It started back in 1995 when I first met Jesse—being in love suddenly made me want to cook. Although I loved to cook, there was no real point to it since I lived in NYC and considered all of the restaurants in town my own personal pantry. Instead of opening the door to the fridge, I would open the front door to my apartment, and there were a multitude of cheap great eats to choose from.
But on Valentine’s Day 1996 something in my universe shifted. I had an idea, and as goofy as I knew it was, I knew I had to do it. I made my super- cool, crazy-handsome, rocker husband-to-be a heart shaped meatloaf.
When I pulled it from the oven I channeled my best June Cleaver, my inner Marion Cunningham, and even my own wonderful mom. Meatloaf to me means more than just that you love someone, it means that you are a family.
Some other V-Day fun:
Well, all these year later, I will be keeping with the tradition that I started way back when, and will make my 19th heart shaped meatloaf for my love. But now I must make it bigger because there are five of us. You know the childhood taunt, “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage.” Well three babies and 19 Valentine’s Days later, we look forward to it as our family V-Day tradition!
Valentine’s Day Meatloaf
- 2 pounds ground meat (I use half ground chicken and half ground beef, 85/15)
- 2 teaspoons dry mustard powder
- 2 teaspoons water
- 1 egg
- ¾ cup dry oatmeal, ground in a food processor
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- For the glaze mix together: ¼ cup ketchup, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the dry mustard powder and the water. Add the egg and stir again. Add all of the remaining ingredients: ground meat, ground oats, garlic, ketchup, salt, and thyme and stir with a wooden spoon until well combined.
- Transfer the meat mixture onto the prepared baking pan and using your hands, shape into a big, wide heart, smoothing the top.
- Bake for 30 minutes, top with the glaze, and return to the oven and bake for another 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
- Serve to someone, or a few someones, that you love.