Friesen’s ‘Meatloaf from Hell’ the Elk Version

I’m always up for trying new recipes and when one says it’s “from Hell,” it’s got to be good. That’s what I thought when the Friesen’s sent me their meatloaf recipe. Afterall, if “from Hell” were to mean something bad, you’d never share it, right?

This recipe varies slightly from mine, as I’ve never heard of putting milk into the loaf. Don’t worry, using the milk is okay. As a matter of fact, it’s so good that I’m sharing it with you.

I tell you, it’s a breeze to throw together. Don’t be alarmed with a two-step recipe. The entire thing is super simple, and the clean up is a breeze.

I whipped up the loaf in a matter of moments and had it in the oven. Then I stirred up the glaze and set it aside. The toughest part is waiting for the timer to ding because the aroma is tantalizing!

Meatloaf from Hell

Start to finish:  2 hours; Prep time:  5 minutes
Serves: 8


2 pounds ground elk (The Friesen’s suggest beef, ground turkey or ground venison and sometimes mix half ground beef with Venison, Axis or Nilgai)
1 Cup – crushed Ritz crackers
1 Egg, beaten
1 Cup milk
1/2 Cup ketchup
1/3 Cup onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2teaspoon Black pepper
1/2teaspoon garlic powder

3/4 Cup Ketchup
1/4 Cup Brown sugar
1/4 Cup Apricot preserves
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce


Preheat the oven to 350 F. Coat a 5×9 loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside. In a large bowl combine all ingredients. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Place the pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 1 1/2 hours.

In a small bowl, combine glaze ingredients. Mix well. Spread half of the mixture evenly over the meatloaf halfway through baking. Reserve the remainder of the sauce for dipping/topping. Let meatloaf sit for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

(Recipe from David Friesen kitchen.)

Wild Turkey Pot Pie

I’m always looking for great recipes for my wild turkey harvests, and a friend gave me her pot pie recipe. It’s delicious, hearty, and my family loves it. While there are a few steps, it is actually really easy to make. You can prepare this as a make ahead dish. Bake, cool, wrap, and freeze it for later. I’ve also had an instance of making too much filling; not to worry. Freeze the filling and fill a pie later. Don’t you just love make ahead meals? This one is perfect on a cold winter evening.

As always, adapt the recipe to what you and your family’s taste buds like. Make it your own.

Wild Turkey Pot Pie


Start to finish: 1 hour
Serves: 12


2 – Premade puff pastry or flat pie crusts, (Room temperature) rolled to 12″ and 14″ diameters
1/2 cup butter
4  carrots, washed and chopped
4 celery, washed and chopped
1/2 – small yellow onion, peeled and finely diced
2 – Whole wild turkey breasts, boiled 30 minutes, drained, and chopped. Makes approximately 3 cups. (You may substitute chicken or turkey from your grocery store if you haven’t had a successful turkey hunting season.)
1/4 cup whole kernel corn (optional, you may substitute peas, lima beans, or other grotesque vegetables if you like.)
1/3 cup all-purpose white flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 chicken bouillon cube, crushed
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon ground thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 to 2 teaspoons salt



Preheat your oven to 400 F. Roll your bottom pie crust to approximately 14″ in diameter, to fit a 12″ round casserole. (If you don’t have a 12″ large casserole, you may use two 9″ pie plates or pans. You’ll need to add two pie crusts to your ingredients list, but there is no need to adjust the other items.) Press the crust into the bottom of the dish and up the sides, pierce the bottom with a knife or fork, and place it into the oven.

While your bottom crust is baking, prepare the filling. Bake the crust until it’s golden brown, approximately 10 – 15 minutes, then set it aside to cool.


In a large pot melt the butter over medium heat. Add the carrots, celery, and onion. Sautee the vegetables until the onion becomes translucent. Add the chopped turkey and corn to the pot, stirring to combine them with the vegetables and cooking until it is heated through. Sprinkle half of the flour evenly over the mixture. Stir until the flour is combined, then add the remainder of the flour, sprinkling it evenly over the mixture and stirring until combined. Cook the mixture, stirring frequently, over medium heat approximately five minutes to brown the flour.

Add the chicken broth and crushed bouillon to the pot of cooked vegetables and turkey. Cook, stirring continually until the liquid begins to thicken. Add the heavy cream and continue stirring the mixture as it thickens into a gravy. Add the thyme, pepper, and salt to taste. Keep in mind that some family and friends utilize low-salt diets. You can always add more salt at the table if it pleases you.

