Thursday, January 12, 2012

Winter Comfort

I spent the first thirty years of my life on the East Coast, growing up in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia, PA. I remember winters of snow, with 12 inches (sometimes more) atop my dad's car in the driveway.  I remember having to shovel that stuff and I remember happily making snowballs and pitifully trying to throw them.  (Yes, I throw like a girl.)  I moved to California in 1998 and I can genuinely say I don't really miss those winters of snow, sleet, and ice.  If I really want to play in snow, I only have to drive a couple of hours outside of Los Angeles to find some.

And yet...I find myself drawn to winter images once the holidays hit.  I have winter themes on my homepages, and even my Blackberry sports a winter scene of a snow-covered lane and bare tree branches bowing heavily under the weight of snow.  Don't get me wrong, I love the weather here.  It was in the mid-80's last week and has been bright and sunny.

Maybe it's that East Coast mindset, even after all this time, that made me crave something that fits the comfort food bill for a cold winter night.  That craving was meatloaf.  I don't know the last time I made it.  Easily 4 or 5 years ago, in what feels like a lifetime ago.  Going along with the other mindset of a 'new year, eating healthier than I have for the past month or so', I grabbed a package of ground turkey out of the freezer.  I checked my copy of 'The Pillsbury Cookbook' and looked at a few online recipes for meatloaf and meatloaf made with turkey to see what I could put into it.  I didn't really want to make the usual version with a tomato base.  So after looking in the Italian Pantry and the fridge, I came to my recipe conclusion.  Two points of note--1.  it's good to have onion soup mix around; 2.  Salsa Verde--not just for tacos or tortilla chips.  What's better than a dinner of meatloaf on a chilly night?  The leftovers in a sandwich the next day for lunch.

Turkey Meatloaf

1 20oz package of ground turkey
1 egg
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/3 salsa verde 
1 packet onion soup mix
1 teaspoon minced garlic
salt and pepper (to taste)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  In a bowl, combine all ingredients and mix.  It's best to mix it with your hands as you can really work all the players together.  Put into a loaf pan lightly sprayed with cooking spray. I bought those aluminum loaf pans at the dollar store because they were smaller than the loaf pans I have.  It makes for a higher loaf.  Spread mix to the ends of the pan.  Bake for 50 minutes.  Remove from oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes.  

With the healthier option of haricot vert tossed with almonds


  1. Nice and comforting. I'm glad the LA weather has cooled down a bit to enjoy some warmer cooking.

  2. Today's weather may actually qualify as 'winter' least here!