Friday, April 29, 2011

Comfort Cake

Posted by Donna:

I call this my comfort cake because that's the way it makes me feel when I want a treat, but not spend a lot of time making it. I've always just loved a white cake mix with "from scratch" chocolate frosting. Last weekend, we were visiting my brother and his wife, and Sharyn and I were talking about how we loved white birthday cakes. I couldn't wait to get home and make one.

Comfort Cake

Your favorite white cake mix prepared according to the package directions.

After your cake has cooled, frost with the recipe below.

Bring to a boil:

3 T. cocoa
1 stick butter
7 T. milk

After the above ingredients start boiling, remove from the heat and pour into a medium sized mixing bowl.


1 lb. powdered sugar,sifted (Sometimes it takes a little more powdered sugar and sometimes a little less---just enough to spreading consistency.)
1 tsp. vanilla

Spread on cake.

I hate to admit it, but I ate two and a half pieces of this last night with a glass of milk. But, I will have to say, I felt quite comforted after doing so!

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Grilled Chicken Salad

Posted by Lori:

Tonight we had Grilled Chicken Salad for supper.  For some reason when I woke up this morning, that is what popped into my mind. 

Do you ever have found memories of a food and it takes you back to a certain time that really didn't have anything to do with the food itself but your relate it to that?  That's what Grilled Chicken Salad does for me.

Almost 10 years ago we lost a baby.  A sweet little boy.  Caleb was stillborn.  The weekend before we lost him, we knew there might be something wrong.  (To read my devotional blog post about Caleb, click here.)

Our friends (he was also our preacher) invited us to their house to eat on a Saturday night.  They knew about the possibility of something being wrong with the baby and they wanted to help our family. They served delicious Grilled Chicken Salad. I had ordered salads like that at restaurants, but never made it at home.  Of course the grilled chicken was good, but the homemade Hidden Valley Ranch dressing made it even better! It was simply served with a few types of lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese.  Nothing fancy at all....and that's just how we served it tonight, too.

So, tonight as we ate around the table as a family, I mentioned the memory I have with the salad.  Of course none of the rest of my family remembers what we ate that Saturday night like I do.  My memory is tied to the friendship we shared and to what happened during the next week's time.  Just a few days after that we found out Caleb had died.  Actually it was probably that very Saturday night, according to the doctor's calculations.

Let me leave you with a thought today, instead of a typical recipe:  Never underestimate the power of food when added with friendship and love.  For you, you may simply be taking a dish to someone who is just getting home from the hospital, or for someone who has lost a loved one, or for someone who has had a baby.  It may not seem like a big deal.  But for the recipient, maybe you are creating a memory that will stay with them forever.  A memory of your friendship and caring and love.
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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff

Posted by Lori:

It's been a while since I've used my Crock Pot, which seems kind of strange.  I think it's because with baseball and softball games, changing schedules, and cancelations, I never know if or when we were going to be home to eat.  Now that the games have almost totally ended for a while, it's back to more home-cooked meals. 

This dish was one of my favorite kind of meals - quick to prepare and with few ingredients, but very, very good.  It seemed even better since today was a little bit cooler than the weather we've been having.

Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff
(As is usual with me, I doubled it for my family.  There is a little bit for left-overs. I would say the recipe below would serve 3 or 4.)

1 pounds beef stew meat
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 package dry onion soup mix

Pour all ingredients into Crock Pot.  Cook on low for 7 - 9 hours (I cooked it 7 hours.).  Serve over egg noodles. 
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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Chicken Cannelloni

Posted by Lori:

One of my families favorite places to eat in Oklahoma City is Zio's Italian Kitchen, where you will find Chicken Cannelloni on the menu.  It's delicious!  However, for salad, we prefer Olive Garden!  The salad in this photo is with Olive Garden's own Italian dressing.  It's YUMMY! :)

I've wanted to try duplicating it for quite some time, but never was sure about what noodles they used.  I can't seem to find cannelloni noodles in our area of the world. Finally, a few weeks ago, I saw an add about egg roll wrappers being used for Cannelloni.  I decided to try it and it was a huge success!  All of the kids were really impressed with the dish.  I made it on a night when my husband wasn't going to be home because he doesn't like Alfredo-type sauce (he doesn't know what he's missing!).  I tried a bite myself, but not much (staying away from flour).  I could have eaten a lot of it, though!
I made two 9 x 13 casserole dishes, but I've divided it to make only one for this post.

For one 9 x 13 casserole pan, you will need:
1 pound of shredded Mozzarella cheese and 1 package of egg roll wrappers plus what is listed below in recipe directions.

