“Impress your date” meatloaf seems like it should be an oxymoron, I know. Because no one likes meatloaf, right? Well, if that’s the case, it’s simply because they’ve never had this version. First good thing: you make it into extra-generous meatballs, so right off the bat you throw off those auto-loaf haters. Second good thing: it’s one of those dishes that seems like it took forever to make, so you’ll rake in impressive points with whatever guy (or girl or family member) you put the plate down in front of. Honestly, I can’t rave about this recipe enough, so I’m thinking you should just try it!
Tomato Glazed Meatloaf (Adapted from Smitten Kitchen):
1 small can tomato paste
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 pounds ground beef
onion, celery, carrot and garlic–all chopped
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 slices of white bread
Combine the tomato paste, vinegar, honey and 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce in a sauce pan and simmer on low until thickened and bubbling. Set aside.
Pulse the bread in a food processor to create breadcrumbs. Set aside. Add the vegetables and process until minced, about 5 minutes (you may need to do this in batched in order to fit everything!). Brown the veggies in a hot skillet with 1 teaspoon olive oil until soft, about 5-7 minutes.
Add the vegetables to the ground beef and breadcrumbs, mixing with your hands and forming into palm-sized meatballs (be generous!).
Top the meatloaf(s) with a bit of glaze and place in the oven to cook at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes, or until the outsides are browned and juice around them is bubbling (if you’re unsure, check with a meat thermometer).
Serve over your favorite variation of mashed potatoes–because everyone has their favorite (mine are garlic with a touch of sour cream). Enjoy–and prepare to impress your next date. He’ll be raving about you to Mom before you know it!
We’re going to talk about date looks, but trust me when I say we’re not going to talk about the whole “here are beauty looks guys like so do this” thing. I’m a firm believer in wearing and rocking what you like–trust me when I tell you the guy you like will love it either way.
We are, however, going to talk about not overdoing it on Valentine’s Day–or any other date night. It hurts my heart when I see otherwise gorgeous girls caking on the foundation and piling on the bronzer for a night out with their guy, only to find that the cute-in-the-movies head on the shoulder moment turns not so cute when your guy’s shirt becomes orange. This Valentine’s Day, opt for a little sumthin’ sumthin’ like this:
Romantic, Retro Waves: These pretty curls are a step up from a normal straight or tousled look, but they stay out of that “too dolled up” territory. Keep ‘em soft and simple, and please–go easy on the hairspray. No guy wants to hear a distinct crunch when they go in for a hug! If you’re looking for a simple, easy tutorial, The Beauty Department has a great one. I plan on trying it myself for the blog once my hair grows a few inches (sigh!).
Soft, Pretty Makeup: When in doubt, go natural. A guy is out on a date with you to see you, not you and your entire Sephora collection. Choose a glow-y foundation (I love Make Up Forever’s Invisible Cover Foundation), a touch of blush and a good dose of mascara and you’re set. If you’re a perfume girl, spritz it on, don’t soak in it. And because I’ve never met a guy who looks good with a red lip (unless it’s from a 7-Eleven slushy), don’t rock a serious shade if you plan on a little kissing (which uh, you should). Go natural with a light cream lipstick or tint–something like Revlon’s Just Bitten Stain in Sweetheart is perfect!
What are your date beauty do’s and don’ts? Do share!
It’s no secret that I love to cook and experiment with new recipes. One of my favorite things to do with friends is to throw dinner parties, so I wanted to try a fun new series on the blog tied to that. Welcome to the dinner club! Here you’ll find the perfect recipes, what to wear and what to listen to, all themed. Because really, life is just better themed.
In my humble opinion, dates in restaurants can be kind of restrictive. There’s no moving around, your only interaction is from across a table–your night can be ruined by the rude couple fighting at the booth next to you. I much prefer cooking at home and the exciting moments (re: burning things) that it can bring. Because really, if a guy is willing to fan a smoke alarm with his shirt and/or your girlie magazine, he’s probably a keeper. Have I made a case for staying in your next date? OK good–here’s what you should make!
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Clean and rinse your chicken, then stuff with five cloves of garlic, basil leaves and a lemon, cut in half. Coat the skin with 1 tablespoon melted butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Surround the chicken with chopped onion and lemon slices. Cook for an hour to an hour and a half, or until the meat is no longer pink.
Peel and slice potatoes thinly. Mix together 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon melted butter, coating the bottom of a baking dish with half of this mixture. Stand up the potatoes in the dish, coat with the remaining butter/oil mixture and sprinkle with salt, pepper and rosemary. Cook at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the tops are browned and crispy.