I remember just about every meal I made in the first two years of marriage as a new wife. It's not because I have an amazing memory, it's because I didn't cook often and the meals we "made" were open-this-pour-that-and-warm-it-up sort of meals. I think I made a from-scratch meal maybe once or twice a month. And no excuses. We were both finishing up our bachelor degrees; student schedules are nuts and our food budget was tight. And not the cool kind of tight.
One of my favorite meals I actually made during those years was this recipe for Little Cheddar Meat Loaves by my neighbor, Katie. She was a few years older than me, had kids and from what I knew, she cooked a lot and had her life super-together. She was always so nice to me. I like nice, friendly neighbors. Don't you? I never got to know Katie as well as I wanted to or should have, we just passed by each other, saw each other in church and made occasional small talk but I have this recipe that I will always remember her and her kindness by.
Everyone has their own meatloaf recipe. I've got my mom's, my father-in-law's and more. From my experience many people don't have much interest in trying other or new meatloaf recipes. I say nay! I don't think you can ever have too many meatloaf recipes. And I think the first you should try is this one for Little Cheddar Meat Loaves.
Let me tell you why I love this meatloaf recipe so much. First off, I always have the ingredients on hand. Second they are mini and individually-portioned for each member of your family and leftovers. And third there are yummy ingredients in it like lots of cheddar cheese, oatmeal and a delicious brown sugar-ketchup glaze. Yummers. I think you get a lot more glaze because they are individually portioned. Boo-yeah!
This recipe isn't rocket science. It's just good. These ingredients aren't anything new, they are just a wonderful combo. I love it. Plus it comes together pretty quickly and you can always count on everyone loving their individual mini meatloaf.
So if you're ready to give a new meatloaf recipe a try and want to make a cute and delicious version of meatloaf, go ahead! Try this recipe for Little Cheddar Meat Loaves (we call 'em Mini Cheesy Meatloaves in our house) and let me know how you like it. Katie if you ever read this, thank you! I hope life is treating you grand and you still enjoy this recipe as much as I do.
Katie's Little Cheddar Meat Loaves
Prep Time: 10-15 Minutes
Bake Time: 45 minutes
3/4 cup milk
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 quick cooking oats (I always use old-fashioned since I don't buy quick cooking. It works fine.)
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 lb. lean ground beef
2/3 cup ketchup
1/2 brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 tsp prepared mustard
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, beat egg and milk. Stir in cheese, oats, onion and salt. Add beef and mix well. Shape into eight loaves; place in a greased 9x13 baking dish. Combine ketchup, brown sugar and mustard; spoon over loaves. Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink and a thermometer reads 160 degrees. Yields 6-8 servings.
Other meatloaf recipes to try:Mom's Meatloaf & Smashed Potatoes with Sour Cream and Chives from Project Domestication
Meatloaf with Gorgonzola by Cafe Johnsonia
Meatloaf with Tomatoes, Fennel, and Flax Seed Meal (Phase One, Gluten Free) by Kalyn's Kitchen