This post is dedicated to my dear friend, Rachel. Today is her birthday, so I wanted to do something to honor her. She is the person I know I can count on, no matter the circumstance. She and her husband rescued my daughter and I when we were caught in a blizzard one Christmas Eve, when we were new to the area and relatively new friends. Another time, I bought a bunch of flowers at an end-of-the-season sale, but was going out of state and was rushing to pack. (I tend to think I can accomplish more than I possibly can) She volunteered to come over and plant them for me. I’ll never forget her out in the heat, working away, while I was in my air conditioned house packing, alternately kicking myself for my stupidity and thanking the Lord for such an awesome friend. I can pour my heart out to her and I know she will respond with encouragement, love, and (if needed) sympathy, never judging me. Everyone should have at least one Rachel in their lives!
She has a cute little shop on Etsy called PeanutMM. She is addicted to those little candies, but I love her anyway. 🙂
See that great little enameled roasting pan over on the right? That’s for sale in her shop. In fact, she has a 2 qt. and a 4 qt. for sale. Mostly she has owls. Lots and lots of owls. Owls of every sort, including jewelry and several Avon items, but mostly various types of home decor.
She is selling them for her mother-in-law, who had to move into an assisted living home. She’s generous like that. But she also has a few other vintage items. I encourage you to take a look around. Just click on the picture of the roasting pan and it will take you to her Etsy shop.
She also makes doll clothes. The most darling things you can imagine. She’s an extremely talented seamstress. She had them listed, but has decided to build a separate shop for them, since it’s such a different market than the owls. I’ll be posting a link to that, once she gets it up, so if you are interested in that sort of thing, keep watching.
Rachel is an inspiration to me in so many ways, not the least of which is her skill in the kitchen. She makes the most beautiful veggie recipes you ever saw! And she makes them look so easy, even I believe I can cook them! She once had us over for dinner and served the most marvelous meatloaf. My husband raved about it so much, she graciously shared the recipe. It is a favorite at our house and wonderfully simple. It usually takes me about 45 minutes from start to finish. I like to share it with others, but always give credit to Rachel. In fact, I have officially named it, “Rachel’s Meatloaf.” She has given me permission to share it with you.
Makes 2 loaves
3 lbs ground turkey
1 cup uncooked oats
1 (8 oz) can of tomato sauce plus
1 cup of salsa
(or 16 oz of tomato sauce, if salsa not used)
2 tsp instant minced onion
1 tsp garlic powder
Combine all ingredients well. Divide between 2 (1 1/2 quart) casseroles (loaf pans). Bake one at 400 degrees for 35 minutes. Freeze the other one for later.
How easy is that?! Above, I just steamed some mixed veggies (and used ground bison instead of turkey), but if you want to dress up the meal, try this wonderful side dish of Rachel’s.
BALSAMIC ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS
1 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved, if they are large*
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 leek, sliced (white & light green part) OR
3 green onions, sliced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (I often don’t even chop them)
Place vegetables in large foil-lined pan with sides (don’t have to use foil, I usually don’t; just have to scrub the pan).
Drizzle oil and vinegar over vegetables; season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat; arrange in single layer. Roast at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Stir in walnuts. Roast until Brussels sprouts are tender, about 5 minutes.
Makes 6 servings.
*If using frozen brussels sprouts, I put them in the pan and put the pan in the oven while it is preheating and I am cutting up the other vegetables. That usually gives them time to thaw enough to continue as given in the recipe.
Happy Birthday, Rachel!! I hope your day is every bit as wonderful as you!