Brown Sugar Meatloaf

Today is Day 5 of the official shelter in place ordered by the County in response to COVID 19. Like many of you, we have been home longer than that. My husband Jeremiah normally works from home one day a week. His company decided two weeks ago to give all employees access to work remotely daily. I went into work for another day before we closed to the public. Just a few days later, I was also working from home full time. We feel luckily to work for companies that had the forethought to hook us up with laptops and remote access.

I’m a total homebody but this is hard for me. I think it’s because I can’t leave. I miss eating out too much. Once again, feeling very blessed that Jeremiah and I bought a house two and half years ago. We have a fenced in backyard and a neighborhood with sidewalks. Daily walks after work with our dog Cooper have become a must.

IMG_0639I also feel lucky that my husband and I are planners. We love to cook and always have a pantry/freezer full of food. (Thank you Grandma Fletcher for that standing freezer.) Earlier this month, I was off from my hotel job on a Saturday. Jeremiah and I went to grab breakfast burritos at Red Kitchen Tamales at Lenexa Public Market.  I’m obsessed with their breakfast burritos and had been raving about them for awhile. Plus, the owner and her staff are so sweet and generous to charity. After grabbing what my husband agreed to be the most flavorful burritos, we stopped in the McKeevers Market and Eatery. I have lived in that neighborhood for seven years and was excited to check out what the new store had to offer. Jeremiah and I made the mistake of not grabbing a cart when we walked in. This grocery store is awesome. We grabbed a basket midway through and learned we needed a cart. OMG – I am so glad we did. We got a bunch of fresh food. Little did I know, that would be our last grocery shopping experience.

Jeremiah and I also love to purchase meals from our friends at Social Suppers in Prairie Village. They have ready to go meals. I’ve been going there almost monthly since before Jeremiah and I were together. So lucky to have some of there dishes in the freezer.

IMG_0656By now, I am sure you have seen the pictures of empty grocery shelves. We are thankful to not have to go deplete that limited stocked. During a walk last week, we saw a sign in a neighbor’s yard for Shatto Home Delivery. We’ve seen other neighbors with signs since we moved here and decided to check it out. We needed fresh items and were so thankful to be able to get them delivered to our home – old school style. (When I was a kid, we had a milk box on our porch…from the days of when they used to do home milk deliveries.) Through Shatto, we are able to order milk, cheese, eggs, bread, bacon, and fresh produce. That was exactly what we needed to keep us in quarantine. We were so thankful to see Milkman Kyle delivering these local products yesterday. (Did I mention how much we love the USPS mailman, Amazon, UPS, and FedEx delivery drivers?) I’m hoping we can make it two more weeks before we need to place a HyVee order to replace pantry staples. (Jeremiah has a running list on his phone.)

In an attempt to work our way through goods on hand, I’ve been searching my pins on Pinterest. I asked Jeremiah if he wanted to give this recipe a try. He said, “sure.” We loved it! We added a little to Cooper’s bowl last night too. He scarfed it down, licked his lips, and came over talking to us to tell us he wanted more. (Yes, our dog is that smart.) We gave him a little more and was still licking his bowl. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Brown Sugar Meatloaf by Allrecipes
IMG_06581/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. ketchup
1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1/4 tsp. ginger
1 small onion
2 eggs
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. saltine crackers
3/4 c. milk

Spray a loaf pan with non-stick spray. Sprinkle brown sugar on the bottom and top with ketchup. Mix all remain ingredients together and fill loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.


  • We used ketchup from a local non-profit called Boys Grow. We LOVE it! They sell it at HyVee. 
  • Jeremiah put a little too much onion in ours. I’d suggest maybe half an onion. Not bad but it does make me belch. 

