Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Adventures in Babysitting and a Sunday Supper

It's totally ok to write a weekend recap on a Tuesday night, right? Especially if it involves the world's cutest 13 month old and meatloaf?!

We had a fun weekend and I just couldn't go without bragging about the fact that we babysat a 13 month old (and kept her safe, happy, fed AND clean) for a whole 7 hours. And this was AFTER I ran 10 miles. It's a modern day miracle. Our neighbors and good friends down the street ask us to babysit on occasion (I swore to them that we were more than capable of doing so), and they had a day wedding to attend this past Saturday. I had already committed us to a baby shower for the afternoon, so when she asked if we could help with Kaia, I told her only if it was ok for her to go with us.

Like I said, we've babysat her multiple times and she loves us. But we're mostly there when it's her bedtime, and hardly ever have to do a thing except check the monitor to make sure she's still in her crib. This time she was awake the whole 7 hours that we were in charge, and we had to transport her, watch over her, and generally just keep her happy (which is a super easy thing to do). She was an angel the whole time, had fun playing with the other kids at the shower, and by the time we got her home, fed and changed her, she went straight to bed without a fuss. I told Hank if I knew that we would have a baby exactly like Kaia, I'd do it in a heartbeat. She made US look good, she's just that easy of a baby. We had a great time though, but man- being a "parent" is definitely a lot of work. We're just not used to being out in public while also being responsible for another human being.

We slept in on Sunday, and then I made my weekly trip to the grocery store and got to work on cooking a souther Sunday supper. We had invited two friends over who I love cooking for. Since Hank rarely gets meat, I decided to do a manly meatloaf with mashed potatoes and fried okra. Sunday suppers aren't supposed to be healthy, right? I'm not much of a meatloaf fan, but I wanted to do my best to recreate the delicious one that I had on our trip to Nashville. It was so moist and tangy!

After browsing a few recipes online, I decided to consult my cookbook collection and found a recipe in Ruhlman's Twenty. This book focuses on the 20 techniques needed to be a successful cook. Chapter 3 is on water. And you're probably wondering what that has to do with meatloaf. But I'm here to offer you a life altering tidbit if you like to eat meatloaf, but struggle with keeping it moist. You put it in a loaf pan as usual, but you put that pan in a larger/deeper roasting pan and then fill it with water. You cook the meatloaf in a water bath! Brilliant, I tell you. I'm not going to lie and say it was an easy process, but it was totally worth the work, including the homemade chipotle ketchup. The guys loved it!

You can't have a Sunday supper without serving dessert, and I used the guys as my guinea pig for a Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart from another new cookbook. It was the only thing that I took a picture of because honestly, meatloaf and mashed potatoes are NOT pretty. The tarts were delicious, and I will definitely be making them again.

The Holland House: Salted Caramel and Chocolate Tarts

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