Tuesday, February 23, 2010

bacon and cheese stuffed potatoes

These hit the spot every time! If you are feeling adventurous you can caramelize lots of onions and add them into the potatoes with the BBQ sauce or you can mix them into the mashed potatoes with the bacon and chives.

Makes: 4 servings, well, it's supposed to anyway:)

2 large baking potatoes
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 Tbsp. milk or much more depending on how you like your potatoes mashed
2 Tbsp. butter again, maybe you will need more
1/4 tsp. salt
Couple of cracks of pepper
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives or green onions
2 slices bacon, crisply cooked, crumbled
Diana BBQ sauce for filling bottom of potatoes

PREHEAT oven to 375°F.
Scrub potatoes and cook in a microwave safe dish till tender. About 15-20 minutes. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise; scoop out centers, leaving 1/8-inch-thick shells. Place empty potato shells on a foil lined cookie sheet and place into oven to brown the edges a bit. This helps them to be crunchy after you fill and bake them. I like crunchy in case you haven't noticed that already!
Mash potatoes in medium mixing bowl. Add cheese, milk, butter, salt and pepper; beat with electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. (If potatoes are dry, beat in small amount of additional milk.) Stir in chives and bacon. Once potatoes have been in the oven for about 10 minutes remove from oven and pour about 1 tablespoon of Diana honey garlic bbq sauce into the bottom. Spoon potato mixture evenly into shells. Place back into oven
Bake 20-30 min. or until heated through. Garnish with additional chopped chives, if desired.

vegetable borscht

It's been snowing the last 2 day's and that means soup around here for lunch.

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon butter
1 medium onion, diced
2 large fresh beets, peeled and diced
1 medium carrot, diced
1 large potato, peeled and diced
4 cups chicken or beef stock (combination of both is nice)
1/4 of a small cabbage, shredded
1 fresh tomato, diced or 1/2 cup of canned, diced
2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
fresh ground pepper
salt to taste (Store bought stock or bouillon will be salty so take that into consideration)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

In a sauce pan heat olive oil and butter. Add onions and saute till softened and lightly brown. Add in beets, carrots, potatoes and stir well to combine. Allow to cook stirring often for a couple of minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Add cabbage, tomato, parsley and dill and allow to simmer another 30 minutes or till vegetables are fork tender. Season with salt and pepper and lemon juice. Adjust seasoning as necessary. Enjoy!