Monday, December 31, 2012

Confetti Twice Baked Potatoes w/ Cod!

Today was my dad’s birthday! And to celebrate, he spent 3 1/2 hours at the doctor with me. What a great father. But that’s a perfect example of his character: he is such a loving and selfless father who will do anything for his family. He leads by example how to live a Christ-centered life, and I am truly grateful to be your daughter.
Happy Birthday Dad! I love you:)
So tonight, I wanted to make my dad something really special for his special day! I had my mom pick up a *grass fed* steak at the grocery store for him….but then I remembered it was a Friday during Lent — no meat. Looks like he’ll have a special steak tomorrow! So I served Twice Baked Potatoes (Two Ways) and Broiled Cod! Ooooh yum!! This was so good. And I was able to customize it too! I made vegan, veggie stuffed potatoes for me, and your traditional butter-sour cream-milk-cheddar cheese potatoes for my parents!
So yummy, and so healthy!
I wanted to have delectable veggies stuffed into my twice baked potatoes. They ended up looking like little presents! Potatoes covered in Confetti! Here’s what I did:
4 carrots, small diced
6 mushrooms, minced
1/2 onion, small diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup chopped frozen green beans
2 green onions, chopped
chives, minced
3 Tbsp white wine
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
splash of almond milk — plain, unsweetened
First, the potatoes…if you have the luxury of time, you can bake them for an hour, but if not…microwave them for 6 minutes (pricked), and then transfer them to a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. If you want to be fancy-schmancy like I was with my parents’ potatoes, you can rub the outside with EVOO, and then sprinkle with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. mmm! Take them out of the oven and allow them to cool so you can handle them. In the meantime…..
Saute your onions and carrots in 1 tsp EVOO, salt and pepper.  Let those cook for about 6-7 minutes until they have softened.  Then, stir in your garlic and let it cook for a minute before adding in your mushrooms. Allow your mushrooms to release their moisture and cook down. Then stir in your white wine and let that reduce. Finally, stir in your frozen veggies and green onions, and then take it off the heat.
Once your potatoes have cooled, slice them in half, and with a teaspoon, scoop out the center, leaving a little bit of a border — creating little canoes :) Put the scooped out centers in a bowl. Add your Dijon and milk, and mash your potatoes. Then, stir in your veggie mixture, and put heaping mounds back into the canoes.  Bake at 350 for 5-10 minutes. Yum! I dipped mine in ketchup!
——– OR ——–
You can have your potatoes like I made my parents. These were not vegan, and not a recipe for a happy tummy, but they sure were yummy! (So I hear.) Needless to say, my parents raved about them and were literally drooling over them….butter! cheese! What I did was put their potato “meat” in a separate bowl, and mashed it with 1 Tbsp butter (maybe a little more…I was generous), 2 heaping Tablespoons of sour cream, a good splash of milk, salt, and pepper.  I stuffed their skins with that, and then topped them with a mound of shredded cheddar. Bake again for another 5-10 minutes, until the cheese has melted. My dad requested the veggies on the side, not in the skins, so these potato skins were creamy, and truly luscious.
you can see the decadent potatoes in the top left :)
I served this with mouth-watering Cod from Lobsta Bakes. This wild, ocean-caught fish just flaked and melted in your mouth. Truly delicious. I broiled it with 1 tsp EVOO, salt, pepper, lemon zest and juice, and fresh chopped dill. Scrumptious.
Confetti Twice Baked Potatoes!
Finally, for my dad’s birthday dessert, I whipped up a quick bread pudding in literally 4 minutes. (I wanted to sneak it so my dad didn’t see :) ) I’m sure culinary experts would have added vanilla extract, heavy cream, other spices, and exotic egg bread…but I was in a scramble. This was not GF or vegan…if I would have made a dessert I could have eaten, it would have been a tofu chocolate mint pie. Clearly, that had a high degree of epic failure, so I just made something safe and speedy. not gluten free or vegan :(
I just cut up 3 hamburger buns (it was all we had!) and mixed those with 4 eggs, beaten together with milk, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, a pinch of salt, and chocolate chips. I let it sit in the fridge for an hour and a half, and then baked it for 35-40 minutes in a 350 degree oven. I topped it with a little spot of butter and a quick melted chocolate-peanut butter sauce. They loved it.
This meal was so delicious. Even though I didn’t have the gooey cheese and tangy sour cream, I didn’t miss it! The dijon added great flavor, and Iloved the fresh veggies. They were “loaded” — but in the Happy Tummy way! The peas popped in your mouth, and the wine gave a subtle, bright, sophistication. That, paired with the crunchy skins….mmm! Plus…it was absolutely priceless to see my parents’ faces when they realized there was real butter and sour cream inside their potatoes:)
bold, Roxy...very bold
Finally….Roxy decided to lay on my neck tonight…..sure…make yourself comfortable:)
My brother and sister-in-law are coming in to celebrate tomorrow! I can’t wait to see them!! Yay! I’m going to take a stab at a gluten-free cake with coconut butter icing! I’m sure it will be homely and disappointing….my mom got a “back-up” angel food cake just in case ;)

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