Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fool's Dinner

I usually don't post twice on the same day, but today I did. When I scheduled to post my Twice Baked Potatoes recipe I wasn't going to be doing an April Fool's dinner this year. At least that's what I thought.

I'm not really a prankster. I'm very literal and while I have a sense of humor I can't tell a joke to save my life. Jokes have always been my husband's department. In fact, when I tell a joke a lot of times people don't pick up on it because they don't expect it from me. There have been a few times that I have told a great joke and only my husband picks up on it. I've been know to tell him often for a few hours afterward about how it really was a great joke. He will usually agree with me throughout my multiple pleas for acknowledgment.

So, back to our April Fool's dinner. Last year I was able to really pull a prank on my husband with the Chicken Not-Pie. I knew I probably wouldn't be so lucky this year seeing as how he is at home during the day now, and because I've done a few food pranks over the last few years. Instead I decided to go a more subtle route and introduce our son to the joys of prank food on April Fool's. Technically this wasn't a prank, no ketchup in the doughnut here, just a fun meal to enjoy at dinner as a family.

I introduced our son to the joys of a TV dinner. I don't know that we've ever eaten one since we had him 4 years ago. Of course, he thought that because it was a TV dinner it was supposed to be eaten in front of the TV. That is the idea, right. Right away he decided that he would eat the chocolate cake. Well, that's for dessert, you need to eat some fried chicken, mashed potatoes, or peas and carrots first. Okay then, I'll take the peas and carrots. Okay. He was a little stupefied when I popped the "peas and carrots" out of the pan and he took a bite only to realize it was a cupcake. Prank #1 done, cupcake off to the side to be saved for the real dessert. Now, do you want a cupcake with white or pink frosting? Meatloaf cupcakes with mashed potato frosting just isn't as exciting.

What's funny is that even though he knew the "peas and carrots" were really a cupcake when we started divvying out the other TV dinner components he decided that he did not want the fried chicken because he didn't like chicken. He was adamant about not having the fried chicken. It took me taking one out and cutting it in half on my plate before he realized that this too was a cupcake and not the real thing.

It was kind of fun seeing April Fool's day through his eyes this year. The silly statements he made followed by "April Fool's" were priceless.

TV Dinner Cupcakes from Hello Cupcake

Meatloaf Cupcakes with Mashed Potato Frosting
Source: Bake at 350

3/4 cup Italian-style breadcrumbs
1/3 cup milk
1 small carrot, chopped
1/2 large onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 or 2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 lb. ground chuck
1/2 lb. ground pork
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
2 eggs
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 12 regular size muffin tins.

Soak the breadcrumbs in the milk and set aside.

Saute the vegetables in olive oil until softened. Transfer to a food processor and process until very finely minced.

Mix the meat, eggs, breadcrumbs, parmesan, parsley, salt & pepper and vegetable puree in a large bowl with your fingers.

Place meat mixture into the muffin tins and bake until brown and pulling away from the sides, about 20-25 minutes. Remove from tin and cool on rack.

Mashed Potatoes:
2- 3.3oz. packages instant mashed potatoes (I used butter flavored to stay away from any "bits" in the mix)

Follow the instruction on the packages. Once finished, divide potatoes in half. Add a small amount of beet juice to one half and whip together (for pink frosting).

Let cool slightly, transfer to a piping bag fitted with a star tip and pipe the frosting on the cakes.



Great story! And thanks for sharing the meatloaf cupcake recipe. Will try it after Lent; am sure the little nieces and nephews are going to love it!

Emily Louise

I only just ordered "Hello Cupcake" the other day, I can't wait to do things like this!

Yours look fantastic :D