December 29, 2018

A look back at 2018

As in years past I'm showcasing my favorite recipes from each month of the year, followed by my husband's favorites (the official taste tester). I always enjoy seeing if we choose the same recipe each month or not. 2018 have been a great year for my blog - I've enjoyed teaming up with some talented people and events, and making (and eating) lots of tasty food. Please keep reading to see our favorites from each month (this year we have 4 out of 12 the same).

December 19, 2018

Eggnog truffles

Decadent and creamy truffles full of eggnog flavors are a lovely treat for the holidays! I made these eggnog truffles for this month's Fantastical Food Fight where the theme is candy. Candy isn't something I've made a lot of in the past, but I've been trying more and Christmas time is the perfect time to work on my candy making skills. I really wanted to use eggnog for its seasonal flavors, too. I read a lot of eggnog truffle recipes, but very few actually contained any eggnog. I saw this recipe and modified it for the recipe below. I made 18 large truffles, but you can make about 36 smaller ones if you prefer. They are rich enough that smaller is probably a perfect bite, but I made large ones mostly to fit my truffle paper holders. They are nice for a homemade holiday gift or to add to your Christmas cookie platter. I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season and time with their loved ones. Happy Holidays to you all!

December 17, 2018

Chocolate holiday mint M&M cookies

Holiday Mint M&M's in a minty and chewy chocolate chocolate chip cookie are perfect for the holidays and for the mint + chocolate lovers out there! I am a huge fan of chocolate + mint together, especially around Christmas. Every year I snag a bag (or two) or Holiday Mint M&M's when they appear in the stores. They are one of my favorite splurges around the holidays! For years now I've been telling myself I'm going to make them into a delicious chocolate mint cookie, but I usually end up eating them all before I get that far. This year, I was strong and I saved them for a new Christmas cookie and I'm glad I did. These cookies are delicious - soft and chewy with a hint of peppermint in the batter and then extra when you bite into the candy. I also added some semi-sweet chocolate chips for an extra chocolate boost. Plus the colors make them a festive addition to your cookie tray this year! My toddlers helped with making this batch. They enjoy helping with my baking projects and, of course, sneaking as many chocolate chips as they can in the process. This recipe will make about 4 dozen cookies.

December 12, 2018

Persimmon gingerbread loaf cake

This warming gingerbread loaf cake is full of robust molasses, spicy ginger, and sweet & sticky persimmon for a simple yet satisfying holiday treat! Gingerbread is a favorite flavor of mine around the holidays and I've been wanting to pair it with persimmon for an extra special Christmas or yuletide cake. And since it's my 9-year blogiversary I decided it was appropriate to make myself a cake!! I seriously can't believe I've been filling this little blog with recipes for nine years now! I never would have thought that would be the case, but here I am with no shortage of ideas.

I've seen a lot of gingerbread loafs, but they are missing the molasses, which is critical for a gingerbread in my opinion. This quick cake is full of ginger and other spices such as cinnamon, allspice, and cloves. I like my gingerbread to be intensely gingery -- if you don't you can cut it down a little, but I want a supremely flavorful gingerbread that fills the entire house with a molasses and ginger smell while it bakes in the oven. Persimmons are quite a treat this time of year - they can be pricey - so we don't get them very often. I used Hachiya persimmon here and you want it to be super soft and orange so that it is sweet and delicious. This cake is sure to please any gingerbread fans you know. It's lovely as a holiday dessert, or to bring to a potluck, or to serve as an afternoon snack with a cup of tea or coffee to your holiday visitors. It will make one loaf cake.

December 4, 2018

Flourless black bean chocolate cake

This gluten-free chocolate cake is made with black beans as the secret ingredient! It's my mom's 63rd birthday this week and just like last year she requested this chocolate black bean cake without any frosting (she never eats frosting). My mom provided me with a recipe for the cake she wanted me to make for her birthday last year, but she wasn't sure where it came from and this is my modified version of what she gave me. This cake is a hit with everyone who has tried it. To me, it's like a cross between a cake and a brownie - a little dense, but still with a cake-like texture. You can't taste the beans at all - no one guesses what the secret ingredient is in this cake. You can definitely double this recipe and make a layer cake with frosting if you would like, but since my mom doesn't like frosting, I simply dusted it with a little powdered sugar and cocoa powder and put a dollop of whipped cream on for serving - a really simple and rustic cake. The morning you are making this cake, set aside a tablespoon of coffee for the recipe. This recipe will make one 9-inch round cake.

