DIY Meatloaf Cupcakes and Hamburger Cookies for April Fool’s Day

After I posted the April Fool’s fakeout dinner ideas in my last DIY Links of the Week, I just had to try them out with my son.  [Full disclosure: I had class in the evening on April 1, so I had to make my April Fool’s Day Dinner on April 2. But no worries!  It tasted just the same.;-)]

Normally I don’t make meatloaf – I think I’ve made it maybe twice in my life, ever. My son prefers the Japanese-style hamburgs (think: meatloaf-style thick hamburger patties with a demi glace sauce) to regular ol’ American meatloaf. So I used this recipe I found for my meatloaf, and altered the cooking method a bit to make little cupcakes:

DIY April Fool’s Day Meatloaf “Cupcakes”


*your favorite meatloaf recipe

*instant mashed potatoes (or your favorite mashed potatoes recipe)

*2-3 T milk


*cherry tomatoes

How To:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray nonstick cooking spray in the cavities of a muffin tin.

2. Mix up the meatloaf ingredients, and separate into 12 smaller balls.  Pat each ball of meatloaf into each muffin cavity, pressing down to squish out any air bubbles.  Fill up about 3/4 of the way to the top, so they don’t overflow.

3. Bake in oven for 20 minutes.  Remove and squeeze a spiral of ketchup over the top of each meatloaf muffin, and replace in oven.

4. Bake another 10 minutes.

5. While they are baking, whip up a batch of instant mashed potatoes following the recipe, and cut your cherry tomatoes in half.  (Add about 2 -3 T of milk and continue whipping the potatoes after they’re done to make them extra white and fluffy.)

6. Once meatloaf muffins are done, lift out of the muffin tin and spread a layer of mashed potatoes on top to look like icing.  Press a halved cherry tomato in the center to look like a cherry.

The meatloaf cupcakes cooked up juicy and sweet because of all the ketchup (which also served as a nice layer in-between the meatloaf and the mashed potato “icing” on top). Lil Tot thought they were cute and tasty…though he admitted he would prefer the meatloaf (meatloaves??) with demi-glace sauce on them next time. Ahwell.

The Hamburger Cookies were a bigger hit. I again altered the recipe I found online a bit to suit my needs – I found simpler made these tastier.

DIY April Fool’s Day “Hamburger” Cookies


*Keebler “Grasshopper” chocolate-covered mint cookies

*Nabisco “Nilla” vanilla wafer cookies

*small amount of honey

*white sesame seeds

*yellow Starburst chews

How To:

1. Find a pair of Nilla cookies that are whole and unbroken.(easier said than done!) Pour about a teaspoon of honey onto a spoon, and dip your fingertip in it.  Smear a tiny bit of honey on the underside of one cookie.

2. Place a Grasshopper chocolate cookie on top (bottom-to-bottom).

3. Unwrap a Starburst chew and place it on the wrapper in the microwave.  Microwave for 10 seconds – the chew will become malleable.

4. Stretch the chew flat with your fingers, and cut in half with a sharp knife.  Allow to cool before trying to pull apart the halves.

5. Press one half down onto the chocolate cookie and let the corners hang off – like a slice of cheese on a hamburger.

6. Dip your fingertip in honey, and spread a tiny bit on the top of the remaining Nilla cookie.  Sprinkle a couple sesame seeds on top, and press this cookie on to the Starburst chew.

Voila! Tiny hamburgers!

My son liked them so much he has now asked me to make them for dessert every day since. The vanilla cookies were quite nice with the chocolate mint and honey (though yes, the Starburst in the middle is a little weird).

Happy DIY’ing!


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DIY: Valentine’s Day Chocolate Erasers

Though I rarely cover non-wearable DIY’s on this blog, I’ve been struggling with what to showcase for V-day for awhile.  In the past I’ve found that making non-edibles for my guy has not gone over well.  In Hub’s case, he has always thanked me sincerely, and then proceeded to never wear or use whatever I have funneled hours into making.  The sweater I hand-knitted him sat in the closet for 9 years until he finally admitted he wasn’t really a “sweater-person” and I finally gave it to Goodwill.  The notebook I made, with the cover fashioned from one of his favorite shirts that he threw out, and then hand-bound…gathering dust in the bottom of his desk drawer.  Yet everything edible I’ve ever made him he’s devoured within 24 hours, and loved.  (Do you know any guys like that?  I think maybe it’s a guy-thing.)  So I was going back and forth between making something for my husband to wear (that he won’t) and showcasing it on this blog…since this is a wearables DIY blog…or making him something to eat and mentioning it.

