Hello and welcome back to another episode of Nikoli's Kitchen! This week on the show I'm talking about the beginning of Spring and how that can be the beginning of a new journey for some people. But how do you begin that journey? By taking the first step. I talk about my own experiences with this before I get into the featured recipe breakdown of meatloaf & mashed potatoes! The ultimate in American comfort food! Thank you all so so much for listening and for supporting me on this journey. I hope you have an absolutely beautiful week and that you are somewhere warm where you can take advantage of this gorgeous weather.


For the past four years I've been honored to host the Livestream for the Cure, a charity that raises money for the Cancer Research Institute and for cancer immunotherapy, which is training the body's immune system to fight cancer. Since then I, with my co-hosts on Epic Film Guys, have raised over $30,000 thanks to amazing podcast partners and content creators who give their time and money to be part of the event. This year's event is our fifth, and we're looking to add $15,000 to that total, our biggest single year goal to date. Please tune in May 19th - 23rd for 50+ hours of content from podcast partners and creators around the world. Learn more at livestreamforthecure.com.

Please pick up a shirt and help support the 5th Annual Livestream for the Cure at https://shop.upstatemerch.com/livestreamforthecure/shop/product-detail/1000371! All proceeds go toward our goal of a future #Immune2Cancer! They are only available through the end of April, so get one today!

Pick up a mug and help support the Livestream for the Cure at https://www.redbubble.com/i/mug/Livestream-For-The-Cure-2021-by-epicfilmguys/75286813.9Q0AD! All proceeds go toward the goal of a future Immune to Cancer! 

Promos this week from Ignorance Was Bliss and Malice, which can be found at https://iwbpodcast.com/ and https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/malice/id1471251398, both of whom will be part of the 5th Annual Livestream for the Cure! 


Featured Recipe Timecodes

19:55 - Introduction
24:32 - Meatloaf Ingredients
25:33 - Making the Meatloaf
27:27 - Meatloaf Glaze
30:22 - Mashed Potatoes


Featured Recipes for this Episode (Meatloaf glaze updated 08/18/2021)

Homemade Mashed Potatoes

5 lbs russett potatoes
1 sweet onion (if desired)
1 bulb of garlic (if desired)
1 stick of butter, cut lengthwise and then into 8 slices so you have 16 chunks- and keep it cold until ready to use
2 cups heavy cream 
1/4 cup milk
Salt & pepper to taste (I like a lot of pepper)

Peel & cube potatoes (halve them lengthwise, then again, and then chop the quartered potatoes into 4 equal-sized chunks to get 16 per spud).
Peel and quarter onion.
Smash and roughly chop your garlic cloves.
Bring salted water to a boil (you don't need this to be overly saltly as your potatoes will take on the salt, and you don't want to over-salt them).
Add potatoes, onion, and garlic.
Cook until potatoes are soft and drain.
Add milk & cream to pot and bring to simmer at mid-low (you don't want to scorch it but get it hot). Turn off right when it comes to a simmer around the edges of the pan. 
Hand-mash potatoes or put through a ricer into a large bowl.
Add cold butter and half of your cream/milk and mix only until combined with a large spoon/spatula. 
Add more cream/milk until you reach the desired consistency.
Add finishing salt & pepper to taste (and any other seasonings).



4 lbs ground beef
2/3 sleeve of saltine crackers, crushed (about 1 cup)
4 T unsalted butter
1 c red wine
1 T dark brown sugar
1 red or yellow onion, finely diced
10 cloves garlic, finely minced
3 eggs
Salt (to taste, I used about 1 T)
Pepper (to taste, I used about 2 T)
1/2 c ketchup (no high-fructose corn syrup)
1/4 c Worcestershire sauce
1 t fresh rosemary, chopped
1 t fresh thyme, chopped


1/2 c ketchup
2 T dark brown sugar
2 T Worcestershire Sauce
3 c (remainder of the bottle) dry red wine

~| Prepare your glaze while you work on sauteeing the onions. |~

Add 3 c of red wine to a large skillet and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring periodically.
Reduce red wine overall to about 1/3 of a cup. This can take anywhere from 10-15 minutes depending on the size of your skillet. You'll notice as it reaches the finished stage it'll stop simmering and kind of "foam" up. This is when you want to remove it from the heat.
Combine your ketchup, dark brown sugar, red wine syrup, and Worcestershire Sauce in a bowl and mix until well-combined. Set aside until your meatloaf is assembled and ready for the oven.

Add butter to a large skillet over mid heat.
Add your onions and sprinkle with salt to begin sweating them down.
Add brown sugar and red wine and stir to combine.
Cover and reduce heat to low and saute for 15-20 minutes until softened.
Remove cover and return to mid heat.
Cook off the remaining moisture (be careful not to let your onions burn) and then add the garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes until perfumed.
Remove pan from stove and allow to cool.

Preheat the oven to 350°.
Add your ground beef, onion/garlic mixture, eggs, ketchup, crackers, and Worcestershire sauce to a large bowl.
Add salt, pepper, rosemary, and thyme.
Mix together all ingredients until well-combined.
Place into a large loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes, topping with the glaze every 15 minutes (should have enough for 3x).
At the end, turn on the broiler and broil the top for 5 minutes to caramelize.
Remove from the oven and allow to rest 10 minutes or so before serving.


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Guest Appearances

Tune in to December 2020's Rabbit Ears TV Podcast with Ashlee and Shawn Ennis as we talk about our love of Parks & Rec! https://www.netflixnswill.com/rabbitears/2020/12/24/parks-and-recreation

I got to channel my inner book nerd and sit down with Melissa of Brook Reading to talk about Eugene O'Neill's "A Long Day's Journey into Night!" It was split up over two episodes you can find at https://www.spreaker.com/user/brookreading/episode-124 and https://www.spreaker.com/user/brookreading/episode-125

I had the pleasure of heading to InSessionFilm to talk with JD and Ryan about Zack Snyder's Justice League! Check out our in-depth discussion at https://insessionfilm.com/movie-podcast-zack-snyders-justice-league-422/!

It was such a joy to go back home again and sit down with Justin and LoySauce to talk about Zack Snyder's Justice League! Tune in to the conversation at https://epicfilmguys.podbean.com/e/zack-snyders-justice-league-review-nick-returns/!



"Daybreak," and "The Climb" from Music for Makers. Sign up and get a royalty-free song delivered to your inbox every Monday at www.musicformakers.com!

"Ambiment," "Shadowed," "Empty Bones," and "Tears" by Lucas King. Find this and more amazing music by Lucas and subscribe to him on YouTube by visiting https://www.youtube.com/user/LucasKingPiano!

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