Wednesday, October 24, 2012

recipe: Italian Inspired Meatloaf

If you’re a regular reader of this column (or my monthly newsletter) then you’ll definitely recognize the name “Tina Roberts”.  Tina is a friend, fellow foodie and cookbook author.  I’ve featured many of her recipes over the years.  Tina’s “Two Sisters” cookbook, published in 2011, is a Canadian best seller. 

November 14th is World Diabetes Day and five percent of the net profits from Tina’s cookbook go to support JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation).  Tina’s nephew, Jonny, has type 1 diabetes (juvenile) and was diagnosed on his 11th birthday.  He was also one of the cookbook testers - Jonny loves to cook and invent recipes - just like Tina.

 One of his favourite recipes is the "Italian-inspired Meatloaf", featured on page 49 of his aunt’s cookbook.

 Three million Canadians have diabetes - with only ten percent having type 1 (juvenile) diabetes - they can't adjust diet or exercise to manage their diabetes - they have absolutely no insulin production in their body – so they must monitor their blood sugar and make insulin injections.

 Most recently, Jonny received an insulin pump from Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto and he has an electronic device which makes it easier to measure blood sugar levels, calculate carb ratios and the amount of insulin needed.  Before that, he needed upwards of fourteen needles, every single day.

Tina says “I hope with cookbook sales, more awareness is raised about type 1 diabetes, and with my donations to JDRF we can find a cure!”

The “Two Sisters” cookbook can be found at my shop (Dana Shortt Gourmet), Relish Cooking Studio, Vincenzo’s, The University of Waterloo bookstore, Aesthetica Face + Body and the Framing + Art Centre.  For more information and free recipes, please visit Tina’s website at:

Tina’s Italian Inspired Meatloaf

This meatloaf can be served warm or at room temperature.  Thickly sliced, it also makes an incredible meatloaf sandwich – crusty bun, mayonnaise, sliced tomato, and some caramelized onions.


·         2 (two) lbs. medium or lean ground beef

·         ½ (one-half) lb. ground pork

·         1 (one) medium Spanish onion, minced

·         3 (three) cloves garlic, minced

·         ½ (one-half) cup minced Italian parsley

·         2½ (two-and-a-half) cups fresh breadcrumbs

·         2 (two) large eggs

·         1 (one) cup tomato juice

·         1 (one) tbsp. Dijon mustard

·         1 (one) tsp. kosher salt

·         1 (one) tsp. freshly ground black pepper

·         1 (one) tsp. red hot cayenne pepper sauce

·         ½ (one-half) tsp. Worcestershire sauce

·         8 (eight) oz. sliced smoked mozzarella, mild Provolone, or fontina cheese


1.       Gently mix ground meats, onions, garlic, parsley, and breadcrumbs in a large bowl until just combined.  Add eggs, juice, mustard, salt, pepper, pepper sauce, and Worcestershire sauce and combine until just combined.

2.       Preheat oven to 350˚F.  Line a baking sheet with foil.

3.       Place a 13 x 18-inch sheet of parchment paper on your counter.  Shape meat on paper into a 10 x 15-inch square rectangle.  Arrange cheese in an even layer over meat mixture.

4.       Start at the long end of the rectangle, roll up meat like a jellyroll, and pat ends gently to form a loaf.  Using paper as a guide, transfer paper and meatloaf onto baking sheet.  Bake meatloaf for 60 to 80 minutes or until juices run clear.

5.       Tip: You can also omit the cheese and bake the meat mixture in a large loaf pan.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

recipe: michelle's oatmeal cookies

Many of you with children will agree that there is a short window of time when a newborn does nothing but eat & sleep. If you’ve just had your first baby, or if along with your newborn, you also have an older child in school all day, you just may find an hour or two for yourself each day in those first few weeks.
Our second son, Michael, was born in the spring while our four-year-old John was still in school. For the first couple of weeks, little Michael slept well & soundly so between walks with baby Mike and visits to see him from well-wishing friends and family, I did some baking.
My sister in law, Michelle, had her second baby, also a boy, a few months earlier (we’re now at four boys – so including their fathers, we have enough bodies for a hockey team! – albeit a very tired one in need of a second line…). She brought over some of her delicious oatmeal cookies one day and we were hooked.
Michelle shared the recipe with me and I think I made these about four times in two weeks! It’s a good thing that nursing burns so many calories… and that I don’t have the time to bake anymore. I added chocolate chips and additional raisins to the original recipe – you can leave these out if you wish.
michelle’s oatmeal cookies
(recipe adapted from Anna Olson)
(makes about 36 small cookies)
  • ½ (one-half) cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 (one) cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ (one-quarter) cup white sugar
  • 1 (one) egg, at room temperature
  • 1 (one) teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1¼ (one-and-one-quarter) cups all purpose flour
  • 2 (two) tablespoons cornstarch – adding cornstarch is the trick to making the cookies stay soft!
  • ½ (one-half) teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ (one-half) teaspoon salt
  • ¾ (three-quarters) teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 (one) cup regular rolled oats
  • 1 (one) cup raisins
  • 1 (one) cup chocolate chips
  • Preheat oven to 350 C.
  • Using a hand or stand mixer, cream the butter and both sugars together until fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
  • In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add to butter mixture in 2-3 (two to three) additions and gently mix to combine.
  • Add in oats, raisins and chocolate chips. Gently stir with a wooden spoon until evenly distributed.
  • Drop the dough by tablespoonfuls onto parchment lined or greased baking sheets, leaving space between each cookie.
  • Bake the cookies for 11-14 (eleven to fourteen) minutes, until lightly browned. The cookies will look very soft coming out of the oven – let them sit on the baking sheet for 5 or 10 (five or ten) minutes and then remove to a rack to cool


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