Saturday, December 22, 2012

Product Review and Giveaway: Loeb's Onion Crunch

When I was contacted by Loeb's Onion Crunch to do a review, I'll admit that my first thought was "Oh oh, I hope I am going to like it or I won't be able to give a good review".  We're not a fried onion product kind of family.  I haven't bought or eaten it in probably 15 years.  When we eat fried onions, we do it ourselves.

The package came and smiled a bit at the very happy onion on the jar.  The jar is easy to open and shake out.  I cracked it open and shook some into my hand and into my mouth.  Um, yum.  I was fully expecting some greasy soggy onion bits.  These were light, crunchy and you could really taste the sweet onion flavor.  They weren't super salty either.

Since I'm being candid, I will admit that I put them aside for a while since I had no idea how to use them.   I mean, I could've done the classic green bean casserole that you think of fried onion product. I gave it a good faith effort and bought green beans, but in the rush of holiday and work and kids, I forgot and they went bad.  I was feeling a bit desperate to come up with some fancy dish to showcase these onions.  And I was having cooking-block.

Then finally, I thought I'd just sprinkle them on some eggs I had made.  And it was delicious.  It added a delightful crunch and flavor.  So then I tried it on my soy dog.  Yummmm.   I even tried it on a sandwich and again, it added a subtle onion fried goodness with a great crunch.  I convinced Jimi to try it on his eggs and after an initial "Really??", he was sold and enthusiastically nodded a yes when Abe asked if it was good.

I've sprinkled them on the frozen veggies I've made for dinners.  I'm going to try it on salads.  I bet they will add a yummy texture element (see, there's the foodie touch you've been looking for!).

They are simply onion, palm oil, wheat flour and salt. Crunchy yummy goodness.

Check them out to perk up a lot of your dishes!

*I have received a sample of this product to review, but have not been compensated.  My opinion is my own.*

Now, time for a giveaway!!  Want to try Onion Crunch for yourself?  Enter to win!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Best Meatloaf

Courtesy of

I'll admit.... I'm not really a fan of meatloaf.  I mean, before becoming a veg-head, I'd eat it when my mom made it. I always covered in tons of ketchup to make it palatable and only ate it because the wrath of my mom wasn't worth risking.

As a wife and mom myself, I never really consider making it.  I tried it once a while ago and it was a disaster.  So, when I was, yet again, panicking at 3:00 about what to make for dinner, I surprised the heck out of myself by thinking "Hey, frozen ground beef.... MEATLOAF!"  Abe even had a pause of surprise in his voice when he called to ask what was for dinner.

I found a recipe that had a lot of great reviews and seemed to have a lot of flavor to it and wished for the best.

It was a huge hit!!  Abe's exact words were "Wow, this is.... great!"  Jimi gave me a thumbs up while munching away and went back for a second serving.  Adam told me it was yummy.  Ava played with her food, like usual, and then begged for a yogurt once the dishes were done.  That's another story for another setting....

I messed up slightly with the seasoning, so I'm going to write the recipe the way I made it.  Base recipe is from

The recipe calls for patting out a free-form loaf instead of using a loaf pan.  My limited experience with meatloaf seems to agree. I just put it on plastic to keep the bits together and smushed out the shape best I could (throwing away the plastic, of course).  I resisted the urge to add more binders, as I knew that would make the loaf more dense. 

Oh and don't be like me and forget that you need to defrost the meat before making the meatloaf.  I rarely make anything with ground beef and it's always tacos which can be defrosted as you cook.  Oops.  Thankfully the microwave did a good job of defrosting on the spot.

The Best Meatloaf

1 tablespoon butter
3 celery ribs, finely chopped 
1/2 large onion, finely chopped 
2 pounds lean ground beef 
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, divided
1/2 cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs (or any kind of breadcrumbs with some Italian herbs added)
1/3 cup ketchup 
2 teaspoons Creole seasoning (I used Cajun as that's all I had)
1 teaspoon Greek seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 large eggs, lightly beaten 
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce (I used spaghetti sauce)
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon ketchup 

Melt butter in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat; add celery and onion, and sauté 7 minutes or just until tender.

Stir together celery mixture, ground beef, 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, breadcrumbs, and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Shape into a 10- x 5-inch loaf; place on a lightly greased broiler rack.

Place rack in an aluminum foil-lined broiler pan.

Bake at 350° for 45 minutes. Stir together remaining 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and 1 tablespoon ketchup until blended; pour evenly over meatloaf, and bake 10 to 15 more minutes or until no longer pink in center. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.