I've had several emails since my post yesterday asking me to start posting these recipes! They are nothing spectacular. I knew if I was going to be making that much food at once, I was going to have to KEEP IT SIMPLE!
This meatloaf was super, super simple. I actually remembered the recipe from an episode where Paula Deen's daughter in law made it. I think hers had a few more ingredients, but this was still delicious, nonetheless.
I'm going to break it down to one meal size for the recipe, which would serve four people. If you are planning on making freezer meals and want to make several, just adjust the recipe.
1 lb ground meat (or even ground turkey)
1/2 cup regular bread crumbs
1/2 small onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
3/4 cup ketchup
2-3 Tbsp brown sugar
Mix all of the ingredients except the brown sugar and ketchup in a big bowl. Take off all of your rings. It drives me NUTS that Paula Deen never takes her rings off when she mixes meatloaf. Do you know how nasty that big rock must be by now??? Get in there and get dirty, and get that meat all mixed up. Then put it in a loaf pan, and slather the top with ketchup. You can push it all around with a spatula to get it nice and even. Then crumble brown sugar on the top. I get pretty liberal with the ketchup and brown sugar. It caramelizes in the oven, and makes a really wonderful crust.
There you have the meatloaf! You can wrap it up with saran wrap and aluminum foil and pop it in the freezer at this point, or you can bake it at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes if thawed, an hour if frozen.
For the mashed potatoes, it's SO easy. Just make a big batch of mashed potatoes, and separate them in to freezable portions. I just filled up a quart size freezer bag. Lay them flat in the freezer, so they take up less space. When you are ready for mashed potatoes, just pull out a package, and put it in the microwave for 4-5 minutes, or you can take out the taters and put them on the stove with a little bit of milk.
For the recipe, I used:
1 large bag of red potatoes
2 sticks of butter
1 1/2 cups of milk
Salt and Pepper to taste
Chop up all the potatoes, and boil until fork tender. I like to keep the skins on, but that is a personal choice. You can peel the skins if you like. Drain them once ready, and mash up with the butter, add milk and S&P. Mash until you get the consistency you like. I like mine "rustic", meaning they still have nice chunky pieces of skin and potato in there. Also, you don't have to worry about getting the consistency perfect with this method. There IS such a thing as an over mashed potato. It turns pasty. No one wants a pasty potato, now do they?