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Southwestern Meatloaf

Southwestern Meatloaf 3 | CheersSusan.com

In my Grandma Jean’s kitchen you would find a step stool that was round with these grippy rubber parts so that you wouldn’t slip off. The strange part about this step stool, besides the fact that it was run, was that it was on wheels. You could push it around the linoleum floor and then when you got it to where you needed it you just stepped up and it would settle onto the floor. I probably spent hours and hours on this contraption with my Grandma’s house. It’s how I got glasses out of the kitchen cupboards for such amazing things as Tang and Ovaltine. Not together mind you, because that would just be gross.

What can I say, I was a child of the 80’s and Tang was all the rage. I haven’t had it in years. Hell, I’m not even sure they still make it any more. Mind you that stuff could probably last for like 175 years before going off. Someone is bound to have it in a fall out shelter or something. You know, just in case we get attacked by Aliens or Godzilla, or Michael from the movie Halloween. Dear God was he terrifying. Actually, the music was terrifying. Ah, the 80’s, they were quiet a magical time don’t you think?

Anyway, enough about Tang and Godzilla, let’s get back to this amazing spinning rolling step stool in my Grandma’s house. The whole reason I bring it up is because I made my first ever meatloaf when standing on that contraption. I cannot tell you anything about the bowl or what we put in it. I can only tell you about the way the ground beef felt in my tiny kid fingers. Cold. Squishy. Oozing between my fingers. The sound of the oozing too. It was like I had full-blown permission to play with my food. It was awesome!!!

Southwestern Meatloaf 4 | CheersSusan.com

I can’t remember the last time I had meatloaf. So I thought I would whip one up while clearing out some paperwork and binge watching some old episodes of Jessica Fletcher. I remember my Grandma Jean watching Murder, She Wrote. She was a fan of murder mysteries and always had them around the house. I swear I picked up the same love of murder mysteries from her. She’s probably why, in the seventh and eighth grade, I decided to read all of Edgar Allen Poe’s work, and why I also loved Silence of the Lambs, and why I just finished watching Making a Murderer. Have you guys watched it yet? It’s so good!

Southwestern Meatloaf 2 | CheersSusan.com

Ingredients

1 lb ground turkey

1 large egg

6 slices of cooked bacon

1/2 c. chopped onions

1/4 c. chopped bell pepper

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tbsp. canned chipotle, minced

3/4 c. ground almonds (you could also use dry bread crumbs if you’re not trying to go away from all the wheat in all the land)

1 tsp oregano

1/2 c salsa

3/4 c cheese, shredded

Preparation

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Grab a large bowl and toss in the ground turkey and egg. Cook up your bacon in a large skillet and then roughly chop it and toss it in the bowl as well. I pour off most of the bacon fat, but leave some, in order to cook up the onion and bell peppers. You just want to get a bit of color on them to bring out their flavors a bit. When they’re almost done cooking, you’ll toss in the chili powder, cumin, garlic, and chipotle and sauté for about a minute more. You don’t want to burn the spices or overcook the garlic. You’re aiming to blend the flavors together. Add this to the bowl as well.

Next, you’ll add the ground almonds, or bread crumbs, to the bowl and the oregano. Then oil your loaf pan and get it ready. Also, make sure your shredded or grated cheese is prepped. Next, make sure your hands are clean because you’re going to mix everything together using them. It’s so squishy!!! Then take half of the meat mixture and place it into the pan making sure to press it into the corners. Top with cheese and then add the next half of the meat mixture. Once again pressing it into the corners. Finally, spoon or pour the salsa over the top.

Wash you hands and then pop it into the oven for about 1 hour 25 minutes. You want the inside to reach 165 degrees. While it’s in the oven feel free to queue up a movie or watch Making a Murderer.

Serve by topping with additional salsa if that makes you happy. I know it does me. I topped mine with some sliced avocado, cheese, and a few tortilla chips that I crunched up. You could even serve it topped with guacamole. Who doesn’t love guacamole?

Southwestern Meatloaf 1 | CheersSusan.com

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