Bake the Pie

Pour your filling into the casserole with the prebaked crust, spreading the filling evenly. Roll your unbaked pie crust to approximately 12″ in diameter and lay it on top of your filled casserole dish. Press the edges of the top layer onto the bottom layer of pie crust. If your bottom layer doesn’t reach, don’t fret. You can press the top layer to the casserole. Pierce the top crust with a sharp knife several times to allow for venting while it bakes.

Place the filled, topped casserole on a baking sheet to catch spills. Put it into the oven and bake 30 to 40 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Remove the pie from the oven and allow it to cool for approximately 10 minutes prior to serving.

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Easy to Make Elk Meatloaf Recipe

This best-ever meatloaf is an easy to make dish that our family loves. You can also substitute beef, deer or other game meat if you do not have elk available. Serve it up with mashed potatoes, green beans, or sides of your choosing. H loves to smother a slice of meatloaf with mashed potatoes, shredded cheese, and Cholula sauce. How do you dish yours up?

Elk Meatloaf

Total time:  65 mins; Prep time:  5 mins
Serves: 8


2 pounds ground elk (or other ground meat)
1 egg, whole large
1/4 cup catsup, plus extra for top
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 a sleeve of Saltine crackers, crushed
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup diced onion
1 tablespoon Season All


Preheat oven to 350 F.

Add the ground elk to a large bowl. Add the egg, catsup, Worcestershire, and vinegar and knead until the items are well mixed. Next, add the crushed crackers, garlic, onion, and Season All. knead until the mixture is well blended. Transfer the mixture to a prepared 5″x9″ loaf pan. Squirt lines of catsup over the top of the uncooked loaf. Cover the pan and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the cover and bake an additional 15 minutes. Remove the loaf pan and allow it to rest 15 to 20 minutes prior to serving.

Simple Casseroles for Holiday Pot Lucks

Bitmoji-and-friends-Thanksgiving-dinner-Mia-Anstine-snapThanksgiving has passed but that doesn’t mean the holiday potluck season has. I love hosting parties and enjoy visiting with my guests. That’s why I think casseroles are a must because of early preparation. Plan ahead so you have time to visit and catch up with friends and family, instead of slaving away in the kitchen.

For the holiday of thanks, I always prepare a large variety of side dishes. I want each guest to like at least one of my creations. H hates sweet potatoes. College gal loves them. Everyone loves smashed taters, so they’re of course always on the menu.

With all the delectable sweets, we need to remember to eat healthily. Homemade cranberry jelly atop spaghetti squash is super yummy. An old family friend taught me how to disguise broccoli so everyone, or almost everyone, will love it. I tend to adjust the recipes and make them my own, you can do the same if you like. Of these, there has to be at least one that you can take to a holiday potluck. They’re also excellent for those days we spend fixing fence, hunting, or working all day. Check out the menu below.

Prebaked Mashed Potatoes

There are so many mashed potatoes recipes, you can make any that you like, put them in a casserole, freeze, then bake it before dinner. Most baking times are approximately 45 minutes. I use a stick thermometer to be sure I’m not serving anything that’s half frozen. Here’s my smashed potato recipe:

Start to finish: 55 minutes; Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: 8

5 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
3-4 quarts water
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup sour cream
1 cup milk
2-4 cups shredded cheese (optional)

Add the potatoes and water to a stockpot. Boil on high until the potatoes are soft when poked with a fork. Strain potatoes from the water. Add them to a mixing bowl. Mix on low until the potato chunks are softened. Add the butter, sour cream, and milk to the mixing bowl. Mix until all ingredients are well blended. Add the mixture to your favorite casserole dish that has been coated inside with cooking spray (or to a disposable one if you’re going to take them to a friend’s house where you may not get your dish returned).

You may top the potatoes with shredded cheese if it pleases you. Cover the dish with parchment paper and then wrap tightly with aluminum foil. Freeze. Pull the dish out and place it in the refrigerator one day prior to baking day. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, or until the center is between 160 and 180 degrees. Unwrap, serve and enjoy your time with friends.

Pioneer Woman’s Soul Sweet ‘Taters

Click HERE to get the recipe. I’ll tell you how to prepare it ahead so your guests will love it.

In my family, my mother and I are the only ones who like nuts, so I leave them off, but you can add them as you like. Prepare the recipe as directed, putting the creation into the baking dish that has been coated inside with cooking spray, but save the topping until baking day or you’ll have smashed topped with mush. Place parchment paper atop the sweet potatoes and then wrap the dish tightly in aluminum foil and freeze.

