home from work first so he decided to make dinner. He fried up some onions, potatoes, and ham and then threw in whatever else was a leftover from the fridge. It became an instant hit! We've learned through the years what MUST go into it (corn) and what shouldn't (olives).
PJ called me up from work today to ask if we could have this for dinner tonight. How can I refuse!
This recipe doesn't have amounts. You throw in as much or as little of things that work well with you. We always make a big pot of it because leftovers of this is great in scrambled eggs or omelets!
potatoes - cut into approx 1/2 " squares
onions - rough chopped
ham - rough chop
whatever else you wanttonight I also added some PENZEY'S Shallot salt (*************************************************************************
So, in a big pan, heat up a few dashes of vegetable oil. When it's hot, add your onions, potatoes and ham. After you've fried/sauteed that, just dump everything else in the pan. Cook it until potatoes are cooked. We like when the bottom gets browned and we scrape the brown pieces up and mix into mixture. YUM!


Chris requested that I ask Wendy, his friends mother, and now our friend too!, for her recipe for Baked Ham. He said it was the BEST ham he's ever had in his life. It's not a looker but it was DELICIOUS!!!

City Ham
Recipe courtesy Alton Brown
Good Eats
Ham I Am

1 city style (brined) ham, hock end* 1/4 cup brown mustard 2 cups dark brown sugar 1-ounce bourbon (poured into a spritz bottle) 2 cups crushed ginger snap cookies
Heat oven to 250 degrees F.
Remove ham from bag, rinse and drain thoroughly. Place ham, cut side down, in a roasting pan. Using a small paring knife or clean utility knife set to the smallest blade setting, score the ham from bottom to top, spiraling clockwise as you cut. (If you're using a paring knife, be careful to only cut through the skin and first few layers of fat). Rotate the ham after each cut so that the scores are no more than 2-inches across. Once you've made it all the way around, move the knife to the other hand and repeat, spiraling counter clockwise. The aim is to create a diamond pattern all over the ham. (Don't worry too much about precision here.)
Tent the ham with heavy duty foil, insert a thermometer, and cook for 3 to 4 hours or until the internal temperature at the deepest part of the meat registers 130 degrees F.
Remove and use tongs to pull away the diamonds of skin and any sheets of fat that come off with them.
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Dab dry with paper towels, then brush on a liberal coat of mustard, using either a basting brush or a clean paint brush (clean as in never-touched paint). Sprinkle on brown sugar, packing loosely as you go until the ham is coated. Spritz this layer lightly with bourbon, then loosely pack on as much of the crushed cookies as you can.
Insert the thermometer (don't use the old hole) and return to the oven (uncovered). Cook until interior temperature reaches 140 degrees F, approximately 1 hour.
Let the roast rest for 1/2 hour before carving.
*Cook's note: A city ham is basically any brined ham that's packed in a plastic bag, held in a refrigerated case and marked "ready to cook", "partially cooked" or "ready to serve". Better city hams are also labeled "ham in natural juices".,,FOOD_9936_15538,00.html


I have created this blog to separate my food adventures from my life experience adventures. My MAMA ZUKE'S ADVENTURES blog is
There seemed to be too many food adventures! I've always LOVED cooking. It's a great way to show your creative self and the fact that you can actually read a recipe!
In this blog , I will share some of my family's favorite dishes and also recipes that were recomended to me by friends. You will find that I adapt almost EVERY recipe to suit my family so I'll add a little more of this and a little more of that, or the opposite! Whatever works best. So let's get started. The first few will be the ones taken off of my other blog. ENJOY!