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Video: Warm up a cold night with meat loaf, cookies

TODAY recipes
updated 11/26/2012 2:18:12 PM ET 2012-11-26T19:18:12

Recipe: Meat loaf

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs, preferably fresh
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage leaves or 1 pinch dried
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 slices bacon, optional

Heat the oven to 350 F. Grease a rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan with the olive oil. Soak the bread crumbs in the milk in a large bowl until the milk is absorbed, about 5 minutes.

Add the meat, egg, Parmesan, parsley, garlic, onion, sage and some salt and pepper and gently fold everything into the meat with your hands or a rubber spatula. Mix just enough to distribute the flavorings without overworking the meat or it will become tough.

For meat loaf: Turn the meat mixture onto the prepared baking sheet, gently shaping it into an oval mound. Drape the bacon over the top if you're using it. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, brushing occasionally with the rendered pan juices. When done, the meat loaf will be lightly browned and firm. To check, insert a quick-read thermometer into the center; it should read 160 F. Let the loaf rest for 5 minutes before slicing with a serrated knife.

For meatballs: Shape the mixture into balls of any size and put them on the prepared baking sheet or roasting pan. It's okay if they touch a little; they'll shrink as they cook. Figure that 2-inch meatballs will take 25 to 35 minutes to cook and add another 10 to 15 minutes for every additional inch in size.

Serving Size

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Recipe: Maple-glazed carrots

  • 1 pound carrots
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish, optional

Trim the tops and bottoms from the carrots and peel them if the outsides are tough. Then cut them into coins or sticks about ¼ inch thick. Put them in a large pot with the butter, maple syrup, ½ cup water, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper; set over high heat and bring to a boil.

Stir once, then lower the heat so the mixture bubbles gently but steadily and cover the pan. Cook, undisturbed, until the carrots are just beginning to get tender and have absorbed almost all of the liquid, 10 to 15 minutes. They're ready when you can spear them with a fork but still meet some resistance.

Remove the lid and keep cooking until the remaining liquid thickens into a glaze and coats the carrots, then remove from the heat. Taste, adjust the seasoning with salt or pepper, and serve hot or warm, garnished with the parsley if you like.

Serving Size

Makes 4 servings

Recipe: Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies


Heat the oven to 375 F. Chop the chocolate. Use a chef's knife with a rocking motion to cut the bars into pea-sized pieces. You should have about 1 ½ cups.

Use an electric mixer to cream together the butter and sugars in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Crack the eggs on a flat, hard surface, add them one at a time, and beat until well blended.

Mix the flour, oats, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder together in a small bowl. Alternating with the milk, add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture a little at a time, mixing on low. Stir in the chocolate and vanilla.

Drop tablespoon-sized mounds of dough about 3 inches apart in rows and columns on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool for about 2 minutes on the sheets before using a metal spatula to transfer the cookies to racks to finish cooling. Store in a tightly covered container at room temperature for no more than a day or two.

Serving Size

Makes 3 to 4 dozen cookies

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