Saturday, April 28, 2012

My Nanna's Twice-Baked Potatoes, Simply Satisfying!

One night, I was on the phone with my Nanna complaining about my boyfriend's eating habits. Here's the thing; I love mashed potatoes and gravy, but my boyfriend prefers baked potatoes. My Nanna suggested a compromise. "Why not make twice baked potatoes? They're just as soft as mashed potatoes but still baked on the outside!"
My Nanna is a genius. She's also the best chef in the world so of course she had a recipe. It was simple, tasty, and was sure to please the most discerning of potato lovers! Right off the top off her head, she told me . . .

 You will need:
  • 2-4 large Idaho potatoes
  • 1-2 cups shredded cheese (your choice!)
  • Butter
  • Paprika
  • Seasoning Salt
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Wash and dry your potatoes. Use a tooth pick or a fork to poke several holes in them. Don't forget that part because potatoes can explode. That's a fact, look it up, brosef. Wrap each potato individually in foil then place in the oven. Bake for about 1 hour.

Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise. Use a butter knife to cut a criss cross pattern in the potatoes. Do not cut through the potato skin or the whole thing will just fall apart. Place a few small pads of butter, about 1/3 of a TBSP thick (just look on the label to see how much a TBSP of butter is, they usually mark for us) on the potatoes. Sprinkle on a little seasoning salt and some paprika, like so.

Place the seasoned potatoes back in the oven on an aluminum covered tray. Bake for 1 more hour. Remove them from the oven and sprinkle on your cheese of choice. Place back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is golden.

Hopefully, yours Twice Baked Potatoes come out a little cheesier than mine did. Mmm, but they were still so good! These cheesy spuds make a great side for a steak or they can be a meal of they're own!

Hm, you know all this talk about Twice Baked Potatoes reminds me of a recipe I came across a few years ago. They may not be Nanna-fide, but they are most certainly bona fide in flavor!

Stay tuned to more Super College Chef and more Super Easy Recipes for College Students! Sorry, I think I've been watching The Hub too much. So many cartoons.



Sunday, April 15, 2012

Hot Crackers: WARNING, Highly Addictive Snack

During the holidays I took a trip down to Jasper, TX on the border of Louisiana to visit my boyfriend's family. I love these people! We have homemade waffles and sausages for dinner whenever we come in to town.

Mema, the matriarch of the family, is a collector and keeper of some of the most scrumptious, down-home country recipes I've ever had the privilege to taste! One of her most famous creations is a snack so spicy, so tangy and crunchy you can't resist. Hot Crackers are my new favorite snack. I'm completely addicted!

Get'cher fixin's:
  • 1 box of Saltine crackers
  • 1 package of Hidden Valley Ranch dry seasoning
  • 1 1/4 cup of canola oil (no exceptions!)
  • 4-5 TBSP crushed red pepper
  • 1 big Ziplock bag
Dump out all the crackers into the Ziplock bag. In a small mixing bowl, combine the dry ranch seasoning, crushed red pepper, and canola oil with a whisk. Drizzle the mixture over the crackers as evenly as you can. For this next step, make sure the bag is closed tight.

Now get to shakin'! Toss that bag over and over in your hands to distribute the seasoning on the crackers. Don't shake too hard or you'll end up with a bunch of broken Hot Crackers. Keep shifting the crackers around in the spicy-tangy mixture every 20 minutes or so for about the next 4 hours.

Hot Crackers are great with chili, a sandwich, or on their own! It takes less than 5 days to finish off the whole bag in my house. Oops! Somebody's a piggy (it's me!).