Tuesday Treats: Make-ahead Mini Meatloaves

When I start getting close to deadlines, I’m always looking for good food that’s easy to fix–or can be made ahead. These yummy Mini Mealoaves checks off both boxes.

Prep Time: 10 min.
Total Time: 55 min.
Servings: 6 servings
Keep these bacon-wrapped make-ahead mini meatloaves in the freezer for a fast, home-cooked solution to mealtime emergencies.

What You Need
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1-1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1 pkg. (6 oz.) STOVE TOP Stuffing Mix for Chicken
3/4 cup KRAFT Mexican Style Finely Shredded Four Cheese
1/3 cup KRAFT Original Barbecue Sauce
3 green onions, sliced
6 slices OSCAR MAYER Bacon

Make It
Whisk eggs and milk in large bowl until blended. Add all remaining ingredients except bacon; mix lightly. Shape into 6 (1-inch-thick) patties; wrap bacon slice around edge of each patty.

Wrap individually in plastic wrap; place in freezer-weight resealable plastic bag. Seal bag. Freeze up to 3 months.

Heat oven to 375ºF. Unwrap frozen patties; place on rimmed baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Bake 40 to 45 min. or until done (160ºF). For a video and/or more information, CLICK HERE.

Katherine Barron Tate, as the mom of six strapping boys with a busy life of her own, happens to love this recipe. She could make a batch of these (and did when the Tate boys were growing up) and when the boys got home from school, work, dates (*waggles brows*), they could fix themselves a snack and often ate these patties on hamburger buns with a slice of cheese. 😉

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Midway Monday

September–the time of state fairs, cooler weather, football, and the lead up to post-season baseball. Fall is my favorite time of year. The autumnal equinox happens this week. I’m ready.

Let’s see…to catch up on things. College football is a win-win so far. OSU (the REAL OSU, not the pretender OSU in Ohio) is 3-0 and knocking on the door of the top 5 in both polls. OU, which beat that fake OSU last week rather resoundingly, is moving around between #2 and #3. S’all good. As for MLB baseball, I fear my Cardinals are pretty much out of the post-season unless things take a dramatic turn. Ah well.

And in other things, like TV and reading…

I’m finally catching up on last season’s LUCIFER episodes. Which is good because new LUCIFER episodes are soon to air. Same with NCIS. I still have a backlog of GAME OF THRONES to wend my way through but I have awhile to sort them out because it’s like a year before the final season airs. I admit there are a couple of new shows I’ve heard about that sound interesting but I can’t think of them at the moment.

Reading…or listening, as it were is currently confined to Patricia Briggs dual Mercy Thompson and Alpha & Omega series. While I’d read the A&O books, I’m just now getting into the MT books. Fun times. I also have B.E. Sanderson’s WISH HITS THE FAN on my Kindle and I can’t wait! I keep peeking at it and rubbing my hands together but I’m sort of OCD when it comes to reading series. So, a couple of more Mercy/A&O books and then I’m eyes-deep in Djinn!

Writing is moving along. I’m finally hitting a stride with Roman’s book. I think my cover designer and I have settled on the title THE SOUND OF SILENCE. It’s fun to revisit Sade, Roman, and discover Verity (Roman’s heroine.) I also have the go-ahead on revisions made to the plot line for Tucker’s book. So, split times between the books. That’s okay. I’m a master at multi-tasking. No. Seriously. Stop laughing! 😉

So that’s my update. What’s up with y’all? What are you reading, watching, writing? How are your teams doing? Are you going to the state fair near you?

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Saturday Reading List: Wishing for a Great Read

So…I have a friend who happens to be a really talented author. Her name is B.E. Sanderson and she’s written an amazing series of books about the Djinn. The 4th and final book in the series released yesterday and to celebrate she’s put all the book on sale! You can read them free if you have a subscription to Kindle Unlimited, or you can buy them all for under $5.00. Trust me, you’ll want to! Each book is a complete story but there is a plot arch that stretches through all four books. This is Urban Fantasy at it’s best. There’s lots of magic, action, derring do, a kick-ass heroine in Jo Mayweather, a shady character named Ezekiel who might or might not be a hero (I’ll never tell!), sidekicks, a fluffy dog who is way more than he seems and…nope. That’s as far as I’m going. No spoilers here!

Yes, these books are only available at Amazon but you don’t need a Kindle to read them. There’s Kindle app for every smart phone, table, and computer. You can get the books in print, if you prefer to read that way, at slightly more expense. So CLICK HERE and go grab some genie goodness!

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Friday Sinema: Blank Page

The song is “Blank Page” sung by Christina Aguilera. The dancer is Francis Perreault. The music video is by Sia. Take five minutes to marvel. You’re welcome.

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Thursday Thoughts: Universal Above All

One question writer’s get asked most often is: “Where do you get your ideas?” or “Where do the stories come from?” Variations on a theme. In my case, it can be a variety of factors but the most constant is “What if…?” What if…? is a universal thing among writers. It’s how we plot, how we brainstorm, how we create. The Universe got it right today.