So after many nights in thought I decided to forget the wearables idea (since I hate creating useless things more than anything)…and made Hub his favorite dessert: cheesecake, with chocolate swirls.

But…I made something else, too…for Lil Tot.  Erasers…in the shape of chocolates! I made them using a make-your-own-erasers kit bought in Japan (but it’s also available on Etsy here, shipped straight from Japan to you.)

photo from Etsy store ThisandThatfromJapan

Sometimes I enjoy fiddly, time-consuming crafts like clay crafting and deko-sweets, and because these kits come with plastic molds in them, making tiny chocolates, donuts, cakes, and ice cream is super-simple!  Then you dump the finished piece into the included box, add water, and zap in the microwave for about 3 minutes to let the binding agents evaporate.*  Allow to cool and you have a fully usable eraser!

This eraser clay is soooo fun, and already I’m thinking of new tiny edibles to create with the remaining colors.  And think of the trading potential at your little ones’ schools!  (I hear those food-shaped eraser packs are the new tradeables among the Elementary set lately…)

I made a swirl chocolate with a dollop of whipped cream, a heart-shaped chocolate, and a chocolate square with icing lines and an almond on top.

I also made a pink chocolate truffle, a chocolate square with a pink heart, and two chocolate pieces that look like they were snapped off of a chocolate bar.

They’re so adorable it seems like almost a shame to use them!

If you’d rather not order kits like this from Japan, Sculpey also manufactures Eraser Clay that cures by being baked in the oven – so you can create your own erasers in a variety of different shapes and colors.  However, if you want to create chocolates, you’d have to buy either the 8-bar Set or the Shape and Bake Kit since the 6-packs don’t contain brown.  (And you can’t make delicious-looking chocolate without brown!!;-)  I haven’t used this stuff before so can’t recommend it one way or the other…has anyone else played around with the Sculpey brand of eraser clay?

Tomorrow I’ll be taking the in-laws to the slopes of Mt. Hood…and Lil Tot will have his first-ever skiing adventure!  I’ll be stiff and sore from attempting to ski for the first time in…oh, 9 years or so…and looking extremely unfashionable as all my ski-wear is circa 1992 and I just haven’t seen the need to update it since.  (Likely photos from tomorrow I’ll be keeping under lock and key lest word get out I have a neon…multicolored….ski…poncho.  Yikes!!!)  And since I posted about the V-day erasers today, tomorrow I’ll also be sharing my DIY Links of the Week from the past week…and there’s some great ones, so stay tuned!

Hope everyone had a lovely day – whether you celebrated the holiday or not! * x */  (That’s a kiss – kinda;-)



*since U.S. microwaves tend to be 1000+ KiloWatts and Japanese microwaves are either 500KW or 600KW, I adjust the microwave times by subtracting about 10 – 30 seconds off the times recommended in the kits.

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DIY Lego Brooch Inspired by Dee and Ricky

Thank you Outsapop!

My go-to for DIY inspiration, she posted photos and a DIY for those Marc Jacobs lego accessories (as done by Dee and Ricky) waaaaay back. Since I still had a ton of Legos that I had religiously held onto since childhood, I definitely had enough to make the brooch…but I stopped by my local Lego store and bought the small size “Pick-a-Brick” bucket, choose carefully some basic brick sizes in colors that definitely weren’t available in the 80’s. (Lime green, charcoal grey, hot pink, sky blue, orange.) The effect, when paired with my old tooth-scarred Lego blocks (cuz gripping the darn Lego block between one’s teeth and just pulliing was the only way to separate the darn things back in the day….now the Lego Store sells thingies specifically for prying…one wonders why they didn’t think of that before).

I added some electrical tape between the layers and a pin back behind, so it can be pinned to clothing or even a belt front. I have short hair, so I don’t think I’ll be wearing it in my hair…plus I think 30 is probably to darn old for those things now. *sigh* Perhaps wearing any Lego accessory at my rather ancient age is a little much, but…I love the idea so much, I can’t resist!

Try channeling your inner Lego-loving kid and whip yourself up something fun like this – can’t help but grin at the irony of high fashion meets kiddie toy!





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