a peek inside the fishbowl

23 Nov, 2011

Winter arrives, along with a revised meatloaf meal plan

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Recipes and Food

Personally, I think the snow should hold off until December 1. I don’t mind winter, but I’m totally not ready for it. I can’t find my mittens. Mark needs a scarf. And Emma needs new boots. Ack! At least one member in the family is happy. Er. Make that two.

Piper's snowy snoot

Someone likes the snow

More than ever, this turn of weather is making me crave comfort foods. I cooked a roast for the FIRST TIME yesterday (it turned out well!) but my biggest issue lately has been with the side dish side of things. I’m experiencing a bit of a dry spell, although perhaps “rut” is a more suitable word for it because it better describes the mindless journey of potato/tossed green salad/raw veggie platters that have been marching to the dinner table night after night after night.

I offered to cook Sunday dinner at my in-laws last week. I planned on making meatloaf so I was FORCED to address the side dish situation and make a real effort to find something good to go with it, above and beyond the usual mashed potatoes and sautéed carrots and green beans. And I think I hit upon a good combo. Let me know what you think.

(Click on the links for the full recipe. All are from Epicurious.com.)

  • Mom’s Meat Loaf, which uses pork and beef, which I think works really well although it was a bit fall-apartish when it was sliced. (It made up for it by making an AMAZING lunch the next day.) I followed the recipe to the letter but ended up brushing the top with a mixture of chill sauce and brown sugar. It wasn’t called for in the recipe but it was a very smart move on my part, because it was excellent.
  • Apple poppy-seed coleslaw, which was a perfect make-ahead dish but it made a LOT. I think the serving size is a massive understatement. I used Heritage Carrots I found at Farm Boy, which included a few purple and yellow ones and it added some great colour. And for goodness sakes, check your teeth after you eat this.
  • Sesame green bean “salad.” A keeper. Woot!
  • Mustard-roasted potatoes. It was good, but I’m not 100% sure it was worth the extra effort. (Normally I’d just slice the baby potatoes in half and throw them in the oven with a bit of olive oil and some rosemary and S & P sprinkled on top.)

Everything came together nicely and I was very happy with my menu plan. I think I might have to pull a repeat performance. Tell me, what do you serve with meatloaf? Inquiring minds want to know!

5 Responses to "Winter arrives, along with a revised meatloaf meal plan"

1 | kaitlin

November 23rd, 2011 at 10:55 am


I rarely eat meatloaf, but you and a neighbour both have me wanting to try it.

I will say however, that this roasted potato recipe is life-changing. Yup. LIFE-CHANGING:


2 | andrea

November 23rd, 2011 at 11:24 am



3 | alison

November 23rd, 2011 at 1:27 pm


Meatloaf is such a wonderful comfort food, it needs a nice comforting (comfortable?) friend to hang out with. Like rosti potatoes. I love them and I think they go together well with meatloaf.

Canadian Living has a good recipe: http://www.canadianliving.com/food/rosti_potatoes.php

and I saw one just yesterday from Foodland Ontario
that I want to try because it has mushrooms in it!

4 | Irene

November 23rd, 2011 at 1:28 pm


I just did roasted cauliflower last night for the first time…. even the kids ate it! In fact they ate most of it :)
Literally just cut up a head of cauliflower – toss with olive oil and salt and pepper – spread onto a cookie sheet – roast at 450F for about 25 mins. making sure to rotate them every 10 mins to get them golden on all sides.
Congrats on the roast!! I am addicted to roasting chickens these days :)

5 | Jane C.

November 30th, 2011 at 3:50 pm


Sauteed brussels sprouts. Steam them first and then saute them in a frying pan with butter (or bacon), maple syrup and a bit of horseradish. And mashed potatoes.

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our two daughters Emma (18) and Sarah (16). I am the managing editor of our community newspaper, the Kitchissippi Times. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger, and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999... which makes me either a total dinosaur or a veteran, I'm not sure which! The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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