2 1/2 cups (about 1 1/4 pound) of cooked, finely diced or shredded chicken
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon (or to taste) salt
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning

Mix together in small bowl and set aside.

Alfredo sauce:
2 - 1/2 pound sticks of real butter (can use only one, if desired)

1 cup heavy whipping cream
5 ounces real Parmesan cheese (Walmart brand doesn't seem to melt well.)
1 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder

Combine butter and whipping cream in saucepan. Cook over low heat until butter melts. Stir in cheese and continue stirring until melted.  Add garlic powder.  Keep warm.

Spread a thin layer of Alfredo sauce over bottom of casserole dish (I didn't do this, but should have!).
Spread a spoonful of sauce down middle of egg roll wrapper, followed by chicken mixture. (I filled the first few too full, so less than what this is.)
Top with shredded Mozzarella cheese.
Roll up jelly-roll style and place seam-side down in casserole dish.
(I had 5 Cannelloni per row.  You may get more.)
Pour a generous amount of Alfredo sauce over cannelloni (I would use all of it or serve it on the side for those who prefer more.) Top with shredded Mozzarella.
Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until cheese melts.  This is still good reheated for leftovers, but the Alfredo sauce doesn't stay the same.  The butter separates.  My kiddos didn't seem to mind!
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Monday, April 25, 2011

Carrot Salad

Posted by Donna:

At a recent fellowship meal at our church, one of the ladies made this salad. It's really very good. I'm glad she made it---just to remind me to start making it again. These old recipes are hard to beat.

Carrot Salad

1 small onion, chopped (I prefer purple onion---the amount of onion can be suited to the individual. I'm usually prone not to put as much as recipes call for.)
1 green pepper, chopped
1 can tomato soup
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup vinegar
1 tsp. dry mustard
pepper to taste
salt (opt.)
2 lb. carrots, sliced, cooked, and cooled

Combine all the ingredients, except the carrots in a saucepan.
Bring to a boil.
Add the cooked and cooled carrots, mixing well.

Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Enjoy. Pin It Now!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Fabric Carrot Candy Cones

Posted by Lori:

Kimberly made these cute fabric carrot candy holders last year for everyone at Easter.  She said she had a pattern for them, but I found a tutorial that would work for the fabric cone shape.  Here is the link:

To finish the carrot candy cones, slit the top of the fabric down to where you want to tie off your carrot.  Insert desired candy into cone and tie off with ribbon.  So cute! 

Happy Easter, everyone!

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Caramel Pecan Homemade Ice Cream

Posted by Lori:

I got this recipe from my friend Carol.  Oh, and this sounds super-good!  I really like caramel and haven't ever made any other homemade ice cream except vanilla, so I think this one would be a great one to try first!!

Thanks, Carol!

Caramel Pecan Homemade Ice Cream

2T Butter
1c. pecans
1/2 c. sugar

Combine and cook in 8" heavy skillet on med heat stir constant until sugar melts and turn golden brown. Turn out on wax paper - let cool and break in small clusters.

1qt. Half-n-Half
1 c. brown sugar
2 (12 oz) jars caramel ice cream topping
1 T. vanilla
1 qt. whipping cream

Combine Half-n-Half, brown sugar and vanilla. Mix well. Stir in whipping cream and pecan clusters.
Pour in 1 gallon freezer and freeze according to directions.

Pack and let rippen for 1 hour.

Can be made ahead of time and stored in freezer til served. It does not get hard and icy - it just gets better!
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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Honey Lime Glazed Salmon

Posted by Lori:

This recipe was sent to me by my brother-in-law and sister-in-law, who are both excellent cooks!
Thanks, Ken & Michelle!

Honey Lime Glazed Salmon

1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons finely grated lime peel
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro plus additional for sprinkling
4 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup sliced shallots (about 3 large)
1 1/2 cups basmati rice (9 to 10 ounces)
3 1/4 cups (or more) low-salt chicken broth
4 5-to 6-ounce skinless salmon fillets
1 bunch broccolini, bottom inch trimmed, stalks separated if necessary

Preheat oven to 450°F. Whisk lime juice, lime peel, honey, 2 tablespoons cilantro, and soy sauce in small bowl; set aside. Heat oil in large deep ovenproof skillet or casserole (with lid) over medium-high heat. Add shallots and sauté until beginning to soften and brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in rice, then 3 1/4 cups broth; bring to boil. Cover skillet tightly with lid; place in oven and bake 10 minutes (rice will be almost cooked through and most of broth will be absorbed; mix in more broth by 1/4 cupfuls if dry).

