Heads and Tails


I’m cleaning up my email and desk and have a few loose ends to tie up:

1. My Mom’s Mexican Meatloaf Recipe

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 beef bullion cubes
15 ounces of ground turkey
4 ounces of shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup dried bread crumbs
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 cup chopped bell pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon chili pepper
Dash of pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a 9″ skillet, heat oil over medium heat, add onions, peppers, garlic and bullion cubes. Saute until onions are translucent. Mix in turkey, veggies and all remaining ingredients (minus tomato sauce). Transfer to a large bowl and shape into a loaf. Top with tomato sauce. Cook in a 8″ square pan for 45 minutes, or a loaf pan for 12 minutes. Enjoy!

Notes: I browned the turkey first to cook off the fat and then boiled the meat in beer for 10 minutes. It gave the entire dish a kick and used up some left-over beer from bread baking that would have otherwise gone down the drain.

giraffe pattern

2. Dude. I had a letter to the editor published in the Sunday New York Times. Schweet! It was in response to this Op/Ed piece.

full zebra,

3. Faux fur for the January/February Finn and Donk Sewing Adventure project? Oy vey. Tell me someone else is not using faux fur. I’m thinking a chunky knit. Yes, that means I’ll be knitting a sewing project, but I just can’t imagine fake or real fur, for that matter, in Arizona.

zebra pattern, close up

Kinda glad I didn’t wear these shoes when I was photographing this sweet striped beauty. And don’t ask me to explain why these are okay and faux fur isn’t.

4. Do you have a Foreman grill, or something comparable? I’m considering splurging on the Griddler, but would love some recommendations. What do you use? I can’t use an outside bbq.


34 Replies to “Heads and Tails”

  1. Kelli-I will definitely be forwarding the NY Times article as well as your response to Mike. Kudos for being published. I have heard this sentiment quite often regarding putting the volunteers in positions they have no training for. We can talk more via email so as not to clog your blog space.
    I am glad that you mentioned the sewing project/fur. Living in FL, there is no way I would use it if I made it. Besides, the fake fur available here looks like it would be for a dog bed. Maybe something like the pretty scarves that Finny made her friends for Christmas would work. I think they were made of fleece. Ideas anyone??

  2. I’m off to read your NY times response. But I too am against the faux fur. I was thinking using soft fabric, and then using high-loft batting and quilting it down. That way it will still be poufy. The chunky knit idea is interesting as well. And thank you for the recipe!

  3. Kelli -congrats on your letter being published.I love how short and straight to the point you are about YOUR experience. For some reason, I’ve always been under the impression that Peace Corps is for young graduates who are trying to find themselves in “exotic” lands. Kind of like the European Gap year.
    I’m sure it was meant to be much more than that.

  4. Hello, I stumbled about your blog today and I am loving these pictures! They are so beautiful! Then scrolling down I was excited to see your crafts with Frida! Im a big fan.:)Beautiful creations.

  5. My husband and I have a Foreman and love it! We use it all the time, to grill meat (frozen or thawed), and vegetable kabobs. I would recommend getting something that you can remove the cooking plates for washing, which would make for much easier clean up!

    Thanks for the meatloaf recipe (and the pumpkin bundt cake recipe, shared oh, so long ago — it was a BIG hit)!

  6. Congrats on the letter! And that meatloaf recipe sounds like something my hubby would adore.

    We have something like a Foreman, but it has removable plates and comes with grilling plates and flat plates. I got it before he came out with his version and have been more than happy with it (we had a little Foreman grill and it was such a pain to clean). Mine is like this one, only in white and older. 😉


  7. I bought my husband the G4 for his birthday in November. We have since retired our Goerge Foreman grill. We can (and do when the weather cooperates) grill outdoors, so the indoor grill is for meats and such when the weather is icky and for sandwiches. The removeable plates are the best part! And my husband really likes the floating hinge. Not sure if the Foreman has been updated, but our version would often smush (highly technical term) food and push it toward the front of the grill if it was thicker than about 1/2 an inch.

    Off to read your letter in the NYT. Way to go!

  8. Love my George Foreman Grill. I have never understood why anyone thought it was fun to stand out in the hot sun grilling burgers. The grill plates come out for easy cleaning. It would be nice if the hood over your stove works to get rid of the smoke, er, I mean the vapors of grilling.

    As to the NY article, remember to put aside a generous portion of the payment for good old Georgie Porgie.

  9. happy new year, and congrats on your NYT letter! my cousin is going into the peace corp next year and frankly i’m not sure what he might have the opportunity to accomplish… i hope things have changed a bit, he (like you) definitely has the best intentions.

    if i may weigh in on the foreman grill: dude, i hate that thing. ours sits in storage. because, um, well, ALL THE FAT AND OIL GETS SUCKED OUT. there, i said it. i love me some fat and oil.

  10. Yep, we have the Foreman grill with the removable plates. Use it all the time, either to grill meat or make waffles. For what it’s worth, don’t get any of the appliances w/o removable plates; they’re a huge pain in the arse to clean!

