April Fools’ Day Dinner: Meatloaf “Cupcakes” with Mashed Potato “Frosting”

Thursday, March 31, 2011

So, when I was planning my meals for the week I asked for suggestions for something fun for our April Fools' Day dinner.  Renee sent me to Cupcakes and Swirls where they'd made these cute little Meatloaf and Mashed Potato "Cupcakes".  I'm not such a meatloaf fan myself, but since my kids had recently expressed interest in trying it, I thought it'd be the perfect April Fools trick to play on my family!    The best part about this funny trick is that once they got over the shock that they weren't really getting their dessert first, they actually really liked the meatloaf/mashed potato combination!  Of course it also helped that they got their real April Fool dessert ("mashed potato" cupcakes)  or "Hamburger" Cookies afterward!   If you have your own favorite meatloaf or mashed potato recipes, you can go ahead and use your tried and true favorites!  Have fun!   

We were in a hurry when we made these, so we didn’t put much effort into making the “frosting” look very pretty, but if you get the mashed potatoes the right consistency, you can make them look as fancy (or non-fancy in our case) as you would normally make cupcakes. 

Click here for printable recipe.

The ingredients:

1 lb. lean ground beef (I used ground turkey)
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs (I used plain breadcrumbs with a teaspoon of oregano)
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
3 Tbs. ketchup
1 egg
1/2 tsp. celery salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
12 foil cupcake liners

4 medium russet potatoes, washed and peeled
4 Tbs.  unsalted butter
1/2 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
food coloring, if desired

Directions:   Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 12 muffin tin cups with foil bake cups.  In a large bowl, mix together all of the meat loaf ingredients until well combined.

Divide the mixture evenly among the lined cups (the liners should be about three quarters full).  Place the filled muffin tins on cookie sheets and bake the cupcakes for about 15 minutes or until cooked through.  

While the meatloaf cupcakes are baking, cut the peeled potatoes into smaller, equal pieces. Place in a pot with water covering the potatoes. Cook over medium to high heat, bringing to a boil. Continue boiling, about 10 minutes, or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife.  Drain water from potatoes, add butter, milk, salt and pepper. Beat with an electric mixer, until nice and smooth.    Divide the mashed potatoes among three small bowls and stir a few drops of food coloring into each batch to create blue, yellow, and pink pastel frostings. Spread a generous dollop on each cupcake.

You can also pipe the mashed potatoes on, the same as you would do with frosting, but we were lazy and did it the easy way.  Smile   Makes 12 "cupcakes". 

Serve warm and make sure you have some real dessert for them afterward.  :) 



April Fool's Day Treat: "Mashed Potato" Cupcakes

 Well, my family got a real April Fool's Day surprise this year!  I was so excited to make some fun new treats to share here on the blog, that they got their April Fool's Day dinner tonight!  It actually was pretty classic to see their reactions when they realized that they were getting tricked early this year!  We got the idea for  these "mashed potatoes" cupcakes from my daughter's   Hello, Cupcake! cookbook, which is a full of fun and easy cupcake ideas.  

We made these using  our dairy free cupcake recipe, which was perfect since it makes just 12 cupcakes and the chocolate cake combined with the caramel topping tasted pretty fabulous too!   Make sure you melt the caramel topping slightly before drizzling, to make it more like a gravy consistency.   

Check out my other April Fool's treats as well--Hamburger Cookies and Meatloaf and Mashed Potato "Cupcakes"

Click here for printable recipe. 

The ingredients:

Baked cupcakes
White frosting
Caramel ice cream topping, melted slightly
Yellow Starburst candies

Directions:  Liberally frost each cupcake with white frosting to look like a mound of mashed potatoes.  Make a small indentation in the top where the yellow Starburst pat of butter will be set, but before placing it, drizzle caramel topping that has been melted slightly. 

(I put mine in a small bowl in the microwave for about 15 seconds, then used a spoon to drizzle it over to look like gravy).  Place Starburst pat of butter in place and add a tiny bit more caramel topping to complete the look.

Serve immediately and wait for the smiles!  Enjoy! 


