The oak leaves were just sitting on our kitchen table, I swear.
Last week W and I were invited to come join a family cooking class at the Canadian Beef Centre of Excellence (yes, this is an actual place, and for anyone who appreciates beef and butchery, it’s amazing) – they were working with Canadian Living (my fave, as you know) on encouraging families to bring their kids into the kitchen – a place W has been hanging out in since he’s been alive. Publisher Sandra Martin joined us virtually on the big screen and the butchers and beef chefs – such great guys – were there to help everyone along as we cooked our way through recipes in the current issue of CL – beef stew, sliders, stir fry, an easy roast (our task – and a good one as it allowed me to give W a crash course in gravy making, something I hope he remembers this Thanksgiving weekend) and mozzarella stuffed mini meatloaves, which W has been asking me to make again ever since.
The guilt of having to go out to another evening thing inspired me to make them – guilt can sometimes be a good motivator – but they were fast enough to pull together as I was getting dressed and drying my hair. It’s a simple meatball mixture, wrapped around cubes of cheese and baked in a muffin tin – and although I love a good meatloaf (especially with a vinegary, brown sugary glaze brushed on top) these made perfect enormous meatballs to nestle atop spaghetti (or in this case linguini – I’ve made a vow to not buy any more pasta until we make our way through the dozen or so shapes in the cupboard) – and honestly, what’s better than a meatball stuffed with cheese? This is how to win friends and influence people under 12.
This is also the sort of thing that can be made in advance – if you know you’ll be busy the next day, you can make them and keep them in the fridge. I imagine they’d also freeze well (unbaked – then thaw and bake), and could easily be made into larger batches for feeding bigger groups (yes, grownups love cheese-stuffed beef as much as kids do). Skip the glaze if you want to streamline things and they’re going to wind up in tomato sauce anyway. (Pardon the hasty photos – was also getting dressed and drying my hair…)