Easy Meatloaf Recipe | Mini Meatloaves With Mashed Potatoes

Easy Meatloaf Recipe - Mini Meatloaves with Mashed Potato Topping

Meatloaf has received a bad reputation over the years and some of it is deserved. Meatloaf is so easy to make, but also so easy to ruin. The biggest problem that I have seen is when people attempt to make meatloaf is that it ends up being too dry, be it from not adding enough moisture to the meatloaf mixture or from cooking it for so long that it is completely dried out and rubbery.

This easy meatloaf recipe solves all of those problems: it is just the right balance of ingredients and because you cook it in a muffin tin you don’t have to worry about the ends drying out while you wait for the middle to be fully cooked (as you do when you cook it in a traditional loaf pan).

Another benefit to making mini-meatloaves is that, like my Mini Chicken Pot Pie recipe, it is built-in portion control. One of these is just about the right serving size for most people (although my husband will usually eat 2 of these).

I started using oats in my meatloaf recipe several years ago. When my children were younger, they didn’t like the “chunks” of the oats so I would put them in the blender to make “oatmeal breadcrumbs” before adding them to the mixture. Now that they are older, they don’t mind them so much. Adding oatmeal gives this easy meatloaf mixture a little bit more fiber than breadcrumbs would, but you can always substitute bread crumbs if you prefer.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • 1 Egg
  • 3/4 cup Milk
  • 1 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Quick Oats or breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/4 cup crushed Club Crackers
  • 2/3 cup Ketchup
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 tsp Mustard
  • 2 cup Mashed Potatoes (use your favorite recipe)

Directions:

  1. Preheat Oven to 350.
  2. Combine ketchup, mustard and brown sugar together and stir to mix well. Set aside (this will be your topping for your meatloaves)
  3. In a separate bowl, combine all remaining ingredients (except the mashed potatoes) and mix well
  4. Divide the mixture evenly among the 12 wells of a standard muffin tin.
  5. Top each  mini-meatloaf with the ketchup mixture.
  6. Bake for 30-45 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before you remove from muffin pan
  8. Place mashed potatoes in a zip-top bag or piping bag.  Cut a corner off of the bag and pipe on a mashed potato “frosting”.

Serve and enjoy!

8 Tips To Make Affording a Cruise Possible

8 Tips To Make Affording a Cruise Possible

Would you love to take a cruise but are afraid it’s just out of reach financially? Cruises are in reality one of the most inexpensive vacations people can take. They are also a ton of fun. We took the family on a Disney Cruise last year and we all still consider it the best vacation that they have ever had!

With a little bit of planning and research you can be on your way to an amazing getaway!  Here are some tips on affording a cruise:

Plan Ahead – You’ve seen lots of lists online stating when the best time is to book airfare or a hotel room to see the best prices. When it comes to cruises, booking far in advance can yield the best savings, especially if you have a family. Even 12-18 months out is not too far in advance to make reservations. Start planning your vacation and doing your research now and you can save a bundle!

Subscribe to Newsletters – Sign up to receive newsletters from cruise lines or travel websites that interest you. They regularly send out specials like “kids sail free” or free onboard credit. If they have any last minute specials you’ll find out about them first through these newsletters. You can also like their Facebook pages to discover promotions.

Pay as you Go – One of the best features of paying for a cruise is that you don’t have to pay the entire balance at once. When you make a reservation you can pay a deposit and then pay as you go. Most final payments are due by 60 days before sailing. This is a great way to space out payments without putting the trip on a credit card and having to pay interest. If you can pay the total at once, you may be able to get a discount as well. Call the cruise line to find out what’s available.

Book an Interior Room – The least expensive rooms on a ship are the interior rooms. The downside is you won’t have a window but if all you plan to do is sleep in the room you won’t really miss out. Before sailing or when you check in ask if there are any complimentary upgrades available. If rooms haven’t sold you may be able to move into a better room for no additional cost!

Be Flexible – You’ll get the best price on a cruise if you can be flexible. Cruising around holidays and school vacations will be the most expensive. Caribbean cruises in the spring will be expensive, but if you can go in summer you’ll likely find better deals. European cruises in the winter will also net a big savings. It may not be ideal but it can save a lot of money.  We went on a cruise to the Bahamas in August and I can honestly say that the only “bad” day that we had was when we were in port at Nassau. We chose not to do a shore excursion (see below for why) and instead spent some time walking around doing some shopping and taking a quick carriage ride, then we went back to the ship to enjoy the pool.  It was HOT (but not miserable).

Seek Alternative Departure Ports – There are numerous ports in the United States to depart from however most cruises leave from Miami or Ft. Lauderdale. Instead consider leaving from Galveston, Texas, New Orleans, or even Puerto Rico. Not only can you save on the cruise but you also may save on airfare to get there.

Limit Shore Excursions – A big cost in cruising is the port activities. When we went on our cruise, most of port excursions were about $150 – $200 per person! With a family of 5, that could have added up to $1000 to our trip for just a single day! Instead of choosing an activity at every port, pick just one or two activities, and spend the other days and time exploring on your own! Check to see if your cruise still has a full itinerary on port days as this is often a great way to do some of the activities on the ship that are often more crowded!

Stick With What’s Included There are lots of ways that cruise lines can add to the cost of your vacation. It’s easy to rack up a bill before you know it. Instead of buying lots of fancy drinks or eating in the specialty restaurants stick to the food and drink choices that are included. You’ll save a lot of money this way. If you know that you will want to have beer or wine on your cruise, check to see if your cruise line will allow you to bring your own (to enjoy in your room or for a corking fee in the restaurants).

With a little bit of planning and enough lead time you can have a wonderful cruise experience without breaking the bank!

Do you have any other tips on affording a cruise to add?

New Printable Coupons | Pop Tarts, Febreze, Fresh Grapes + More!

free printable coupons

There are some new coupons available today for you to print or load to your card, including one for grapes! Be sure to grab them while they are still available! :: COUPONS.COM $1.00 off 3 Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts toaster pastries $1.00 off THREE Kellogg’s cereals listed $1.00 off any Glade Sense & Spray product $1.00 off […]

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Grocery Deals Updated | Food Lion, Giant Eagle

grocery store deals

The grocery store store deals and matchups pages have been updated with all the best bargains at Aldi and Giant Eagle for the new sales!! Make sure that you check out Coupons.com, SmartSource and RedPlum for any printable coupons that you may need! Don’t forget that you can also access all of these deals through […]

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Sunday Coupon Insert Sneak Peek | July 27, 2014 Preview

There are 5 confirmed Coupon Inserts in the paper this weekend (July 27, 2014)… 2 SmartSource inserts, 2 Redplum Inserts and a Proctor & Gamble insert. You can check it out on my Coupon Insert Preview page! Don’t forget to stop back Saturday morning for my weekly Coupon Insert Preview post, where I highlight what […]

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