The Grilled Cheese That Wasn't

I love April Fool's Day. It's as if the universe has given me permission to punk my kids.* (Smack talk is our family's love language.)

Sigh. What a glorious day.

This morning, Corey poured Connor his normal bowl of cereal. But lo, as Connor ate his Cheerios, the milk started to turn green. This is because I put two drops of green food coloring in his bowl last night.

"Dad! The milk is turning green!" Connor said, his eyes as big as saucers.

Not to be outdone by my trickery, Corey said, "I don't see anything, buddy. That's weird."

And then. "Wow Connor. Look at your eyes! They're turning red! Maybe that's why the milk looks green!"

Which made Connor run to the bathroom in horror.

Which is when he realized -- April Fool's!

Welcome to our family!

But even better than green milk and red eyes is what Natalie and Connor will find in their lunches today.

Looks like a grilled cheese, eh? But it's NOT. (Insert evil cackle here.) (Note: I am also resisting the cheese puns at this time.)

It's actually vanilla cake and orange frosting, an idea I got from the Family Fun website. And so realistic!

My biggest problem might actually be Connor deciding to let it Brie (sorry!) because he doesn't like cold grilled cheese. Then the joke will be on me.

A few tips if you want to punk your kids with this particular stunt next year:

1. Family Fun recommends using pound cake to stand in for the bread. I agree that would be better, but I didn't want to make a pound cake from scratch yesterday. So I used a Trader Joe's vanilla cake mix (easy) and baked it in a loaf pan. I think pound cake would have a firmer, more bread-like texture. But for the record: regular cake can work in a pinch.

2. I grilled slices of cake to give it that golden glow we all associate with grilled cheese. I tried toasting and broiling as well, but those slices looked, well, toasted. Not realistic. Note: You don't need to butter the slices of cake. There's should be enough butter in the cake to make for a good grill. And if there isn't enough butter in the cake? Well, shame on you. Second note: It's really easy to burn cake slices. I almost set off the smoke detector last night during my first attempt. So watch those babies.

3. I made my own frosting, because really, how hard is it to mix a little butter and powdered sugar together? Family Fun says to mix red and yellow food coloring to get a good orange color. I agree, but I used 3:1 ratio of yellow to red to achieve that fake American-cheese neon glow.

It's not too late to get in on the April Fool's Day action. I did a post at 5 Minutes for Parenting a few years ago with tons of great gotcha ideas. (Actually, I wish I had read that last night. I might have played a few more pranks this morning.)

The only idea I have to add is one I got from Martha Stewart yesterday. (I know! Martha does April Fool's! Who knew?) If you have some colored bath fizzies laying around, unscrew the cap on the facet your kids use most and insert a colored tablet. It will temporarily turn the water a bright color -- which should be enough to make them jump and believe their eyes are turning red.
My kids would have woken up to colored water this morning but we don't have the right kind of faucets.

Any April Fool's tips you'd like to pass along? I'd love to hear them.

*I no longer attempt to punk Corey, seeing as he's an April Fool's Black Belt. (Read: He's a really proficient liar.) I prefer to pick on foes my own size. My kids are so lucky.


  1. What a great idea about the bath fizzies! I just put one in my 4 y/o's bathroom. Now I can't wait for him to wake up from his nap! LOL

  2. Today I switched their drawers around, taped their underwear together, dyed the milk blue and shoved wadded Kleenex in the toes of their shoes so they couldn't get their feet in all the way.
    I heart April fools.

  3. Oh my word, that's too funny! I don't really play April Fool's jokes... after too many college pranks gone bad (and not on April 1st!). But these are fun! I may have to try them next year!

  4. You are the bomb. Oh how I wish we were neighbors.