Pull the dish out and place it in the refrigerator one day prior to baking day. On baking day, uncover the dish and add the topping mix as directed in the recipe. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, or until the center is between 160 and 180 degrees. Serve it while it’s hot, and enjoy your time with friends.

Cranberry Spaghetti Squash

This is a creation I’ve adapted from a recipe I found for a wonderful homemade cranberry terrine I make every year. I’ve modified it to use as a topping for my spaghetti squash. It’s festive, mostly healthy, season appropriate, and a perfect make-ahead dish.

Start to finish: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Servings: 16

1 8-ounce bag fresh cranberries
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup pure pomegranate juice
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole black peppercorns
2 large strips orange peel, white pith removed
2 spaghetti squash, cleaned, baked, and removed from their peels

We’ll be following the directions as posted in the Food Network’s Terrine Recipe, but we’ll adjust our ingredients and stop just prior to adding the gelatin.

“Pulse the cranberries and 1/4 cup sugar in a food processor until chunky and juicy, about 8 times. Set aside for 20 minutes to macerate.

Meanwhile, combine the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, 1 cup (this has been adjusted for the spaghetti squash recipe) pomegranate juice, the cinnamon stick, peppercorns, orange peel and a pinch of salt in a saucepan over medium heat; simmer, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat; let steep for 20 minutes. Discard the cinnamon, peppercorns and orange peel.” Add the steeped mixture to your food processor or blender. Give it a couple of pulses to mix.

Spread the cooked spaghetti squash in a casserole that has been coated inside with cooking spray. Next, spread your cranberry mixture evenly atop the squash. Place parchment paper atop the casserole and then wrap the dish tightly in aluminum foil and freeze. Pull the dish out and place it in the refrigerator one day prior to baking day. On baking day, bake for 45 to 60 minutes at 350 F, or until the center is between 160 F and 180 F. Serve it while it’s hot, and enjoy your time with friends.

Best Ever Broccoli-Cauliflower Casserole

This is another recipe I’ve adapted over the years. An old family friend used to make it with only broccoli, but I chose to add the cauliflower, and my friends and family rave about it.

Start to finish: 55 minutes; Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: 16

2 heads broccoli – cut florets and discard stems
1 head cauliflower – cut florets and discard stems
1 22oz can Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup
1 cup milk
6 boiled eggs – peeled and sliced
2-4 cups shredded Mexican cheese
1 sleeve saltine crackers – crushed

Preheat your oven to 350 F.

Spread the broccoli and cauliflower florets evenly in the bottom of a prepared casserole dish or pan. In a separate dish, whip together the cream of mushroom soup and milk. Pour the mixture evenly atop the florets. Spread the egg slices atop the vegetables, saving a dozen pretty slices aside. Put these in an airtight container in the refrigerator (if you’re going to be freezing your casserole for a prolonged period, you will want to boil fresh eggs for the day of the party baking). Top with shredded cheese, cover with parchment paper and aluminum foil, then bake at 350 F for 45 minutes. Let the casserole cool completely, then wrap it tightly with aluminum foil and freeze.

Remove the casserole from the freezer and place in the refrigerator one day prior to baking day. On baking day, uncover the casserole. Spread the remaining egg slices atop the shredded cheese topping. Spread your saltine crumbs evenly atop the casserole and then bake for 45 to 60 minutes at 350 F, or until the center is between 160 F and 180 F. Serve it while it’s hot, and enjoy your time with friends.

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Savory Green-Chile Mountain Lion Calabacitas Recipe

Here’s a wild spin on an old favorite Calabacitas Recipe! Have you ever had that wonderful Mexican zucchini dish? Well, it’s one of my family’s favorites and I just made it better, if you can believe it.

Image-1If you’ve just started following me, you might not know that I live in Southwest Colorado with a view of New Mexico from my front porch. Those of you who’ve visited the area know that green chile is a staple, and finding a meal including it doesn’t take long. That also means that my Calabacitas include said chile.

We buy bushels of New Mexico’s Hatch Green Chile. We roast it, clean it, seal it up, and freeze it for later use. If you don’t want to go through this effort, you can always buy green chile in the freezer section at your grocery store.

I’m not sure if I ever shared another story, but I’ll make sure and do so, right now. In the area, there are many of us who hunt for our food. We’ve recently acquired the name “locavores” but in years passed, we were called hunters. I’m a hunter. I enjoy the organic meat that goes in my freezer, and this year I finally caught up to a cougar. No, not a lady who chases younger men. A mountain lion. I tagged one and yes, he went into my freezer.


