The Best Meatloaf (or Meatballs) Ever!!

Ok so I’m sure some of you are probably thinking eww yuck…meatloaf!! But seriously this is the best meatloaf I have ever had! It’s my grandma’s recipe and my mom made it when I was growing up and now I make it.

Since I’ve been talking about once a month cooking I thought I’d share some of my favorite recipes for freezer meals. To catch up on my freezer meal series you can go here and here

Ingredients: 

  • 4 lbs group beef
  • 1 lb sausage
  • 2 cups onion, chopped fine
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups oatmeal or breadcrumbs 
  • 1 1/2 cups milk

Combine all ingredients in mixer and mix with dough hooks until full combined.

Meatloaf: Divide in half and put in two loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 90 minutes or until they reach 160 degrees in the center.

Meatballs: Shape into meatballs and brown on both sides in an electric frying pan. Add 2 cups of water mixed with 2 tsp beef soup base. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. The broth can be strained and thickened to make gravy.

Serve with ketchup on the side!

For all you Meat Loaf lovers out there here is a video to take you back to 1993!!

Shopping for Freezer Meals {Part 2}

This is part 2 of my freezer meal tutorial! You can read part 1 here!

After I have done my meal planning and created my shopping list I “shop” my pantry and mark off the items I already have.

Here is what I had in my pantry and freezer already. It’s not a lot but it’s a start!
I got the ground beef for $1.50 each because they were 2 day’s out from their sell by/freeze by date. I always check the clearance meat because you can usually get great deals…just make sure you freeze it right away!

Then I go shopping – it sounds pretty straight forward but for me I like to break it up into a couple of trips. We budget $150 every two weeks for groceries so if I were to go out and buy all of the ingredients in one trip it would wipe out a big portion of our budget. I generally spend around $100 on all the ingredients for my meals so if I spread that out over a couple of weeks then it doesn’t feel like such a hit to our budget.

So here is what my list looks like after “shopping” my pantry

Quantity Measurement Item Already Have?
1 piece Ham  
14 pounds Ground beef 3 pounds
2 large Pork roasts  
2 large Costco sized bag of chicken  
1 pound Sausage  
12 medium Onion  
3 15 ounce cans Petite diced tomatoes  
9 15 ounce cans Stewed tomatoes  
1 28 ounce Diced tomatoes  
3 6 ounce cans Tomato paste  
1 box Lasagna noodles  
1 can Evaporated milk  
1 16 ounce Low fat cottage cheese  
12 ounce Monterey jack cheese  
1 tub Fat Free Sour Cream  
1 bag Parmesan cheese  
1   Green pepper 1 Green Pepper
3   Red pepper  
1 24 ounce jar LaVictoria Salsa  
2 15 ounce cans Black beans 1 can
4 16 ounce cans Cannellini Beans  
2 cans  Cream of Chicken Soup  2 cans
2 cans Corn  
2 packages  Taco seasoning  2 packages 
5 15 ounce Thick and chunky cans of chili  
1 bottle Yoshida Sauce  
1 16 ounce bag  Split Peas 1 16 ounce bag
10 cups Fat free chicken broth 6 cups
2 large Carrots  
1 large bag Broccoli  
1 Jar Oat Bran  
1 Jar Wheat Germ  
1 box  Quart – Ziploc Bags  
3 9 x13  Foil pans   

A couple of additional items I added to my shopping list are:

  • Quart sized Freezer Ziploc bags – I freeze almost everything in Ziploc bags (taco meat, pulled pork, soups). If you lay them flat in the freezer they take up less space and work really well.
  • Foil pans for casseroles – I get mine at Dollar Tree – they have a great selection and are only $1!!

Start watching your weekly adds for what is on sale – and happy shopping!

My Lifesaver – Freezer Meals {Part 1}

When I was growing up I was home-schooled and I remember my mom doing once a month cooking. She would prep for 1 day and cook for 1 day and because we were home-schooled my brother and I had the pleasure of doing it with her. At the time it probably wasn’t my favorite thing to do but now I’m so grateful for learning because it set the foundation for what I do now.

I work full-time and so the last thing I feel like doing at the end of the day is cooking a meal for my family. I do it even though I don’t want to because I know it’s important for my daughter and my family but it’s really not my favorite thing to do!!

The first thing I do when I decide to do a major cooking day is plan out which meals I want to cook. Since we are going into the fall I’m planning to do a few different soups because they freeze really well and it’s super easy to make large batches of them. Here are the meals I plan to make next month (most of these are more than one meal per recipe):

So now that I know what I’m cooking the next thing I do is look at all the recipes and determine what I need to buy for my cooking day. Because I’m quirky and love Excel I put all the ingredients in an Excel spreadsheet to create my list. I left out all the spices and anything I knew I already had. I created a column that say’s “Already Have” because I always “shop” my pantry before I go to the store so I’m not buying things I already have.

Quantity Measurement Item Already Have?
1 piece Ham
14 pounds Ground beef
2 large Pork roasts
2 large Costco sized bags of chicken
1 pound Sausage
12 medium Onion
3 15 ounce cans Petite diced tomatoes
9 15 ounce cans Stewed tomatoes
1 28 ounce can Diced tomatoes
3 6 ounce cans Tomato paste
1 box Lasagna noodles
1 can Evaporated milk
1 16 ounce tub Low fat cottage cheese
12 ounces Monterey jack cheese
1 16 ounce tub Fat Free Sour Cream
1 bag Parmesan cheese
1 Green pepper
3 Red pepper
1 24 ounce jar LaVictoria Salsa
2 15 ounce cans Black beans
4 16 ounce cans Cannellini Beans
2 cans Corn
2 packages Taco seasoning
5 15 ounce  cans Thick and chunky cans of chili
1 bottle Yoshida Sauce
1 16 ounce bag Split Peas
10 cups Fat free chicken broth
2 large Carrots
1 large bag Broccoli
1 Jar Oat Bran
1 Jar Wheat Germ

Because I’m planning I’m actually planning ahead this time, I’m hoping to find these ingredients on sale. The bulk of the money your spending is on meat so watch for good sales on Chicken, beef and Pork and you’ll save a ton!

Next Up: Shopping for the big day!