Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Easy Eggs-In-Meatloaf...

I love Easter as it moonlights or shall I say sunlights as a welcome celebration to Spring with warmth in the air, greenery everywhere and birds chirping their sweet tunes. Aside from the usual occasion activities, it's a time to slow down and enjoy a family home-cooked meal with the flavours and colours of spring produce. I wanted to make it an eggs-travaganzza weekend and that's just what we did! Egg painting for my kids and an eggs-in-meatloaf creation from me! I ran egg recipes in my head for something fun to cook up and toad-in-a-hole sprung to mind (egg cooked in the centre of a hollowed out slice of bread on a pan). Aha! How about inserting hard-boiled eggs in a ground chicken meatloaf (eggs in chicken-- get it?) and reveal a cross section of the beautiful white and yellow when it gets sliced up. With a sweet and sour ketchup-mustard topping, it was a delicious comfort and cute Easter meatloaf we all enjoyed.

Spring is here and we know this when we see our feathered friends aplenty. But when I saw a red-breasted robin on two brief occasions (in the mornings at the beginning and end of this Easter weekend) perched on my backyard patio I knew it was more than mere coincidence. I know if a robin flies into our lives it is symbolic, so what does it mean? It looks like seeing a robin signifies both renewal and letting go. He teaches that change can be made with joy, laughter and song in our hearts, and to move forward with grace, tenacity and independence. Maybe it is time to sing my own song for a new period in my life. It's about time and I'm looking forward to it... :D

Easter with kids is not complete without an egg-hunt of course!...

... and dyeing and colouring hard-boiled eggs! Make it a dozen why not?

My son says his looks like an oval earth. I think he is right!

The kids had amazing fun getting creative with these eggs. 
Now it's mama's turn to have some fun cooking with them... 

What beautiful splashy orbs!

Easy Eggs-In Meatloaf
Makes one 9 X 4 loaf or/ 12 mini loaves

1-1/2 lbs. lean ground chicken (I used part chicken and part pork)
1 Tbsp. butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, chopped

handful spinach leaves, liquid squeezed out and chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup salsa
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1 cup dried bread crumbs (use seasoned bread crumbs give more flavour)
4 hard boiled eggs, shells removed
2 Tbsp. prepared mustard
3/4 cup ketchup

My second son designed this one precisely for me to cook up.

Heat skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter and sauté onions and garlic until aromatic and translucent about three minutes; toss in the spinach and season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, combine the ground meat, salsa, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, salt and pepper. Add the cooked onion-spinach mixture. Mix well with spoon or hands (using disposable plastic gloves makes it easy). Then add milk and egg; incorporate well; lastly, add bread crumbs and mix well. If you can, allow it sit to in the fridge for one hour to let the flavours meld.

Place 1/3 of meat mixture into a foil-lined 9x5-inch loaf pan. Arrange the hard-boiled eggs in a row in the centre. Add some meat along the sides so the eggs are snug and top with remaining meat mixture to cover. 

In a separate small bowl, combine the mustard and ketchup. Mix and pour/spread evenly over the meatloaf. Bake in preheated oven at 350F (I like to use my toaster oven-- no need to waste that energy in a regular oven) for one hour. Remove. 

For Speedy Mini Meat Loaves: Preheat oven to 400F. Spread sauce over each mini loaf. Bake in oven for 20 to 25 minutes until its no longer pink in the centres.

Meanwhile, I stir-fried baby carrots and snow peas cut at a slant for simple veggie sides.

Let the meat rest five minutes and drain off fat and liquid-- carefully pour out from the corner of the pan. Slice into nice hearty slabs to show off its pretty egg centre.

Voila! Here is my easy eggs-in-meatloaf over a bed of "grass" snowpeas and bunny munchy carrots!

Moist and delicious. Did I say how pertty it was?

Cheers. Chow. Ciao.

I hope y'all had a Happy Eggs-tatic Easter!

What did we do with the remaining eggs you ask? Egg Salad for today's after school snack!

The kids enjoyed cracking and peeling their own eggs.

Chopping with IKEA's kid-friendly knife.

Just a quick mix with some mayo, Dijon mustard, and season with salt and pepper. 
Chow time! Eggs-cellent!

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