Saturday, November 15, 2008

Baked Potato Bar

Baked potato bar is another easy meal at our house. Seriously, how easy is it to bake a potato? If you don't know the answer to that, then keep reading. Best of all everyone can fix their potato however they like it.

Here is a list of ideas for potato bar toppings:
Sour Cream
Ranch Dressing
Cheese sauce (in the soup can or Cheese Whiz…classy, I know)
Shredded Cheese
Steamed, chopped, broccoli (get healthy people...and attempt to eliminate guilt about feeding your family Cheese Whiz)
Chili (Think chili and cheese with a dollop of sour cream. Mmm.)
Fresh chives or chopped green onion
Crumbled bacon

I’m sure that that you can come up with a few of your own.

In case you've never had the chance to bake a potato, I'll walk you through it. First, you need to scrub the potato with a brush and pat dry. Here are my shiny, happy potatoes. How do I know they're happy? I can see it in their eyes. Ha.Ha.

Then, prick them with a fork in a few spots around the potato.

Now, I like to rub mine with a little oil for a soft skin. Sometimes I even sprinkle them with little sea salt. However, that is not sea salt or kosher salt or anything fancier than table salt pictured below. I was out of sea salt. Oops.

Wrap in foil. Shiny side in, please. Bake in at 425 degrees for 40-60 minutes or 350 degrees for 70-80 minutes. Stick em’ with a fork to see if they’re tender.

When they're ready, roll the potatoes gently under your hand. Then, cut an X in the top and push in and up on the ends.

Now you're ready to build your own potato. I usually just pull whatever I have from the fridge. Down in front are butter and some leftover broccoli in cheese that we had for lunch. The back row is sour cream, salsa, shredded cheddar cheese, chopped green onion, and bacon. This bacon was freshly fried and crumbled. I intensely dislike bacon bits. Are they even made of bacon? Have you seen real bacon that shade of red-orange? This is something that I will have to research. In the meantime, if you like bacon bits, by all means toss some on there and save yourself the time and energy of actually frying it.

Kids love putting together their own plate as demonstrated by my 4 year old here. Um...hey kid, would you like a little potato with your sour cream?

Like I can say anything! Here is my MONSTER of a potato. Oh well, like mother like daughter, right?

And that's Saturday night dinner! Hope you're all enjoying your weekend!

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