November 28, 2018

Cranberry orange bread

Cranberries and orange are a classic holiday flavor combination and they shine in this easy quick bread that is perfect for a holiday breakfast, brunch, or potluck. I don't know about any of you, but I'm still confused as to how it is the holiday season again already! I mean, where did fall go? We barely had one here with all the rain we've had. It doesn't seem right... But, it's almost December and that means it's time for all things festive, including festive foods! This bread is high on the list of easy and delicious holiday foods to make this season. Fresh cranberries are a staple in our house from the first time I see them in the store until they are no longer available (and I always grab up some bags to freeze). So I'm always on the lookout for new ideas and ways to enjoy them. My kids also love cranberries - they were even eating them raw and plain as I was chopping them for this bread! I tried one and well, I'll stick to eating them in things... I love the smell of this bread too - both as it bakes and after - the orange zest and light spices do make you feel all warm and cozy. This recipe will make one loaf of bread.

November 21, 2018

Baked gingerbread oatmeal

All the flavors of gingerbread baked into oatmeal for a perfect winter breakfast! This baked gingerbread oatmeal is my contribution to this month's Fantastical Food Fight where the theme is gingerbread - perfect for the upcoming holiday season! I was trying to think of something gingerbread to make as I already have a couple kinds of cookies, Guinness gingerbread, and pancake recipes on the blog.... So, when I doubt I go with baked oatmeal! It's something that our whole family enjoys, including the toddlers, so it's always a win for me to have a new one up my sleeve. This breakfast is perfect for a wintery morning with a cup of steaming coffee or tea. My husband commented that a glaze would go really well on this oatmeal and I have to agree, though I try to keep breakfast in the somewhat healthy realm most of the time! Plus the bonus is that it makes your house smell like the holidays while its baking. This recipe will serve about four to five people, depending on hunger levels.

November 13, 2018

Roasted honeynut squash pie

Honeynut squash is roasted in the oven, pureed, and turned into the best winter squash pie ever in this twist on pumpkin pie. Honeynut squash have been popping up more and more in seed catalogs and at farmer's markets, and recently at our local Wegmans. They look like a miniature butternut squash with darker skin. But, they are the sweetest winter squash I've ever had. You can eat it plain without any additional butter or sugar - it's that yummy! The dense flesh and deep sweetness make it a perfect choice for pie. If you see honeynut squash definitely grab some and try this pie for Thanksgiving dessert or any other time you need a special autumn treat. This pie is lightly sweetened and lightly spiced so that the flavors of the squash really comes through. I roasted the squash first instead of just baking it to intensify the sweetness even more. It will serve about 8 people. Top it with some whipped cream, if desired.

November 5, 2018

Pumpkin Alfredo pasta with chicken

Creamy and savory pumpkin Alfredo sauce with sage, chicken, and pasta is a delicious autumn dinner. We've been gifted quite a few pie pumpkins this season, so I've been baking them, pureeing them, and freezing the puree. We use pumpkin puree all fall and winter not only pie, but for things like pancakes, muffins, pizza dough, brownies, smoothies, soup, and more. Now I've used it to make this super comforting pasta sauce. You can of course use canned pumpkin puree in place of the homemade stuff. Your sauce will probably be a little more orange if you do because the pie pumpkin puree is light orange in color so it almost disappeared into the cream and cheese.

This autumn-inspired dish is really delicious - all four of us like it a lot, and the two year olds had multiple helpings. It's so creamy with a hint of pumpkin, nutmeg, and sage for a nice fall twist! We will be making it again and again! This recipe will serve about 4-6 people, depending on age and hunger level, of course. You can serve it with a side salad and/or some crusty bread for dipping to stretch it more.

October 25, 2018

Spider and monster face Halloween pizza

Black olive spiders and monster faces made of pepperoni, green olives, and red onions make for super fun Halloween pizza toppings! I love Halloween and I'm excited to be able to start some fun holiday family traditions now that our twins are toddlers. We just helped them carve a pumpkin tonight and their favorite part was pulling out all the seeds and goop from the inside. They are dressing up as a butterfly and a bee and will be going to a few houses in our neighborhood for their first trick or treat this year! They don't really understand it all yet, but they've really been enjoying seeing all the pumpkins, scarecrows, and other decorations going up in the neighborhood plus going to places like our local pumpkin farm. I've made monster face pizza in the past for Halloween for just my husband and I, but I thought incorporating some spiders would be fun as well! It's not perfect -- as the pizza cooks some of the toppings shift in the cheese, but that's okay - it's still cute! This recipe will make two approximately 12-inch pizzas and should feed about 4 people. The topping amounts will really depend on you - I'm providing a guideline here - you can add more/less of anything depending on your preferences. We usually have a salad with our pizza dinners, or raw vegetables and dip.

