Super Easy Cheatloaf Meatloaf

February 26, 2016




I have made no secret about my distaste for cooking. Decorate your house, fold your laundry, clean your room? No problem. Cook? Um, no.

Of course, I do have a family and they do have to eat, but whenever possible I take the fast route and cheat my way to dinner prep. My super easy meatloaf recipe is no exception. I use one pan, a few simple ingredients and I am guaranteed a meal that everyone will eat, in no time at all.

I have been making meatloaf for years. It was actually the first thing I ever made by myself. It's really hard to mess up a meatloaf and you can serve it with virtually any side dish, so it has always been my go to in a pinch.

Today, is a perfect example.

My daughter asked me to make stuffed peppers this week. I bought the meat, the peppers and was ready to go, when everything went haywire. I had email issues, college forms to fill out, a sick kid who needed a doctor appointment, a husband who was traveling, we lost power several times due to some wicked storms and by this morning, the house was a mess.

When I had finally finished cleaning it up, the last thing I wanted to do, or had the energy to do, was whip out several pans and my splatter guard to make rice and fry up chop meat, then get a baking dish, a cutting board and some utensils out. I just kept thinking about the clean up. I'd have to do it all over again.

Nope. New plan.

Meatloaf.

The way I make meatloaf is ridiculously simple and it only requires one baking dish.

Yup, just one.

I do not mix everything in a separate bowl, chop up a ton of stuff, I don't measure anything out with spoons or cups.

I cheat.

I use a 9x11 glass pan. I toss my chop meat in it and then I add:

1 egg and a hearty sprinkle of each:

Salt
Chopped onion
Oregano
Garlic

Then in the pan I take my hands and mush it together really well, making sure that all the spices get spread around and worked into the meat evenly. I shape it into a loaf and boom. I'm done.


I do not add crackers or breadcrumbs to my meatloaf. Perhaps it's the Italian in me, but I just want it to taste like a giant meatball. I obviously don't put any bread in those either. It's funny, even way back when, you can see that I was not a fan of the bread!

Sweet meatloaf memories

Today, I did however add potatoes. I peeled and chopped up two large baking potatoes. Once in the pan, I drizzled a little bit of olive oil on them, salt and onion powder. The pan went into the oven and I baked it, uncovered, at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes.

That was it. When all was said and done, I had a small cutting board, one knife and vegetable peeler to deal with...and that was only due to the potato prep. Now that's my kind of cooking.

Here's my finished product. Like my giant cut? That's how I tell if it's done. I know what you're thinking...but it works for me.


Now, I could've shown it to you on a plate with sides and garnish, but lazy here, remember? Actually, that is only partly true. The reality of the situation is that I made this dish at 10am. I've already covered it with foil and when it cools, I will tuck it into the fridge until dinnertime.

Putting it on a plate (which I would have to wash) and taking out food I wasn't going to eat right now (and then have to put away) to take a Pinterest worthy shot would totally defeat my one pan and done goal.

Which I accomplished.

That is why there is no drool worthy photograph.

But.

At the moment, dinner is complete, I am writing ~ my favorite thing to do ~ and my kitchen looks like this:


And as far as I'm concerned, there's nothing more delicious, than clean!

Are you a cheat in the kitchen?



Looking for more quick and easy recipes?









Sharing with:*Between Naps on the Porch*Julie's Lifestyle*Coastal Charm*Cozy Little House*The Scoop*A Stroll Thru Life*Savvy Southern Style*Share Your Cup*Thoughts of Home*French Country Cottage*Vintage Charm*




   

84 comments:

  1. You are so funny and incredibly creative!! We all have our talents and believe me, there are many days I go to my 'stash' in the freezer of meals I cooked (and cleaned up) ages ago and froze in batches....it makes for an easy peasy weeknight meal! Last night was chili (out of the freezer) and biscuits (also out of the freezer.) Done...and DONE! :)

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    1. I know, I really need to learn how to use that freezer! ;)

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  2. Wow! that was quick and yes, your kitchen is still sparkling clean. I have never tried with the potatoes in the loaf pan but there is a first time for everything. Have a great weekend!

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    1. My mom always made it with the potatoes in the pan, they taste really good! :)

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  3. You had me at CHEATLOAF! LOL!!!!! You are funny Kim, and yes, I do a lot of short cuts when I cook too, we can't be all like Martha who does housekeeping for a living, literally! THank you for sharing!

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  4. Gotta love an easy meatloaf recipe. A giant meatball? Oh, yeah my husband and son would go for that! I love the meals you can make in the morning too. I can play later into the day!

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    1. It basically is a giant meatball, AnnMarie!! ;)

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  5. Your meatloaf looks very good. And so does your kitchen. I have never added anything around the meatloaf before but I will have to try. Drizzled in oil and roasted is one of my favorite ways of cooking potatoes. Do you think you could do the same thing with squash or sweet potatoes or a combination.

