Monday, April 2, 2012

April Fool’s Day Cake & Flowers

I have never really successfully pulled off a good April Fool’s Day prank. And I have to say that I sort of had a complex about it. But not anymore… Yesterday I finally did it!

Our church has a potluck every Sunday night at our Family Nite service and I decided they would be my next target.

My contributions: Cake and a flower arrangement. Or were they???

April Fools food 01 I brought them both to the church and set them right on the dessert table. I stuck a server next to the “cake” and a spoon in the flower arrangement. I got my dinner and sat where I had a good spot to watch them. For the longest time, no one touched either of them. People went for the already cut brownies and the easy-to-serve cherry cobbler. No one ever wants to be the first to cut into the cake… And no one wants to figure out why there’s a spoon in the flowers???

Just when I began to despair that I had failed yet again, one of the youth group members took a slice of cake. I thought the reaction would be immediate. But he just slapped the piece of cake onto his plate with the rest of his desserts and went and sat down. How could he have not noticed??? Had I failed AGAIN after all??? Another girl took a piece and nonchalantly walked back to her table. I felt defeated. Well, at least I was going to get to take home my really yummy Flower Pot Mud Pie and I’d just eat the whole thing to make myself feel better…

No such luck, my children could no longer hold it in and (knowing what was really in the pot) eventually helped themselves to the dessert. At about that same time, I overheard quite a bit of laughing from the youth group table. Maybe it had worked after all??? Then I heard the, “Hey! What is this?” At the same time, Katie walked over half smiling and simply says, “I’m mad at you.” I have to confess that knowing I had made Katie mad actually made me very happy! ;o)

It turned out Robert hadn’t noticed either that his piece of “cake” was made entirely out of meat. Half of his table could clearly see this but all he saw was pink “frosting”, hence the laughter. Oblivious to all this, he went to take his first bite and exclaims, “Wait, is this meat?” The table begins to roll with laughter. It worked beautifully! About 5 minutes later, Katie walks back over to me and says, “Now I know why you did that!” Now I had to laugh.

No one suspected that my cake was actually meatloaf, nor that my flower arrangement was a dessert in disguise. But both were very delicious and were a big hit all the way around!

So if you’re looking for a fun and delicious prank for next year, here is the recipe for my Meatloaf Cake. The recipe is a bit of a variation on Sweet Anna’s smoky mini meatloafs. I also have to confess that this is the very first meatloaf that my family has enjoyed and only the second one I have ever made since being a grown-up!

3 pounds lean hamburger (I had 3 1/4 pounds)

1 1/2 cups quick oats

1/2-1 cup diced onion

2 cups milk

3 teaspoons salt (I didn’t use that much)

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Mix all ingredients together. I use my Kitchen Aid mixer but you can also do it by hand.

Press into a greased 9x13 metal baking pan. (you don’t want them to see through it).

2 cups ketchup

1/4 cup brown sugar

6 Tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 teaspoon Chipotle Tobasco sauce (or more or less to taste)

Whisk together and spread on top of meatloaf.

Bake at 350 for about 1 hour or until it temps at 160-165.

*Mine had quite a bit of liquid around it when it was done baking. You can drain it off if you like but I just moved mine into another clean 9x13 baking pan.

When the meatloaf is almost done, prepare one 13oz box of instant mashed potatoes according to package directions. After they are done, whip them extra smooth with an electric mixer.

If you want to, add a bit of food coloring before whipping to give the potatoes that pretty frosting look. I did most of my potatoes in pink but left some white for decorations.

“Frost” your “cake” generously, making sure to cover it completely. If desired, serve with a lovely flower arrangement for dessert… ;o)   See recipe HERE.

April Fools food 02

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