Air Fried Mini Meatloaves

Here is an easy recipe for some comfort food goodness! Because #everythingsbetterwithbacon.

Note: I will be taking a break from new blog posts for the next couple of weeks, but I am going to repost a few of my most viewed recipes starting with this meatloaf recipe that I prepared again today. This recipe is still getting views daily, and has been viewed from a dozen different countries more than a year after the original post.

In fact, the original post is no longer available because while trying to “reblog” it, I accidentally deleted it, so I’m posting it all over again. 😖

Original Post – February 2019

Cook/Prep Time – about 2 hours

Servings – 2 – 4


  • 1 pound 80/20 ground chuck
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 large shallot
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 mini sweet pepper (any color)
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 3 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3 strips bacon (optional)

Add the panko and the milk to a mixing bowl and let them soak for a few minutes. Chop the shallot, pepper, garlic and rosemary finely. Add the salt, black pepper, egg and 1 1/2 tbsp ketchup to the mixture. Add the ground chuck and gently blend with the panko mixture. Do not over mix.

Spray two mini loaf pans with pan spray. Cut some wax paper to fit in the pans like this, leaving enough so that the wax paper can hang over the edge of the pans.

Divide the meatloaf into the two loaf pans. Press and pack firmly. Turn the loaf pans upside down onto a baking sheet and grip the wax paper to pull the loaves out of the pans. Make sure that the baking sheet is deep enough to catch the fat that will be released. I recommend using a drain rack. Place the loaves in the refrigerator for about an hour to firm.

**Note: you can skip the wax paper and cook in the loaf pans if you want to, but they would be cooking in the fat and make a greasy mess. Forming them and baking them out of the pans will make a much healthier and non greasy meatloaf.

Next, I’m going to top one of these with ketchup for my wife Susan to make it more weight watcher friendly while I top mine with bacon because everything’s better with bacon. Set the three strips of bacon down on a cutting board and set the meatloaf on the bacon and roll the bacon around the meat. Spread the remaining 1 1/2 tbsp ketchup over the other meatloaf.

Put them in the air fryer and set for 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Not all air fryers cook the same (we have a toaster oven style air fryer) so check every 10 minutes and cook to an internal temperature of 160 degrees.


Suggested music for your listening pleasure while preparing the meatloaves…

“Bat out of Hell” Meatloaf,s debut album released in September 1977 featuring the tracks “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” and “Two out of Three Ain’t Bad”

“Green – Eyed Lady” by Sugarloaf from their debut album “Sugarloaf” released in August 1971 and “Don’t Call Us, We’ll Call You” from the album of the same name released in November 1974. This song features a guitar melody from Beatles song “ I Feel Fine” as well as a riff from Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition”

Shelter in Place Bacon White Bread

Bored at home while “self isolating” ? Cook something!

Here is a delicious bacon flavored bread that you can make while sheltering in place, especially if you cannot find bread in the grocery store. (I couldn’t) But I did find bread flour, yeast and bacon! Everything I needed! (Except toilet paper) This bread makes an excellent B.L.T. !

Note: you can make regular white bread by eliminating the bacon and replacing the bacon fat with shortening, but why would you? You could also use a few extra bacon strips for a more intense bacon flavor.

Cook/Prep Time: 3-3 1/2 hours

Makes two large loaves

  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 4 strips bacon
  • 1/4 cup bacon fat
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 pkg active dry yeast
  • 6 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 cup warm water

Fry the 4 strips of bacon. Reserve and cool the bacon fat. Set the bacon aside to cool.

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let it set until foamy, about 5-10 minutes.

Warm the milk and add the salt, bacon fat and shortening . Place in a mixing bowl with a dough hook. Add 5 cups of the bread flour, the yeast mixture and the 2 eggs. Mix it on low speed for a few minutes until it all comes together. Place the bacon strips in a food processor to form a paste. Add the paste to the mixing bowl. Slowly add the rest of the flour as needed and mix on medium speed until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl.

A little bowl of pure goodness!

If you still have some of the reserved bacon fat, grease a bowl for the dough. Place the dough on the counter and knead it for a few minutes, then place it in the greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and put it in a warm draft free place and let it set for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

Grease two 9×5 loaf pans. (I only had one pan, so I used a baking stone for the 2nd loaf)

Punch the dough down, removing the air bubbles, and place back in the covered bowl again and let it rest until doubled in size again, 30-45 minutes.

Place the dough on the counter and divide the dough into two dough balls. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough balls into a 9×12 rectangle. Roll them up and pinch the ends to seal.

Place the loaves in the pans, sealed sides down. Cover and let rise until doubled again, about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees or 350 degrees in a convection oven.

Using a bread lame, razor, or sharp knife, make a small slice across the top of the loaves. When the bread is ready, place in the oven and bake 30-40 minutes until well browned and they sound hollow when tapping them. Remove them from the oven, brush with bacon fat and cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before slicing.


Suggested songs to listen to while self isolating and baking the bread….

“Don’t Stand So Close to Me” by The Police from their third album “Zeno-atta Mondatta” released in 1980.

“From a Distance” by Bette Midler from her 1990 album “Some People’s Lives”

“I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor from her album “Love Tracks” released in 1978.

Browse my blog for more recipes to fix at home while social distancing…..