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    1. Oh, I never thought of doing that with squash or sweet potatoes, Lorri. While I love those two veggies, I am such a creature of habit. Thanks for the suggestion!

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  6. Looks yummy Kim! My kids always loved when I made meatloaf. I use oregano in mine too and then top with a little tomato sauce and mozzarella. Sometimes I bake it in several mini loaf pans or even muffin tins. I like your option of roasting the potatoes in the same pan. Now I'm getting hungry...;)

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    1. Oh, cheese on top?? Wow, that sounds delicious!! :) Definitely going to try…

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  7. finally! a brilliant cook on the internet that cooks like I DO!!!
    i just kept saying YES! throughout the whole post!
    it was a rewarding experience.
    and the addition of the potatoes.
    now why in heck did i never think of THAT? so simple. so GOOD!
    my favorite cookbook is the 'i hate to cookbook' by peg bracken.
    mine is dog eared and hilarious still. xoxo♥

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    1. Tammy, I am still staring at those words "brilliant cook" with stars in my eyes...thank you...but did you just say there's an I Hate To Cook Book?? Oh my, off to Amazon!! Right now!!

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  8. Thanks for an easy recipe! You know I'm not gifted in the kitchen. I can make this in my Breville Smart Oven. When I show recipes, which isn't often, I don't glam up the scene either. I think it's rather fake. Like your clean kitchen!
    Brenda

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    1. Thanks Brenda! I don't have time for glam in the kitchen...and truth be told, my food isn't that pretty! ;)

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  9. OK, Kim, now you are talking my most favorite food! Love meatloaf. I made it in a bowl and put it in a pan and into the oven. I had a mountain of dirty dishes. Now I found that if I saute the onions, spices, and a little bit of tomato paste first it tastes so good, and I STILL have a mountain of dirty dishes. Around here, if I cook, hubby does dishes and visa-versa. Isn't it funny that he always wants to cook? He is a very neat cook, me on the other hand, not so much, evidently no matter how it's done..Happy Weekend..Judy

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    1. My hubby likes to cook and I really don't mind washing dishes, so it works out well for us, too, Judy!

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  10. You are the real deal, Kim. This looks delicious and I truly know how our plans for a big dinner can go awry depending on how our days go.

    My two cents...chop your veggies. and stuff that morning, the night before, even a few days in advance and keep them in a plastic bag in the fridge. That gets you more than halfway there. I do this with a lot of meals---I'm more energetic in the morning.

    Two things that make you seem like you've made the BEST meatloaf ever...do use the breadcrumbs as they soak up a lot of the oozing fat and juice from the meat. And the fattier the meat the better---great flavor. Secondly, some spread the top of their meatloaf with ketchup...yuck. Or bacon. Yes, add some more fat!!!!! I mix a half can of tomato paste with 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and spread it over the top. Watch the heads swoon and compliments big time. And it takes 30 seconds!!! Simple tips...I hope I'm not pushy. I'm nowhere near an expert but meatloaf can be wonderful. I'm going to try the potatoes all arounds you suggest. Genius! :)

    Jane x

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    1. Thank you for your sweet comment, Jane and for the suggestions! I love your advance cutting idea, now I think that is genius!! Thanks for taking the time to offer all those great tips. I really appreciate it! :)

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  11. We love meatloaf! I do put crushed crackers in mine because we like the texture it adds. Everybody has their own preference and all that matters is you have a recipe you and your family love.

    Have you ever made Hobo Suppers?

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    1. No...what are Hobo Suppers? Now I am curious!

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    2. Yay!! Pinned at Thoughts of Home on Thursday. Thank you for rising early and posting with us.

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    3. Thank you...and my pleasure! :)

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  12. I would also rather clean than cook. I thought it was only me :-)
    Amalia
    xo

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    1. So glad to have you on my team, Amalia!! We can always order take out! ;)

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  13. My husband is a sucker for meatloaf and I know he will love this, plus it's easy to do. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. So easy, Kristi!! And your new kitchen will stay super clean! :)

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  14. That looks yummy. I like to cook when I have time. I rarely have time. Little by little I am getting rid of my cookbooks and relying on recipes I find online. I would rather do anything than clean, though, so quick and no-fuss recipes work for me! I just looked at your sweet potato pancakes - they will feature here this week!

