Friday, April 4, 2014

April Fools' Dinner

On April Fools' Day, I served these meatloaf "cupcakes" with "brownies" for dessert. Mia, especially, enjoyed the silliness of it all, and I was pretty tickled myself that my experimental food -- I would not even call it a recipe -- was such a surprise hit! Even Logan, who is going through the ever fun I-won't-eat-that-meat-'cause-it's-not-a-chicken-nugget phase, enthused, "Tricky meatloaf is yummy!"

My inspiration was a friend, Jenifer, who had posted a pic of this a while back. I just happened to have purchased the Cheddar Jack and Bacon Fresh Take mix at the store that morning, and I decided it must make great meatloaf! I quickly found I this recipe and then modified it according to the family's tastes. (I'm really just writing this down here so that I remember how I made it for the next time.)

{Cupcakes for Dinner? Why not?}

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 pkg Kraft Fresh Take Cheddar Jack and Bacon 
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 Tbs ketchup
  • 1 pkg instant garlic mashed potatoes (plus water, milk, and butter)
  • carrot
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350*.
  2. In a bowl, combine turkey, Fresh Take mix, an egg, and ketchup.
  3. Line muffin tin with silicone baking liners (or spray well). Spoon meatloaf mixture into cups, pressing down firmly. Makes about 12 meatloaf "cupcakes."
  4. Bake at 350* for about 35-40 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165*. Let rest for about 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, make a package of instant potatoes according to package directions. Place potatoes into a pastry bag and then pipe onto the meatloaf "cupcakes" to make frosting. (Note: You can mash your own potatoes if you prefer. I was doing it this way to save time.)
  6. Garnish "cupcakes" with carrot curls and serve. (Green beans were a natural side dish for this meal.)
{Whaddya mean this "cupcake" is healthy?}

For dessert, I copied my friend Kim and served a pan of fresh-made "brownies." Mine were made from card stock weight kraft paper and cut using my Cricut machine. In retrospect, I didn't need to make nearly as many. A single brown E per person would have done the trick, but I felt it would be extra fun if I made an assortment of E's in different fonts and sizes. Then, I just put a few on each plate.

{"Brownies" for Dessert!}

Logan was less than thrilled. He whined, "I don't want to eat cardboard." (Although, that did not stopping him from taking a bite before I cut and served him an actual brownie.) Mia, however, was amused by this trick saying, "Brown E's... I get it! Good one, Mom!"

To make my real brownies, I used this recipe, which I have made only one small addition to: The frosting was very dry so I added some milk.

Ingredients for Brownies:                    
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
Directions for Making Brownies:
  1. Preheat oven to 350*. Grease the pan. Mine was 9" x 7".
  2. Melt butter in microwave. (You can also do this over the stove, but microwave is obviously faster.) Place melted butter into the bowl of a stand mixer (or big mixing bowl, if mixing by hand) and beat in sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Add cocoa, flour, salt, and baking powder. Beat until well-combined. Pour into the greased pan.
  3. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
  4. While baking, make frosting. (I just combined all the ingredients in my stand mixer and beat until they were well-mixed, stopping and scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.) Spread onto brownies while they are warm from the oven. Enjoy!
Ingredients for Frosting:
  • 3 Tbs butter, softened
  • 3 Tbs cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbs honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 Tbs milk
{Would you like a brown E?}

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