Baked Potatoes

Fall has officially kicked in. The nights and morning are starting to get chilly. My tummy is hungry for hot comforting food. I think it actually knows it is fall. Been getting out the Crockpot, to start my soups in. I usually try to make a pot a week. Gives me one dinner and then something to have for lunch. If I make it, I can control the calories and the salt. In the end I win, and maybe I will lose a few pounds. Maybe I said.
This week the craving has been potatoes. I always buy a 10lb bag and go from there.

So, let’s talk potatoes

Potatoes are really a great thing as a side dish or even as the main entrée. My family eats them pretty much anyway that I care to fix them.

Last Christmas Eve I threw together a buffet kind of thing. Last year I did a baked potato bar. Baked all the potatoes and then wrapped in foil keeping warm in a Crockpot. I then cut up all kinds of toppings > onions, cheese, bacon bits, and sour cream: and included three warm toppings > broccoli-cheese, chili, and pulled bq pork; in my buffet warmer. They were actually a very big hit. Very filling too.

My most favorite way is to bake them. I also find them a really frugal item in my menus. A really great baked potato can be a vessel for anything else. I like my main potato with just ahh..melted butter, salt and pepper. I am also a skin eater. I love the skin. I am sure that is why I like to bake them.

When I go to baking potatoes I do the entire bag of them. I have been known to bake all 10lbs. I wash them off and poke each one. Toss in olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Pop in oven at 400 and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. At the 45 minute mark, check by poking them to see if they are tender. If they are remove right away. Don’t leave them because they can continue to cook in the oven and they become grainy.

The first meal off the potatoes is usually as a baked potato. Here are some of our favorite potato combos.

Pulled Pork BQ Potato

Pulled Pork already mixed with favorite bq sauce
Diced onions
Ranch Dressing

Be sure to cut open potato and break up the flesh and add butter and then put on topping.

Broccoli Cheese

Broccoli (I steam it ahead of time, for a quicker way, you can buy it in a steam bag)
Ragu cheese sauce (I toss broccoli with a little first and then pour a bit on the potato)

Be sure to cut open potato and break up the flesh, then I pour a bit of cheese sauce on top with butter and work it into my flesh of my potato, then put on the topping..

Chili Cheese

Chili (I always save a batch in the freezer just for this occasion. If you don’t have any on hand,You can always use canned)
Cheese – shredded mild cheddar is my favorite (a slice of American works in the pinch)
Optional: diced onions, sour cream

Be sure to cut open potato and break up flesh. I put in the butter and mix all together then add toppings when I get to the cheese part, I stop, pop in microwave to melt the cheese and then I add the optional stuff.

Those are just our topped favorites, but just thinking quickly, you could do a taco, a sausage and peppers, meatball and sauce, or even mushroom-brown gravy. Gosh, that is all making me hungry.

Now for any leftover potatoes, they can keep in a baggie for at least a week sometimes even longer.

One of my appetizer favorites: You could make a meal also with the potato salad included with it.

Potato Skins

12 baked potatoes
Garlic powder
Sea Salt / Pepper
Bacon (brown and crumbled) (I use real bacon bits)
Shredded cheddar cheese
Sour cream

Optional: diced green onions


Cut each potato in half and scoop out the innards (put these in a bowl to the side) leaving about 1/ 4 of inch of flesh attached to the skin. Place on a baking sheet lined with foil. (I spray the foil so it doesn’t stick)

Sprinkle lightly with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Sprinkle the bacon on top and then shredded cheese.

Pop in oven at 400 and cook until cheese is bubbly. Serve with sour cream and diced green onions

(If you want to freeze potato skins, so you can make a batch later. I take just the skin part before the toppings and lay them on a cookie sheet, pop in freezer and let them freeze individually and then take out and put in a freezer bag all together. To revive them take out, put on cookie sheet, put on toppings and pop in oven 350 for about 20 minutes, be sure to watch so you don’t burn the cheese.. For holiday, I cut them all in half and then freeze. Then I have a bite size potato skin.)

With the inside of the potatoes, I make other things out of them. One recipe I first want to share with you is:

Baked Potato Salad

Scooped out potato, break up into bite pieces
Celery (diced)
¼ of onion (diced)
A dash of yellow mustard
Mayonnaise (to taste)
Paprika (sprinkle on top, gives color and a bit of taste)


Mix all together and put in fridge to chill.

I will post a few more recipes for leftover baked potatoes. Be sure to look for them coming up.

Enjoy my blog and feel free to leave me a comment. Or drop off your email, so you can receive them in your email.

Take care until we talk again. Enjoy the weather.


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