.When I need a fast and easy solution for a delicious sit-down dinner, I don’t always have time to run to the store for a long list of specialty herbs and spices to create that “something special” dish. Tuesday was one of those nights where I wanted to make something wonderful for my family, but the time I had to complete it was very limited. I also wanted the flavors to be exciting and different from the ordinary. Do you get bored, cooking the same things, week after week? Me, too. I like to mix things up sometimes and make something to really “wake up” our taste buds. I’m the first to admit that unique and flavorful doesn’t usually happen in the time-crunch of preparing quick family meals, but that WAS what I wanted. That’s when I remembered the Kraft Recipe Makers in the pantry. I was fortunate enough to be selected to try them out at home, so I decided that this would definitely be the night. The only real problem was that I had purchased the Yankee Pot Roast Variety. Not only did I not have a pot roast, I had hamburger thawed for dinner. Hmmm…..A little creative license and voila! Something delicious, something simple, something different from the ordinary, Tuesday night fare –I decided to incorporate all those special seasonings and brown gravy in a meatloaf. Let’s just say, I MIGHT be a genius! Seriously, it was wonderful!
You get me, right? You’ve all felt the same as me, haven’t you? Wanting to create something new and different, without blowing the budget and in a limited amount of time, can’t be unique to me, alone. I think we all want to create meals that are nutritious, delicious and filled with the home-cooked love that creates warm and fun-filled memories around the dinner table. Some days, that’s an overwhelming task, with all the other jobs we have to juggle. Some days, we just need a little help. Wouldn’t it be nice to have everything you needed, just waiting on the shelf in the pantry, so you could create an appealing family meal, quickly, and with ease?
Herbs, spices and seasonings are the secret to elevating an easy meal into something special. Those ingredients can be costly, however, and they lose their potency if not used within 6 months to a year. I typically keep quite a few on hand and use them, often, but if you don’t use them regularly and understand all the ways they can be used, it might not make sense to purchase them individually. For instance, a small jar of cardamom or saffron, if you would only use it once, is incredibly expensive; and what a shame to have to throw out such gorgeous spices if they weren’t used up before they lost their “flavor power”. And even for me, it isn’t uncommon to start a recipe and find that I’m out of something. Kraft has a solution for those who want a well-seasoned dish, without the expense of individual seasonings and the time investment to run to the store for the ones that aren’t in your pantry collection. Kraft Recipe Makers, added to your choice of protein, will produce a deliciously-seasoned and satisfying main dish that has the traditional flavor of slow-simmered, love- and herb-infused recipes. You supply the love and let Recipe Makers develop the flavor, either in your crock pot, on your stove top or in the oven.
Kraft Recipe Makers come in a variety of flavors: New England Pot Roast, Chicken Cacciatore, Chicken Bruschetta Tacos, Asian Fish Tacos, Hickory BBQ-Beef, Tex-Mex Chicken Fajita, Three Cheese Chicken Florentine, Sweet and Sour Chicken and Verde Chicken Enchiladas. Each variety contains a simmer sauce and a finishing sauce which busy cooks looking to create flavorful, appealing meals for their families, can use to “dress up” their own fresh meat and produce. Recipe Makers reduce prep time and help to get dinner on the table quickly, whether you’ve allowed it to cook in the crock pot all day, while you were working; or decide to whip it up quickly on the stove top or in the oven. There is a flavor profile to manage any craving and I’m delighted to say after using the New England Pot Roast variety, in a rather unconventional way, on Tuesday night, that we enjoyed something new and delicious thanks to Kraft Recipe Makers AND I will definitely be trying some of their other varieties.
- 1 box Kraft Recipe Makers, Yankee Pot Roast variety
- 2 lbs. ground beef
- Remove the sauce and gravy packets from the Kraft Recipe Makers box. Set aside the gravy, for now.
- Add the bottle of sauce to the hamburger, in a large bowl and mix to be sure it is thoroughly combined.
- Divide your seasoned meat into six equal portions and shape them into elongated ovals - little, mini meatloaves. (You could just as easily make one large meatloaf, but there's something "elegant" about individual entrees. Plus, the small ones cook a little faster.)
- Place the mini meatloaves in a cast iron skillet and sear them on all sides, using your stove top.
- Once they are browned on all sides, pop them in a 350 degree oven.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until meatloaf is done all the way through.
- Divide the contents of the gravy packet, evenly, over the tops of the six meatloaves and return to the oven for 5 minutes to heat the gravy. (This is the only part of my recipe that I think I will be changing up. Next time, I will heat the gravy in a sauce pan on the stove and spoon it over the meatloaves as they are served, as it got just a little too thick, heating in the oven. Plus, the wonderful dripping and pooling of gravy around the meatloaf on the plate is a better presentation.)
- Serve with your favorite side dishes and veggies.
So, what’s for dinner? Is it flavor-packed and “calling” out to your family with its delicious aroma, to come gather around the dinner table and make some memories? It doesn’t take much time and it doesn’t have to cost a lot to do it. For more information and tasty recipe ideas, check out Kraft’s Facebook page or their Recipe Makers page.