• Kate

Home for the Holidays with Angela

Updated: Dec 26, 2020

All-American Meatloaf and Mrs. Claus Cranberry Cocktail.

The holidays are here! I celebrate Christmas and I absolutely love this time of year. The lights, the music, the warming flavors, the feeling that everyone is a bit nicer. Honestly, I decorated before Thanksgiving. Do not judge, it made me happy to walk into my apartment and see it all decked out in holiday cheer.

Like most holidays, Christmas was always pretty big in my house. My mom loved to go all out with decorating, setting up mystical scenes on the mantle and rearranging the tree to get it just right. This holiday came with many traditions, oyster stew on Christmas Eve, a reading of the Little Match Girl (leading to sobbing and an inability to understand what was being said), opening new PJs on Christmas Eve, staying in them all day, watching A Christmas Story. Some of them we still do, mainly eating and drinking and spending time with those we love….all in our new holiday jammies.

With the holidays on my mind...and it is Christmas Day and all...Angela and I are filling My Tiny Cook Spot with heartwarming flavors that remind us of home. We are getting extremely personal, we both lost our moms too soon and are sharing their legacies with passion, laughs, and understanding. Comfort food and cocktails were necessary. Dig into All-American Meatloaf and sip on Mrs. Claus Cranberry Cocktail with us this season.

Listen to the Ep HERE

All American Meatloaf

From Martha Stewart Living

Big day, I have never made meatloaf before, I don’t even remember liking it every time I had it. A dry block of meat. Apparently, I have been missing out because this recipe leaves you with on moist (pardon the word) and flavorful meal.

Cooks Tips

  • Who knew it would be so hard to find veal? We opted for a two meat mixture of pork and beef with some good fat content. Go away lean meats!

  • After not carefully reading the recipe where it has you remove the crust from the white bread. We ended up buying a baguette which is mostly crusted so we kept it.

  • We wanted the bread to be stale so it didn’t turn to mush. Pro Tip: ask the bakery at your grocery store for day-old bread! You will probably save a dollar too.

  • Again...not enough Tabasco Martha! We put at least a Tbs in this sucker

  • We used a Vidalia onion instead of red.

  • I have a bullet blender instead of a food processor and this was a real pain. Next time I will just be chopping by hand!

  • No wire rack? No problem! We lined the baking dish in parchment paper so the meat would not stick and we just let the thing cook in its own juices. Like I said - go away lean meat!

  • Due to the size of our monstrous loaf, it took a few minutes longer than anticipated.

  • The glaze on this was amazing! I cannot wait to make it again.

Mrs. Claus Cranberry Cocktail

This cocktail was a bit of a mod-podge of using things I had already made. For one, the week before I made my own cranberry sauce, a variation of a recipe from Alton Brown. I did not have all of the ingredients so I improvised and then I doctored what was left. So this is a pulled-together recreation of how I THINK I would pull this together for the purpose of a cocktail.

Homemade Cranberry Juice

  • ¼ lb Frozen Cranberries

  • ½ C Orange Soda

  • ⅔ C Ginger Ale

  • 3 Tsp Maple Syrup

  • 3 Tsp Light Brown Sugar

  • Pinch of Koser Salt

  • Zest of a Clementine

In a nonreactive saucepan, such as stainless steel, combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Very acidic foods can react to certain materials when cooked, damaging your cookware and transferring metal to your food.

Reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until it reduces by half. Now tell me that smells amazing!

Move to a blender and blend it up! Pass through a strainer to get any larger skin pieces out of the way. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.


Per Cocktail

  • 2 ¼ oz Gin

  • ⅔ oz Thyme Water

  • 1 ½ oz Cranberry Juice

  • Cranberry Garnish

In a shaker combine gin and cranberry juice.

Shake well and strain into a cold steamed glass. I garnished with a few vodka-soaked cranberries I keep on hand!

Sip and Enjoy!

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