Meatloaf Muffins (or Cow Cupcakes)

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So whenever my mommy life doesn’t feel worthy of a blog, I want to share some recipes.  I’m still very unfamiliar with the kitchen, and even more so when it comes to animal parts, but thanks to the internet I’ve got access to all sorts of ideas and rules for food cooking purposes and I can pretend like I know what I’m doing.  🙂  All of the recipes that I’ll ever post are completely fool-proof.  Seriously, if I don’t mess them up, neither will you!

So these are little individual meatloaf guys, because I love all things little.  Also, Doodle typically won’t eat anything I cook, and I don’t eat meat, so anything I can make that I don’t have to do anything with to put most of it away is awesome.  Jake can only eat so much in one sitting, you know.

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Mmmm, meat and potatoes…

So, to make this lovely meal for you and yours, start with a pound of ground beef, an oven preheating to 350 degrees, and a greased muffin tin – I just use that magic oil spray stuff.  This recipe will make 6 of these guys, and Jake will eat two or three of them depending on how hungry he is.  Double or triple everything based on your needs.  Throw the beef in a bowl and add an egg, some bread crumbs, and whatever seasonings you guys like.  Some veggies are also good to throw in there apparently, and it will likely add an extra serving or two worth of bulk, but we’re just not that prepared with onions, beets, squash, or whatever else people chuck in this stuff.

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So I threw in an egg, some garlic and herb breadcrumbs, garlic Mrs. Dash stuff (that lady is fantastic at mixing spices perfectly!), Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning, and some barbeque sauce.  I typically don’t measure anything unless I’m baking, but it’s probably close to like a quarter cup of both the breadcrumbs and barbeque sauce, and I just shake the garlic stuff and Creole stuff until it’s all speckled and pretty-like.  Maybe I’ll add some extra salt and pepper if I’m feeling crazy, but there’s already salt in the Tony’s and pepper in the Dash, so it’s really unnecessary for my spices.

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Now just mix that bowl of meaty goodness up.  Then line up all of your seasoning stuff and tools required so that you can take a fancy picture for those who may need visual cues.  Or don’t.  Either way, it should cook up just fine.  🙂

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So get it all nicely packed into that muffin tin.  You might want to use a fork or something to go kinda OCD on packing these things in there perfectly.  The four on the left I packed a lot better, and this is absolutely worth an extra minute or two, they’ll be so much prettier!  Throw them (or set them nicely, whichever you prefer) into the oven for 25 minutes.

Now the fun begins…  Once that goes into the oven, make some mashed potatoes.  I’m a big fan of super simple boxed stuff, way easier than the real thing.  And with all the garlic in these guys, I like to make garlic taters to go right along with them, but as you can imagine, this is super customizable, just use whatever you like.  Get that stuff all nice and mashed-potatoey, and spoon it into a big Ziploc bag.  Use a hand towel or something to hold the bag if it’s still to hot.  Cut a small corner off at the bottom – big enough to “frost” your guys with, but small enough to still be pretty.  I recommend starting small and testing it for size first if you’re not familiar with frosting, and you could even go all out and use actual frosting bags and tips if you have more motivation than me.  Start with a close spiral at the middle, and once you get all the way around a few times to the edge just start going back in while your taters get higher. This will make the taters look like that big super store-bought cupcake frosting.  Then you shove it under your broiler for like 5-7 more minutes.  (I realize not all of you have a gas oven, and I’m not even sure if electric ovens broil, but once the taters are on there, you really don’t even need to broil.)

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Make sure your rack is close enough to the flames so the tops get a nice crisp brownness to them, and voila!  (For some reason my blue flames didn’t really show up in my picture, but I assure you there is fire right above all of those guys.)  Watch this closely, you don’t want to burn all of your dinner or start any fires.  And be sure to take them out of the pan carefully so they’re still beautiful when you plate them.

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Your omnivorous friends and family will love you forever.  They probably would love you forever regardless, but this will just seal the deal.  🙂

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