With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, I decided to do a little pre-meal preparation.
I was reading recipes in the November issue of Southern Living, when I found a recipe for twice baked potatoes. I had just brought home a 10-pound bag of large Idaho potatoes from the grocery store.
Using the Southern Living recipe as a guide, I made the bacon and goat cheese recipe they listed and came up with a couple of other concoctions of my own. I cleaned them and pierced them, and then baked all twelve of the potatoes at 400° for one hour.
I cut the potatoes in half, scooped the pulp into a large bowl, and lined the skins on a baking sheet for filling…
and had extra for the freezer. The Southern Living directions said you can freeze the potatoes after loading them but before baking. So, I placed the extra twelve skins onto a piece of wax paper.
The potato pulp was mashed with an 8-ounce block of cream cheese, a cup of milk, salt and pepper.
I loaded the potato mixture back into the potato skins and added a few toppings.
For the first row on the right, I sautéed a few onion slices with some bacon and a teaspoon of sugar.
After loading that on the potatoes, I added blobs of goat cheese. This recipe was in the magazine article.
For the next row of potatoes, I sautéed a few onion slices with chopped bell pepper and added some chopped, cooked chicken pieces left over from another meal. I loaded all of that on the potatoes and topped them with shredded Asiago cheese.
And the third row of potatoes was made for my ham-and-cheese loving family. It’s just deli ham chopped up with a little grated Cheddar on top.
The potatoes baked for 15 minutes at 400°, and then I rang the dinner bell. Hey, the potatoes with chicken qualified this as dinner! Salad would have been a tasty addition to this meal, but my family loved the choices of twice baked potatoes as their entire meal.
Yes, I am spoiled. I have an easy family to please. 😉
The extra potatoes were loaded with toppings and wrapped in plastic wrap for the freezer.
For additional protection, I wrapped them again in some foil and labeled them.
For Thanksgiving dinner, I’m all set for potatoes. Just pull them out of the freezer and into the refrigerator the day before. Southern Living says to heat the thawed potatoes for 45 minutes at 350°. The recipe also says you can microwave them on high for 5 minutes or until hot.
I think 45 minutes at 350° is a little long – and 5 minutes on high in the microwave would cremate my potatoes. I took one potato out of the freezer yesterday and let it thaw completely. I decided to try the microwave method. The potato was perfectly heated after microwaving for only 45 seconds on high. It was just as tasty as the day I made them, and I was overcome with the temptation to eat more! How was I to resist?
I repeated this verse, which helped, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Temptation thwarted. Thanksgiving meal potatoes remain in the freezer waiting for the big day. 🙂
Here is the link to the Southern Living recipe called Twice-Baked Potatoes Four Ways. You might find inspiration there for your own concoctions.
Happy prep cooking! (And testing, tasting, resisting temptation…) 😉
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