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Dine-In: Meatloaf and Meaningful Conversation

Miniature Meat LoavesIf you’ve made plans for your family to stay home tonight and enjoy a little time together away from the rush of the real world, the family dinner table is a great place for meaningful, yet still relaxed, conversation.

But sometimes (with two teenage boys), I need help to get the conversation past “yes” or “no” answers! I don’t want to force anyone into a conversation, but I’ve learned that if I can indirectly get the talking flowing, then everything else seems to ease into place naturally.

Along with a yummy miniature meatloaf recipe for your Dine-In Friday night, here are a few questions and ideas to help your slow time flow even better:

Tell us one thing that happened today that made you feel silly (happy, loved, smart, etc.).

Tell us one thing that really happened to you today, and make up another thing that did not really happen. Let us guess which one is true.

Do you have a hero? Mine is…because…

One thing I want to learn to do that I can’t do now is…

What is the very first thing you can remember about your life?

If you could have picked your own name, what would it be? Why?

God made each of us with our own special gifts and talents. What do you think is one of your gifts or talents? Let each family member also share about the other family members.

People always talk about being “successful.” What do you want in life to feel like you are a success?

Would you rather be a professional athlete, president of your country, or a movie star? Why?

Do you have a best friend? What do you like about him or her?

Miniature Meat Loaves
Serves 6

1 Tbs olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 cup chopped green pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 tbs tomato paste
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1/2 cup plain dry bread crumbs
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup ketchup

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Heat the olive oil in a medium sauté pan. Add the onions, green pepper, salt and pepper and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onions are softened. Remove the pan from the heat, and add the Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste. Allow to cool slightly. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, onion and green pepper mixture, bread crumbs, and eggs, and mix by hand until the ingredients are well distributed. Place foil liners into a 12-cup muffin pan and shape individual portions of meatloaf to fit each muffin cup. Spread about a tablespoon of ketchup on the top of each portion. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the internal temperature is 155-160°. And the meatloaves are cooked through. Serve hot.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 293, Total Fat: 11.2 g, Saturated Fat: 3.6 g, Sodium 776 mg, Carbohydrates 9.4 g, Protein: 37.4 g

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