Many people say, “Why would you kill an animal you don’t eat?” I say quite the contrary. Mountain lion is a delicacy, and I only have a small amount left because the calls for me to share came quickly. I am blessed to be able to share the fruits of my labor with others. You see, mountain lion hunting is truly the most arduous hunt in which I’ve partaken.

There’s something to be said about the effort that goes into putting the food on your table. While I won’t ever knock anyone who chooses to only buy their food at the grocery store, I do feel a huge satisfaction from doing the work myself. If you’ve ever had an herb or vegetable garden, you probably know the gratification of which I’m referring.

I cannot tell you how my friends prepare their lion meat, but I will share one of my absolute favorite recipes.

Mountain Lion Calabacitas

Start to finish: 30 minutes
Servings: 12

(This is a recipe that is tasty also as a vegetarian dish, for my family and friends who don’t partake in meat eating.)

1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 small red onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound ground mountain lion (or other ground meat)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Dash of oregano
1/2 pound roasted Hatch green chile, seeded and chopped
3 zucchini, sliced and chopped
3 yellow squash, sliced and chopped
1/4 cup butter
Sea salt
Ground pepper

In a large skillet, disco, or wok, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic. Sautee these until they are golden brown. Stir in the meat, breaking it up with a spoon or spatula. Sprinkle in the cumin and oregano. Stir until the meat is cooked through. Add the green chile, stirring the mixture until it becomes fragrant, about five minutes. Next, add the zucchini, yellow squash, butter, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover the mixture and cook until the squash is tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Mountain-lion-clabacitas-recipe-wild-game-field-to-forkServe with whatever garnishes and sides you prefer. Almost all of my meals include tortillas, and cheese is always a must for my husband. Speaking of those two, you can roll, or fold, the mixture into a tortilla, add goat cheese and avocado, and you have a delicious taco or burrito.

Other optional additions include, but are not limited to, whole kernel corn, poblano chiles, and tomatoes. I indeed use some of these when I don’t have other ingredients. It’s great either way.

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Tons of Snacks to Carry in the High Country

Whether I’m exploring, hunting, or on another adventure, the high country is a place I love. When I’m out for a day hike or week long expedition I always carry rations of food. Snacks come in handy in the event you wind up stuck on the side of the mountain for more than your intended time. They’re also important because at high elevations our bodies burn a lot more calories.

However, we don’t want to carry any unnecessary weight. When we’re choosing which snacks to put in the pack we have to be fastidious.

Emergency Meal

An important thing to throw in the pack is an emergency meal. This is one that won’t spoil. I choose dehydrated meals such as those made by Mountain House. No, I’m not sponsored by them. I’ve just had good luck finding ones that are tasty and easy to prepare. After a 14 hour day of hiking at 12,000-foot elevation, the last thing I want to do is follow multi-step directions on how to cook the meal my body is yearning for. Heck, sometimes it’s a chore enough to remember to take the silica packet out of the bag.Mexican-style-rice-chicken-Mountain-House

One of my favorite flavors is Mexican Style Rice & Chicken. There are hundreds of others, and I’m sure you can find one to tote around for years, just in case you have an emergency.

Oh yes. It’s not food, but don’t forget to throw in the JetBoil so you can cook it up quickly.

Every Day Snacks

I know what my favorite snacks are, but I wondered what everyone else likes to carry in their packs. I posed the question to my followers on social media and many like the same things I do. There were a couple of new ideas too. Tell me in the comments, what are your favorite snacks to carry in your pack. Here are a few of mine.