Remove skillet from oven. Sprinkle rice lightly with salt. Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper and arrange on rice, pressing in lightly. Tuck broccolini in around fish, with stems anchored in rice. Spoon 1 tablespoon lime mixture over each salmon fillet. Cover skillet tightly and return to oven; bake until salmon is just opaque in center and broccolini is crisp-tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
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Monday, April 18, 2011

Apple Bars

Posted by Lori:

Here's another great recipe to share with you.  I can't wait to try all of these new recipes!  This one sound really good, and it's a health food since it has apples in it, right??? :)

Thanks, Nancy!

Apple Bars

3 eggs
2/3 cup brown sugar
Yellow cake mix
1 T butter or oleo
1 can apple pie filling
2 T flour
1 T cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350º.

In large mixing bowl, beat eggs well. Add cake mix, mixing well. Add pie filling and stir in with large spoon or spatula. Pour in lightly greased (I use cooking spray) jelly roll pan.

Mix brown sugar, butter, flour and cinnamon until like fine meal. Sprinkle over top of cake. Bake at 350º for 20 to 25 minutes.

When cool, drizzle with frosting. (I heat about 2/3 cup cream cheese frosting in the microwave and drizzle it over the cake or use powdered sugar and milk to make glaze.)
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Creamy Lemon Pie (Weight Watchers)

Posted by Lori:

Yesterday afternoon I put out a plea to my Facebook friends for recipes to post.  I was pleased to get three new recipes to share with all of you.  Here's the first one....a Weight Watchers, low-fat lemon dessert.

Creamy Lemon Pie

6 whole reduced-fat cinnamon graham crackers
2 tablespoon butter
11 ounce fat-free sweetened condensed milk
2 large eggs
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
Preheat oven to 350.

Grind graham crackers in a food processor until find crumbs form or place in plastic bag and crush with rolling pin. Place crumbs in a small bowl.

Melt butter on stovetop and pour over graham cracker crumbs, mixing with a fork until completely moistened. Press crumbs evenly onto bottom of a 9 inch pie pan and place in refrigerator while preparing lemon filling.

In medium bowl, combine condensed milk and eggs; mix until smooth. Add lemon juice and zest; stir until incorporated and pour into prepared crust.

Bake pie for 15 minutes. Cool completely and for best flavor serve chilled. 10 servings at 4 points per serving. Pin It Now!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cherry Cobbler

Posted by Donna:

One of the ladies from church where my daughter and her family attend has the reputation of making the best pies. Lori is always commenting on the pies she makes for their gospel meetings. I've never eaten one of her pies, but I've eaten her cherry cobbler---and it is wonderful. She was sweet enough to share her recipe---which I'm sharing with you today. I made the cobbler today and it's sooooo good.

Cherry Cobbler


3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups Crisco---I used the Butter flavored
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup water ( The recipe calls for 2/3 to 3/4 cups water. I only had to use just a little shy of 2/3 cup.)

This makes enough for the top and bottom crusts.

Fruit Filling:

4 cups drained cherries (I used the Oregon brand red pitted cherries)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup flour

After putting the bottom crust in a 9 x 13 pan or dish, mix the flour and sugar together; then add the drained cherries. Mix well and pour into the bottom crust.

Add the top crust and sprinkle extra sugar on top of it. I did a lattice top.

Bake the cobbler for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

This is a fail-proof recipe. Sometimes we cooks will make the same recipe that someone else has made and it won't turn out like theirs; but, this one does. The only way it could be any better is by putting vanilla ice cream on top. Which reminds me----I may need to make a run to Braum's!!!!! Pin It Now!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Quick and Easy Cookies

Posted by Lori:

My daughter just made these because I was looking for a quick treat to post.  I was a little skeptical about them, but they turned out perfect and tasted great!  The only problem is they aren't pretty at all (not that it matters).  If you were wanting them to look pretty, roll them into balls and then roll them in powdered sugar and flatten slightly before baking. 

It's a great way to use up left-over Cool Whip - which is what she did!

I found this recipe at

Quick and Easy Cookies

1 boxed cake mix (she used German chocolate)
2 cups Cool Whip (she used generic brand whipped topping)
1 egg

In large bowl, mix together ingredients until well blended (My daughter used an electric mixer.) Drop by spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet.  Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Spring Surprise

Posted by Lori....Created by Lauren:
My daughter made up this delicious drink for she and two of her brothers tonight.  When another brother and I got home from a ballgame we got a little bit, too.  It was great! (I don't think my husband tried it.  She made him nachos, though)

I asked her if she knew what she had done to it.  Here is what she estimates:

2 quart pitcher
Long spoon

1/2 cup peach yogurt
pink lemonade drink mix - fill lid of mix to the 2 quart line
fruit punch drink mix - fill lid of mix to the 1 quart line
4- 5 cups orange juice
Fill the rest of the pitcher with cold water

Stir well.  Refrigerate for 15 minutes.  Serve over ice, if desired.