There’s never just one right answer, Silver.

And there’s never just one right question.

All of the above,
The Universe
© http://www.tut.com ®
Same for paths, people, shoes, and dessert, Silver.

The possibilities are endless. What about you? What question will you ask? What answer will you get? What path will you follow? What people will you meet? What shoes will you wear? And, the most important question of all, what will you have for dessert?

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Wednesday Words: Stone Cold

Another week half-way done and time for this week’s #1lineWed theme. Chill out, grab an ice tea and settle in for some cold-blooded words centered around the theme of **COLD**. 😉 This is a scene from Roman’s book (with a new tentative title of THE SOUND OF SILENCE) but sadly, no Roman. Roman doesn’t have any cold in his life at the moment though I need to do something about that. Instead, we get a little scene with the gargoyle Varrick (who we first met in THAT OL’ BLACK MAGIC) and my favorite FBI agent, Sade Marquis. There’s bad stuff stirring in the gargoyle-verse and Varrick has been tasked with helping Sade. Fun times! 😆

***
Ignoring the steaming corpses littering the alley, Varrick felt like freaking Hansel—only the birdies obliterating this particular trail of breadcrumbs were vultures of the preternatural kind and he wasn’t hunting an old witch. He smelled the coppery taint of blood, tasted the rusted-iron sharpness of it around the shallow drags he pulled on his cigarette. His Gretel waited at the entrance. Sade Marquis. FBI agent. Dead sexy. She racked a new magazine in her 9mm, the metallic sound echoing. He’d already reloaded his specially modified .44 Mag. If six rounds of HE didn’t take down their targets, they were dog food anyway.

“Roman, you owe me big time, brother!” Varrick snarled. He was only here because of his blood debt to Roman. Hunting rogue gargoyles was a pain in the ass. Literally. He rolled his head on his neck, vertebrae grinding like ancient granite. This whole fiasco had been the Fed’s idea. She might be stone cold—and that was a compliment coming from a gargoyle—but she was still human and if anything happened to her, more than Roman would be ready to grind him into dust.

A grating sound brought his head up. One idiot rogue tried to sneak up on Sade. Varrick raised the Mag, squeezed. Acrid smoke from his cigarette danced with the fog crawling across the docks as powdered granite swirled and settled, just so much dust in the wind.

The bitch Fed glared. “I can do this. Alone.”

“Like hell. Roman’ll take my head if you get hurt.”

“I need one alive.”

“Yeah, good luck with that.” A bullet whistled past his ear, ricocheted. He whirled but before he could fire, the gargoyle behind him disintegrated. What the hell kind of loads was the Fed carrying?

Sade smirked and holstered her weapon. “Or maybe not.”
***
I’m making progress on this story and seem to still be on track for a Halloween release. Does anyone have some cold words to share?

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Tuesday Treats: Chicken-Parmesan Bundles

Mid-September means states fairs, cooler temps, and a return to favorite foods. I’ve always been a fan of Chicken Parmesan and I an even bigger fan of “combination foods” where I get my veggies delivered in a yummy way with my need to eat like carnivore. So, from the recipe people at Kraft comes this delicious recipe for Chicken Parmesan Bundles. Their cheesy center will be the highlight of dinnertime!

Prep Time: 35 min.
Total Time: 1 hr. 5 min.
Servings: 6 servings (in my family, this would be 3 servings because we’d each eat two. Just sayin’… 😉 )

What You Need
4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, well drained
1-1/4 cups KRAFT Shredded Low-Moisture Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese, divided
6 Tbsp. KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese, divided
6 small boneless skinless chicken breasts (1-1/2 lb.), pounded to 1/4-inch thickness
1 egg
10 RITZ Crackers, crushed (about 1/2 cup)
1-1/2 cups CLASSICO FAMILY FAVORITES Traditional Pasta Sauce, warmed

Make It
Heat oven to 375ºF.

Mix cream cheese, spinach, 1 cup mozzarella and 3 Tbsp. Parmesan until blended; spread onto chicken. Starting at one short end of each breast, roll up chicken tightly. Secure with wooden toothpicks, if desired.

Whisk egg in shallow dish until blended. Combine cracker crumbs and remaining Parmesan in separate shallow dish. Dip chicken in egg, then roll in crumb mixture until evenly coated. Place, seam sides down, in 13×9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.

Bake 30 min. or until chicken is done (165ºF). Remove and discard toothpicks. Serve chicken topped with pasta sauce and remaining mozzarella.

If you want more info, YOU CAN WATCH THE VIDEO HERE.

While she might be a little kick-ass, Lennox Morgan from ASSASSIN’S MOON knows her way around the kitchen. She’s a fan of Italian food and has even convinced her Wolf hero, Griffith Caine, that chicken can be just as tasty as rare beef. Or at least Griff lets her think that. 😉

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