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    1. Thank you! Those sweet potato pancakes are my favorites. I could eat them for breakfast with eggs, at lunch on a sandwich and at dinner as a side...and I have! I hope you enjoy them! :)

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  15. That's a really great idea to put the potatoes in the pan too! I think I will try that with my Southwest or Santa Fe-style meatloaf. Roasted potatoes would be good with it. That's how it is served when I buy it at this one particular restaurant, but had no idea I could do it at home. xoxo Su

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    1. Mmm. Sante Fe-style meatloaf! That sounds like something my husband would love…

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  16. I do meatloaf two ways : In separate pans...that way is good for cold meatloaf sandwiches and your way...with potatoes in the pan. Here's a little thing to try for next time. Distribute some cut up onion all around, do your oil as usual BUT squirt some ketchup here and there over potatoes and meatloaf alike. :) Got that one from my sister years ago and it's great.

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    1. Yum!! I love that idea, Deb, thanks!

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  17. Yum, meatloaf.
    I like how you added potatoes. I am going to try that this week. :-)
    Carla

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    1. Thanks Carla. It's how my mom used to make it!

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  18. P.S.
    Will you be making stuffed peppers this week ;-)

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    1. ....and yes! I have already been put on notice! Ha! ;)

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  19. I think the meatlof looks great!! I do like cooking however now a days I only cook 3 or 4 days a week. I really and really like the looks of the sweet potato pancakes. I love sweet potatoes!!

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    1. Thanks Angela. I love those sweet potatoes, too. When I make them, they disappear as they come out of the pan. They're that yummy!! :)

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  20. I have forgotten how good a simple meatloaf is. thanks for your quick and easy recipe. the sweet potato cakes are on my list to make too.

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    1. Oh those sweet potato pancakes are my weakness! Enjoy them!! :)

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  21. We LOVE meatloaf in our house too. I love the idea of putting in cut up potatoes along with the meatloaf Kim. You are a genius! Thanks, I'm going to do that the next time I make meatloaf.
    Wishing you a wonderful weekend.
    Julie xo

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    1. Thank you, Julie! I had no idea that most people don’t add potatoes around their meatloaf. I guess it was something that I grew up with so I figured everyone did it, but from the comments I can see that it is unusual! Glad I could share something of use!

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  22. This sounds really good, and even for someone who typically enjoys cooking, I like to have some easy recipes for "those" days!

    Warm hugs,
    Carol

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    1. When it's simple, Carol, I actually do enjoy cooking. Maybe it's just the clean up I don't like. Maybe....

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  23. A great idea Kim. I'm slways adding and adding things to my meatloaf. Maybe that's why they don't eat it...lol.

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    1. Ha! My kids like simple, too, Mary!

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  24. I found a meatloaf recipe a few yrs ago that used V8 juice & so love the flavor it adds. My husband is addicted to ketchup so there has to be a ketchup topping as well.

    I've hand copied it in my 'heirloom' cookbook....our family's tried & true recipes I don't want to lose, so I cannot remember at all where I got it. It's called Boston Market meatloaf but if you google that, this recipe doesn't come up.

    I'll type it out here just for you! but you don't need to feel obligated to try it. If you ever feel inspired though, it's definitely a keeper at my house. I also think you really don't need to measure, just eyeball it & no chopping needed. I also mix it in the pan I'm baking it in so very easy clean up.

    Ingredients
    1 egg
    2TBS sour cream
    2TBS ketchup
    2TBS flour
    1 package dry onion soup mix
    1 pound ground beef (I always use at least 1 1/2 to 2 pounds, sometimes half beef & half another meat)
    extra ketchup - can ommit
    1/3 cup spicy V-8 juice (I buy a 6 pack of individual cans because we don't drink this & use the whole can. I buy plain, not spicy)

    Mix 1st 5 ingredients, combine meat & mix well. Cover with foil & bake at 400' for 40 minutes. Drain grease (carefully!) then top with ketchup, just spread on as much as you like. Pour juice around the edges, not over the top & bake another 40 minutes.

    I may try adding chopped potatoes around mine the next time...that looks really good.

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    1. Jenny, thank you for taking the time to share this recipe with me...and my readers! I am totally going to try this and you know why? Onion soup mix!! Oh my goodness, that is my weakness and I never thought about putting it in meatloaf! My mom always mixed ketchup in her meatloaf, then smeared it on top and added bacon as a garnish! I have scaled ours down quite a bit, but that onion soup mix is calling my name!! Thanks again for sharing Jenny@!!

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    2. I'm a big onion soup mix fan as well. I use it as a dry spice on so many things.

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    3. I have to buy more, because now you have me thinking…have you ever used it in beef stew?

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    4. No but I do use it often on any meat in the crockpot...beef or roast pork, chicken. Just add your favorite veggies. My favorite combination is mushroom, onion & tomato...sometimes broccoli or cauliflower. We rarely eat potatoes with a Type I diabetic in the house but that would be really good to add with carrots as well.