Creamy Potato-Leek Soup

Okay, okay....just after bragging about my new fresh spring menu, I found this soup recipe waiting to be published.  I hadn't cooked with leeks much before, but after seeing how deliciously creamy this soup looked and reading the reviews on it I couldn't wait to give it a try.   The texture turned out as fabulous as I expected, but taste wise it was a toss-up on likes and dislikes in our family.  Everyone ate it, but there were a few of us that didn't really care for the flavor of the leeks.  I figured that with the positive reviews on the Sister's Cafe (where I originally got the recipe) and the fact that my family really isn't accustomed to eating leeks, that I'd go ahead and share it here.  I also liked that the soup itself (without the bacon) is fairly healthy with only a small amount of butter used and evaporated milk instead of cream, which means that you don't need to feel guilty about garnishing it with cheese and crumbled bacon.   Enjoy!  

Click here for printable recipe. 

The ingredients:

6 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
2 leeks, washed, sliced, including white and light green parts
1 cup chopped onion
2 carrots, sliced
1 stalk of celery, sliced
4 cups chicken broth
1 Tbs. dried parsley flakes
1 tsp garlic salt
2 Tbs. butter
12 oz. can evaporated milk
12 oz. bacon, cooked and crumbled
sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
chives, chopped - optional

Crockpot Directions:  Combine everything except last 4 ingredients in crockpot. Cook on low 7-9 hours or on high 3-4 hours. Stir in the can of evaporated milk the last 45 minutes. Serve hot topped with bacon, cheddar, and chives.

Stovetop Directions:  In a large sauce pan on medium heat,  saute onion in a tablespoon of oil until soft (about 7-8 minutes).     Add the potatoes, leeks, carrots, celery, chicken broth, parsley, garlic salt, and butter and simmer together  for about 30 minutes.  

Allow to cool for about 5 minutes, then in a blender puree about 1/3 of the soup or until desired texture has been reached. 

Reheat.  Serve hot topped with bacon, cheddar, and chives.   


Turkey Burritos with Fresh Fruit Salsa

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It may still be cold and dreary outside, but I'm officially entering spring cooking mode.   This recipe from Taste of Home fits the winter-should-be-over-by-now-and-I-need-some-more-freshness-in-our-menu bill perfectly.  Make the salsa early in the day to allow the flavors a chance to combine, then when you're ready for dinner you can whip out the yummy burritos in a jiffy!  They were a cinch to make and were mild, yet tasty enough for the whole family to enjoy! 

Click here for printable recipe. 

The ingredients:


1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered  (I used Roma tomatoes instead)
1 medium mango, peeled and chopped
2 kiwi fruit, peeled and chopped
3 green onions, thinly sliced
3 Tbs. finely chopped red onion
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped (make sure to wash your hands thoroughly after handling the seeds)
1 Tbs. lime juice

1 lb. lean ground turkey
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1 Tbs. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup beef broth
1 jar (16-oz.) salsa
2 cups frozen corn, thawed (or one 15-ounce can corn, drained)
1 can (15-oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
10 tortillas (8-inch), warmed
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:  For salsa:  In a medium size bowl combine all ingredients and gently stir together. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until ready to serve.  Make sure to allow enough time so that the flavors can combine. 
For the burritos:  In a large nonstick skillet, cook the turkey, turmeric and cumin in oil over medium heat until turkey is no longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Drain. Stir in broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 3-5 minutes or until thickened. Stir in the jarred salsa (not the one you just made), corn and black beans. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat.
Spoon about 1/2 cup turkey mixture off center on each tortilla. Sprinkle with cheese. Fold sides and ends over filling and roll up. Serve with your wonderfully fresh mango salsa. Makes 10 burritos.  Enjoy! 

1 burrito with 1/3 cup salsa equals 371 calories,


Menu 3/28 - 4/3

Monday, March 28, 2011

 After falling out of the loop the last couple of weeks, my family let me know that it's high time for me to spend some time menu planning again!  Be sure to check out my cute little hamburger cookies for April Fool's Day.  I'm still searching for just the right fun April Fool's dinner, so if you have any fun ideas or great links let me know!  Have a wonderful week! 

