Ok, so this isn’t a legit theme night, but more of a little prank I like to pull. On April Fools, I like to have a topsy turvy meal for the kiddos. This year, since Easter fell on April Fools day, I wanted to incorporate as many of the ingredients from Easter brunch as I could so that we were utilizing leftovers. I decided to make “cake” and “fries” for dinner, and “mashed potatoes” for dessert.
For our “cake”, I am dusting off an old recipe from the 1950’s. Have any of you ever seen a sandwich cake? I have waited for a couple of years to pull out this recipe to fool the kids with. I am going to use regular soft white bread – yep the carb loaded stuff that is really bad for you but surprisingly delicious – with the crusts cut off. You are likely going to use the entire loaf, so go ahead and slice off those crusts. I am going to take a loaf pan and line the pan with parchment paper cut to fit – overlapping a bit – from front to back and side to side. This way the “cake” will lift out of the pan after it has chilled.
Using cream cheese as your icing, we are assembling this cake from the outside in. Soften the cream cheese of your choice (I’m using Philadelphia brand chives flavored) and spread a thick layer on the bottom and each side of your pan. Line the pan with slices of bread, starting with the bottom of the pan (this will be the top of your cake when inverted) and then the sides. Fill with the ingredients of your choice. I am going to use carved ham from Easter Brunch as my meat. I am going to forego the classic cheddar cheese for this recipe and replace it with provolone. To act as a moisture barrier, make sure you place the provolone directly against the bread before adding other fillings. To add some flavor and moisture to the inside of the sandwich, I am going to add olive salad in a thin layer between the ham slices. You don’t want it to touch your bread as it will get soggy. Think New Orleans style Muffaletta for inspiration. Continue building your layers in the same way until the loaf pan is full to the height you want your finished “cake”. You can decorate the tops and sides of the cake with parsley, chives, or decoratively piped cream cheese. I am going to go light on the vegies and try to disguise the cake as an actual cake as long as possible – yep, I’m that Mom.
For our side of “fries” we are going to get even easier. I am going to peel and slice a few Honeycrisp apples. Slice the apples so that they are in the shape of hand cut potato fries. If you are making these a bit ahead as I will, roll in lemon juice to keep from browning. Immediately roll the apple fries in Splenda or sugar and cinnamon. I know it isn’t the best, but I like to use Splenda when the apples are going to be used as a side for dinner to cut down on the overall sugar the kids are getting. Easy breezy, “cake” and “fries” for dinner! You know what they say, if it is too good to be true—
Now on to dessert. I am going to make mini cupcakes using a boxed mix. I like yellow cake, but the tinies love chocolate. Any flavor is fine. Once my cupcakes are done, I am going to cut them in half and lay the two halves side by side on a dessert plate. I will then use pre made vanilla or cream cheese icing to cover the halves in a thick and uneven layer of icing. Try to make the icing shape look like a big spoonful of mashed potatoes in the center of your dessert plate. To finish off the cupcakes, I am going make a small depression in the icing as if I were going to fill the potatoes with gravy. Then use caramel ice cream topping to create “gravy” and a yellow starburst situated against the gravy and potatoes to look like a pat of butter.
This fun and easy menu is sure to get a giggle out of the kiddos as they try to guess what Mom is up to next!