Not Your Mama’s Meatloaf

For our wedding, we did things a little less traditional. One thing I was adamant about was asking for guest to provide a recipe in lieu of signing a guest book. My thought process was to put together a cookbook/photo album. The idea being we would look at our photos more often. Plus, we would think of all our amazing friends and family being at our wedding when we prepared their recipes.

c21ff084-03cf-4e12-89d3-ec296f8c478cThe first step was creating a recipe card. In a former life, I used to spend a fair amount of my day creating items in software like InDesign. When I couldn’t find what I wanted or wasn’t willing to pay the price on Etsy, I created items myself for the wedding. This is a copy of the recipe card I created. We mailed them with the wedding invitation so people could be prepared. I figured none of my friends and family have a web-based recipe blog like I do actually pull up their favorite recipes when they arrived at the wedding.


Photography by Joseph Sands Images

After the wedding was over and we had the disk of our photos, I spent several days putting this cookbook together. This included everything from picking just the right font to counting the number of family members on each of our sides in the photos to make sure it was a fair representation. The end result was a cookbook that we printed for our parents and siblings as a Christmas gift. A few years back, I had done a family recipe cookbook for my mom and sister. They loved it and use it often.

The first recipe we prepared from our cookbook came from Jeremiah’s Uncle Johnny and Aunt Angie. I think the first people I met in Jeremiah’s family may have been Johnny and Angie. As you know, we are breakfast/brunch people. We used to go early on Saturday mornings to Corner Café before I headed out to work. Johnny and Angie would join her family for breakfast at the restaurant. They’d usually be arriving as we were leaving. Such a sweet couple. Unfortunately, we are no longer close to that Corner Café so we don’t run into them at breakfast time anymore.

Johnny and Angie shared their meatloaf recipe. It’s very tasty. That said, I would make a recommendation that you mix it right before you cook it. We get home so late from work that we decided to prep it the night before. When pulled it out of the fridge to cook it the next day, the pan was a little watery from the diced tomatoes. We hope you enjoy this more complex meatloaf recipe – and Jeremiah’s artist side with the pepper rings.

Meatloaf by Jon and Angie Slater
1 lb. ground beef
½ c. chopped yellow onion
½ c. chopped green pepper
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 c. canned diced tomatoes with juice
½ c. quick oats
1 ¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. black pepper

1/3 c. ketchup
2 T. brown sugar
1 tsp. yellow mustard

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix all meatloaf ingredients except topping. Shape into a loaf in baking dish. Mix all topping ingredients in a small bowl and spread over loaf. Bake for 1 hour.

Goodbye 2013

Looking back at 2013, I thought I would share a few of my favorite new recipes. In no particular order, here are my top 13:
Breakfast QuicheBreakfast recipes:

Dinner recipes:

Dessert recipes:

A New Kind of Meatloaf

When I was a kid, my mother made meatloaf a lot. My mother especially liked adding this season packet to it. I hated when she did that. As a kid, I liked the plain old ground beef, oatmeal, egg, and ketchup. As an adult, I want something with more flavor. But probably not as much onions as my grandmother puts in her meatloaf recipe.

My sister wasn’t a huge fan of meatloaf. But as an adult, I remember her saying that she had found a mini-meatloaf or meatball recipe she liked. It looks like I must have printed this mini-meatloaf recipe off from a Betty Crocker email. I liked the smooth consistency of using Bisquick instead of oatmeal. I also thought the sausage wasn’t over powering. BBQ sauce was the perfect mix of sweetness. Hope it spices up a classic from your childhood.

30-Minute Mini Meat Loaves30-Minute Mini Meat Loaves
1 lb. of hamburger
1/2 lb. of ground pork
1/2 c. Bisquick
1/4 c. chopped onion
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 egg
1/2 c. ketchup
2 T. brown sugar

Heat oven to 450 degrees. In a large bowl, combine brown sugar and ketchup. Reserve 1/4 c. for topping. Add to bowl remaining ingredients and mix well. Spray a 13 x 9 pan with cooking spray. Place meat into pan and make a 12 x 4 rectangle. Split down the center with a spatula, crosswise split into six equal sections. Separate into 12 mini-loaves and make sure they aren’t touching. Brush with remaining ketchup mixture. Bake 18-20 minutes. Makes six (two piece) servings.

