January 11, 2010

Dinner with Place B Friend

Five years ago we moved about an hour from Place B to be closer to my parents in Place R. Since moving I have dearly missed the friends I gained during my time in Place B. When I am lucky I have the privilege of those friends coming to my house to visit. A couple weeks ago one of those friends, JR, came to see us. In the hopes that I would have a fallback if the conversation was lacking (on our part) I tried to make a delicious meal that would bring him back. I figured I couldn't go wrong with recipes from The Pioneer Woman. I made Meatloaf, Creamy Mashed Potatoes with Roasted Garlic, and Chocolate Sheet Cake all from my new cookbook and/or The Pioneer Woman Cooks website, The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl. I love this cookbook. The photos, the colors, the Pioneer Woman. . .

The Creamy Mashed Potatoes were just as fabulous as the last time we made them although next time I will put a pan under them so the butter burning in the bottom of the oven doesn't stink up the delicious smell of the Meatoaf. The meatloaf was good and I will make it again; however, Meatloaf al a PE is better. The Chocolate Sheet Cake was very chocolatey. I have another recipe I use (PE's mom's) and it uses less cocoa which PE prefers but I will definitely make Ree's cake again.

~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~

adapted from The Pioneer Woman & The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl
Print Recipe

1 cup milk
6 bread slices
2 lbs ground beef
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp seasoned salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/8 to 1/4 dried parsley
4 eggs
8 to 12 slices thin bacon slices

Tomato Gravy
1 1/2 cups ketchup
6 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp dry mustard
dash or two fo hot sauce

Preheat oven to 350. Pour milk over the bread and allow to soak for several minutes. Place the ground beef, milk-soaked bread, Parmesan cheese, salt, seasoned salt, black pepper, and parsley in a large mixing bowls. Pour in the eggs. With clean hands, mix the ingredients until well combined. Form the mixture into a loaf shape on a broiler pan, which will allow the fat from the meat to drain (line the bottom of the broiler pan with foil to aide in cleanup). Lay bacon slices over the top tucking them underneath the meatloaf. Next make the tomato gravy. Poour the ketchup into a small mixing bowl. Add the brown sugar and dry mustard and splash in the hot sauce. Stir the mixture until well combined. Pour one-third of the tomato gravy over the top of the meatloaf. Bake for 45 minutes, then pour another one-third of the remaining tomato gravy over the meatloaf. Bake for an additional 15 minutes. Serve with the remaining tomato gravy on the side of a dripping sauce.

~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~

Chocolate Sheet Cake
from The Pioneer Woman & The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl
Print Recipe

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/4 tsp salt
4 Tbsp (heaping) cocoa
2 sticks butter
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cups buttermilk
2 whole beaten eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cups finely chopped pecans (optional)
1 3/4 stick butter
4 Tbsp (heaping) cocoa
6 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 lb powdered sugar

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt. In a saucepan, melt butter. Add cocoa. Stir together. Add boiling water, allow mixture to boil for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Pour over flour mixture, and stir lightly to cool. In a measuring cup, pour the buttermilk and add beaten eggs, baking soda, and vanilla. Stir buttermilk mixture into butter/chocolate mixture. Pour into sheet cake pan and bake at 350-degrees for 20 minutes. While cake is baking, make the icing. Chop pecans finely. Melt butter in a saucepan. Add cocoa, stir to combine, then turn off heat. Add the milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Stir together. Add the pecans, stir together, and pour over warm cake. Cut into squares and eat.

~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~


  1. Thanks for the dinner ideas. I love your blog and read often!!

  2. I am glad you enjoy my blog. I really enjoy yours, especially the posts about your mom--we miss her so much.