Book Review: The Meatloaf Bakery Cookbook

meatloaf bakery cookbook

Ever been to Chicago in January?  If the answer is yes, then you realize why comfort food is so popular in this city.  It’s also easy to understand why restaurants such as the Meatloaf Bakery have become Second City favorites!  This Lincoln Park establishment was founded by Cynthia Kallile in December of 2008.  After a successful 25 year career as a corporate PR exec, Kallile decided to venture into the restaurant business.  Building on the early success of her imaginative meatloaf creations, she and her team at the Meatloaf Bakery have grown the business to also include a food truck, the Meatloaf A-Go-Go and also a catering business.  She recently released The Meatloaf Bakery Cookbook – Comfort Food with a Twist and the International Recipe Syndicate had the opportunity to try some of her recipes.

The book begins with a chapter on “making the loaf” where the author recommends the classic meat mix of 80% to 85% lean ground beef complemented by ground pork and/or ground veal.  She also recommends using filler of bread crumbs, crushed butter crackers, or even oyster crackers.  These, along with the key ingredients of parsley, basil, thyme, lemon, and garlic make a solid base that can be used to build a myriad of meatloaf creations.  If you are a vegetarian, don’t dismay.  The Meatloaf Bakery Cookbook also includes chapters on meatless loaves and “lite bites” that feature vegetarian specialties, salads, side dishes, and appetizers.

Father Meat Loaf

For our review, we chose the Father Loaf, one of the Meatloaf Bakery’s classic dishes.  We also tried the Cheesy Taters as they were needed for the garnish of the Father Loaf.  We found the cheesy taters to be smooth and packed with cheddar cheese flavor – a welcome change from plain mashed potatoes.  This dish could stand on its own as a side for any meal.  But when you combine it with the Father Loaf, you have one of the best comfort food combinations around!  The father Loaf itself is HUGE covering a good portion of an entire baking pan.  We thought we would be eating leftovers for a week but when all was said and done it was gone in a single day.  This version of the classic meatloaf had an unbeatable combination of flavors complemented perfectly by a barbecue glaze.  We only tried one meatloaf recipe from the Meatloaf Bakery Cookbook but there were many other recipes that tempted us.  I’m sure we will be trying many other recipes for meatloaves and sauces in the near future.  We give the Meatloaf Bakery Cookbook 4 out of 5 stars.

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