A funny thing is that I looked at beverage recipes this afternoon, thinking about making one to post for tonight.  She must have read my mind and also known that I wouldn't get home until 8:15 p.m.! It was such a good tasting creation and and a very pretty color, too!
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Monday, April 11, 2011

Bacon Cheese Muffins

(Another picture turned sideways by Blogger!  What's the deal??)
Posted by Lori:

I have had this recipe out on the counter for many weeks - thinking I would make them for the kids.  One of them finally asked, "Are you ever going to make that recipe?"  I think they were looking forward to me trying them!

Saturday I finally had the opportunity (and the desire) to make them for breakfast.  Probably because it was a late weekend breakfast instead of an early-morning-before-school breakfast.  The muffins were a big hit with everyone!
Bacon Cheese Muffins (recipe from Jean Childress' Country Kitchen Muffin Cookbook)

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup diced, well fried bacon, crumbled (I used Hormel already cooked bacon, so was able to just cut it up for the recipe.  So easy!)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Sift dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.  In a separate bowl, blend egg, milk and butter.  Add to dry ingredients.  Fold in cheese and bacon.  Turn into greased muffin tin.  Bake 20-25 minutes 

*Fill muffin cups 2/3 full.  If there is not enough batter to fill every muffin cup, put a little water in the empty cups to protect the pans and to keep the muffins moist (This recipe made 13 muffins when I made them.)

This post is linked to Tasty Tuesday.
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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Burned Biscuits

Posted by Donna:

About two or three weeks ago, I received this e-mail from one of my aunts. I ran it off because I wanted to share it with everyone at the beginning of a new week. It's a great reading for building our character. No it's not a new biscuit recipe, but it is a recipe for positive attitudes. This e-mail is one of my favorites. Hopefully, it will become one of yours.

The Burned Biscuits

When I was a kid, my mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then. And I remember one night in particular, she had made breakfast after a long, hard day at work. On that evening so long ago, my mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage and extremely burned biscuits in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed! Yet all my dad did was reach for his biscuit, smile at my mom and ask me how my day was at school. I don't remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that ugly burned biscuit. He ate every bite of that thing...never made a face nor uttered a word about it.

When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my mom apologize to my dad for burning the biscuits. I'll never forget what he said. "Honey, I love burned biscuits every now and then."

Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy goodnight, and I asked him if he really liked his biscuits burned. He wrapped me in his arms and said, "Your momma put in a hard day at work today and she's really tired. And besides, a little burned biscuit never hurt anyone."

As I've grown older, I've thought about that many times. Life is full of imperfect things and imperfect people. I'm not the best at hardly anything, and I forget birthdays and anniversaries just like everyone else. But, what I've learned over the years is that besides learning to accept each other's faults and choosing to celebrate each other's differences---- communicating is one of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing, and lasting relationship.

That's my prayer for you today....that you will learn to take the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of your life and lay them at the feet of God. Because in the end, He's the only One who will be able to give you a relationship where a burned biscuit isn't a deal-breaker.

We could extend this to any relationship. In fact, understanding is the base of any relationship, be it a husband-wife or parent-child or friendship. "Don't put the key to your happiness in someone else's pocket--keep it in your own."

So, please pass me a biscuit, and yes, the burned one will do just fine. Pin It Now!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Leftover Meatloaf Stacks

Posted by Lori:

Here is an idea for leftover meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and peas.  Stack them up on mini pizza pans.  Cover with foil.  Bake at 350 degrees until heated thouroughly.  I thought they were kind of cute and they were certainly good ways to use up leftovers without using lots of storage containers. 
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Cookie Cutter Storage Idea

Posted by Lori:

I have lots and lots of cookie cutters.  Plastic and metal, big and little.  They were stored in Wal-Mart sacks - four of them - taking up lots of space in my cabinets.  (One of the Wal-Mart sacks was the old blue kind, so I had had that one for a while!)

After getting a Wal-Mart gift card for my birthday, I thought about the big glass jars they have, but they were out of stock the first time I looked.  A few days ago when I went, they had restocked, so I got one for my plastic cookie cutters.  I like it!  Now I just need another one for my metal ones.  It's nice to have extra space in the cabinets and these big jars can be stored out on the counter top or up on a shelf.

Do you have any clever cookie cutter storage ideas for me?  If so, I'd love to hear about them!

