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I woke up this morning with the overwhelming feeling to simplify my life.  Things like multiple trips to the grocery store (notice it is plural…trips), stream-lining the weekly excercise routine (or lack of), editing the craft supplies and growing piles of magazines.  These are all great places to begin the journey into the new year.

It’s also a great time to look at what is working in your life and not working.  Resolutions?  Perhaps.  But, I hate when my new year’s resolutions lasts just a week into the new year.  It just doesn’t seem very well, resolute…more like a big, fat failure.

I decided to go about this new year {2012} in a slightly different direction, which is more of a plan rather than a resolution.  One part of my plan to really PLAN our weekly meals {an entire month at a time} and minimize multiple trips to the grocery store each week.  Part 1 of the plan is to set up a template {I’m hoping that one of the awesome organizing gals in blogland will have something for me to peek at} on my computer, type up our menu, post it in our kitchen and then create a  grocery list from my menu plan.  Sounds simple enough.

 Part 2 of my plan is to introduce new foods {and new recipes} to my children.  I think we’re in a little rut of sorts and I’d like to snap us out of it.  We all have those dishes that we can whip up at a moment’s notice, no recipe required.  But, I seem to do those over and over again.  I’d like to add a few new dinners into our monthly rotation.

Tonight I made these mini meatloaves, which have very few ingredients and were a cinch to whip up.  I kept it very, very simple because my kids do not like to find any surprises in their meatloaf {read vegetables}.

Blend 1 extra-large egg into 3/4 cup of milk.  Add 3/4 cup quick cooking oats {I use McCann’s} and grate 1 cup cheddar cheese into a large mixing bowl.  Mix the ingredients so that the oats are blended into the milk-egg mixture.  Let sit 5 minutes.  To that add 1 tsp Kosher salt, 3/4 tsp garlic powder and 1 lb lean ground beef.

Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper. Use about a 1/2 cup of the meatloaf mixture and shape into 8 mini loaves.

For the glaze, blend 2/3 cup ketchup with 3 tbsp light brown sugar and 1 tsp prepared mustard.  Spread liberally onto each mini loaf and bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.

They got rave reviews by my oldest and not too much of a response from the younger, however, I think they will go into the 2012 meal plan rotation.

I’m still working out Parts 3 and 4 of my plan.  I’m not too sure what those are yet, but at least 1 and 2 are shaping up nicely.  In the meantime, I have the Mini Meatloaf recipe posted below for you to try.

Mini Meatloaves

Ingredients

1 extra-large egg

3/4 cup milk

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese {I recommend grating it yourself}

1/2 cup quick cooking oats {I use McCann’s}

1 tsp Kosher salt

3/4 tsp garlic powder

1 lb lean ground beef

2/3 cup ketchup

3 tbsp light brown sugar

1 tsp prepared mustard

Method

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with a Silpat.

Blend the egg and milk together with a fork.  Add oats, cheddar cheese and milk mixture to a large mixing bowl.  Stir so that the ingredients are well blended and set aside for 5 minutes.  Add salt, garlic powder and ground beef to mixing bowl and stir just until incorporated.

Shape meatloaf mixture into 8 loaves (about 1/2 cup for each loaf).  Blend ketchup, brown sugar and prepared mustard.  Spread onto each mini loaf.  Bake for 45 minutes.

Serves: 8 {individual loaf}

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