October 18, 2018

White chocolate and walnut apple snack cake

This snack cake is so simple to put together and filled with warm fall flavors of apples, walnuts, cinnamon, ginger, and also white chocolate. I'm a huge fan of white chocolate with warm spices and pumpkin flavors, so I figured I'd like it with apple as well (and I was correct!). This is my last #Choctoberfest recipe and it's actually a modified version of an apple snack cake my toddlers helped make at our Waldorf school parent-toddler program we attend once a week. It's so simple that two and three year olds can make it (with help, of course), but is still very yummy! It's also something that is really easy to make for a quick dessert or to take to a potluck gathering. It's made with some whole wheat flour and maple syrup as the sweetener, making it pretty much acceptable as a breakfast food in my opinion. It goes well with a cup of coffee or tea on a chilly fall day.

October 17, 2018

Chocolate banana baked oatmeal

This post is sponsored on behalf of #Choctoberfest and our generous sponsors. I received free product from Barlean's. As always, all opinions are my own.

Chocolate and banana baked oatmeal is sure to be a family favorite and this one is even extra special because it's made with Barlean's Chocolate Silk Greens Powder. That means it contains not only fair trade cocoa powder, but also natural plant fiber from chicory and flaxseed as well as nutrients from more than a dozen fruits and vegetables. Perfect for adding an extra nutrition boost to your oatmeal, smoothies, yogurt, and even chocolate treats. My family and I love baked oatmeals (like pumpkin, peanut butter, carrot cake, and even zucchini bread), especially my toddlers, so I was glad to be able to make them a chocolate version using this powder. It tasted delicious - not really any different than using a regular cocoa powder. I used bananas for some fruit and sweetness because they pair so nicely with chocolate. This will be making a frequent appearance on our breakfast menu for sure!

October 16, 2018

Beef and butternut squash chocolate chili

This post is sponsored on behalf of #Choctoberfest and our generous sponsors. I received free product from Divine Chocolate. As always, all opinions are my own.

This chili combines beef, two kinds of beans, butternut squash, and is simmered in a sauce of warm spices and creamy chocolate for a delicious Halloween or autumn meal. I was super excited to be able to work with Divine Chocolate on a post for #Choctoberfest! I've always enjoyed their products and the fact that they are a Fairtrade certified. Another thing about this company is that they are the only Fairtrade chocolate company in the world that is owned by cocoa farmers! They also make some truly delicious chocolate and want their customers to #MakeSomethingDivine. Once I saw that I received one of their new 100% Unsweetened Baking Bars, I knew I wanted to make a savory chocolate recipe and more specifically a fall chili. Since the chocolate is unsweetened, it's really a great option for adding depth of rich flavor and creaminess to savory dishes. I used butternut squash to add some sweetness to the overall chili, as well as some autumn color (and an extra dose of vegetables). This recipe will serve about 4 people.

October 10, 2018

(Un)Stuffed banana pepper macaroni and cheese

I've talked about stuffed banana peppers on this blog before when I posted my super popular (Un)Stuffed Banana Pepper Soup. They are a regional specialty at bars and pizzerias here in Western New York. Ever since making and posting my soup version, I've been meaning to do a mac n' cheese version. We've been getting a lot of hot banana peppers gifted to us recently, so it was time. My soup recipe uses pork, but with the noodles I kept this dish meatless. I made this dish with all hot banana peppers because that's what we had, but you can use mild/sweet banana peppers or a mix of sweet and hot depending on your heat preference. Ours was pretty hot, even with all the noodles and cheese, but we like spicy hot foods every now and again (I made some separate plain mac n' cheese for the toddlers). I will admit that it isn't the prettiest looking stuff or the most photogenic meal, but it tastes delicious. Creamy and gooey macaroni and cheese with a kick! This recipe will serve about 4-5 people as a main dish with a side like a salad, or more people as a side dish.

