Meatloaf Muffins: the journey from baking to cooking.

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I don’t cook.

I bake, yes  –  A LOT. But I just never got into cooking. Then one day a few weeks ago, I was having a conversation with a friend about cooking, and I decided that should change. Suddenly, I wanted to cook; and I’d never had any inkling of a desire to do it before. I started looking up recipes, and noticed that the things I most wanted to try were those meals that incorporated my baking skills – homemade pasta, meatloaf, baked eggplant, etc.  As I don’t yet own a pasta maker (this will soon be remedied), that was out for now. Shortly following this cooking epiphany, I stumbled across a meatloaf recipe. I figured it was a sign, and thus meatloaf would be my next challenge. I was discussing said meatloaf with a friend, explaining to her my reasons for selecting it (in addition to the sign from the universe),  one being that it was just like baking a loaf of bread, which I’ve done a thousand times. She then suggested that since I am only one person, I should try meatloaf muffins. This way, I could save some for future meals, and share some with others, if I so desired. I loved this idea! And so it was.

I started with an onion. I cried. A lot.

96 tears.

96 tears.

I then mixed all the ingredients in a large bowl. The recipe called for pepper. I wanted rosemary. I did what I wanted.

a loaf waiting to happen.

a loaf waiting to happen.

Next, I shaped it into a loaf, and then broke it down into muffin-sized lumps.

she's lump. she's lump. she's lump. she's in my head.

she’s lump. she’s lump. she’s lump. she’s in my head.

I baked them,  took them out 5 minutes early, topped them with shredded Gruyere, and baked them for 5 more minutes.

mini meats.

mini meats.

I removed them from the oven, and let them cool. I realized at this point that I did not yet understand the principles of baking meat and how it differed from baking a cake. When you bake a cake, it conforms to the size and shape of the pan it’s being baked in. Not meat – it retains the shape you make it. So I wound up with what looked more like meat boulders.  Next time, I’ll know better.

boulders of joy.

boulders of joy.

Now for the true test. I poured myself a glass of wine, and selected two meat boulders. They certainly smelled delicious, and honestly, looked rather delectable.

red wine and meat boulders: the perfect pairing.

red wine and meat boulders: the perfect pairing.

I put some extra barbecue sauce on the side for dipping, and dug in. I couldn’t believe it – success!! This was some good meatloaf! I put down the fork and called my mom. I had to share my cooking success story with someone who I knew would be proud.

And now, my friends, I’m hooked. Small Indulgences are not just for baking anymore. Here’s to new adventures!

 

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