Wednesday, April 15, 2009

It’s 5 o’clock and I haven’t made dinner...

Who hasn’t been there? The dinner hour strikes and you realize, not only have you not begun cooking dinner, but you never even took any meat out to defrost. This is doubly bad as I am on spring break this week (yay for teaching!!) and I have nothing but time.

What can you do, other than get take-out or hit up the local sushi joint? Well, this is where I love the fact that my husband is a simple man when it comes to food (as much as he appreciates my actual cooking skills as well).

Pull some baking potatoes out of the cupboard, scrub em clean, and rummage around for any toppings. It’s time for Potato Bar Night!! This is the easiest way to throw dinner together on the fly, and it is currently one of my husband’s favorite meals. Double score!!

Quick, Easy, Down and Dirty Baked Potato Bar
**Note: This is also really good as a casual get-together meal with friends. Cook the potatoes and then let your guests load them up with their own toppings.

Large baking potatoes (I use one per person)
Assorted toppings (Feel free to use whatever you want. Here is what we put on our potatoes tonight. If you like caviar and blue cheese, go for it! The potato is your oyster):
  • Light sour cream
  • Bacon bits
  • Yogurt butter (feel free to use the regular stuff or margarine. I like to pretend to be healthy by eating butter made from yogurt. Plus it just tastes good.)
  • Sliced black olives (sooo gross, in my opinion. Husband loves them)
  • Green onions, sliced
  • Canned chili (I used 98% fat free turkey chili. Again, I like to at least pretend to be healthy!)
  • Shredded cheese (I used cheddar. Use pepper jack for some added spice, if you like)

Scrub each potato clean with some warm water. These things grow underground; so make sure you wash the dirt off. I don’t want you people getting e-coli or anything now.

Stab each potato several times with a fork so it doesn’t explode in the microwave. Throw the potatoes in the microwave and nuke them for about 10 minutes. You may need to add a few minutes if you are doing more than 2 potatoes at a time. You can also cook them in the oven or on the grill, but as this is supposed to be an “OMG, I forgot to make dinner!!” post, I am going with the microwave here.

Meanwhile, open you fridge and pantry and pull out the toppings you like. Slice up your green onions, throw them in a bowl, get spoons out for the sour cream and butter, and dump the chili into a bowl.

Take the potatoes out, put the chili in the microwave (make sure you cover it with a paper towel or something. I forgot to do so and wound up with chili sprayed all over my microwave), and slice open those potatoes.

Fill em up with all the topping goodness you’ve assembled and enjoy. You might want to add a side salad or something to get some veggies into this dinner; just don’t load it down with Ranch dressing, ok? Remember, we want to be somewhat healthy.


Donna-FFW said...

This looks fantastic. What an original unique idea. First time visitng u. Nice to meet you.

What's Cookin Chicago said...

Mmm - I love topping baked potatoes with whatever's available, as long as there is some kind of cheese! Looks great!

Janet said...

I forgot to add the cheese until after final photos were taken and I had smashed everything up with a fork. That would not look appetizing at all! :) But yes, there was lots of cheese involved!

Ann In Fallbrook, CA said...

Once upon a time, you did not and would not eat potatoes. Something about them tasting like dirt. Glad to see you have changed your mind! We like potato bar quite a bit as well. Try using low fat cheddar from Fresh & Easy. You would never know it is low fat.

Janet said...

As soon as the F&E opens up nearby, I will give it a try. And yes, I did used to think potatos tasted like dirt...


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