Tailgating in Iowa City for Hawkeye football games is known for being uber-exciting, lively, crowded and just plain CRAZY. Yesterday was no exception. Ben and I got up at the crack of dawn to make the two hour drive and were rocking our party pants with our friends in a freezing cold parking lot by 8:30am.
This is a reality that only exists on Saturday mornings during football season. Am I right?!
None of us had tickets to the game, so when kick off came around at 11am, we left the food, fun and frigid temps behind and headed to a bar to watch on TV.
Thankfully our boys pulled off a righteous win and after a full afternoon of fun, Ben and I were home and in bed by 10pm. I love me some tailgating, but waking up in Iowa City (unless you go to school there) is something nobody likes to see. Native peeps know what I’m talking about!
Since I got all my house chores done on Friday, all I had to do today was make a quick trip to the grocery store to stock up for the week then relax. Several episodes of Pan Am and a quick cat nap later, I decided to make a fun and filling dinner of Meatloaf Cupcakes. I know. Meat + cupcakes? Trust me, it works!
I grew up eating classic meatloaf on the regular, but for whatever reason I haven’t had much of a taste for it for like, the last decade or so. It kind of creeps me out, to be honest!
Ben’s been requesting a good hearty loaf of it recently though, so I decided to push past my own weird feelings, whimsy the idea up a little, and make these fun, individual-sized meatloaf cupcakes instead.
The ingredients are pretty much the same as a full-sized loaf – ground beef, egg, onion, breadcrumbs and ketchup,
but instead of shaping the mixture into one big loaf, you press it into a muffin tin to create cupcake shaped meatloaves. So cute!
Each one gets a dollop of ketchup and Worcestershire sauce on top, which gets sweet and crusty as they bake.
To go on top and act as the “frosting” for the meatloaf cupcakes, I made home-style, red-skinned mashed potatoes.
Red-skinned potatoes are Ben’s favorite, plus he loves the peel, so I left ‘em on and mashed everything together in a creamy-yet-textured, buttery mash.
Assembled, topped with a drizzle of warm gravy, and devoured!
Makes 12 meatloaf cupcakes
Adapted from Skinny Taste
Turkey gravy (or any other variety of gravy)
For meatloaf cupcakes:
1lb 93/7 lean ground beef
1 cup grated zucchini, excess moisture squeezed out
2 Tablespoon onion, minced
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/8 teaspoon each parsley flakes, garlic powder, onion powder
pinch of oregano and pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce + more for topping
1/4 cup ketchup + more for topping
For mashed potatoes:
1lb red skinned potatoes
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped in half
3 Tablespoons light sour cream
3 Tablespoons chicken broth
2 Tablespoons skim milk
1 Tablespoon butter
salt & pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin tin with foil-lined cupcake wrappers. Combine all meatloaf ingredients together in a large bowl, and spoon into muffin tins equally, smoothing out the tops.
2. Squirt a dallop of ketchup and Worcestershire sauce on the top of each meatloaf cupcake and smooth with the back of a spoon. Bake for 22-24 minutes, or until cooked through.
3. Meanwhile, cut red skinned potatoes into 1″ pieces, place into a large pot with the garlic, and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil then cook until potatoes are tender. Drain and return the potatoes to the hot pot.
4. Add remaining mashed potato ingredients and mash until smooth. Top each meatloaf cupcake with mashed potatoes, and spoon on warm gravy.
These were awesome! Since the meat cooks in the cupcake liners, it stays really moist, and the creamy mashed potatoes and gravy on top just sealed the super-cute deal.
Plus they’ll make for some great leftovers tomorrow. Win, win!
In other news, I can’t believe the weekend is already over – it went in the blink of an eye, no?? It’s going to be another crazy week, so I’m going to milk what remains of the calm and settle back in for the evening.
Have a great night!!
Is there anything you grew up eating all the time, but can’t eat anymore?
I cannot eat Little Debbie cakes. I had either a Zebra Cake, Tree/Heart/Pumpkin Cake, Star Crunch and/or Swiss Roll in my lunchbox every single day all through elementary school. I can’t even stand the sight of ‘em now!!