On bravery and meatloaf (and broccoli mashed potatoes)

Yesterday we went sliding. On the snow. Downhill. Now, for many of you this may sound like a perfectly normal weekend family activity for a cold December morning. Many of you, I presume, were also born with skates attached to your feet.

I, on the other hand, prefer my ground nice and solid. Maybe it’s my Rollerblade deprived youth, or the fact that I cannot even cycle (by the way, you DO forget how to ride a bike, trust me on this). I also consider attaching slippery skis to your feet and then going downhill really, really fast suicidal. and don’t give me that shtick about being able to stop whenever you want to. I just know that I will break my neck, and no cheerfully fire-lit wood log chalet is going to change my mind.

Taking all these nice anxieties in tow, I watched my husband enthusiastically drag the plastic sleigh containing my innocent, unsuspecting daughter uphill, chattering happily. She looked at me uncertain, her eyes barely showing under her much-too-big winter hat. For the sake of family unity, I smiled encouragingly. After all, it is only a kiddie hill, right? no need to panic. I will just eh…stay here and make sure that the car stays within sight. Never know what might happen.

Surprisingly enough, my husband didn’t buy that. I was made to go down that hill and actually enjoy myself. After all, I have to set a good example. Just like that time I gave up fainting over a (truly terrifying) household spider in order not to pass on my phobia to the next generation. My selfless act of bravery proved itself worthy when Noa-the-explorer actually found the evil-looking bug interesting enough for scientific scrutiny (shiver). Yuck.

To sum things up, all that went up hill came sliding down. Only one of us managed to topple the large plastic sleigh down the little hill (stop smirking honey) and roll in a most unrespectable manner on their slightly too large behind.  Tired and happy, my snow suit enveloped 2-year-old looked at me hopefully:  “finished mama? Auto?”.
Brave act aside, she is my daughter after all.

All that cold and turmoil required some serious fueling up. What can be better than homemade meat loaf and mashed potatoes? Make that broccoli green mashed potatoes.

As if life wasn’t adventurous enough as it is.

Meatloaf a la Ayalla

For the loaf:

1200 gr lean ground beef
1 cup quick cooking oats
1 large egg, beaten
2 medium onions
3 young leafy celery stalks
1/4 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste

For the glaze:

1/4 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp brown sugar

Reheat your oven to 350 F (180 C). Peel and quarter the onions and place them in a food processor bowl with the celery stalks. Process until the veggies are well minced. Pour the onion mix in a large bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. mix very well until combined. Place beef mixture on a baking tray and create a loaf shape. Mix the glaze ingredients together and brush meatloaf on all sides. Place in the hot oven and bake for about 80 minutes.

Green broccoli mashed potatoes:

The food processor is key in creating the perfect texture in this recipe. Not to mention the ease of preparation.


700 gr potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 5 large)
500 gr frozen broccoli florets
1/4 cup cream
2 Tbsp butter or margarine
salt to taste


Dump your potatoes in a large pot. Add broccoli (even frozen) on top. Cover with water and season with salt (about a tablespoon). Cook on high until the vegetables are soft. You don’t have to worry here about the broccoli being crisp and so on. It is meant to go all mushy. Once soft, turn off the heat. Scoop your broccoli with a slotted spoon to the food processor bowl and add cream.

Process with the large metal blade until well mashed.

Remove cutting blade and install the  top plate with the grater blade. Feed your soft potato cubes through the feeding hole onto the grater and into the broccoli mix.

Remove lid ,Transfer to serving bowl and add butter.

mix well and add salt to taste. Your green mashed potatoes should now be warm, creamy and ready to go. It keeps well in the fridge too, not that it lasts very long around here.