Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Twice-Baked Potatoes

Well, it's been a while since I last posted. I have gotten a lot done, and had a lot of rest, in the last week and a half. I spent the day last Saturday at Lake Winnie with some of the greatest kids ever, celebrating our awesome year of kids' choir. I absolutely passed out when I got home! I also slept the entire afternoon last Monday- I had a slight fever & chills all morning, so I went home for lunch, bundled up & fell asleep.

As for this past weekend, we had an awesome time with Zach's dad! This Monday was actually his birthday also, so we combine both that & Father's Day into one big event. We took him out to eat, did a little shopping, then played putt-putt. We had so much fun, and I'm so glad Zach got to spend some quality time with his dad. On Sunday, my sweetie took me out to Little River Canyon & DeSoto Falls to spend the afternoon. He picked up my favorite pizza & some dessert, and we enjoyed the day picnicking and photographing God's beautiful nature.

I got nothing whatsoever done at our house over this past weekend, except the laundry. And, I don't really care- we had a fun weekend... But, I am making up for it this week. I have something planned for most nights already, and hope to stick to my plan. I am wanting to mark off many things from the list this week.

For now, however, I'll tide you over with a recipe post...

This is one of those recipes that I ended up making by chance, just because I wanted something different. I basically had potatoes to work with, and was tired of a simple baked potato, but didn't want to invest the work for garlic mashed potatoes. My sweetie absolutely loves these twice-baked potatoes (he requests them really often), and I love that since it's my own version.

But, since I made this version up, there are no exact measurements. It's mainly just an eyeball-it and add-to-taste recipe. You can take just about any combination of these ingredients, and it will turn out yummy. I am posting my favorite ingredient combination and will include options with it...

- Ingredients -

- Baking potatoes
- milk or Half & Half
- shredded cheese (any kind would work, but cheddar is better- ha)
- butter
- salt & pepper
- garlic (salt or powder)
- onion flakes (optional)

Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. (You first bake the potatoes in the microwave, then bake them the second time in the oven.) So, first bake the potatoes in microwave as normal (I usually bake them in increments of 2 minutes- usually about 6 total- until done). When done, remove from microwave and, while using an oven mitt, cut each baked potato in half lengthwise. (Sorry, no pics of this or the mixing step.) Hold each potato half in hand (with oven mitt!), then take a spoon and carve out the insides of each half, putting the baked potato "insides" into a bowl. When all potato halves are hollowed out with skin only, place the skins on a greased and/or foil-covered baking sheet.

In the bowl, mash the baked potato "insides," then add butter and salt & pepper (enough to taste), then sprinkle lightly with the garlic. Mix all together. When taste is as desired, you can optionally add the onion flakes. I think they give it a little extra kick. (Chopped scallions could also be used.) You then add the milk or Half & Half and whip- again, enough to make a mashed potato-like consistency- and to desired taste. I have used both milk and Half & Half, and the Half & Half is definitely better, in my opinion.

Add a little bit of the shredded cheese (this is also optional), stir all together. When taste & consistency are as desired, scoop up the mixture and place in potato skins on baking sheet. It should even out, and all skins should be filled evenly to top.

I then LOVE to sprinkle cheddar cheese on top, which makes a pretty topping when melted.

Bake the filled potatoes in the oven for about 10 minutes- just long enough to have them heated through & the cheese topping to be well melted...

...and you're done!

I love to add chopped scallions to mine, but my sweetie likes his straight from the oven. Bacon bits, sour cream, etc., would be other great toppings.

We had these last night, along with some yummy baked BBQ pork chops & green beans. On the menu for tonight- Papaw's freshly-caught fried bream & hushpuppies! After that, I plan to move it on down to the basement & start creating my new crafting workspace! Woohoo!! :)

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