Meatloaf Muffins? Yes, please!

I know it sounds odd, but it could be one of the most delicious dinners I’ve had in a while. Meatloaf is one of my favorite things to eat, and in the shape of a muffin – how cute is that? I was trying to find a recipe for a scrumptious dinner last night, and I came across MEATLOAF MUFFINS, and put my own little twist on them. It’s especially a good meal to make if you’re having an informal dinner party.  Put the ‘muffins’ of meatloaf into cute little muffin cups and pass those little guys around.

Ingredients (for 12 muffins):

  • 1 3/4 pounds of ground sirloin
  • 1 medium onion – chopped
  • 2 ribs of celery – cut into 2 inch pieces and then chopped
  • 1 egg plus a splash of milk – beaten
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons of Good Seasons Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • Vegetable oil

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  • Put ground beef into a bowl
  • Put onion and celery into the food processor
  • Put chopped up onion and celery into the bowl with the ground beef
  • Add egg (beaten with milk), bread crumbs, and seasoning to the bowl
  • Pour half the BBQ sauce and half the salsa into the bowl
  • Mix the meatloaf mixture together with your hands
  • Brush a 12-muffin tin with vegetable oil or spray with non stick cooking spray
  • Use an ice scream scoop to fill the meat into each tin
  • Top each ‘muffin’ with a small spoonful of the extra BBQ sauce and salsa
  • Bake about 20-25 minutes
  • ENJOY

And some cute muffin cup options:


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shake shake shake

One of my best friends has a love for salt and pepper shakers, and she is my inspiration for this post. Strange you may ask…not so much.  Salt and pepper shakers are a great collectible, great gift idea, and it can be fun to change it up from the standard types you may use every time you make dinner.  Let me take you on a mini journey through the land of salt and pepper shakers.

Michael Aram at Bloomingdales
classic, elegant
cute, silly
artsy, decorative
black, white
unique, fun

Which salt & pepper shaker are you?
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the gifts that keep on giving

As the end of the year is approaching and the purchasing of your holiday gifts is coming to a close, I wanted to share two great gift ideas (not ONLY for holiday time) that won’t only make the receiver happy, but many others, as well.

Everyone loves candles – from the delicious smell to the feel it gives to a room, and my current favorite is the Haitian Mango Breeze candle from Be The Light. Not only does it smell so incredible, but 20% of all the proceeds go to Happy Hearts Fund.

And if you think your gift receiver would prefer jewelry over a candle, you should buy none other than this October Anniversary charm. Not only is it a great addition to any necklace, but 80% of the proceeds go to Happy Hearts Fund.

 

What is better than that?!
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jewelry to go buy now

When I walk into Jennifer Miller I want to buy everything. Even though the store is quite tiny, I could spend hours there.  There is so much to look at and every piece is truly amazing.  Since her jewelry is at all price points, it makes it easy to shop the fabulous collections.  Some of my current favorites below.

Oversized Gold Plated Swarovski Crystal Teardrop Earrings
Yellow Gold Fill Stamped Initial with Chalcedony Bead Necklace
Yellow Gold Plated Large Caged Green Resin Ring
Set of Bangles
White Gold Plated Pave Faux Diamond Clear, Jet, Champagne Ring
Yellow Gold Plated Brown Leather and Blue Agate Cuff
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Yummy Saturday

This year, I decided to give some homemade, edible holiday gifts instead of store bought items. After brunch this morning, I spent the remainder of the afternoon in the kitchen making some scrumptious treats.  I made homemade granola and homemade peppermint & wintergreen white vanilla chocolate bark.  Both were extremely easy to make and both turned out absolutely delicious. I am going to put both items into cute tins tomorrow and some of my holiday gifts are done!