  • Bars – I’m pretty simple and try to eat as healthy as I can when I’m in the high country. I like Nature Valley’s Crunchy granola bars. Although I’m not too particular on flavor, if I had to choose one, it’d be the peanut butter. My horse likes them too.I also throw in protein bars. You’ll probably have to test a few out to see which you prefer. Honestly, I think some taste like dirt, and that’s the last thing I want to taste when I’m exhausted from a hike. My latest favorites are the Quest Nutrition Protein bars.
  • homemade-snack-for-the-trail-backpacking-nut-mix-Mia-Anstine-photoNuts & Fruits – Dried fruit and nuts are good to carry. They pack nutrition and provide the body with needed energy. You know there are a lot of varieties out there. Choose your favorite, but remember salt can cause water retention.Many friends said they like to carry trail mix in their packs. I asked specifically what type and most indicated they like the ones with peanuts, raisins, and M&M’s. I’ll often make my own trail mix, sorting through the bins at the store and selecting nuts and dried fruits that suit my pallet at the time.When I’m in a hurry or am not sure what I feel like, I’ll buy packages. I don’t know about you, but my pallet changes from time to time. Maybe I wear it out with the same things, over and over again. Does this happen to you? My recent favorite packaged mix is the Omega-3 Mix by Orchard Valley.
  • Jerky – As a hunter, I always make several bags of jerky from the animals I tag. I enjoy taking the time to cut, season, dry, and package the meat. It’s organic. I know where it came from, and I know how it’s been cleaned and taken care of from the field to my mouth. Yes, the process does take some time, but the return is worth it.If you don’t have the time to hunt, process, and make your own jerky, you can find tons of food flavors at the store. A while back a Twitter follower, Jerky Dynasty, sent me a variety pack of exotic jerky to try. This is fun because you get to try various meats. They’re individually wrapped and delicious.
  • Sweet Treats – I tend to shy away from the sweet treats. Those Quest bars I mentioned are close to it. Some are chocolate covered, but keep in mind chocolate melts on a hot day. I mentioned asking friends and followers what they carry. Here’s a list of the sweets they shouted out: Snicker’s Bars, PayDay, Green Apple Blow Pops, Cherry Mash, honey buns, gummi bears, and more.

The list of deliciousness that you can throw in your pack can go on and on. My tip is to keep it as nutritionally valuable as possible. The occasional sweet-sugary treat is a pick-me-up when you’re tired, but remember the healthy calories will do your body good.

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Wild Turkey Tortilla Soup Recipe


Field To Fork: Wild Turkey Tortilla Soup

Taking-home-dinner-Mia-Anstine-wild-turkey-soup-Hank-Anstine-photo-Beretta-USA-blogRecently, I’ve written about how to get started with turkey hunting and how to prepare yourself and your gear to go afield. Within my family, there’s not much more enjoyable than taking our Beretta A300 shotguns out to the field to tag and bag a spring-time wild-turkey.

However, there’s more to the thrill of hunting wild turkeys than the process of hunting the bird. While the challenge of outsmarting these savvy birds and putting the knockdown on them is part of the fulfillment in the hunt, there remains the question of how to make the most of your wild turkey harvest. Today, I’d like to share one of my favorite recipes for wild turkey.

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River Guide Peach Cobbler – Dutch Oven Cooking

It’s so easy to cook in a Dutch Oven, and this is the best peach cobbler recipe from a river guide.

Some of my fondest childhood memories are of barbecues and cookouts by the fire. I remember running the fields with the kids, as our parents yucked it up around the firepit. I also remember a few dutch oven dinners that were a bit charred, as the oven was buried too deep in the coals. Have you ever had that experience?

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How to Cook Wild Game and More on Mangia TV | Mia’s Motivations

Although most of the meals I cook include wild game, I’m always on the prowl for new recipes to try. Bob at MangiaTV sparked my curiosity when he invited me to his Blab session. We chatted about how to handle, care for, and store wild game. He obviously enjoys eating a little as well, because he asked me some hunting questions too.

I hope to learn some more cooking tips, so I’ve subscribed, and you should too!

Get outside. Explore, learn, hunt, fish, shoot, connect with nature.

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Blue-Cheese Elk Burger Recipe

Since it’s summertime, I have to revive a favorite elk recipe. This is one I play with all the time, depending on the mood of my taste buds. I sometimes add barbecue sauce. Sometimes I leave out the blue cheese, add garlic, sauteed mushrooms, and so on. You can also substitute beef, deer or other game meat if you don’t have elk available. Let me know how you like them.

Elk-burger-recipe-Mias-Motivations1/2 C – diced onion
1 Tbsp – vegetable oil
1 – egg, whole large, beaten
1 tsp – dried thyme
1 tsp – dried rosemary
2 tsp – brown sugar
1/2 tsp – salt
1/4 tsp – pepper
2 tsp – Worcestershire
4 oz – crumbled blue cheese (optional)
2 pounds – ground elk (or other red meat)

Other items needed: Hamburger buns, mayo, mustard, catsup, lettuce, tomato, cheese and/or any of fixin’s that are your favorite on a grilled hamburger.

In a large skillet, add vegetable oil.  Heat over medium heat.  Add onions and saute.  Set them aside to cool.  (we puree the onions after sauteing them and add them as below so the kids don’t notice them).

In a large mixing bowl, add the egg, thyme, rosemary, brown sugar, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire. Mix thoroughly.  Add mixture to ground meat and mix until well blended.  After the mixture is well blended, add blue cheese if desired. If you’re questioning the blue cheese, TRY IT! You just might like it. If you don’t like it, simply leave it out next time.