After I posted this information, a friend called to tell me to that I was way behind the times. Turns out that sliders are "so 2013."
The new fashion is meatloaf cupcakes.
As you can see, the concept is a simple one. Stir up a batch of your favorite meatloaf recipe and, instead of forming it into a bread-like shape in a loaf pan, press it into the slots in your muffin tin and cook in the oven. While the "cupcakes" are roasting, whip up a batch of mashed potatoes for "frosting." Combine the two in the traditional fashion and serve, as seen above.
I don't know why I didn't see this one coming. Traditional cupcakes were a big deal for several years, but the fad had played itself out. ("So 2010," as my friend would say.) All the cupcake bakeries now have closed, and every town has another storefront with a "For Lease" sign in its window.
Then -- voila! -- somebody came up with the brilliant idea of making cupcakes new again by fashioning them out of ground beef, veal and pork.
To my knowledge, there is no patent or even any patent pending for this concept.
This has allowed creative cooks to cut loose and improvise. Meatloaf cupcakes are now an internet mania, I discovered in a brief search this morning.
Food Network has a recipe that calls for cooking 20 minutes in a 450-degree oven, while Betty Crocker recommends 35 to 40 minutes at 350.
Land O' Lakes, the butter company, offers an Italian version with a frosting made of instant mashed potatoes and an LOL cheese product.
You now can find recipes for barbecue meatloaf cupcakes, meatloaf cupcakes frosted with mashed sweet potatoes, meatloaf cupcakes to serve at high tea and, no doubt to appeal to guys, bacon cheddar cupcakes.
Men will eat just about any dish that includes bacon. It is the food that never goes out of style.