Granola: perfect for breakfast with milk or fruit, on top of yogurt, with ice cream, or even on its own

Granola in the oven
  • Ingredients for 6 servings
    • 3 cups of Quaker oats
    • 1 cup slivered almonds
    • 1 cup cashews
    • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of dark brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup + 2-3 tablespoons of maple syrup
    • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
    • 3/4 teaspoon of salt
    • handful of raisins
    • handful of dried cranberries
    • tablespoon of cinnamon
  • Directions
    • Preheat oven to 250 degrees
    • In a large bowl, combine the oats, both types of nuts, and brown sugar
    • In a separate bowl, combine the maple syrup, oil, and salt
    • Combine both mixtures
    • Pour onto a large baking sheet (spray with non stick cooking spray prior)
    • Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15-20 minutes
    • When just 20 minutes left, take out and pour cinnamon on and stir
    • Remove from oven and transfer into bowl
    • Add raisins and dried cranberries
    • Combine together
    • ENJOY
The finished product
Peppermint & Wintergreen White Vanilla Chocolate Bark: perfect whenever and wherever
  • Ingredients for about 2 pounds of bark
    • Crushed peppermint and wintergreen candies, to yield 1 cup
    • Approximately 8 cups of white vanilla chocolate chips
    • 2 tablespoons of water
    • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
Crushed up candies (and they can be crushed even smaller)
  • Directions
    • Place unwrapped peppermint and wintergreen candies in a plastic bag and hammer into small chunks
    • Melt the chocolate in a microwavable safe bowl with the water and oil
    • Stir so all chips are melted together
    • Combine the crushed candies with the chocolate
    • Pour mixture onto a cookie sheet layered with parchment paper
    • Place in the refrigerator for approximately 45 minutes or until firm
    • Remove from cookie sheet and break into pieces
    • ENJOY

The finished product
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fashion + comfort = heaven (aka Bloch)

I know we all have tons of ballet flats currently in our closet.  It’s one of those items that every girl can’t get enough of. From different colors to patterns to textures, the options are endless. I live in ballet flats. If I could wear them year round, oh you better believe I would (but the snow and/or rain shatters that dream).  I have different colors, brands, textures; I’m kind of obsessed. However, my absolute favorite ballet flats of ALL time would be none other than Bloch.  When I say they are the most comfortable shoe I’ve ever owned, I actually mean it’s like walking on butter (seriously).

Bloch started as a technical dance shoe company and the man (a shoemaker) that started the company way back in the day was dating a professional dancer at the time. She complained of her feet hurting and he created and designed the most comfortable ballet dance shoe around. From there, a business grew. Years later, Bloch technical dance shoes turned into Bloch fashion shoes. How cute of a story is that?! They have all sorts of styles – from very simple to very embellished. There is something for everyone!

The next time you’re in the market for a ballet flat (which should really be any day now because they are extremely vital to one’s collection of shoes), you should not buy anything except Bloch. It will be one of the better decisions you’ve made. I can guarantee it.

(a sampling)

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…in a New York state of mind…

A few months back, my mom and I came across what is currently my favorite necklace.  It’s not only on a long chain (which I love), but the pendant on the chain is just perfection.  The Lagos Sterling Silver Heart of New York necklace needs to be the next gift you buy for yourself! I just love it. Parts of different landmarks of New York cover the charm. Times Square, Grand Central Station, Radio City Music Hall, and a few other historic sites all make up the parts of this pendant.  It is such a fantastic and unique piece.  And, don’t worry, if you don’t live in New York – charms have also been created for Chicago, New Orleans, Beverly Hills, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Seattle, and Texas.

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don't put that drink down just yet

Coasters. Something many people don’t think twice about. Well, you should start thinking twice because coasters aren’t only functional, but they are fashionable, chic, and fabulous, and can add a little ‘spunk’ to any old coffee table. They come in various sizes, colors, textures, and patterns. They are a fabulous hostess gift (because no one can ever have TOO many coaster sets) and a fun collectible, as well.

Agate Coasters from Z Gallerie
Mosaic Cranberry Coasters from Pier 1 Imports
DVF Decal Coasters from DIANE von FURSTENBERG
Beaded Coasters from West Elm
Michael Aram Forest Leaf Metal Coasters from Saks Fifth Avenue
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enamel me, please!

One of my current favorite items is the Hermes enamel bracelet.  The ‘H’ is a classic, but I’m referring to the printed bracelets.  I know they’ve been around forever, but lately I just am LOVING them.  They come in every color under the sun, in a variety of patterns, and they never go out of style.  I know they may be more than what you’re looking to spend on a bracelet, but this is not any old bracelet. It’s worth the investment and will last you for years and years and years to come (or you could put this item on your Hanukkah or Christmas wish list and maybe a special someone will purchase it for you).

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