Expressing my love through food

Love is in the air this Valentine’s Day weekend. It’s also in our hearts and sometimes even in the food we eat! I have pledged to ALWAYS make something heart-shaped on Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day gets a lot of negative publicity. But, come in. Give in and if you aren’t going to show any love for the holiday, at least show your food some love.

Below are two easy to make “Heart-Shaped” recipes to add some love to your Valentine’s Day weekend or any weekend for that matter!

Heart-Shaped Meatloaf

(Recipe adapted from about.com)

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Meatloaf:

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. ground beef and 1 lb. ground turkey (or 2 lbs. meatloaf mix)
  • 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Meatloaf Glaze:

  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp. dijon mustard ( I didn’t particularly like this ingredient so if you’re not big on mustard, leave it out)
  • 2 Tbsp. firmly-packed light brown sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or coat with non-stick spray.

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2. Heat onion with olive oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes until soft. Add minced garlic and cook additional minute.

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3. Add the onion mixture to the ground meats. Add the bread crumbs, Worcestershire sauce, milk and beaten eggs to the meatloaf mixture. Using your hands or a wooden spoon, mix well.

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Here’s the finished uncooked product. I promise it tasted good!

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4. Place a large, sturdy heart cookie cutter on the prepared pan, and fill it with the meatloaf mixture. Pat it down firmly and smooth the top, then remove the cookie cutter. Repeat with all of the remaining meatloaf mixture, leaving 1-2 inches of space between the meatloaves on the baking sheet.

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5. Mix together all ingredients for the glaze.

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6. Use a pastry brush (I used a wooden spoon) to brush the glaze onto the heart-shaped meatloaf. Then cook for 20-30 minutes until meat is fully cooked.

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Enjoy with your best friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, Mom or Dad. As long as it’s someone you love!

Now, for dessert!

Heart-Shaped Peanut Butter Brownies

I cheated on this one and used Betty Crocker’s Peanut Butter Brownie mix.

All you need is:

  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil

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Mix all ingredients well in a large bowl. Pour into baking dish and bake according to box directions.

(Mine took about 38 minutes and they were still doughy, just the way I like them!)

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Let brownies cool completely and then use a cookie cutter to cut out a heart shape. (I used the same cookie cutter from the meatloaf recipe)

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Might I suggest serving your brownie warm paired with a scoop of Jeni’s Buckeye State ice cream. Doesn’t get much better than that!

Enjoy filling your food with love this Valentine’s Day and everyday!

XOXO, Carly

Super Bowl XLVIII: Healthy Edition

Typically, Super Bowl parties are synonymous with greasy chicken wings, pizza, chips and dip, cookies and maybe a veggie tray here and there. Needless to say, if you’re on a diet or simply trying to maintain healthy eating habits…you’re gonna starve.

Tonight I made broccoli cheese bites that are perfect to munch on during the game while being health conscious. They’re not just healthy, they’re delicious,cheesy and so simple.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 package of frozen, chopped broccoli (thawed and drained)
  • 1 1/2 cups of grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup of Italian breadcrumbs
  • 3 eggs
  • Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

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All you’ll need are these 6 inexpensive ingredients!

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Add all the ingredients into one large mixing bowl.

Use your clean hands to mix all ingredients together and form small patties.

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Place the patties on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Place in over for 15 minutes, flip patties and cook an additional 15 minutes.

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The end result is crispy yet cheesy broccoli bites that you won’t regret having seconds of!

Enjoy the game!

Recipe adapted from Stacy Snacks blog

I’ll have a Kangaroo pizza, please!

If I could sum up the food in Australia in one word it would be: ENDLESS. If you’re hungry for a big, juicy burger, you can find it on the nearest street corner. If you want Thai, there’s 20 options within a 1/2 mile radius. If you want seafood or Italian, it takes one quick Google to find a good place. Whether you’re looking for a quick, cheap eat or a multi-course gourmet meal, Sydney’s got ya covered.

Over the course of my stay here, I photographed most of the meals I ate. Since I didn’t want to be accused of posting too much #FoodPorn on Instagram, I opted to write a blog post about my culinary adventures. Enjoy and don’t get too hungry!

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A very popular Australian dish: Chicken Schnitzel. Don’t be deceived by the funky name. It’s just breaded chicken. Add marinara sauce and cheese and you’ve got Chicken Parmesan. A bit of a letdown for me but delicious, nonetheless.

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A delicious Australian cheese plate I had while visiting an Australian family.

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The main course following the cheese platter. Indian spiced lamb, stir-fried zucchini, pasta salad with butternut squash, cheese and spinach and a side salad.

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A massive burger I had in Auckland, New Zealand. It was bigger than it looks and YES, I ate it all…

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Ginger beer I had on the set of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. It doesn’t have any alcohol in it and pretty much tastes like Ginger Ale.

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This is an example of a home-cooked meal. This is as fancy as it got. Usually I would heat up a frozen pizza or make some 90 second rice. This is pasta with meat sauce and I thought I did good!

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Kangaroo meat that we had for family dinner. We overcooked it and some pieces were jerky-like. It has a very ‘meaty’ taste but is apparently very lean and good for you!

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This was a splurge meal I had in Auckland at a nice restaurant on the waterfront called Mecca. I get this meal at one of my favorite restaurants in Athens called Salaam. Spinach, beetroot, onion and squash (?) wrapped in a crispy phyllo dough with powdered sugar on top. Sweet and savory = MY FAVE.

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This was a rice dish called Paella that my friend made me when I visited Newcastle. Rice, chicken, chorizo, peas and yellow pepper.

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Delicious Thai noodles with peanut sauce, chicken and veggies.

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Australia’s version of Coldstone. Caramel ice cream mixed with TimTam’s (a chocolate covered wafer that’s very popular here). This cost me $7 and it was worth every last dollar!

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A truly Australian lunch: meat pie with ‘chips’

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Enjoyed this pumpkin and pine nut pizza overlooking Newcastle beach.

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My first experience with bubble tea. This was chocolate flavored milk tea with pearls (which are little balls of rubber). It was gross. The only reason I finished it was because I paid $5 and felt bad throwing it away.

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Chicken chorizo rolls with coleslaw and chimicurri sauce from the Rocks foodie market. A bit spicy but delish.

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Vietnamese Rice paper rolls with prawns (shrimp), salad leaves, rice and mango from Miss Chu.

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Kangaroo and Emu pizza at the Australian Heritage Hotel. One of my favorite meals I had!

And that completes my culinary adventure through Australia! Check out the link below for the top 40 foods that Australia calls their own!

http://travel.cnn.com/sydney/eat/40-foods-australians-call-their-own-651613