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Fake Spaghetti and Malt Balls

Posted by Lori:

I wrote at the end of March about some April Fool's Day ideas.  Here is another one:  Fake Spaghetti and Malt Balls.  I got this recipe from Family Fun and if you'll click on the underlined link it will take you directly to their site.  My version of the recipe is listed below.  There is also a fake garlic bread below.

This "fake meal" recipe turned out so cute and my kids were excited!  Unfortunately, the only meal they were going to be home for that day was breakfast, so that's when they had it.  Our school has a free breakfast program, so I thought they could just eat some protein there - until we saw that donuts were on the menu!  Quickly I cooked some bacon and gave them peanut butter and crackers.  Not the "breakfast of champions" that day, but it sure was lots of fun!

Fake Spaghetti and Malt Balls

Store-bought pound  cake
Store-bought vanilla frosting (I added a few tablespoons of powdered sugar to thicken.)
Strawberry ice cream sauce
Chocolate malt balls (I used Whoppers candy)
Green sprinkles
White chocolate chips
Store-bought Angel Food Loaf Cake
Family Fun suggests these items, as well:  coconut, lady fingers,
Place a half a slice of pound cake in the center of a plate. (I used a small dessert-type plate.) Spoon the frosting into a decorating tube fitted with a large, circular tip (my tip was really too small, but it worked.) and pipe it in a looping fashion around the sides of the cake - do not frost the top.

Spoon strawberry ice cream sauce on top of cake to cover. Drizzle a little over portions of the spaghetti as well. Place the Whoppers or malt balls on top of the "sauce."

Fake Garlic Bread

Slice Angel Food Loaf Cake into one inches slices, then in half.  Broil under broiler to toast.  (Could turn and repeat on other side.  Melt white chocolate chips in microwave until soft.  Stir chips until smooth and spread onto toasted Angel Food slices.  Top with green sprinkles.  Serve on plate with spaghetti.

I had neat mint-flavored sprinkles that were green and white.  I picked out the green and used for this.  I could have used the white on the spaghetti sauce, but didn't. 

Be sure to read Family Fun's version.  There are a few differences.  I just used what I could get or had on hand.   You could use all Angel Food Loaf Cake, but I got both to make sure I had plenty for all four of my kiddos.

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Monday, April 4, 2011

Broccoli Fettuccine

Posted by Donna:

I actually got this recipe from Kimberly several years ago, but I don't think she ever posted it. If so, forgive me. I got hooked on it for a while and made it at least every two weeks.


1 lb. fettuccine

Boil five minutes, then add:

4 cups broccoli

Cook 5 more minutes.

Drain the liquid from the broccoli and pasta.

In a medium sized skillet cook:

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup butter

1/2 - 1 tsp. minced garlic

Pinch of red pepper flakes

Saute' the above ingredients for 1-2 minutes.

Pour in 1/2 cup grated Parmesan. Mix well.

Add to the broccoli and pasta mixture.

This makes a lot. It also heats up very well, also.

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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Rolled and Stuffed Italian Meat Loaf

I mentioned this recipe last week, when I posted a few Italian foods.  This was a mixture of a few recipes and after adding other ingredients it turned into an Italian-style rolled meat loaf.  It was very good, though I don't like meatloaf much at all.  My family liked it and that's what mattered!
In large mixing bowl, combine:
2 1/2 pounds ground beef
2 eggs
1 package thick and zesty spaghetti sauce mix (a powder)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 cup Mozzerella cheese, shredded
Line sheet cake pan with waxed paper.  Pat meat mixture into pan.
Top with 1 - 1 1/2 cups shredded Mozzerella cheese.
Top with desired amount of pepperoni.
 Top with desired amount of Canadian bacon.
 Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, as desired.
Carefully begin to roll meatloaf mixture, beginning with smaller end.
Use waxed paper to help with rolling.
 Continue until entire meat layers are rolled.
It was a little harder than I thought it would be because of the thickness of the extra ingredients. 
We're almost done!
Yippee!  That way hard (not really)!! :)
Seal edges to prevent extra toppings from escaping!
Bake for 75 minutes at 350 degrees.
You can tell mine split.  I'm not sure why.  Maybe the meat wasn't even in that spot?  Maybe too thick in that
area?  At that point, I used two large spatualas and transferred the meat to a casserole dish.  This got rid of the excess fat.
Cover meat loaf roll with a bottle of pizza sauce.  See?  It covered up the split!  No problem at all!
Bake 15 more minutes at 350 degrees.  Remove from oven.  Allow to sit out for about 10 minutes before serving to help keep roll "rolled" :).  Enjoy!
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