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Monthly Archives: January 2013

Slow Cooker Meatloaf

Slow Cooker Meatloaf

Charleston was a little confused this past week, as it seemed to believe it was March or April instead of January.  I have spent the past week seeing one winter storm alert after another (for other areas of the country) on weather.com, yet it was sunny and in the mid-to-upper 70s for a week straight in Charleston.  While my parents and twin brother would tell me on the phone that they hadn’t seen the sun in days, as it was raining constantly in metro-Atlanta this week, Craig and I enjoyed a taste of spring weather.  Now, I am definitely the type of person who likes to enjoy all the seasons, but let’s be honest.  Charleston doesn’t have a real winter.  There’s no snow, but instead the occasional cold rain.  So if I can’t enjoy a real winter, anyway, I will gladly take the spring-like weather in January. 🙂

We went to the beach last weekend to enjoy the weather.  It was actually probably one of the "cooler" days of our spring weather, but we had a great time walking Jada on the beach before heading out to grab dinner at a local taqueria we love.

We went to the beach last weekend to enjoy the weather. It was actually probably one of the “cooler” days of our spring weather, but we had a great time walking Jada on the beach before heading out to grab dinner at a local taquería we love (Zia Taqueria).

However, yesterday was our last day of really warm weather, and last night the temperature dropped way down (comparatively, at least), and today, it is cold.  Our high is in the 50s.  Yuck.  So, to make the transition back to Charleston-winter weather a little easier, I made meatloaf with mashed potatoes and broccoli for dinner last night – a serious winter comfort food!

I had only made meatloaf one other time since Craig and I got married, and I unfortunately lost that recipe (it was right before I started blogging, so I didn’t have it here).  I was going to use my mom’s recipe, but then I decided that I wanted to make my meatloaf in the crock pot instead.  I knew I wouldn’t really have a lot of time to make the meatloaf and mashed potatoes after work if we wanted to eat at a decent time, so the crock pot would allow me to just make the meatloaf in the morning, and then make the mashed potatoes after work.  So, it was time to try a new recipe!  It turns out that although Craig did enjoy the meatloaf I had made for him once before, he is now glad that I lost that recipe because he says this was waaaaayyyy better!  So, I figured I better go ahead and blog this meatloaf recipe so that I don’t lose it as well. 😉

Slow Cooker Meatloaf

Recipe from: Group Recipes

Ingredients

Meatloaf

  • 1.5 lbs ground beef
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 tsp chopped onion
  • 1/2 tsp sage

Glaze

  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 Tbs brown sugar
  • 1 tsp mustard
    • I used spicy brown mustard because that’s what I had, but spicy brown or regular mustard will work fine.
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Directions

  1. Spray slow cooker with cooking spray.
  2. Combine eggs, milk, bread crumbs, onion, and sage.
  3. Crumble in ground beef into the egg mixture and mix well.
  4. Form the beef mixture into a loaf in the center of the crock pot, making sure to leave space between the loaf and the edge of the crock pot.
  5. In a small bowl, mix ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce.
  6. Spoon the glaze over the loaf.
  7. Cook on low for six hours.

Making Crock Pot Meatloaf

Slow Cooker Meatloaf

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Turkey Burgers

Turkey BurgerCraig and I had been eating heavy foods recently, and we really wanted to make some new and a little lighter for dinner.  I stood in front of the opened freezer, wasting electricity and hoping for inspiration, when I saw the ground turkey that had been in there for some time.  We don’t get ground turkey as often as we would like to because it’s more expensive than ground beef, and when we do, we usually use it in some sort of dirty rice dish.  However, we were not feeling the dirty rice at the time.

Craig threw out the idea of turkey burgers, and I was instantly on my computer looking for a good recipe.  We were hoping for a recipe that didn’t require a big trip to the store, because it was a rainy night and Craig had to volunteer that evening.  However, we were concerned that avoiding a big grocery trip might be too much to ask for since we were hoping for a good meal out of this.  A good turkey burger recipe is important, because without the right combination of ingredients, the burgers will turn out too dry and seem like you are eating cardboard.  Yuck!  The recipe we chose is from allrecipes.com.  It was easy and fabulous.  Perfectly moist, and full of flavor.  Craig was already asking two days later when we could make turkey burgers again!

The original recipe makes twelve small burgers (three pounds of meat).  We adjusted it accordingly since there are only two of us and we only had a little more than a pound of meat.  When doing the math for the adjustments, we rounded up anywhere necessary (e.g. a whole egg white instead of 7/8 egg white 😉 ).

Recipe

  • 3 lbs ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs (definitely not the easiest thing to find dairy-free, but we managed)
  • 1/4 cup fine dice onion
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 clove garlic peeled and minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black ground pepper

Directions

In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together, then form into patties.  Cook the patties in a medium skillet over medium heat, turning once or so, to an internal temperature of 180.

Turkey Burgers

We had our burgers on a bun with a tiny bit of mayo, some tomatoes, and avocado slices.  Don’t mind the diced tomatoes instead of sliced tomatoes (we had tacos the night before for dinner, and that’s what was left), or the mis-sized bun in the picture.  I think they add character to the look of this delicious meal!

A Broken Computer and Our Holiday Fun

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I’m coming back to the blogging scene with the new year!

In November, my computer broke.  I wouldn’t say it completely crashed because I could (usually) turn it on, but it had a million different things wrong with it.  Whatever you would call it, my computer was definitely not usable.  In fact, I wanted it to crash, because then I could just get over it and head to the store to get a new one.  But no, my computer’s death was long and agonizing, and the Apple people were determined to see if they could make it usable for me instead of just letting me get a new one (I had a stellar warranty on the computer).  So I had to play a game of waiting around without a computer.  That’s a big problem for someone who’s entire job revolves around a computer.

