Dependable Barefoot Contessa: Turkey Meatloaf & "Outrageous Brownies"
Birthday gifts are often a challenging question. Some people have everything, some people don't want anything, and some people are just too busy to enjoy things given to them. And of course, you can always be completely off and buy a gift that will be trapped deep inside a dark closet only to see daylight for a Goodwill donation.
But everyone eats. No one dislikes having something delicious to eat, especially when it's cooked by someone else. Whether inviting someone over for a meal made specially for their special date, or baking a beautiful batch of goodies to be packed up in quaint little ribbon draped parcels, it's good to know that the gift is being enjoyed and will be enjoyed for days to come.
It is more time consuming and messy but definitely worth it, I think for the giftee and the gifter both.
It was recently my brother's birthday. He is finishing up grad school and quite busy as his thesis is due this fall amongst other scholarly obligations. At first I spotted a cool artsy book that I wanted to get him but does he really need another book right now? Well, it was a picture book but still. Plus I think the Marcella Hazan cookbook I gave him some time ago is collecting dust at his place.
So I went for something more practical and convenient for his schedule and made him a batch of food. I made Barefoot Contessa's Turkey Meatloaf but baked it in little individual balls. Each one was wrapped separately in foil, and half were frozen. The frozen ones should last a few months which is great when you get busy because you can just pop one out of the freezer, defrost it overnight, and heat it up. Perfect for on the go. He only took half the batch which means I have on the go meals too. Yay! I had the turkey meatloaf slathered with HP sauce and Louisiana hot sauce with rice and it made an awesome lunch.
My brother also really likes brownies. I discovered this not only when he requested brownies for his South Pole departure party, but when he dropped off bags of food from his pantry before he left for the Pole, which included a box of brownie mix. So with another Barefoot Contessa recipe, I baked a batch of "Outrageous Brownies". Oh my god, this was so delicious. I cut back on the sugar by more than half and I liked the not-too-sweet results. Nicely dense but also pleasantly cakey, it was perfectly chocolately without giving a sugar attack.
I haven't spoken to my brother since his birthday but I'll assume he enjoyed the food. 'Cause I certainly did! :D