Mmmmeatloaf cupcake

I know I didn’t invent it, but let’s just say I did. If you Google “meatloaf cupcake” you’ll find lots of versions way prettier (and probably healthier) than mine. But this is my blog so we’ll pretend I had an original thought.

A bunch of Papa’s family came to visit last weekend, so he quickly whipped up a batch of his droolingly awesome lasagna. However, he forgot to add the meat (still tasted great) so we had a freezerful of beef and pork with no cookouts on the horizon.

So I whipped up a batch of my not-quite-as-droolingly-awesome-but-still-pretty-darn-tasty meatloaf. The mountain of meat wouldn’t all fit in the loaf pan, so I saw the cupcake tin and thought, “What the heck?” I was pretty pleased with the results — complete with mashed potato frosting and green pea sprinkles — as it was yummy as hell and a great way to control portion size.

I was also hopeful JJ (who is a pretty picky eater these days) might get excited by my culinary creativity and try something new. Seriously, what kid doesn’t like mashed potatoes?!? Alas, as soon as he got close enough to see it was not, in fact, a real cupcake, he shunned it outright. Oh well… more for me!

Oh yeah, and here’s JJ a couple of days earlier with Papa’s lasagna. There’s no competing with a home-cooked Italian meal home-cooked by an Italian. Molto bene!

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If you’re interested, here’s the meatloaf recipe:
This is for a normal meatloaf that serves 8. I’m not sure how many cupcakes it would make if that’s all you used it for. Probably around 12.

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Non-stick spray or grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan and/or cupcake tin.

Combine in a large bowl:
12 oz ground beef
12 oz ground pork
3/4 cup finely chopped onions
1 cup breadcrumbs
2/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup bbq sauce
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp ground thyme
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Put on the side, to brush on halfway through cooking time:
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup bbq sauce

Knead mixture with your hands until well blended. Don’t overmix.
Loaf: fill loaf pan with the meat mixture and place pan on a baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven.
Bake for 1 to 1 -1/4 hours, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the center of loaf reads 160ºF. Pour off excess fat and let stand for 15 minutes.
Cupcakes: pack meat mixture fairly tightly into each cup, leaving the tops pretty flat.
Bake for 40 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the center of each cupcake reads 160ºF.
Let cool for 15 minutes, remove and top with a layer of mashed potatoes. Sprinkle with peas or parsley, drizzle with ketchup/bbq sauce mix, etc. EAT!

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