I love baked potatoes.
When we go out to a salad/buffet place, a good, fresh baked potato is always one of my favorite items.
A Twice Baked Potato is even better.
You should see it closer.
They're simple to make, but it does take a little bit of time, since you need to bake the potatoes in the oven.
But it's well worth it!
Here's what you'll need:
12 russet potatoes
1/2 lb. maple bacon
2 tablespoons butter
broccoli, steamed and chopped
colby or cheddar cheese
Wash the potatoes and scrub the skin with a vegetable brush.
Then dry them with a clean towel.
Pierce the skin with the tines of a fork, a couple of times on each side.
Pour a little bit of olive oil in the palm of your hand, then rub your hands together and briefly touch all of the potatoes.
That gets a little bit of oil on each potato, and you will use a lot less oil than if you did each one-by-one.
Then, pick up each potato and rub the oil around each potato's skin.
The oil on the skin will make the skin soft and enticing to eat.
You want to eat the skin because it's healthy.
Then sprinkle a little bit of kosher salt on the potatoes.
Put the potatoes in a 400 degree F oven for 30 to 45 minutes.
Gently squeeze the potatoes to see if they're done, they'll be soft and give easily.
While the potatoes are baking, work on your toppings.
You can use whatever you like.
Plain with cheese is good, too.
Slice a 1/2 pound of bacon into small pieces.
Put the bacon into a hot pan and fry.
They don't have to be super crispy, you're going to cook them a little more in the oven.
Drain onto paper towels.
A couple of sheets of paper towels on top of newspaper saves a lot of paper towels, and makes cleanup easy.
I bought the colby jack because it was on sale.
Any kind of cheese you like will do.
All I used was a dollop of sour cream, but it would be tasty to serve it along side the finished potatoes.
Cut the broccoli into small-ish pieces.
Cook them for only a few minutes, so they're still bright green.
Drain and rinse with cold water and set them aside.
When the potatoes are done, take them out of the oven and let them cool for about 10 minutes or so, so they're easy to handle.
Cut them in half and scoop out the centers.
It's easy if you draw a little border with the tip of the spoon around the potato, then scoop out the inside.
Put the insides of the potatoes into a bowl.
Add a generous dollop of sour cream--about a 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup--plus 2 tablespoons butter into the bowl.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Mash coarsely with a fork and mix.
Then add about a cup of cheese and mix together.
Spoon the mixture back into the potato skins.
Make them flat if you're going to add a topping, or mound them up if you're going to top them with just cheese.
After you're done putting the toppings on, sprinkle a little bit of cheese on top and put them back into the oven until the cheese melts and the potatoes are heated through.
They also make good little appetizers with the smaller potatoes.
You can pick them up and finish them in a couple of bites.
This is Lauren.
Her mom and I are childhood friends, so I've known her since she was born.
This is one of my favorite pictures of her when she was little.
I think it captures her personality well.
She's got a soft, gentle demeanor.
And a quick wit.
She's really funny.
At first, one might think she's quiet, and she can be, but she can be chatty, too.
I love it when she's chatty.
Lauren and her brother Keith are important to our family.
I love them both dearly.
Lauren's also a photographer.
Be sure to look at the About section. It really shows Lauren & Joseph's personality.
Lauren Miyake Photography shot our daughter's wedding.
You can see some of the photos here.
Lauren's been helping me with my photography skills.
She has a very gentle way of teaching, which suits me.
I'm a slow learner.
I'm very grateful to both Lauren, and Joseph, for all their help.
No printable recipe for this one yet.