Craig and I spent a few weeks trading off with his computer.  I would use it for work during the day while he was at class, and he would use it at night for whatever med-school-related activities he needed to use it for.  So for me, that took updating this blog I have come to enjoy out of the picture.  By the time the folks over at Apple decided that fixing my computer was going to cost them more than giving me a new computer (yes, there were that many different things wrong with my computer), we were in full swing holiday season mode, and there was no turning back.

So, now, here I am, back in Charleston after a whirlwind of holiday travels.

The Sunday before Thanksgiving, Craig and I headed to Greenville to visit his cousins and for Craig to give a talk at Furman.  Apparently they wanted him to talk about medical school to the Health Sciences Department as a part of their monthly career nights to show students different options within that major.  I know, you ALL are wondering why they didn’t ask me to talk about the coffee cup printing industry as a career option for Health Science majors.  To this day, I still do not know. 😉

We then headed on up to Rock Hill where we spent a couple days with Craig’s dad, stepmom, and their kennel’s worth of animals (three dogs and two cats) before heading over to spend a couple days with Craig’s mom and her new dog.  It was a wonderful trip (besides the frustration on not having a computer) that got to end with watching South Carolina beat Clemson during their rivalry weekend game.  So awesome!

Then began the Christmas chaos of holiday shopping while Craig studied for his last exam of the term.  To be honest, I was definitely feeling overwhelmed at this point.  Besides feeling like I was in charge of all the shopping and needing to come up with a presentation for the McKinney family Christmas, I was also dealing with some health issues in my family and trying to hold it all together.  Thank goodness we serve our wonderful God who can actually hold it all together when we can’t, because I could not handle it myself.

FINALLY, Craig finished his exam and we were free to enjoy our break!  We traveled a ton over the break: to Rock Hill, to Greenville, back to Rock Hill, to Georgia, to North Carolina, back to Georgia, and back to Charleston.  I think that even more than the driving, the constant packing and unpacking is the most exhausting part.  Of course, I shouldn’t complain, because Craig did most of the packing and unpacking.  In fact, I was feeling super appreciative after the first time he loaded our car, but then he called his dad to say they needed to clear out a closet for all my stuff.  After that comment, I just called it even.  🙂

Here are “a few” snapshots from our crazy holiday season.  Craig and I got a new “grown-up” camera for Christmas, so I’m a little picture happy right now…

Despite spending most of this holiday season traveling, I was determined to still put up my Christmas decorations.  These are just a few.

Despite spending most of this holiday season traveling, I was determined to still put up my Christmas decorations. These are just a few.

We built gingerbread houses with our friends from church, Claire and Jordan.  They built a super legit barn house with an outhouse and everything.  We built a barely-stable house that we had to piece broken graham crackers together in order to make.  It was still a lot of fun, though!  :-)

We built gingerbread houses with our friends from church, Claire and Jordan. They built a super legit barn house with an outhouse and everything. We built a barely-stable house that we had to piece broken graham crackers together in order to make. However, our house turned out better than we expected (meaning it didn’t end up falling), and we had a lot of fun!

I finished wrapping our presents with eight or so hours of enjoyment time to spare before we had to pack them all up to head out of town.

I finished wrapping our presents with eight or so hours of enjoyment time to spare before we had to pack them all up to head out of town.

We always love spending time with Craig's immediate and extended family in Rock Hill and Greenville.  His cousins, aunts, and uncles crack me up, plus we got to spend a day and a half with Craig's brother, Will, which is the first time we had seen him since our wedding.  Will and his wife, Elizabeth, are both residents at UVA, so they are quite busy.  We only saw Elizabeth for about twenty minutes before she had to catch a slight back to Charlottesville for her 30hr Christmas Eve shift, so we unfortunately didn't get a picture.

We always love spending time with Craig’s immediate and extended family in Rock Hill and Greenville. His cousins, aunts, and uncles crack me up, plus we got to spend a day and a half with Craig’s brother, Will, which is the first time we had seen him since our wedding. Will and his wife, Elizabeth, are both residents at UVA, so they are quite busy becoming awesome doctors. We only saw Elizabeth for about twenty minutes before she had to catch a flight back to Charlottesville for her 30hr Christmas Eve shift, so we unfortunately didn’t get a picture.

After going to the Christmas Eve service in Rock Hill with Craig's mom and brother, we packed our stuff up to head out early in the morning for Georgia.  My brothers were still sleeping when we got there, so we ran upstairs to wake them up and all see what Santa brought us.  As you can probably tell, they are still waking up in these pictures...

After going to the Christmas Eve service in Rock Hill with Craig’s mom and brother, we packed our stuff up to head out early in the morning for Georgia. My brothers were still sleeping when we got there, so we ran upstairs to wake them up and all see what Santa brought us. As you can probably tell, they are still waking up in these pictures…

While Christmas morning was wonderful, Christmas did not feel complete until my brother's girlfriend and her daughter came over that evening.  We also got to see my dad's parents that evening.  What a wonderful end to a wonderful day!

While Christmas morning was wonderful, Christmas did not feel complete until my brother’s girlfriend and her daughter came over that evening. We also got to see my dad’s parents that evening. What a wonderful end to a wonderful day!

Then my family packed all of our stuff up to head to the North Carolina mountains for a few days.  It was so cold, but so fun!

Then my family packed all of our stuff up to head to the North Carolina mountains for a few days. It was so cold, but so fun!

These are just a few of the "nature" picture Craig and I took while we were up there.

These are just a few of the “nature” pictures Craig and I took while we were up there.

What fun is a family vacation without an adorably corny family picture?!  I actually love this picture.  :-)

What fun is a family vacation without an adorably corny family picture?! I actually love this picture. 🙂

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