What’s Cooking in Kelli’s Kitchen - Giving Thanks

  • 2022-11-25, 05:00 AM
  • Kelli Kelly
What’s Cooking in Kelli’s Kitchen - Giving Thanks

This week marks the American tradition of giving thanks. There is something so powerful about reflecting on all that we have, even if sometimes it doesn’t seem like much, and authentically expressing our gratitude. To do so requires that we are present in the moment, that we are human, and that we for a moment consider the many blessings that are normally taken for granted.
I am grateful for the abundance of friendships and meaningful relationships that I have in my life. I am grateful for my partner who is my best friend and the only human that I want to sit next to me every day. I am grateful for my family: my sister and her husband who made me a “Tia”; my moms who I often take for granted and who consistently demonstrate their love and commitment to me and everything that I take on; my pops who is likely reading this from Washington because of course he subscribes to a newspaper in which I have a column. I am grateful for the circle of strong women that I get to be a part of. Women who grow things, women who use those things to heal, women who lift each other up and dust each other off, and women who challenge me to be an even better me. 
I am grateful for the farmers that I get to work with every day. I am grateful to live in this community, a community filled with activities and events that bring us together, and with people who have big hearts and joyous spirits. I am grateful to have this little life that I have worked hard to build and that I am healthy enough (even sitting here with COVID) to enjoy living it.
This year, Neil and I decided to avoid the many steps involved with preparing a large meal for Thanksgiving. I don’t have to worry about buying ingredients, cleaning the kitchen, or timing the meal so that everything is ready at the perfect moment. We are staying in, just the two of us, and enjoying oysters and caviar delivered to the door. In hindsight, I am really glad that this is the route we chose as any plans to gather with friends would have been interrupted anyway. But we will still take a moment to sit in reflection and share our thankfulness with each other and the universe. Wherever and however, you are spending your thanksgiving, I hope that you take a few moments to do the same.
Enjoy this delicious take on meatloaf when you grow tired of leftover turkey.

Meatloaf Parmesan
(for Carol who loves meatloaf and not for Paula and Ashley)

1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
2 t salt
1 t black pepper
1 t red pepper flakes (reduce amount if you prefer it less spicy)
1 t crushed fennel seed
1 t nutmeg
1 c dried bread, cut in ½” cubes and soaked in 1 c milk
2 eggs, beaten
3 T chopped parsley
1 t dried oregano
1 c pitted green olives (I used the garlic-stuffed ones) chopped
2 c parmesan cheese (grated or shredded), divided
1 c provolone, diced
Bay leaves
1 jar arrabbiata pasta sauce (or sub your favorite red sauce)
4 slices provolone cheese
½ c breadcrumbs

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine beef, pork, salt, black pepper, red pepper, fennel, and nutmeg. Knead together with your hands until well combined.
2. Add soaked bread, eggs, oregano, parsley, olives, 1 c parmesan, and diced provolone. Mix again and knead to make sure that all ingredients are well distributed. Dump meat mixture into a 9x13” casserole dish and form into a loaf. Press bay leaves into the top of the loaf.
3. Spoon the pasta sauce over the top of the loaf, letting it spill down the sides. Sprinkle the loaf with remaining parmesan cheese and top with sliced provolone, then sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
4. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes then cover, reduce heat to 350 degrees, and cook for 45 more minutes (until the internal temperature is 150 degrees). Let rest for at least 10 minutes then slice and serve topped with a large spoonful of sauce.


Kelli Kelly



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