Nutritional Information (per serving): 300 calories (140 calories from fat), 16 g. fat (6 g. saturated fat, 1 g. trans fat), 105 mg. cholesterol, 440 mg. sodium, 17 g. carbs, 0 g. fiber, 11 g. sugars, 22 g. protein.

Meat Loaf Wellington

The other day I was thinking about how I haven’t made meatloaf in while. I decided to flip through my cookbooks to see if I had any jazzed up meatloaf recipes. I ran across one for Meat Loaf Wellington that I had made once before when my mother had come to visit. I remembered it was good so I thought I would give it another spin.

Meat Loaf WellingtonMeat Loaf Wellington by Wanda Orton (Emporia, KS)
1 can of beef gravy
1 1/2 c. day-old bread
1/4 c. chopped onion
1 egg
1 tsp. salt
2 lb. ground beef
1 tube of refrigerated crescent rolls (8 oz.)

In a bowl, combine 1/4 c. gravy, bread cubes, onion, egg, and salt. Crumble meat over mixture and mix well. Press into a greased loaf pan and bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour. Remove from loaf pan and drain on paper towels. Place on a greased 13 x 9 pan and wrap in crescent roll. Bake 10-15 minutes longer or until pastry is golden brown. Heat remaining gravy and drizzle on meatloaf.


  • I used croutons instead of day old bread. I crumbed them in a baggie before mixing with the meat.
  • I used only 1 pound of ground beef and 1/2 a crescent roll container. I baked for 45-50 minutes since I was using less meat.

Off the Grill

Grandpa Fletcher and his grandchildren honoring his father in Allen’s Centennial Parade.

Today is my Grandpa Fletcher’s 79th birthday. I couldn’t think of a better recipe to share when I think about him than a burger. I also learned May is National Burger Month…so another perfect reason to share this recipe.

When I think back to my childhood days at Grandma and Grandpa Fletcher’s house, my grandpa was always grilling dinner. Usually, it was Wimmer’s Hot Dogs and Hamburgers. And grandpa is very particular about his burgers. He only uses 97% fat-free ground top sirloin. He seasons them simply with a few shakes from his Tupperware tall salt and pepper shakers. And Grandpa only cooks the burgers one way – well done! Grandpa is so known for his burgers my nephew wanted to start a business with him. FHH – Fletcher’s Hot dogs and Hamburger would only serve meat. Grandpa would grill and Brock would be the runner to cars stopping by to pick them up. The 4H fair project did earn Brock a top ribbon.

But it some ways, grandpa had already done this. My Grandpa Fletcher is a Shriner. You know, they guys who drive around in those little cars, right? But not only did my grandpa drive a car in area parades, he was also great about volunteering his time for this charity. For years, he drove children and their families in the Shriner’s van to their hospital in Minnesota. When my grandparents moved to Yuma, my grandpa spent 2 or 3 days every week during the winter months grilling hamburgers at fundraisers for one of his favorite charities.

Today’s recipe isn’t as simple as Grandpa Fletcher’s burgers but I thought it was a good recipe. I got this recipe from the Kansas City Star some time ago. I made them for the first time last week. I hope you enjoy this spin on my Grandpa’s classic recipe.

Meatloaf Sliders

8 oz. 97 percent fat-free ground beef
1/4 c. chopped onion
1 large egg
1/4 c. plain breadcrumbs
2 T. low-fat milk
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp. freshly chopped parsley (optional)
1 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 c. ketchup
6 whole-wheat slider buns

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients the ketchup. Mix well and form into six (3 oz.) patties. Grill patties to desired meat readiness. (4 minutes per side for well done.) Serve on a cocktail bun topped with ketchup.

Nutrition Facts: 227 calories, 7 g. of fat, 1.5 g. saturated fat, 58 milligrams cholesterol, 26.5 g. carbs, 16 g. protein, 635 mg sodium, 1 g. fiber. Makes six servings.

Notes: I did try them with melted American cheese as well. They were also good…but the cheese isn’t necessary with all the flavor.