Cheesy Potato Skins

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If you make twice baked potatoes, you get a bonus side dish-potato skins. Once you slice off 1/2″ off the top of each potato, you’re left with a bunch of skins. When I made my twice baked potatoes,  I had 24 skins to be exact. I separated mine into 2 stacks of twelve to freeze. Because they’re baked and cooled, they freeze wonderful. I throw mine in a quart size bag and squeeze as much air out as possible. These can thaw overnight, or if you’re in a pinch, they can thaw in an hour in a bowl of cold water.

I take my skins and brush them with canola or olive oil on BOTH sides. You can be generous or sparing. I chose sparing since I’m going a little on the indulgent side today. I learned this trick from Pioneer Woman. I’m giving credit where credit is due. I broil BOTH sides of the potato until lightly toasted. Watch them closely. Once they’re toasted how you like, top them with cheddar cheese, real bacon bits ( I cooked 3 strips in the microwave), and chives or sliced green onions. Be as generous as you like. Dip these skins in a little ranch, ketchup or sour cream.

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Aren’t you glad you took my advice and didn’t throw away your skins? Now go make twice baked potatoes just so you can have the leftover skins. Or bake some potatoes and slice them lengthwise into 1/2″ slices and purposely freeze for these delightful appetizers.

I’m imagining more possibilities as I type. Top with diced convenience chicken, or cooked taco meat  and lettuce and tomato for a main dish item. Invite someone over and impress them with your freezer side dish. What topping ideas do you have?

This recipe is linked to Tasty Tuesday

World's Easiest Boiled Eggs

Raise your hand if you enjoy making boiled eggs? I’m raising mine because I make them every week. My two boys LOVE boiled eggs. Guess what? I ate eggs nearly every day while I was pregnant. I craved them scrambled, boiled and fried and sadly, I still like them. So, no wonder they love eggs.

I also am the executive devil egg maker on hubby’s side of the family. I’m recruited at every event. So, I’ve learned to love making boiled eggs and I’ve nearly perfected them (No one is perfect).

Here is the world’s easiest way to make boiled eggs.

1. Fill a pot with water and set the temp to high. Add desired amount of eggs making sure the water covers the entire egg. Bring it to a boil. DON”T CONTINUE TO BOIL. Once it begins, remove it from the heat and put a lid on it. Set your timer for 15 minutes.

2. Ding! Pour the hot water off and immediately fill your pot with cold water. Add as much ice as you can to this water. If it melts in a few minutes, add more. The water should be icy cold when you put your hand in it. If not, continue adding ice.

3. After about 10-15 minutes (no set time), pour NEARLY all of the water off reserving about an inch.

4. Put the lid on and now it’s time to play bumper cars. You heard me, shake those babies bumping them together back and forth. You’ll look ridiculous, but I promise it’s worth the goofy look so you’re not peeling each one under cold running water. Just continue to shake, shake, shake for about a minute and voila! When you remove the lid nearly all of your shell has fallen off the egg and they EASILY peel off without peeling the egg off.

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There that’s my method of boiled eggs. I store them in a ziploc bag (dated-because they have a week long shelf-life) in the fridge and I’ve saved myself time, energy and money (because I didn’t buy the boiled eggs in a bag sold at the store). And my boys are happy all week long. I add them to my chef salad or eat them as a protein snack.

P.S. If you’re making deviled eggs, whip your yolk with your wire whisk in your mixer. And whisk a long time and add a tablespoon or two extra mayo and top it with a sliced olive with pimento. All your in-laws will think you’ve went to culinary school!

Have you ever tried this bumper car method? Do you make deviled eggs? Now you can!

World’s Easiest Boiled Eggs

Raise your hand if you enjoy making boiled eggs? I’m raising mine because I make them every week. My two boys LOVE boiled eggs. Guess what? I ate eggs nearly every day while I was pregnant. I craved them scrambled, boiled and fried and sadly, I still like them. So, no wonder they love eggs.

I also am the executive devil egg maker on hubby’s side of the family. I’m recruited at every event. So, I’ve learned to love making boiled eggs and I’ve nearly perfected them (No one is perfect).

Here is the world’s easiest way to make boiled eggs.

1. Fill a pot with water and set the temp to high. Add desired amount of eggs making sure the water covers the entire egg. Bring it to a boil. DON”T CONTINUE TO BOIL. Once it begins, remove it from the heat and put a lid on it. Set your timer for 15 minutes.

2. Ding! Pour the hot water off and immediately fill your pot with cold water. Add as much ice as you can to this water. If it melts in a few minutes, add more. The water should be icy cold when you put your hand in it. If not, continue adding ice.

3. After about 10-15 minutes (no set time), pour NEARLY all of the water off reserving about an inch.

4. Put the lid on and now it’s time to play bumper cars. You heard me, shake those babies bumping them together back and forth. You’ll look ridiculous, but I promise it’s worth the goofy look so you’re not peeling each one under cold running water. Just continue to shake, shake, shake for about a minute and voila! When you remove the lid nearly all of your shell has fallen off the egg and they EASILY peel off without peeling the egg off.

0307011911.jpg

There that’s my method of boiled eggs. I store them in a ziploc bag (dated-because they have a week long shelf-life) in the fridge and I’ve saved myself time, energy and money (because I didn’t buy the boiled eggs in a bag sold at the store). And my boys are happy all week long. I add them to my chef salad or eat them as a protein snack.

