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Bacon cheddar meatloaf

My post today is about Jay’s famous meatloaf. This has special significance because it represents the first Thanksgiving that my now husband/then boyfriend and I spent together. We stayed with his Mom for several days and her friend Jay would come over and cook dinner most of those nights. He truly enjoyed preparing food for others and introduced me to chicken piccata and tomato bread. We all shared a most delicious Thanksgiving dinner (I was in charge of the instant gravy).🙋‍♀️

What stood out most from that week though was his bacon wrapped cheesy meatloaf. I mean…I didn’t even know you could do that. It was just so WOW! Elevated comfort food.😍 Second helpings are a must and once everyone goes to bed you sneak back in the kitchen for thirds and fourths. Someone might open the covered casserole dish the next day and wonder aloud “I thought there was more than this leftover from last night?” You just go about your business and don’t say a word.🤫 

Sadly, Jay is no longer with us. However, his stories and food memories live on. I have wanted to try to replicate that bacon meatloaf for a long time. I made a more traditional meatloaf once prior and it was lackluster. I unwittingly baked it in a loaf pan so it turned out soggy and meh.😕 I suddenly decided that this will be the week to try the fancy version. I sourced the basic ingredients from the store that I thought it would require since I don’t have a recipe. 

I googled bacon cheddar meatloaf and ultimately landed on a recipe via Pinterest that fit both my vision and didn’t seem overly complicated. I think Jay wrapped whole pieces of bacon around the loaf but I liked the idea of crumbles within the meatloaf so you get little bacon bits in each bite.🥓 The actual recipe can be found on It turned out perfect!👌

I feel compelled to mention that Pinterest recipes can be very hit or miss for me. I frequently experience either soaring wins or epic fails. There is usually no in between. In fact, I often refer to it as cooking and gambling with 50/50 odds that your dish will look like the picture and/or taste good. Seriously, some recipes end up in my tried and true file while others are deemed tricked and trashed. But hey, it’s all part of the fun. Live and learn and whatnot. 🤷‍♀️

However, this meatloaf was spot on! As further testament, I called my mother in law who lives nearby and insisted that she come over immediately and taste it hot out of the oven. She took one bite and said that it was delicious!👍👍 My two year old even approved and she’s a bit iffy when it comes to meat. 👧✅ 

Thus, bacon cheddar meatloaf will definitely be a repeat. This recipe has great flavor, texture, simple ingredients and a method that is easy to follow. So, thanks to Jay for the kitchen inspiration and Karen Shungu for the recipe. It is seriously worth the time to look it up on her website and get all of the juicy tidbits. I’ve included my very abbreviated, slightly adapted version below for the sake of convenience. As a bonus, it’s even better the next day! ✌️💜🍴

Bacon Cheddar Meatloaf

You will need: 1.5 lb of ground sirloin, 4 slices of bacon, 1 small diced sweet onion, half a block of cubed medium cheddar cheese, 2 beaten eggs, 2 T of Worcestershire, 2/3 cup breadcrumbs, 1 tsp of salt. Glaze: 1/3 cup ketchup, 1 T of ranch 

To prepare: Pan fry bacon, drain, then crumble once cooled. Fry onion in bacon grease until soft (genius move). Mix together the beef, breadcrumbs, eggs, Worcestershire sauce and salt in a large bowl. Then gingerly incorporate the cheese, onion and bacon so as not to overwork the mixture. Form into a loaf and place on a broiler pan. I lined the base with foil for easy clean up. Bake at 375 degrees for 55 minutes. Meanwhile, stir the ketchup and ranch together (again, genius) and brush over the loaf after the 55 minutes are up. Then bake for an additional 10. Remove from oven and let rest for a few minutes (if you can stand it). Promptly devour! 🤤🍽😋

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Mood Ring Kitchen

I’m a self teaching home cook and aspiring foodie entrepreneur. I enjoy coming up with creative ways to prepare flavorful food such as snacks, desserts and everything in between. Cooking is a way for me to challenge myself and satisfy curiosities about different ingredients.

The hope is to produce something thoughtful, memorable or every once in a while maybe even wonderful. I enjoy following my “gut” and exploring new recipes that can be comforting, exciting and nourishing. Above all else, I enjoy exploring the emotions surrounding food and writing about those experiences. 😝👩‍🍳👩‍💻

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