Monday, August 8, 2011

Crockpotn' Like It's the Apocalypse!

Hey Y'all!

Well. It finally hit me today. A major meltdown. I always have one right before I have to go back to work after a summer of easy living. Today, I did what any frantic woman in the middle of a meltdown would do, I called my best friend. Who talked me out of my anxiety and reassured me that all would be fine. Whew. I am not nervous about meeting my children or even teaching another year. I think I am in mourning for the nap taking, blogging, cooking, movie watching, sleeping late, traveling, carefree existence I have been living for the past 8 weeks. And, I don't want it to end! But, I need to eat and have shelter. I also have an itty bitty barking mouth to feed. Oh well. I will, however, buy a  lottery ticket tomorrow to make myself feel better!

To prepare for the coming apocalypse of school starting (hee, hee) I have been crockpoting like there is no tomorrow. My goal has been to fill up my freezer so that when school officially starts,  I will have yummy choices for lunches and suppers. I am still going to try and stay away from the premade frozen foods. And trust me, I have gotten a great head start!

Tonight I present you with one of my favorite things to eat. Meatloaf. But no ordinary meatloaf... Taco Meatloaf! This thing was so yummy that I had a hard time putting it away in the freezer. Of course, if you are making this for little people, you can dial down the spciy-ness of this. But for me, OH NELLIE!

Let me preface this by saying, making meatloaf is a slippery slope. Most of the time, it is great, but sometimes you get a yucky loaf. I will have to say that this recipe gives you a moist meatloaf with a kick. I don't think I will make meatloaf any other way after this.

You will need:

2 cups crushed tortilla chips
1 cup shredded cheese
1 cup salsa (here is where you can add a kick or keep it mild)
1/2 cup egg substitute
1 envelope taco seasoning
2 pounds of lean ground beef
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons of hot sauce (Ahem. I may have added more than 2!)

In a bowl, mix the first six ingredients together.

Once you have mixed it well, add the beef. If you prefer, I am sure turkey meat would be fine.

After it is mixed, form it into a loaf. Now, wash your hands and grab some tinfoil. Tear a piece about 20 inches long and then cut it into three strips. Spread them out like spokes on a wheel. Place this in your crockpot. This will help you lift your loaf out when it is done and, BONUS, it keeps your crockpot clean!

Place your loaf in the crockpot. Make the foil into handles. Cover and cook the meatloaf for 3 to 4 hours on low. About an hour before the meatloaf is finished you want to make the SAUCE that goes over the loaf. See below for directions. Your meatloaf is done when it is no longer pink and your meat thermometer registers 160 degrees or higher. Yes. I own a meat thermometer. I don't want to poison myself or others. :)

To make the sauce you will need:

1/2 cup of ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons (or more) of hot sauce

Mix these ingredients well and pour over the meatloaf in the crockpot. Cook for another hour. When finished, remove meat loaf and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then slice and serve. YUM!

Best part... little or no clean up!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! :)
:) JKP

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