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Meal Planning Help; Meal 1
By Monica Resinger

It's nice when I find a meal where the foods compliment each other because it 
simplifies my life by knowing what to serve with what. Of course I don't have 
to stick to any one meal plan; I can mix and match the main dishes and sides, 
but a lot of the time I'm in a hurry and don't have a lot of time to think 
about it. I already have quite a few meals like this up my sleeve, but when I 
find a NEW one to add to my collection I get happy because it adds a little 
more variety to our meal choices.

I'd like to share some of my new and old meal plans with you in hopes of 
helping you with the question `what do I make for dinner'. Here's a meal that 
we have tried lately where the foods complimented each other really well. The 
food items aren't necessarily new for us, but the flavors are and that makes a 
big difference.

The Meal:

~ Honey Barbecue Meatloaf
~ Ranch Mashed Potatoes
~ Your choice of vegetable (I just heat up a can of green beans or corn)
~ Apple Cinnamon Muffins with Honey Cinnamon Butter

Make Ahead Tips: You can make the Honey Cinnamon Butter ahead of time and 
refrigerate until serving. You can also prepare the meat loaf and refrigerate 
it before baking.

The Recipes:

Honey Barbecue Meat Loaf 

I'm not usually a meat loaf eater but I love this one and the family does too.

1 envelope dry onion soup mix 
1 egg 
1/2 cup oats -- quick cooking 
1/3 cup barbecue sauce -- honey flavored 
1/4 cup chopped onion 
2 tablespoons brown sugar 
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 
1 tablespoon mustard -- prepared 
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/4 teaspoon pepper 
1/4 teaspoon chili powder 
1 pound ground beef 

In a large bowl, stir together soup mix, egg, oats, barbecue sauce, onion, 
brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, garlic powder, salt, pepper and 
chili powder. Add beef and mix well. Press into an ungreased 8-in. x 4-in. x 
2-in. loaf pan. Bake at 350* for 1 hour. Top with ketchup. Bake 5-10 minutes 
longer or until meat is no longer pink and a meat thermometer reads 160*. Let 
stand 10 minutes before serving.

Ranch Mashed Potatoes 

Make mashed potatoes as you usually do but omit the butter and add ranch 
dressing and cream cheese to taste along with less milk than usual. Top with 
grated cheddar cheese.

Apple Cinnamon Muffins 

My kids love these (so do I) and there's never any leftovers because of this. 
We also make them for breakfast. Be sure to try them with `Honey Cinnamon 
Butter' (recipe follows).

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
1/2 cup sugar 
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
1 egg 
1/2 cup milk 
3 tablespoons vegetable oil 
3 tablespoons applesauce 
1 medium tart apple -- peeled & grated


1/4 cup packed brown sugar 
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour 
2 tablespoons butter or margarine -- cold 
1/2-cup oatmeal -- old fashioned

In a bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Add the egg, milk, oil and 
applesauce and stir until just moistened. Fold in apple. Fill greased or 
paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. For topping, combine brown sugar and 
flour. Cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in oats. Sprinkle over muffins. Bake 
at 400* for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 
minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Serve warm with Honey Cinnamon 
Butter (recipe follows). Yield: 1 dozen.

Honey Cinnamon Butter 

1 cup butter or margarine, softened 
1/2 cup honey 
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl; beat until smooth. Serve with 
muffins, toast, bagels, French toast or pancakes. Refrigerate any leftovers. 
Yield: 1 1/3 cups.

In the meantime, keep your eyes open for Meal Two.

Monica is the founder Homemaker's Journal E-publications, the growing home of 
many fun and informative home and garden e-books, tip sheets, articles and 
Get a FREE Slowcooker Recipe E-book when you subscribe to Monica's FREE e-zine 
for homemakers!? To subscribe and receive instructions for picking up your FREE 
e-book, just send a blank e-mail to:? [EMAIL PROTECTED]
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