October 3, 2018

Pawpaw bread

If you are lucky enough to have pawpaws and have some to spare, this quick bread is a delicious way to use them. We usually only get a few pawpaws during their short season from a local farmers' market, so I don't cook or bake with them very much. But this year we were given a big box so I had the opportunity to try them in a quick bread. This quick bread is somewhat similar to a banana bread but with the distinctive tropical notes and aroma from the pawpaw. If you are not familiar with pawpaws, they are a fruit that is native to the eastern U.S. and they are custard-like in texture with flavor somewhat like a cross between a banana and a mango (I sometimes get some pineapple smell). They have a beautiful aroma and could be growing in a neighborhood or woods near you. We have three tiny trees in our yard, but they are still several years away from fruiting. You can read more about pawpaws here and in this fascinating book. It used to be grown and eaten much more frequently, but it still has its fans and even festivals in the regions where it grows. And rightfully so because this native gem is a delight! This recipe will make one loaf.

September 28, 2018

Apple cream pie with oatmeal crust

This post is sponsored on behalf of #appleweek. Our generous sponsors, Swiss Diamond, Envy Apples, Imperial Sugar, Nordic Ware, Rodelle Vanilla, Flahavan's Irish Oatmeal, Nairn's and The Spice House have provided us with products for recipe creation and a giveaway for our readers. As always, all opinions are my own.


A mix of tart and sweet apples are wrapped in cream, vanilla, and cinnamon and baked in a crust that tastes like a big oatmeal cookie in this delicious autumn dessert. This pie is closing out my #AppleWeek recipes and it's worth the wait! I hope that you are all loving #AppleWeek as much as I have been. I felt that doing a week of apple recipes just wouldn't be complete for me without a new pie recipe. Pies are kind of a thing with me. I enjoy trying out all different pie filling flavors, but also different types of crusts. I was really nervous about this pie - very unsure if the oatmeal crust would work, but it turned out perfectly! We decided that it tastes like a giant oatmeal cookies and a big bonus is that it's a snap to make - no chilling, or rolling, or using a food processor for this crust! The apple cream filling was kept very simple with a hint of cinnamon and some deep vanilla flavor using Rodelle's gourmet pure vanilla extract and the crust is made with Flahavan's Irish Oatmeal. Apples, oats, and vanilla are a lovely flavor profile. You can't beat the vanilla flavor you get with Rodelle's pure vanilla extract. And, Flahavan's oats are a family favorite - we love eating them for breakfast - they make the creamiest and smoothest oatmeal. They are also terrific for using in recipes like this. This pie will serve about 8 people and it's a perfect dessert for using up apples after apple picking this fall.

September 27, 2018

Creamy beet and apple salad

Disclosure: This post is sponsored on behalf of #appleweek. Our generous sponsors, Swiss Diamond, Envy Apples, Imperial Sugar, Nordic Ware, Rodelle Vanilla, Flahavan's Irish Oatmeal, Nairn's and The Spice House have provided us with products for recipe creation and a giveaway for our readers. As always, all opinions are my own.


A creamy and tangy dressing coats these crisp, sweet apples and soft, earthy beets for a delicious fall side dish. #AppleWeek is still going strong and I hope you have been enjoying everyone's amazing recipe contributions this week! I know I am! Hopefully you have found at least a couple, if not several, new apple recipes to try out this fall. Today I have a fall side dish that is super easy and also so tasty. I have to say that even my toddlers scarfed down this salad - it's that good. I received some spices from The Spice House for #AppleWeek and one that I was especially excited to try was ground caraway. I've used the whole seeds several times, but never a ground version. I have been wanting to make a beet and apple salad ever since I tried one years ago and I thought caraway would be a lovely compliment to the flavors. I was correct - the flavors in this salad all go together so nicely and the contrast between the sweet crispy apples, the soft earthy beets, and the cool and tangy dressing go so well together. We had this salad along with come cranberry chicken sausage and potato pierogi for a perfect autumn meal. This recipe will serve about 4 people as a side dish.

September 26, 2018

Chipotle turkey, apple, & sweet potato chili

Disclosure: This post is sponsored on behalf of #appleweek. Our generous sponsors, Swiss Diamond, Envy Apples, Imperial Sugar, Nordic Ware, Rodelle Vanilla, Flahavan's Irish Oatmeal, Nairn's and The Spice House have provided us with products for recipe creation and a giveaway for our readers. As always, all opinions are my own.


