Meatloaf magic

Carol Falkowski has worked for more than 30 years as a nationally recognized expert on addiction, publishing an annual report on drug abuse trends in Minnesota. Heavy stuff. So maybe it’s not surprising that when she’s home in Mahtomedi, she has some fun with her food. Specifically: meatloaf. Long a favorite dish, she began thinking several years ago about how to elevate it from its homely reputation — to think outside the box. The result is “Meatloaf Outside of the Pan,” a collection of recipes she’s invented that lend personality and often more nutrition to meatloaf. Here are meatloaves that look like pumpkins, beer steins, ears of corn, even Albert Einstein. They’re free-form loaves — hence, outside of the pan. Falkowski happily pushes the envelope, such as meatloaf that looks like a watermelon wedge. But her creativity earned her a spot on “The Rachael Ray Show” in October.

To see a gallery of her creations, and to order the book, visit

Craft brew fest calendar

For those who like to plan ahead, the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild has announced its roster of 2018 seasonal craft beer festivals — tickets are on sale at

The events provide craft beer fans with unlimited pours from hundreds of breweries — Winterfest on Feb. 16 in St. Paul; All Pints North on July 28 in Duluth; and Autumn Brew Review on Sept. 15 in Minneapolis.

The available ticket packages include Seasonal 6 Pack, which is two tickets to each of the Guild’s three festivals for $330, and a Single Ticket Pack, which is one ticket to each of the Guild’s three festivals for $165. Each represents a 15 percent discount over purchasing tickets individually. The Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild, founded in 2000, is an organization that connects more than 100 Minnesota craft brewery and brewpub members. It strives to educate the public that consuming beer is a pleasure that should be enjoyed in moderation.