Stuffed Roasted Vegetable and Cheese Meatloaf with Balsamic Glaze Happiness

Full disclosure, when I was a kid I hated meatloaf.  Hated.  I may have even asked what was for dinner, learned that it was meatloaf, and subsequently called every friend I knew to get “invited” to dinner at their house.  My mom is an amazing cook.  I loved almost everything that she served.  Meatloaf was not one of them.  I hated the dryness and lack of flavor. I really hated the thick goopy ketchup on top.

You may be wondering why I decided to give meatloaf another go after a history like that.  Jonathan and I recently had dinner at a friends house where they served stuffed meatloaf.  It was delicious!  It gave me a whole new vision about what meatloaf could be.  I searched today for a recipe similar to what she created but came up empty.  So, I made up my own version.  We just finished eating and it didn’t even last long enough for me to take pictures.  Maybe next time 🙂

I stuffed my meatloaf with diced carrots, onion, garlic, mushrooms and parmesan.  Other than that, the meatloaf is pretty “normal” with the addition of balsamic vinegar.  I think that you could use any veggies that you have on hand (squash, zucchini, etc.) and the result would be equally yummy.

The following is my version of stuffed meatloaf for 2.


  • 1.5 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 diced carrot
  • 2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup diced baby bella mushrooms
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (divided)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg
  • 1 lb of ground chuck
  • 1/4 tsp tarragon
  • 1/2 tsp parsley
  • 1/2 cup panko crumbs (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup ketchup (divided)
  • 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (divided)


  • Preheat oven to 425*
  • Heat oil in skillet over medium high heat.  Add carrots, onion, garlic, mushrooms, 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper, salt, pepper and cook until almost soft (5- 8 min).  Set aside to cool.
  • Whisk together herbs and egg in a large bowl. Add meat, panko crumbs, 1/2 of cheese, 1/2 of ketchup, 1/2 of balsamic vinegar and mix until just combined.
  • On a lined baking sheet, mold meat into a “boat” shape with the center hollow.  Mix remaining cheese and vegetable mix together.  Put this mixture in the center of the hollow boat.  Shape the meat up, over the vegetable mixture so that the mixture is enclosed and mold into a meat loaf “roll” shape.    Bake the meat loaf for 1 hour.
  • Whisk together remaining ketchup, crushed red pepper and balsamic vinegar.  Brush over meatloaf and bake 15 more minutes.  Slice and serve!


Jonathan is a big fan of gravy so I added some prepared beef gravy to the table for him.  This is so not the meatloaf of my childhood.  It is cheesy, flavorful and delicious.

This is meatloaf happiness.


Jewelry Cabinet Happiness


Have I mentioned how much I love LONG weekends?  I really, really do.  That boy I love always has some amazing project as a result of a 3 day weekend.  This particular project made me feel like a kid on Christmas morning.  It combined my love of organization and all things sparkly.

After seeing my before picture you may be doubting my love of organization.  This is not for a lack of wanting to be organized, but instead it is all about lack of space.  I was working with what I had.

The before (I’m cringing just revealing this one):

photo 1 copy


I mentioned this dilemma to Jonathan and the next thing I knew, we were wandering the isles of Home Depot picking up supplies for a solution.  For the next day, Jonathan worked his magic:

photo 1


That boy is a genius I tell you!

I had been finding some cute solutions to jewelry organization on Pinterest, but our wall space is precious and limited.  The cute finds were not going to work.  Jonathan settled on installing this gem behind the door in our closet.  I was determined not to lose the cheap mirror that came with our house and requested it be incorporated.   The original idea was to inset this jewelry cabinet in the wall so that it was flush with the wall.  After cutting into the wall, we learned that this was not an option…aren’t random air returns fun?  Drywall re-attached, the cabinet was hung behind the door.

photo 2

Hooray! I didn’t lose my mirror.

photo 3


This my friends was a moment of pure joy.  A blank canvas ready to be bling’d up.  Excitement.

photo 3 copy


That boy made it possible to include all of my necklaces and dangly earrings.  It is a thing of pure beauty.

And the jewelry drawer…well now I can actually find watches, earrings and bracelets.

photo 2 copy


If that doesn’t say happiness, I don’t know what does!

Pure genius that boy.