  11. I have a little Foreman grill without removable plates. It’s a bit more difficult to clean, but what the heck. It works great if I’m in a hurry….ciao

  12. I bought DH The Griddler for his birthday 18 months ago and love it. Specifically I love it because: \
    1. I can switch the plates between grilling and flat griddle stuff (though I really don’t make pancakes that often.)
    2. The plates have a non-stick surface so are very easy to clean.
    3. There are two little drip cups to catch the drippings from fatty meats. (I like my fat, too, but not that much. If you do, you could probably just pour it back over the meat before serving. 8^P)
    4. I can store it in my cabinet and not leave it out to clutter up my kitchen. If I really want to cook outside (I don’t, because I have a wooden deck and there’s been a drought here), I can put it out there and plug it in–it’s not that heavy.
    5. I can dial the heat setting easily, and both sides cook at the same time without having to flip the meat. At New Year’s, I cooked my brother’s and his wife’s steaks medium in very little time, turned it to sear for a few seconds to brown them a bit more, then slapped mine and DH’s and turned it back down to high to cook ours medium rare. And we all ate hot meat at the same time.
    And no, I don’t get paid by Cuisinart. Though I should.

  13. Beautiful animals!

    Congrats on the LTTE.

    We have that exact griddler. It’s pretty good. I have to say, it makes a pretty fabulous panini! We use it for chicken breasts and I’ve cooked fish in it too. We live in a loft and no access to an outdoor grill, we’ve done hamburgers and hot dogs on it too.

  14. 1. Thanks for the meatloaf recipe.
    2. Congratulations on your Letter To The Editor.
    3. No fur, faux or otherwise, here in CA. I’m thinking of doing Minky and a super soft cotton (flannel?) on the other. I was also thinking that a lightweight version in a washable silk would be pretty for spring.
    4. We had a small Foreman grill. I think we used it twice before giving it away. It was too small for the 3 of us and too difficult to clean.

  15. Thank you and your mom for her recipe–it sounds delicious.

    How wonderful to have your letter posted in the New York Times–that’s huge!

    I’ve been struggling with the faux fur thing, too. Faux fur is not my thing at all and, as you said, it’s not right for Arizona. I’m considering other options for the project.

  16. thanks for the recipe, and congrats on the letter, I have a Griddler and use it quite a bit, last night in fact, it is small enough to be convenient, and opens up flat to give you double the space when needed, it’s great for panini’s and the griddle side is great for breakfasts, pancakes on one side and bacon on the other, have a good day!

  17. We use a lot of turkey meat these days, this looks like a great recipe. Sometimes I made burgers like that and cook them in tomatoe sauce for a while and the put them on hard rolls. I’m thinking about using an old sweater after felting it for the button scarf and then hanging onto it for a gift next xmas. Where did you see that editorial originally? I used to read the NY Times on the weekend but haven’t in about five years. Good on you for having your response published, does it feel kind of strange? I have a G. Foreman grill and love it. Burgers get kind of squashed but it does cook the grease off. boneless porkchops and chicken breasts are great on it, you have to use a lot of seasoning tho. But I use it a couple of times a week.

  18. Yeah – the faux fur thing isn’t exactly my style, so was thinking something along the lines of, also, a cabled knit or perhaps a wide wale corduroy. Just something with some heft and texture to go with the awesome button I intend to find/fantasize about.

    And, FINALLY, the recipe for your mom’s meatloaf. That was many years ago when I sank my teeth into the homemade dish at your folks’. High time we got the recipe.

    Karol, if you’re reading this, YUM. And thank you.

  19. Definitely, definitely, definitely get the griddler if you’re considering a purchase of that sort. Let me tell you – DISHWASHER SAFE REMOVABLE GRILL PLATES – it doesn’t get better than that. Not to mention that you can use it as a panini press. Yummy hot sandwiches.

  20. Kelli, We love our Forman grill. I would highly recommend getting one, especially if you like grilled foods and can’t grill. I noticed Adam is offering you one, personally, I’d jump all over that offer. Have fun and good luck with your grilling adventures. Take care, Cory

  21. WooHoo for your letter being published! It was very clear, very concise, and made your appeal without being overly emotional. You done way good…

    I have the Griddler – it was a Christmas present 2 years ago. I *still* love it, and I *still* use it multiple times a week. I got it b/c it looked like a good panini press – which it is – but I use the grill and the griddle far more consistently than I make sammiches. It is a workhorse, it’s pretty, it’s super easy to clean (pop the plates out and into the dishwasher they go) I would highly recommend this product. It has earned a permanent place on my countertop (as opposed to being an appliance that get hidden away and occasionally dusted off…)

    Mine came from Amazon – where not only did they have a good price on it – but they were running one of their occasional “Take $25 off any kitchen purchase of $100 or more” So that’s something to keep in mind, too. Just don’t have enough nice things to say about this…

  22. We have an older Foreman grill and use it lots….one of my favorite things is to use it for roasted peppers. It’s way faster than sauteing in EVOO as Rachel says…I just cut them into slices, toss with a little olive oil, put them on with the lid down and turn ’em over a few times as they cook. We use them over polenta, in faijitas, brushetta and on our antipasto platter with a little balsamic vinegar on top…YUM! My grill plates don’t come out and it’s a pain but the newer removavble ones sound fabulous!

  23. Very exciting to be published in the NYT!! I was really interested in the Peace Corps in college, but the recruiting office made it extremely clear that I was no good to them without a technical degree. As an English major, therefore, I didn’t even apply.

    I wonder whether there’s not a correlation between liberal arts types and the type of person to whom the idea of spending a couple of years abroad before starting on a career is attractive.

  24. I echo Stephanie on the griddler. Being able to adjust the temp. is a must. I don’t think you’ll go wrong.

    So, you would have just poured that beer down the sink if you hadn’t used it for the meatloaf? Not familiar with the concept of throwing away beer…

    Congrats on the NY Times letter.

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