A chili packed with sweet potatoes, apples, turkey, black beans, and seasoned with chipotle in adobo, cinnamon, coriander, and more makes for a delicious, hearty, and unique fall meal. I am so excited to share this recipe with you! Apples are a huge part of our fall and my husband and I love visiting our local orchard where they have new apple varieties as well as heritage varieties. We go picking every fall and I'm always creating new apple recipes as well as old favorites. I was soooo happy to be able to receive a box of Envy Apples to try for #AppleWeek! These apples were new to me and to my family, so trying them was a big deal for us. Our twins were sampling them with me as soon as we got the box. I popped one in my husband's lunch. I gave one to my mom to take home one day, too. The kids and I loved them. My husband texted me saying what a great apple it was. My mom called and asked where she could buy them. They is no question these apples are winners! They are crisp, lightly sweet, and have a delicate apple flavor - plus the skin is so pretty in color and nice in texture. We will definitely be adding Envy Apples to our favorites now. They are so good for eating out of hand, but they are also terrific for cooking. I knew I wanted to make at least one savory apple dish this week and had long been thinking of adding apples to a chili. This chili far exceeded my expectations and will be a regular in our autumn meal rotation from now on - trust me, it may sound a bit add, but all the flavors blend together for a perfect one-pot meal! This recipe will serve about 4-6 people depending on hunger level and any sides. It's great with corn bread or a side of corn chips/tortilla strips for scooping or sprinkling on top.

September 25, 2018

Glazed spiced apple cider cookies

Disclosure: This post is sponsored on behalf of #appleweek. Our generous sponsors, Swiss Diamond, Envy Apples, Imperial Sugar, Nordic Ware, Rodelle Vanilla, Flahavan's Irish Oatmeal, Nairn's and The Spice House have provided us with products for recipe creation and a giveaway for our readers. As always, all opinions are my own.


Soft, fluffy cookies are flavored with reduced apple cider and spices and topped with a cinnamon and apple cider glaze for a festive fall treat! This is the second of my #AppleWeek recipes that I'm sharing this week. These apple cider cookies have been a work in progress for a few years now. I never feel like they turn out quite right or have enough apple cider flavor in them. For this recipe I've reduced the apple cider to help concentrate the flavor and also added a glaze made with that as well. That and the addition of some mulling spices create a delicious autumn cookie. I know I've mentioned many times in the past that I make cookies each year to take on our family annual apple picking in October. Apple picking is a tradition here and one of my favorite days of the year. These cookies would be perfect to take along on a fall outing or enjoy at home after a day of picking apples or pumpkins, or just playing in the leaves. I used Imperial Sugar's granulated, light brown, and powdered sugar in this recipe. This recipe makes about 2-1/2 dozen cookies.

September 24, 2018

Oven roasted apple butter

Disclosure: This post is sponsored on behalf of #appleweek. Our generous sponsors, Swiss Diamond, Envy Apples, Imperial Sugar, Nordic Ware, Rodelle Vanilla, Flahavan's Irish Oatmeal, Nairn's and The Spice House have provided us with products for recipe creation and a giveaway for our readers. As always, all opinions are my own.


Apple butter is taken to another level when you slow roast it in the oven. The apple flavor condenses and you get a hint of a caramelized flavor for the most amazing and deeply apple-y apple butter! This is my first recipe for #AppleWeek! I'm so excited to join this event this year because as my readers know I have a bit of an apple obsession. Stay tuned all week for bushels of fabulous apple recipes! This apple butter was made in this Swiss Diamond XD Nonstick Roasting Pan. I am so excited to be able to add this roasting pan to my cookware collection. According to Swiss Diamond's website, their XD coating features not only a new nonstick diamond-reinforced coating formulation, but also an advanced PFOA-free and eco-friendly production process. The apple butter in this recipe reduces down a lot of leaves apple residue on your pan, but clean-up was so simple - just soapy water and a sponge and it wiped right off. This roasting pan is going to be perfect for our family all year round for making roasts, chicken, and even casseroles. Don't forget to enter to win one of the awesome prizes from our sponsors!

I lightly spiced this apple butter to really highlight the apple flavor and not overwhelm it with too much spice. I also did not add any sugar as I used sweet apples. If you use more tart apples, or want a sweeter product, feel free to add some brown sugar to the recipe after it is pureed. This recipe will make about 2-1/2 cups of finished apple butter. I left one small jar in my refrigerator and froze another two jars for later. Any sweet apple will do in this recipe. I used Gala apples and left them unpeeled for even more apple flavor, but you can peel them for an extra smooth apple butter. I like my apple butter spread onto biscuits or toast, or even used to make apple butter oatmeal muffins.

