It was another fun day with my two mini sous chefs, Micah and Asher. We always have a lot of fun together. In fact, their mom said they look forward to all our cooking days, and our cooking classes are some of their favorite things to study. 🙂 We already have a couple of recipes in store for our next few sessions, but this time we made some loaded baked potatoes.
The boys love cheese, so we made these potatoes nice and cheesy. Then we added a lot of broccoli, tomatoes and bacon too. These potatoes were definitely loaded potatoes. They were a meal all by themselves. No need for anything else here.
The first thing we did was to clean the potatoes, then rubbed them with some olive oil and salt and pepper. Once they were ready, they went into the oven at 350* F or 190* C for an hour. Our sessions are only for an hour, though sometimes they get extended a bit, because often times things may need to cook a bit longer, but we often run out of time long before the fun is over. My point is, your potatoes may need a little additional cooking time. So keep them in the oven until they are soft.
Once the potatoes were in the oven, we prepared everything else. They boys were busy cutting up the broccoli into small florets, dicing the tomatoes, cooking the bacon and making the cheese sauce.
Asher is cutting the bacon, making sure it is just right.
Micah is having way to much fun stirring the cheese sauce.
Loaded Cheesy Baked Potatoes
5-6 russet potatoes or more as needed, cleaned
salt & pepper
3-4 TBSP olive oil
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp thyme
8 oz cheddar cheese
salt & pepper to taste
3 cups cooked broccoli florets
5-6 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 tomatoes, diced – we used a couple of different kinds of tomaotes, including some orange sunburst tomatoes
Rub the cleaned potatoes with the salt, pepper and olive oil then place on a baking sheet and bake for at least an hour, or until they are soft.
While the potatoes are cooking, prepare everything else.
Cut the broccoli into small florets and add to a bowl that is safe for the microwave. Add 2 TBSP of water to the broccoli. Microwave at high for about 4-6 minutes, uncovered. Then remove and set aside.
Combine the butter, milk, flour and spices in a pot and cook at a medium/high heat until the butter is all melted and the sauce thickens. Stir constantly. Once the sauce has thickened to your desired thickness, fold in about half the broccoli.
When the potatoes are cooked, let them cool for at least about five minutes, then cut them in half and fluff them up a bit by squishing them together from the sides. Add your toppings and enjoy. Micha and Asher loaded them up with more broccoli, tomatoes and bacon. YUM!
You can use this same exact sauce, with or without all the additional toppings for mac ‘n cheese as well. All you need to do is substitute the potatoes for cooked pasta, and voila.
My camera just loves these two. They are both so full of personality. They become more and more animated with each session. We always have a lot of fun in the kitchen. 🙂
Always do your best to have fun in the kitchen, as well as out of the kitchen. Life is what you make it, so make it fun. 🙂 Stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.