Air Fried Bourbon / Hot Honey Glazed Pork Belly Candy

You can call these sweet, hot, salty morsels Pork Belly Burnt Ends, Pork Belly Bites, Pork Belly Candy, Pork Crack, or you can just call them delicious!

These would make a great Super Bowl appetizer, and as of this writing, my Tennessee Titans have a real chance (win and in Sunday) to get there!

Let’s get to the recipe….

Cook / Prep Time – marinade overnight then 2 hours

Yield : about 12 ounces of belly bites

  • 1 pound skinless pork belly
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 1/4 cup maple sugar
  • 1 tbsp smoked sea salt
  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp granulated onion
  • 3 tbs hot honey

Score the fatty top of the pork belly. Cut into slices, then cut the slices into 1/2 inch cubes.

In a mixing bowl, add all the rest of the ingredients except the hot honey and mix well. Pour the marinade over the cubes and place in flat dish or ziplock bag and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, drain and discard the marinade. Dry the cubes as much as possible on a paper towel. Set the cubes on a wire rack with a drip tray underneath and place them in the air fryer set at 325 degrees for one hour, turning after 30 minutes.

Pull the cubes out of the oven and place them in a mixing bowl. Add the hot honey and mix well.

Place them back in the air fryer at 225 degrees for another hour, checking and turning every 15 minutes That’s it!


Suggested songs to listen to while preparing the pork crack….

Since yesterday was Ronnie Milsap’s 77th birthday, and I am a fan, how about his new album “The Duets” where he teams up with Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, George Strait, Leon Russel and others on some of his greatest songs?


Hot German Potato Salad

Here is a recipe for a delicious Hot German Potato Salad with a bacon vinaigrette dressing…

My Father used to make this sometimes when I was growing up. I have always loved it, but do not make it very often because I forget about it unless we are having bratwursts. I do not have the exact recipe that my Dad used to make so I improvised a little and it tasted pretty close to what I remember.

Unlike American Potato Salad, most German Potato Salads are meant to be enjoyed hot, although in some German restaurants in the United States (and even a few in Germany ) I have had it served cold but I prefer it hot.

Servings 3-4

Cook / Prep Time – about 45 minutes


  • 1 1/2 pounds small potatoes, red or gold
  • 3 strips bacon
  • 1 rib of celery
  • 1 large shallot
  • 1 medium sweet pepper – any color
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp chives
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp celery seed
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • salt
  • pepper

Bring 1 1/2 quarts of salted water to a boil. Clean and wash the potatoes. Slice the potatoes about 1/2 inch thick and boil them until tender. Drain and rinse and set aside. Clean and dice the celery, shallot and bell pepper into 1/2 inch pieces. Chop the bacon and place it in a skillet. When bacon is crisp, add the diced vegetables and saute them with the bacon for a few minutes.

Add the vinegar, water and sugar and stir to dissolve. Add the dijon mustard, celery seed and chives. Dissolve the cornstarch in 3 tablespoons of water and stir in the mixture to thicken the sauce. Add the cooked, sliced potatoes and blend well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook until the potatoes are heated thoroughly. Top with chopped parsley and serve. It goes great with Brats!

Serving suggestion….


Here are a few Polka song suggestions for your listening pleasure while preparing this potato salad…

“Beer Barrel Polka” by Bobby Vinton from his 1975 album “Heart of Hearts”

“In Heaven There is No Beer” – a traditional German song also titled “Im Himmel gift’s keen Bier” in German. This is a song about the existential pleasures of drinking beer.

My beloved Iowa Hawkeyes also have a version of this song called the “Hawkeye Victory Polka” played by University of Iowa Hawkeye Marching Band and other pep bands at Iowa sporting victories since the 1960’s.

Easy Roasted Balsamic Bacon Brussel Sprouts

Here is a very easy, quick recipe for Roasted Balsamic Bacon Brussel Sprouts…

I was going to wait to post this until the red brussel sprouts in our garden come in but they are very slow growers and I fear the hot weather might hinder their growth.

Servings – 2-3

Cook/Prep Time – Less than an hour


  • 1 pound fresh brussel sprouts
  • 1 large shallot
  • 3 strips of bacon
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (may use the bacon grease instead)
  • 1 tbsp Good Seasons Italian dressing seasoning
  • 1 tbsp balsamic reduction or glaze

Pan fry the bacon strips and set aside. Wash the brussel sprouts and slice in half. Peel and dice the shallot. Place both in a mixing bowl and add the olive oil and Italian seasoning mix and mix well. Spread them out on a sheet pan.

Roast at 400 degrees in an air fryer for 12 minutes or in standard oven for 24 minutes, turning them over at the halfway point.

Chop the bacon and add to the sheet pan.Pour the balsamic glaze over them and cook for a few more minutes. That’s it!


Suggested songs for your listening pleasure while preparing the brussel sprouts (or R B.B.B.S)

“Turning into Randolph Scott (Humid Child)” by Leo Kottke from his album “Peculiaroso” released in 1994.

“Carrots where her eyes were bright

Orange where she’s blush

Brussel sprout conditioned fists

Dropped string beans into her socks”

Leo Kottke

Also released in 1994, “Bob Seger Greatest Hits” by Bob Seger in honor of his birthday this past Monday…