The Family Lunch Box: Easy Potato Skins for the Whole Family.

baked potato skins

Cooking for kids can be downright CRAZY, so I did something even crazier. I enlisted them into my kitchen. Now we’re talking “cooking with kids” instead of only “for” kids.

You might find this a smart move, but it didn’t come from me. After my daughter got downright tired of me complaining about how much cooking I do, she got out her Junior Chef cookbook from Paragon Publishing http://www.amazon.com/Creative-Kits-Boxset-Junior-Chef/dp/1445490196, and found this recipe.

I had no idea she planned to do it right then and there.

With some items for dinner already started, I was happy for the help. Baby would soon be  ready to eat and I thought these little fancy twice baked, already mashed, potatoes would work.

And it did work. These skins were actually an amazing success! I could see these working for a party, a lunch box with a microwave near by, or game day. Here in Steeler Country you always have to be prepared for game day. Great Pittsburgh football food is a must.  But these really work for the Whole Family. Mom, Dad, kiddo and baby all loved them. So try it yourself!

Here is what you’ll need:

4 large Potatoes (we used red, and they even worked fine.)

1/2 stick butter (we used Earth Balance)

4 oz. thin sliced ham, turkey or chicken

Salt and Pepper (to taste)

4 oz cheese optional

Do it: (parents needed for oven work, piercing with fork and cutting)

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F/200 degrees C/gas mark 6.
  2. Prick potatoes with a fork and place on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake in the oven for 60 minutes, until they are soft inside and the skins crisp.
  4. Remove from oven and cut potatoes in half once cool
  5. Scoop out the soft insides into a mixing bowl. Don’t damage the skins.
  6. Mash the potatoes and add butter, salt and pepper.
  7. Place the skins on a baking sheet.
  8. Lay a thin layer of meat of choice on the bottom of each shell.
  9. Spoon the mashed potato mixture on top to fill the shell.
  10. Grate the cheese and sprinkle on top.
  11. Place them back in the oven and cook for 15 minutes more until the tops are golden brown.
  12. Serve and Enjoy!

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Despite the time it took to bake the potatoes, and the curtains I have to replace due to extensive butter splatter (I’m not kidding), this recipe is a winner. Everyone loved them, and baby could pick up little potato balls I molded myself form the potato mash. Baby found them easy to smash even without teeth!

(note: Make sure this texture is right for your baby. Always adjust the potato mash to what is right, even if you have to puree it in a food processor, etc. Safety First!)

Easy to make into balls, and no lumps. This is my “Potato Rainbow” for baby.

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Not to mention, great fine motor practice for my baby who is obsessed with using her pinch to pick up everything these days!

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The whole family loved them! And what pride my junior chef experienced after they were all eaten. She could not believe that she cooked something for baby to eat. Heck, that’s mom’s job, right? Thankfully, not anymore.

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Smash it up even a third time for fun! These went down in a minute and baby was looking for more. Out of luck, all gone.

This recipe was a happy accident for us.  I could see these being an easy, family oriented Lunch on the weekend too. AND picky eaters might just groove on these cute little skins too. A side of soup or salad would be delicious as well!

As for my immediate meal planning, these are going down in history this Super Bowl Sunday with a big side of ketchup! Enjoy.

 

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