P.S. If you’re making deviled eggs, whip your yolk with your wire whisk in your mixer. And whisk a long time and add a tablespoon or two extra mayo and top it with a sliced olive with pimento. All your in-laws will think you’ve went to culinary school!

Have you ever tried this bumper car method? Do you make deviled eggs? Now you can!

Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas

This is a recipe I’ve made for years and years, because it’s so easy and I always have the ingredients on hand. I can whip this up for lunch or dinner without any thawing, can you believe it? Most of the ingredients come straight from the pantry, like the beans and corn. However, corn can come from the freezer too, it’s actually healthier. Most of us have shredded cheese and some produce lying around.

This is a “use what you’ve got” recipe. It’s very hearty with the black beans and it doesn’t require meat, but feel free to throw in some thawed cooked taco meat or cooked shredded chicken if you desire. But, please do try this without it and see if you miss the meat. Also, you can use whatever size tortillas you have on hand. I use the taco size, because that’s what we have. Enjoy this easy recipe on a night when you thought you had something planned and have no dinner ideas or forgot to thaw something out. There’s no exact measurements, because it depends on the size of tortilla you’re using. You could say a few tablespoons if you want a measurement. Be sure to use your leftover black beans and corn for a salsa or taco salad or place them in a small freezer bag and save for the next time you make this recipe!

Tuck this away in a safe place…

Ingredients:

1 can black beans, rinsed (you can also substitute refried beans)

1 can corn, rinsed or frozen corn

Shredded cheese, Mexican variety, Colby Jack, whatever you have on hand

optional items:

sliced green onions

sliced black olives

chopped tomatoes (fresh or canned, drained) or pico de gallo

Serve with sour cream, guacamole or salsa or all.

Directions:

Brush tortilla with butter or olive oil or spray.  Spread black beans, corn and cheese on one side of tortilla. The cheese helps the beans and corn stick together so be generous. Sprinkle with desired “add ins”. Don’t add too many tomatoes because the extra moisture makes the tortilla soggy.  Fold over and grill both sides until crispy. I use our Panini sandwich grill because it gets hot quickly and grills on both sides at the same time. A large skillet or griddle will work just fine. If you like a drier product leave out the tomatoes or salsa and simply serve it on top when they are done.  Cut with a pizza wheel and enjoy hot with sour cream, guacamole or avocado and salsa.

What’s your favorite quesadilla?

Baked Crab Rangoon

I made this easy, wonderful appetizer over New Years and welcomed 2011 with a birthday-don’t forget to check out my birthday giveaway. It was a recipe from Kraft and I altered it a little to make more than 12 appetizers. I made a total of 20 crab rangoons and 20 pizza rangoons, which I’ll share with you tomorrw.

I loved how easy and healthy this recipe was. A total of 5 ingredients created this pretty party recipe.

1 can white crabmeat, drained, flaked

8 oz.  light cream cheese, softened

4-6 green onions, thinly sliced

1/3 cup light mayo

20 won ton wrappers (save the other half for pizza rangoons)

Heat oven to 350. Mix first 4 ingredients. Place 1 won ton wrapper in each of the mini muffin cups sprayed with cooking spray, extending edges of wrappers over sides of cups. Fill with crab mixture. Bake about 15 minutes or until edges of cups are golden brown and filling is heated through.

Baked Pizza Rangoon

Here’s what I did with the remaining won ton wrappers in a whole package (a typical package contains about 40 wrappers). I altered the crab rangoon recipe with mini pepperoni and omitted the green onion. I’m sure you could add chopped black olives or leave the green onions for color, but I was serving this appetizer to kids so I thought it would be more appealing. It also would be good to dip in marinara, though we enjoyed them as is.

1/2 package of mini pepperoni (I’ve only seen this in Hormel brand so far-you could cut up regular size with kitchen shears too)

8 oz. light cream cheese

1/3 cup light mayo

20 won ton wrappers

Heat oven to 350. Mix first 4 ingredients. Place 1 wonton wrapper in each of the mini muffin cups sprayed with cooking spray, extending edges of wrappers over sides of cups. Fill with mixture. Bake 15 minutes or until edges of cups are golden brown and filling is heated through.

P.S. I used previously frozen won ton wrappers to keep them fresher longer. I thawed in the fridge for 24 hours and then proceeded with recipe. I believe these would freeze well and reheat well if foil covered. Let me know if you have leftovers and freeze them.

What's on your New Year's Eve Plate?

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We’re having my friend over who taught me the ground beef trick for New Year’s Eve and I’ve put together some very simple appetizers using freezer foods. I’ll serve spinach bites (reheated from the freezer), taco soup (reheated in crockpot from the freezer) with pico de gallo and tortilla chips, crab bites (a new recipe (extras can be frozen) and chex mix from my abundant pretzel supply.

Thanks for following my new blog this year. I’m excited about getting it more organized and snazzy this upcoming year. I hope your New Year is blessed and full of joy and anticipation.

I just purchased the Power of a Positive Mom, by Karol Ladd to keep me on my toes. I plan to keep the freezer recipes coming to you. I also want to share the how to’s of freezing properly for great results and thawing for great taste. Let me know if you have any ideas or suggestions. I’d love to hear them.

Happy New Year!!

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