September 19, 2018

Chocolate chip banana pumpkin muffins

Banana bread and pumpkin bread are combined into one in these delicious spiced muffins loaded with chocolate chips. These chocolate chip banana pumpkin muffins are my contribution to this month's Fantastical Food Fight featuring Banana! Bananas are a staple in our house because the kids love them. They eat them up so quickly that they rarely turn brown, so I had to hide two just to get them ripe enough for muffin making! Muffin recipes are something I post a lot - they are so easy to make and the flavor combinations are endless. Plus, my toddlers love eating them and also helping to make them. You can taste hints of both the banana and the pumpkin - they are very flavorful from both of those as well as the spices. I wasn't sure about using chocolate chips, but I'm glad I did; they are a great addition to both banana bread and pumpkin bread. Using bananas also helps to really reduce the amount of added sugar, while still having a tasty muffin. This recipe will make 12 muffins.

September 11, 2018

Silky creamy zucchini soup

Finished bowl of zucchini soup topped with sour cream and served with crackers.

A silky smooth and creamy zucchini soup is a perfect last hurrah to your summer zucchinis as we transition into fall.

September 5, 2018

Lemon zucchini bread

This lemony bread is studded with zucchini making it a delicious summertime quick bread. I feel like I've been sharing tons of zucchini recipes this summer. I always think that there's no way I can come up with another new way to use something, but that never seems to be the case! This bread is a change-up from regular zucchini bread - it's packed with lemon zest, a little lemon juice, and then drizzled with a lemon glaze. As usual, my toddlers helped with this bread and they did a great job of helping me dump the measured ingredients into the bowl and of eating the shredded zucchini as fast as I could grate it. They love being helpers lately and we try to embrace that and involve them as much as possible while doing work around the house and yard. I truly love that they enjoy helping in the kitchen and also that they enjoy eating what we make (for the most part). This recipe will make one loaf of bread.

August 30, 2018

Old-fashioned zucchini pie

Photo of finished zucchini pie with a slice on a small plate.

A cream pie filling blended with cooked zucchini makes for a unique dessert that will probably surprise your family and friends when they find out the secret ingredient.

August 27, 2018

Turkey and summer vegetable soup

Ground turkey, diced tomatoes, fresh garden herbs, and summer vegetables make a scrumptious and hearty summertime soup. I know, soup is for cold weather, right? Not for me! I definitely prefer soup in the fall and winter, but I eat it all year round. Soup is something my toddlers generally enjoy as well, though they do prefer smooth soups and the broth over chunks. They have been really into green beans this summer because we have them in our garden and pretty much every day they go over to check to see if there are any beans they can eat. I can almost guarantee if I put a raw green bean on their dinner plate, they would not eat it... but getting to pick it outside and eat it at their picnic table makes is so much more exciting! They helped me pick the beans for this soup and were excited about it. They ate the soup well (one pretty much scarfed it down) and we have had it a few times this summer already. It makes a lot, so we get leftovers each time as well. This soup, like most, is pretty adaptable. You could leave out one of the vegetables, add more of less of one, or even add others like peas or cubed yellow squash. I used ground turkey, but ground chicken or beef would probably also be very yummy. We had this soup with a side of garlic bread for a full meal. It will serve about 6 people as a main dish.

August 21, 2018

Bread and butter refrigerator zucchini pickles

A plate with finished zucchini pickles.

Sweet and tangy refrigerator pickles made from zucchini are a perfect way to enjoy the summer squash bounty!

August 14, 2018

Vegetable and mozzarella mini turkey meatloaves

Individual turkey meatloaves with grated carrots, yellow squash, and zucchini and stuffed with mozzarella cheese are sure to be a family favorite. Meatloaf is one of (if not my all-time) favorite comfort foods. I love a plate of meatloaf with mashed potatoes, gravy, and green beans! I wanted to make a bit lighter version of meatloaf for the summer and one that contained more vegetables for the kids. Sometimes when I was a kid my mom would make mini meatloaf and put mozzarella cheese in the middle, so I wanted to do that for my kids as well. Using dark meat turkey and adding a bunch of vegetables keeps the meatloaf nice and moist. It's a delicious way to get some more vegetables into your family and also to use up some of those summer garden vegetables. I made four meatloaves with this recipe and our 2 year olds split one. One really gobbled it up and the other ate most of what she had, so I call that a win!