Friday, October 19, 2018

Mini Potato Skins

Mini Potato Skins
You do you.”  In the context that it was spoken, it was a different iteration of “leave me alone, Mom” by Travis.  

I’ve heard the phrase a lot recently and have thought more about it.  “You do you” means that I have to know “who I am.”  And it feels like maybe “who I am” is changing.  Those of you that know me know that I am very comfortable and open to change (no, really).  Na├»ve me didn’t realize that my role and purpose might or would transform over time. We are in a different place – the kids are in a different phase of life – what is needed of me as a mom, wife, daughter, sister, cousin, aunt… is changing too and therefore I should evolve along with it.  Maybe I’ll become a blonde while I’m redefining myself.

These mini potato skins are so cute and easy to pop in your mouth.  It does take some time and effort to cook the potatoes, cool the potatoes, slice, hollow, bake, flip, bake, fill, bake and eat – but don’t let that stop you if you have some time and patience and want to add some fun food to your table.  (And keep your hand on top of the knife as you chop the bacon.)

Happy belated birthday Mimi - may the celebration continue!!

Ingredients
  • 1-1 ½ lbs Baby Dutch yellow potatoes (about 20 2-inch potatoes)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 oz (1 cup) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 6 bacon slides, cooked and crumbled
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped, optional

Preheat oven to 425.

Scrub potatoes.  Place in boiling water for 10 minutes to soften. Drain and pat dry.  Place potatoes in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil; toss to coat.  Arrange potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake until tender 17-20 minutes. Cool potatoes completely on baking sheet, about 30 minutes.

Slice potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out the potato flesh leaving a 1/8 inch thick shell. Use the potato insides for something else like mashed potatoes.

Increase oven temperature to 450.  Place the potato skins hollow side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 minutes; flip potatoes over and bake for 8-10 more minutes until crispy.

Fill potato skins with cheese and bacon crumbles.  Bake at 450 until cheese melts, about 1-2 minutes.  Top each potato skin with sour cream and chives, if you choose.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Avocado Toast - Two Ways

Avocado Toast Caprese Style
Last night I had the strangest dream.  I was riding in a car with Elizabeth’s old soccer coach and we were driving in New York City.  We were driving west and he crossed 3 lanes of southbound traffic without yielding.  A car swerved to miss hitting us and crashed into another car.  He kept driving.  Either 1) I need to stop eating ice cream before bed or 2) Travis’ driving is impacting me more than I think.  

Almost as random, I am being followed by toast.  Avocado toast featured on Fixer Upper/Magnolia Table, eaten at Flower Child, on the menu at Snooze; a recipe for chicken toast in email; cauliflower toast from Barefoot Contessa.  Gimme some French Toastand I’m all good.

You might think that avocado toast is guacamole on toast (and you are pretty close to being right). There are a lot of variations with additional toppings and types of breads.  The most common is egg (hard boiled or soft poached).  We also liked it fresh mozzarella and tomatoes.  Other toppings include different cheeses or smoked salmon or some type of greens.

Ingredients 
Avocado Toast with Eggs
  • 1 avocado
  • ½ tablespoon lemon juice
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper

Caprese version
  • Cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • Mozzarella balls, sliced
  • Sourdough bread, sliced and toasted
  • Balsamic glaze

Egg version
  • ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 hard boiled egg, chopped
  • Rustic white bread, sliced and toasted 

Mash the avocado in a bowl. Mix in the lemon juice.  Season to taste with the salt and pepper.  Toast the bread (or broil in the oven after brushing with a little olive oil).  

Caprese: spread the avocado mixture on the toast.  Top with mozzarella slices and sliced tomatoes.  Drizzle with balsamic glaze.

Egg: to the avocado mixture, add and mix in the Dijon mustard.  Spread the avocado mixture on the toast.  Top with chopped egg.