This is Tanya Hsu’s recipe for Disappearing Meatloaf. It’s a standby from the OZC, and it’s on the menu for this week.

2 pounds ground beef

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 cup ketchup

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 medium onion, chopped (or 2 tablespoons dried onion flakes)

1 teaspoon beef bouillion

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1/2 cup oatmeal

2 eggs

1 teaspoon mustard

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine all ingredients. Make a loaf and place in a 9 x 13-inch pan. Bake for 45 minutes.


1/2 cup ketchup

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon mustard

Combine ingredients for sauce and spread over cooked meatloaf. Bake another 10-15 minutes. Let meatloaf sit about 5 minutes before serving.



My mom makes several batches of divinity every Christmas. Since we are celebrating Christmas with my dad’s side of the family tomorrow, she is making her first batch tonight.


  • 2 2/3 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2/3 cups walnuts or pecans, broken (optional)


  1. Stir the sugar, corn syrup, and water over low heat until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Cook without stirring to 260 degrees on a candy thermometer, or until a small amount of the mixture dropped into iced water forms a crystal-like hard ball. The mixture will create a feathery thread when poured from a spoon.
  3. In a mixer bowl beat the egg whites until a stiff peak forms.
  4. Continue beating while pouring the hot syrup in a thin stream. You may need an assistant.
  5. Add the vanilla and beat until the mixture holds its shape and becomes slightly dull. Mixture will probably become too stiff for the mixer.
  6. Fold in nuts and drop the mixture from the tip of a spoon onto waxed paper.

Makes about four dozen candies. Use one tablespoon less water on humid days.

Giving Thanks

We had a lovely Thanksgiving dinner with Jason’s family today, and I was reminded how thankful I am for his Christian heritage. We sang grace:

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;

Praise him, all creatures here below;

Praise him above, ye heavenly host;

Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Blueberry Peach Crisp

Today I had a bottle of Blueberry Tangerine water — a flavor combination that really didn’t work. It reminded me, though, of this dessert, which does work even though it seems like maybe it shouldn’t. The recipe is from my cousin Sue Thomsen.

2/3 cup brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup flour

1 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon, divided

4 tablespoons butter or margarine

3/4 cup quick cooking oats

1/2 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

3 cups peaches, sliced (about 4 peaches)

2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch round baking dish. Mix the brown sugar, flour, and 3/4 teaspoon of cinnamon in a bowl. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the oats and set aside. In a separate bowl, mix the sugar, cornstarch, and the remaining teaspoon of cinnamon. Add the peaches and blueberries and gently toss until evenly coated. Spread this into the baking dish and sprinkle the oats mixture on top. Bake for 30 minutes or until the syrup is thickened and golden brown. Serve warm with ice cream.

Bernie’s Special Soup

Otherwise known as: Cream of Broccoli Soup. (I don’t know about the rest of you, but “special soup” sounds a bit iffy for me. Like the secret ingredient is something odd like black licorice, or toad liver. Okay, moving on.) Jeremy’s landlord in Oxford, England, was the titular Bernie and Jeremy really loved this soup. At his request, Bernie estimated portions of ingredients and came up with this recipe for her collegiate tenant.

1 lg spanish onion
1 oz butter
1 head of celery
1 head of broccoli
3 chicken stock cubes
3 oz cream
2 oz Stilton cheese

Fry chopped onion in butter on low heat (don’t brown). Wash celery and chop fine and add to onion. Same for broccoli. Add three stock cubes and 6 cups of water. Cook ’til tender, then liquidize in mixer. Return to dish and bring back to a boil. Turn off heat. Chop Stilton and add to soup. Add cream also.

**I doubled the recipe and decided to save time by not doing a fine chop (since you plan to blend the stuffin’s out of the veggies anyway). Stilton cheese can be a bit hard to locate at the grocery store. It took five HyVee employees, one soup maker (moi) and two tired little girls a very long time to locate Stilton, which, if you’re interested, is a blue cheese made in England. After eating the soup, Jeremy and I decided it could use a little more butter and demands the addition of salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Thanksgiving wishlist

If I planned Thanksgiving dinner, we’d have

Grilled Turkey

Mashed Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows on Top

Green Bean Casserole

Corn Pudding

Cranberry Sauce

Stove Top Stuffing

My Grandma’s Swedish Rye Bread

Brook’s Pumpkin Pecan Pie
What would your menu look like if you had no time or effort constraints?

Beef Barley Soup

Adapted from a recipe we found on, this is on the menu this week.

2 pounds boneless lean beef, cubed
3 tablespoons olive oil
garlic powder
2 (10.5-ounce) cans beef consomme
4 cups beef broth
3 cups water
4 stalks celery, chopped
6 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped

1 cup barley (I use quick-cooking)

1 teaspoon dried thyme
1. In a skillet over medium heat, saute the beef in the oil for 5 minutes, or until browned. Season with the salt, pepper, and garlic powder and place seasoned meat in a slow cooker. Add a little water to the skillet and stir to pick up the browned bits. Add to the slow cooker.
2. Add the broth, water, celery, carrots, onion, and barley. Cover and cook on low setting for 6 to 8 hours, or until the vegetables and barley are tender. Add the thyme just before serving.