Monday--Garlic Chicken Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes--Simple and easy to make, this one is another favorite of ours. 

Tuesday--Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes with Peanut Butter Syrup--yep, they're as good as they sound! 

Dinner:   Chicken Tacos (chicken made in crockpot)

Wednesday--Cheeseburger Pasta (new) 

Thursday--Cranberry Orange Muffins--my mom's recipe (YUM!)

Pasta with Asparagus, Cremini, and Walnuts (vegetarian)--despite it having mushrooms and asparagus, it's one of my family's favorite meals.   My teen son in particular cheers when this is on the menu. 

Friday--Hamburger Cookies (for the kids to take to school for April Fool's Day)

April Fool's Day Dinner:  Still to be decided, but I'm looking for something fun!   Let me know if you have any ideas! 

Saturday--Coconut Curry Chicken--I haven't made this one in a while and I'm anxious to give it another try. 

Sunday--Raspberry Swirl Coffee Cake (made the night before)

Dinner:  Spinach Lasagna Rolls (new)

Buttermilk Rolls--soft and delicious! 

BYU Mint Brownies--the BEST!

Go check Organizing Junkie for lots more Menu Plans!


I Spy...Some Friday Favorites ( a day late)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

  I had to laugh looking at the recipes that have caught my eye this week, noticing that my choices are pretty treat heavy this week.  What can I say?  I'm back to eating sugar only once-a-week again which means the goodies look extra enticing.  :)

Brown Butter Blueberry Muffins
Mocha Me

Raspberry Frozen Yogurt
Finding Joy in My Kitchen

Cookie Sticks
Baking and Creating with Avril

Cherry Cheesecake Pie
Coleen's Recipes

Chocolate Chunk Nutella Cookies
Virtual Goody Plate

Spinach Lasagna Rolls
See Jane in the Kitchen

Light Taco Casserole
Quit Eating Out

Head over to Finding Joy in My Kitchen to see some other Friday Favorite links. 


Chicken and Dumplings

Friday, March 25, 2011

This is one of those five star recipes that the whole family adored; from my little kindergartner to my manly husband.  I found this little gem in the Our Best Bites Cookbook....which happens to be my favorite cookbook right now.  If any of you are like me and don’t usually keep Bisquick in the house, I found a whole grain baking mix at Trader Joes which worked great for the dumplings.  I also imagine that you could use your own from-scratch biscuit recipe if you wanted, but haven’t actually tried it myself.  If you do try it, you’ll have to let me know how it turns out!   This is comfort food at its best here—it tastes great, is thick and creamy, and even pretty good for you if you use fat-free evaporated milk (and whole grain dumplings).  Enjoy! 

Click here for printable recipe.

The ingredients:

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, chopped
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 onion, minced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
6 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. basil
1 cup sliced carrots
2 ribs celery, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (or 1 tablespoon dried parsley)
1 can (12-ounces) evaporated milk (fat free is fine)
1 recipe Bisquick biscuit dough (I used a whole-grain baking mix from Trader Joes, but I imagine you could also use your favorite biscuit recipe from scratch as well.  If you try it, you’ll have to let me know how it works. )

Directions: In a large pot on medium-high heat, cook chicken in olive oil until browned but not cooked through (about 5 minutes).  Reduce heat to medium-low, then add onion and garlic.  Sauté for an additional 4-5 minutes and then add chicken broth, bay leaf, and basil.  Bring to a boil.

Add carrots and celery and reduce heat to a simmer.  Cover and cook until carrots and celery are almost tender (about 10 minutes).  Add chopped parsley and stir in evaporated milk.   Increase heat to boiling and drop Bisquick dough by the spoonful into the boiling soup.  Cover and cook until the dumplings are cooked through (about 5-10 minutes). 

Makes 6 servings Serve immediately! 



About This Blog

My name is Lara and while I'm definitely not a gourmet cook, I do love preparing tasty, healthy meals for my family. Finding new recipes to try and sharing the ones we've already fallen in love with is a passion I've had since college and the reason why I've started this blog! With five kids, I'm usually in a hurry, so you'll find most of these recipes kid friendly and simple to make.

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