Thursday, August 8, 2013

baked potato bar

After another absolutely fabulous week at HF Bar in WY, I'm now in ID with our children, getting some quality grandparent + mountain time in before the new school year.

When not riding our bikes on the extensive bike paths, to the market, or to our favorite ice cream stand,

we're out hiking, playing in the river,

reading under the aspens and pines,

or my kids are putting their newfound whittling skills from woodworking and primitive wilderness camp to work.

I've gotten a little lazy in the cooking department, since it is vacation after all... but last night I made a baked potato bar that the kids loved. We're at a funny stage right now-- no, actually, not so funny when you're the mom trying to make sure that your children are nourished and eating enough. Play trumps eating any day with these two. Unlike me, they never get ravenous, no matter how active they may be. But the baked potato bar is one of those meals that I know gets them happily trotting to the dinner table. I'm not sure if it's the make-your-own aspect, or if they just like all the decadent toppings? Either way, this is one of my current go-tos.

Baked potatoes are so simple: wash them off, prick them with a fork, roll them in a bit of olive oil, then into a 350 oven for 1 hour they go. Topping choices included: butter, Greek yogurt, sour cream, crisp local bacon, steamed broccoli, scallions, mushrooms and red onion sauteed in balsamic and a little olive oil, shredded cheddar, hot sauce...and I put out steamed green beans for the kids to munch on while I was getting the toppings laid out. At home, I do a similar make-your-own gig, but offer up some of my go-to turkey chili as a topping. (Freezing it in small containers makes it easy to thaw just the right amount.)

Do you have a meal like this-- something that's easy, that your family loves? A meal that can compete with Legos, drawing, reading and whittling?...

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