      I do toss vegetables in olive oil then toss in soup mix & roast in the oven for a really yummy side dish. Lipton has so many great flavors....I love doing this with Ranch dip mix as well.

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    5. Wow, lots of different ideas here! It almost makes me want to cook, Jenny…almost! I definitely want to eat it all though! Thanks for sharing I really appreciate it. :)

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  25. I do not enjoy cooking either, so this is perfect. :) I've actually gone down to cooking dinner only one day a week. We have one "fend for yourself" night where everyone eats sandwiches, soup, etc. and the rest of the nights we pick up something like pizza, sandwiches from the deli, Chick fil A, etc. It may not be the healthiest, but even when I cooked almost every night, it wasn't that healthy (think frozen meatballs with spaghetti, Stouffer's lasagna, burgers...) My mom says "every woman has a set amount of meals in her that she'll cook and when she reaches that number, she quits cooking." Hee hee!

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    1. Oh boy, I am with your mom. Cooking has never been my thing, but when the kids were little, I cooked every single night. As they got older and we weren't always around at dinnertime, or decided they were vegetarians or gluten free or vegan that particular week, it became too hard. I have to say, "fend for yourself" night sounds great!! ;)

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  26. We love meatloaf and it's my go to recipe, too. I make it about the same way you do. No gluten. Just an egg and some seasoning. Always tastes great. I think I want some with your sweet potato pancakes, Kim. ;) Hugs, Nancy

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    1. I forget that the lack of bread makes it gluten free, Nancy! Thanks for pointing that out. :)

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  27. I love Cheatloaf! Those one pan meals are my favorites (and the chief dishwasher aka hubby agrees).

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    1. As the chief chef and dishwasher, I totally agree!! :)

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  28. Hi Kim, this looks so good and yes, I take short cuts in the kitchen preparing meals whenever I can. Making a dinner ahead is always a good idea when we are so busy. Adding the potatoes is a great idea. I will try it this way. Thanks for sharing. Have a great day. xo

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    1. Thanks! I should make all my meals ahead. It really makes dinnertime much less hectic...at least for me! ;)

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  29. I do easy but when I am cooking up something special . . . every pan and utensil seems to be out.
    I do have that "clean streak" going for me though!
    I love aa clean kitchen . . . (house too!)
    I think I am going to try your "no crackers" meat loaf . . .
    Fun to create in the kitchen and make it easy peasy . . ,

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    1. If you do try it Lynne, let me know what you think! It definitely is easy peasy! ;)

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  30. I think your dinner is absolutely drool worthy and I bet it's delicious. I definitely think you can cook simply without sacrificing flavor. Wish I was eating at your house tonight!

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    1. Thanks so much, Susan! You're invited anytime!

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  31. I love your cheat meatloaf. I have never added potatoes to mine. My husband loves my turkey meatloaf. It is so moist and yummy , plus healthy. I do enjoy using cheats sometimes. Would love if you share this meatloaf at our link party on Sundays, Dishing It & Digging It. xo

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    1. Thanks Linda. I love mixing the meats up too, chicken and turkey included! I will check out the party, thanks for the heads up! :)

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  32. We love meatloaf at our house too. I love making it with ground chicken!! Yummmy!!

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    1. Yes, chicken makes a great meatloaf, too! :)

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  33. Your reasons for not cooking are the same as mine - there are just too many other things I like to do. Fortunately, my husband thinks of cooking as creating and he enjoys it all.

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    1. Mine hubby loves to cook, too. Works out well, doesn’t it? ;)

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  34. I love sharing recipe ideas ...
    Looks great

    All the best Jan

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    1. Thanks Jan. I am no chef like you, but this is one that everyone seems to like! :)

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  35. How did I miss this post of yours? Oh my! You cooked! LOL :) I love the one dish dinners, and the fact that it can be made earlier in the day, even better :) Yum!

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    1. Yes, I cooked!! Can you believe it? This one was a big hit. I’m good with one dish. I made beef stew last night, chicken pizziaola the day before. I’m done for a good long time now though! ;)

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  36. I love how you put the potatoes around the meatloaf to bake. I'm going to try that! It all looks delicious!

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    1. Thanks Lisa. It's so easy, just chop and go!

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  37. Oh wow...this looks so delicious! What a neat idea! :)

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

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  38. You clever girl I love how you added potatoes to a family favorite. Thank you ever so much for linking up at Thoughts of Home on Thursday. Your presence adds such a ray of sunshine!

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    1. You're so kind, Laura! Thank you.

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  39. I am going to try this method, especially as 90% of my kitchen is packed up! There are only so many nights I can stand take-out meals. Easy meals are top priority for me now, and you are so right--the family hast to eat!

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    1. Super easy and one pan Dewena...easy enough to grab out of a box! ; ) Yikes...packed up!

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