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recipes with a "surprise"?!

I need a potluck dish that meets the trick or treat theme but not halloween theme. Basically, a recipe with a trick/surprise.

Thought of caramel corn with bacon crumbles. But these days bacon is more expected than a suprirse.

We did have a friend stuff turkey burgers with peanut butter this weekend and cook them up for us. It was surprising and I'm considering trying little meatballs with peanut butter filling but the ones we had were not quite there yet (turkey a bit dry and unseasoned). So not ready for prime time.

So...any ideas? Sweet or savory is fine.

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  1. Meatloaf cake is my go-to for foods that don't look like you're expecting. I make my own meatloaf--if I'm being lazy, I don't layer it but do it in a 9x13 pan and frost w/ mashed potatoes. It does require teflon hands to pipe hot mashed potatoes from a pastry bag, though. It looks like this:


    I also make my own mashed potatoes so the "frosting" isn't as smooth as it should be. If I were concerned more w/ appearance, I'd use boxed.

    2 Replies
    1. re: chowser

      Don't know if you've ever tried using this but it works like a charm. Really makes a difference, unless you like your potatoes chunky. One of my favorite kitchen purchases (and I've had some others that don't work like this one):

      1. re: lilgi

        Yes, it's on my list of things to get, one day. I do like chunky garlic mashed potatoes for the most part and only want smooth when I do this cake, or make shepard's pie type things so it's low on the list of "wants."

    2. black bean brownies or chocolate avocado cake?

      1. make lasagna or similar in cupcake tins and frost with whipped up cream cheese, put half grape tomatoe on top and be sure to use aluminum cups to cover the paper ones when done


        1. I was thinking about Chinese soup dumplings, but they're pretty messy to eat, so you'd have to have Chinese soup spoons and maybe more things like chopsticks and a bowl. Also, you'd have to steam them at the last minute. I think I just talked you out of this!

          1 Reply
          1. re: nemo

            Soup dumplings were my first thought ... then I remembered I'd be taking the metro and a bus there :)

          2. apple pie with red hots or maybe tomato soup cake if you can do dessert instead.
            Meatballs in a chocolate sauce?

            1. Sew an extra 2 or 4 legs onto a chicken and roast it. Easy to sew when it's raw - and it all sort of heals up as it roasts. Truly a creepy centerpiece for a Halloween dinner.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Nyleve

                Sounds great! Did you use regular needle and thread? Or just toothpicks?

                1. re: nattythecook

                  Needle and thread - you can use any heavy thread - I've even done it with unwaxed dental floss. The seam disappears in the roasting and the whole thing ends up looking very realistic. Did it many times when my kids were small.

              2. How about a take on surprise burgers? Make meatballs with cheese inside. Cheddar is Halloween Orange!

                1. Maybe not a total surprise, but you can try out chips and salsa that are sweet. Just brush flour tortillas with butter, cut into wedges, bake till crisp, then sprinkle with cinnamon, sugar and a touch of cayenne.

                  For the salsa, just dice up strawberries, peaches, jicama, kiwi, lime juice, sweetener if necessary, and some chopped mint. If you want to add a dollop of "sour cream", you can whip some cream into soft peaks.

                  1. My first thought was Kitty Litter Cake... http://www.kidskuisine.com/kitty-litt... i know the link says kids' cuisine but..

                    Stuffed Mushrooms

                    Or even deviled eggs, but a few different variations -- so what they get is a surprise :


                    Or ravioli - toasted or not

                    Or a hamburger cake for dessert -- cake that looks like a hamburger ;) must say this one is pretty cool -- just for idea/technique, use your own cake recipes http://www.easy-cake-ideas.com/hambur...

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Emme

                      I've done that hamburger cake--did the meatloaf cake above and then the hamburger cake for a mixed up meal.

                      1. re: Emme

                        OMG that kitty litter cake is HILARIOUS! My son would love it. Those Tootsie Roll poops look so disgustingly real!

                        1. re: Kat

                          I made this for my son's 14th birthday thinking that it would be a big hit with the guys. They were too scared to try it. Guess I was too successful.

                          It does taste good.

                      2. You may want to look at the website www.thisiswhyyourefat.com for inspiration.

                        1. I make caramel corn with cayenne pepper (as well as ginger, cinnamon, and salt) in the fall. That's a bit of a surprise if people aren't expecting it. I use a microwave recipe that's quick and easy to do (takes about 5 minutes total)