These mini cheese stuffed meatloaf cups are perfect for a family dinner that everyone is sure to love, and they won’t even notice the extra veggies mixed in because they’ll be so wowed by the delicious flavor and cheesy center!
Meatloaf is such a nostalgic dish. One may remember it from back in the day as being boring, something mom made that one would push around on ones’ plate. But these mini cheese stuffed meatloaf cups, they’re faaaar from boring. They’re made with delicious ingredients that come together perfectly resulting in an incredible meatloaf.
Over the past few months you may have seen me mention my taking part in a program called Taste15 (see here when I visited Sacramento, here when I posted one of my favorite appetizers that was inspired by learning about honey and here when I shared about 24 hours in Arkansas – I’m totally planning a trip back to the beautiful state next year and most recently I shared on Instagram being in my home city of Chicago). Taste15: Unearthing the Art and Science of Food was a three trip experience hosted by Best Food Facts that I found myself lucky enough to be a part of. The aim of the program was to bring together various bloggers from the food and agriculture worlds and share experiences that will bring us all closer to our food.
I feel incredibly grateful to have gotten to participate in this program. From picking strawberries in CA to riding in a combine cutting corn (above picture) to visiting one of the coolest art museums I’ve ever seen in AR– it was a fantastic experience to say the least. One thing in particular that really resonated with me was getting a chance to interview a fellow Taste15 participant, Krista of The Farmers Wifee. As I’m sure you can guess from the name of her blog The Farmers Wifee, Krista is wife to a farmer – a dairy farmer – and along with her husband they run a dairy operation in Washington State.
- When did you start farming? May of 2009
- What do you produce? Milk and beef (beef from our dairy cows)
- What is the process from when it goes into the ground to sale – and where are you selling to? Darigold http://www.thefarmerswifee.com/being-part-of-a-farmer-owned-cooperative/
- What have been your biggest challenges? There are never enough hours in a day. There is always something that breaks or an animal that needs your attention. At this very moment our biggest struggle is low milk prices. It makes it hard to run a business when you have no control over the price you receive for your product. http://www.thefarmerswifee.com/i-want-consumers-to-feel-farming/
- What have been your biggest successes? We are a first generation dairy farm. We are going strong for 6 years now. Making it through 2009 with record low milk prices is by far our biggest success so far.
- Does your family work on the farm/or do you hire outside help? My husband & I own/operate the farm. We do have hired help to help us milk the cows. We have two part time employees.
- What is your attitude toward any trends you may have noticed? ie gmo-non-gmo/ organic vs. non I personally think it is discouraging that anyone would market their product by tearing down someone else. You will never find two farms the same. AG is very diverse. We need to support food choices but make sure to support farmers right to choose what is best for their farms. Less than 2% of the population is farmers, we need to make sure that number does not decrease anymore.
- What would you like consumers to know that they don’t about your operation? We love what we do. We take caring for cows very seriously. Treating them with respect and making sure they have a happy/comfortable life while on our farm is incredibly important to us. This is not just a job, it is a way of life. We spend more time with our cows than most of our friends/family.
- How do you manage pests and disease? Well as far as pests, we let our farm dog take care of that. 😉 The key to disease or sickness is healthy animals. Making sure that our girls get top quality feed and keep their home clean is how we do that. They are fed every day with new feed, have access to fresh water and we clean their barn twice a day. We clean the alley ways twice a day with our tractor and we hand rake their stalls twice a day as well. If someone does get sick and someone will no matter how well of a job you do, we will treat them with antibiotics. There are strict withdrawal periods we have to follow. Read more here: http://www.thefarmerswifee.com/are-there-antibiotics-in-my-milk-the-answer-is-no/& http://findourcommonground.com/blog/dairy-diary-confidently-raising-safe-milk-day-5/
- Who does the cooking in your house? Do you eat what you produce? Yes we do! We are very confident in the milk we provide for others. Our family seeks out all the products in the store with our cooperative label on it. In addition, we get all the beef we need from our own cows. It is safe to say that our family consumes a lot of dairy & beef. I do the cooking love easy meals as we have three kids and 300 animals to care for.
A big thank you to Krista and her family for their work, and for being so open and answering my questions, her love for the dairy farm really came through, and her blog is such a wealth of information, so head on over to The Farmers Wifee for more information.
After talking to Krista I knew I wanted to make a recipe that incorporated dairy and beef and that would be family friendly. I immediately thought of meatloaf because I always use sour cream instead of eggs as the binding agent as I find it really brings the flavors together and keeps the beef nice and moist – no dried out meatloaf here. Since I know how busy she is, I also wanted to share a recipe that could be made and then enjoyed later too. These meatloaf cups are perfect for making ahead (they make a dozen mini meatloaf cups) and then freezing. That way if there’s a day when one really doesn’t feel like cooking, all one has to do is open the freezer then just microwave these little cups for dinner in minutes!
- 1-2 large carrots finely chopped
- 1 small onion finely chopped or grated
- 1 stalk celery finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 garlic cloves pressed,
- 1 cup Italian style breadcrumbs
- 1.75 -2 lbs. lean ground beef
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 4 oz. monterey/colby cheese cut into 12 cubes
- For the glaze:
- 3 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons water
- Preheat oven to 350. Coat a muffin pan with cooking spray.
- In a medium frying pan on high heat combine carrots, onion, celery, carrots, salt, pepper and butter. Cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes then reduce heat to low and add in the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
- In a large bowl combine Italian bread crumbs, ground beef, milk, sour cream and contents of the pan (carrots, celery and onion mixture) and stir well (I usually just use clean hands to combine.)
- Scoop 1-2 spoonfuls of the meatloaf mixture and press into a cup in the muffin pan and press down in the center. Fill all cups halfway with the meatloaf mixture, then put a little cube of cheese in the center of each up and scoop another 1-2 spoonfuls of meatloaf mixture and press it on top of the cheese.
- In a small bowl make the glaze by combining ketchup, worchestershire sauce and water. Brush it on top of each of the mini meatloafs.
- Place muffin pan on top of a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving, then enjoy.
The TASTE 15 experience as well as this post has been sponsored by Best Food Facts. Thank you for supporting the brands that make the Sweetphi blog possible, as always, all thoughts and opinions are mine alone.