I’m a New Yorker. We don’t cook. We get our food delivered by a man who looks slightly annoyed that he had to climb four flights of stairs for a $5 tip. I have friends who use their ovens for storing their winter clothes. If we don’t have food delivered, we have thousands of restaurant options or even some mystery meat hot dog from a corner vendor.


I haven’t cooked in years, but I did last night and this is how it went:


First off, I wanted to see if I had any ingredients for the Cajun meatloaf recipe I had on hand. I only had two: salt and Tabasco sauce. My cupboards are barer than Old Mother Hubbard’s.


Then I remembered I only have one knife. I have three whisks for some reason, but only one knife. When I would watch Top Chef on Bravo, the loser would have to “pack their knives and go.” If I were on the show I would be packed lightly. At least I’d have room for a change of underwear in one of those sheaths. For this dish I didn’t need a fancy set of knives, but getting some fierce knives is a goal for the future.

After I took stock of what little I had, I set out to the grocery store with this ingredient list:

Seasoning Mix:
2 Bay Leaves
2 tsp salt (I have this one!)
1 tsp ground red cayenne pepper
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp white pepper (I did not know this existed)
1/2 tsp ground cumin (giggles)
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg (giggles more)
4 tbsp butter
1 medium onion, chopped (I would hope most people would chop the onion before putting it in the meatloaf)
2 tsp minced garlic (I assume to warn off vampires)
1 tbsp Tabasco sauce (I also have this one! #winning)
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (Does anyone know how to actually pronounce this word? Anyone?)
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup catsup (Who says CATSUP??? It’s ketchup grandpa, ketchup)
1 1/2 lbs Ground Beef
1/2 lb. Ground Pork
2 eggs, slightly beaten (Just slightly? What if I want to go HAM on em?)
1 cup dry bread crumbs (Are wet bread crumbs a thing?)

First off, only two bay leaves? What are they?  A couple? BAE leaves?


Spicy BAE leaves are in love
I love you too BAE leaf

Being in the grocery store was a fairly foreign experience. I had literally no idea where anything was. I was shopping with my friend David, who also doesn’t grocery shop much. We had a debate about whether something labeled “green peppers” were green bell peppers. I thought they were, because my mom used to make amazing stuffed bell peppers. I asked a lady shopping and she confirmed they were. She said that red bell peppers are just ripened green bell peppers and that the red ones are sweeter. I’m learning already!


Next, we were looking for onions and got into another debate about what is an onion and what’s not. Seriously, this grocery store needs to label things better. I asked another shopper to clarify what we were looking at (never go shopping with me, it can be terribly embarrassing). Turns out what we were looking at was a shallot. The lady said that shallots were sweeter than onions. More learning! She suggested we use those for the meatloaf, so we did. 

As a side I decided to make baked potatoes, so we picked up some toppings for that as well. $63 later we were done. Holy cow, when did cooking get so expensive?


After shopping we took a much needed break and went to have a few vodka tonics. Now that’s an easy recipe! Vodka + tonic + lime = DONE. That’s more my style.


Then came the big moment. I’m not going to lie, I was a bit nervous. First direction:

Combine the Seasoning Mix ingredients and set aside

That was easy! A little tedious with the measuring, but I survived the first step.

Melt the butter in a 1 quart sauce pan over medium heat. Add the onion (shallot now), bell pepper, garlic, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce and seasoning mix. Saute until mixture starts sticking. Stir occasionally.

Okay dude, that’s like eight things and how sticky do you want this to be? Am I making glue? Also, I love how specific “occasionally” is. When should I go into work, boss? “Occasionally.” Great.

Sticky vegetable base for meatloaf
How sticky do you want it?

Stir in milk and catsup (It’s ketchup, get with the times) cook about two minutes more.

I flubbed this one a bit. I had forgotten to check if I owned a can opener before I got the can of evaporated milk. I was sure that I did have one, though. After about ten minutes of searching, with my sauce getting stickier and stickier, I finally found it and was able to save the day.

Remove from heat and cool to room temperature

Easy peasy lemon squeezey!

Place ground meats in 13″×9″ baking pan. Add the eggs, cooked vegetable mixture, removing bay leaves and add bread crumbs.

First of all, I hope size doesn’t matter, because I don’t think think the pan is the right size. Secondly, I get to slightly beat the eggs! I’ve been looking forward to this part.
Thirdly, you want me to remove things? Should I try to take the bell pepper out too?
Egg about to be slightly beaten
Don’t worry egg, I’ll only beat you slightly

Mix by hand until combined. Shape mixture into a loaf that is 1 1/2 inches high, 6 inches wide,and 12 inches long.

This part was really gross, but a whole lot of fun. Now where did I put my measuring tape for those precise dimensions.

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25 minutes


Raise heat to 400 degrees and bake about 35 minutes longer

Holy hell, what is this, a Thanksgiving Turkey? Can’t I just microwave it?

Then came time for the baked potatoes. They were much easier. Apparently you have to stab them with a fork before cooking or they’ll explode. I want to test this sometime… in someone else’s kitchen though.


Thirty-five long, grueling minutes went by and it was time for the big moment. This giant hunk of meat wasn’t the prettiest but it sure did taste good! I’m glad, because I will have leftovers for days. 
Cajun meatloaf and baked potato
Check out that totally not photoshopped angelic glow coming off the meatloaf

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