Happy heart shaped food day, everyone! I’ll be posting extra recipes today, since it’s a holiday. We started off our morning with heart shaped red velvet pancakes, with chocolate syrup and strawberries. It is quite difficult to make pancakes heart shaped, so we’ll just pretend I was trying to make them look anatomically correct!

It’s easy to make pancakes red velvet. Start with buttermilk pancake batter, and add a teaspoon of cocoa powder and as much red food dye as you feel comfortable adding. I like LorAnn red velvet emulsion.

For my kids’ lunch, I used the leftover rotisserie chicken from last night, shredded it up, and made chicken salad, with mayo, lemon zest and juice, dried tarragon, salt, and pepper. 

The easiest way to shred cooked meat is to stick it in your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, and set it to low speed. Shreds in seconds! I made heart shaped chicken salad sandwiches for the kids to take to school.

The dinner for today is heart shaped meatloaf with baked potatoes and steamed green beans. Meatloaf is fun to do, because it ends up looking all bloody and gory from the glaze!

1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped fine
2 garlic cloves, minced
17 Saltine crackers, crushed
1/3 cup whole milk
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon Salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper

1. MAKE GLAZE Whisk all ingredients until sugar dissolves.

2. COOK VEGETABLES Line rimmed baking sheet with foil and coat lightly with cooking spray. Heat oil in nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Cook onion until golden, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer to large bowl.

3. PROCESS MEAT Process saltines and milk in food processor until smooth. Add beef and and pulse until well combined, about ten 1-second pulses. Transfer meat mixture to bowl with cooled onion mixture. Add eggs, mustard, Worcestershire, thyme, parsley, salt, and pepper to bowl and mix with hands until combined.

4. BROIL Adjust oven racks to upper (about 4 inches away from broiler element) and middle positions and heat broiler. Transfer meat mixture to prepared baking sheet and shape into an approximate 8 inch width heart shaped loaf. Broil on upper rack until well browned, about 5 minutes. Brush 2 tablespoons glaze over top and sides of loaf and then return to oven and broil until glaze begins to brown, about 2 minutes.

5. BAKE Transfer meatloaf to middle rack and brush with 2 more tablespoons glaze. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake until meat loaf registers 160 degrees, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer to carving board, tent with foil, and let rest 20 minutes. Slice and serve, passing remaining glaze at table.

Recipe adapted from Cook’s Country Magazine

For the baked potatoes, scrub and prick 4 russet potatoes. When you reduce the oven heat and move the meatloaf to the middle rack, place the potatoes on the middle rack as well. Leave them in there through the entire baking and resting period, 65 minutes total. As soon as you remove the potatoes from the oven, cut them open to release steam. This keeps the potatoes fluffy inside. Sprinkle the flesh with salt and pepper, and serve with sour cream.

For the green beans, wash and trim the ends off 1 pound of green beans. Place in a steamer basket in a pot with 1 inch of water. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium low heat to maintain a simmer, and cook 5 to 8 minutes, depending on if you like your beans crisp or softer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss with butter if desired.