Measure then Chop or Chop then Measure?

This morning having to get up early to do that work thing, (think call before 5:00 a.m. because someone did not have the access they needed) I jumped right in and began to finish my cooking for the week. Italian Meatloaf is another recipe from the America’s Test Kitchen, Pressure Cooker Perfection cookbook. I was looking for a recipe that wasn’t just Monday night meatloaf and really am hoping that this tastes like a big meatball without the pasta carbs. Of course, you can’t have meatloaf without mash potatoes, right?

While prepping the recipe I was chopping the basil and thought this calls for a lot of basil, too much in fact. In my not fully caffeinated state, I began to ponder was I suppose to measure before I chopped? What exactly was that rule anyway. For the record, the rule is:

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, measure after chopped;

1/4 fresh basil, chopped, measure before you chop.

This recipe calls for garlic powder, which means its time to pull out the coffee grinder, or spice grinder if you have one of those. Buying freeze dried garlic and then grinding it yourself ensures not only freshness but also less additives.

Finally I’m ready to mix all of the ingredients.  Don’t want to mix your meatloaf by hand but want to ensure that it’s mixed well enough to not explode in a pressure cooker, user your hand mixer and dough hook attachment.  This is an awesome tip from Laura Weathers ,formerly of KitchenAid/QVC, and it makes fast and clean work of mixing meatloaf.

Twenty-five minutes of pressure time later, I have a juicy and unexploded meatloaf, ready for lunches for the days ahead.

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