Being a single dad for over 15 years has certainly taught me a great deal about patience, resilience and acceptance. I’ve learned to laugh and live more in the moment, freeing myself from the dark clutches of anxiety. High five to all the single dads out there first and foremost. I feel you. I’ve been through all the ups and downs in raising a child, and I speak on behalf of us men who’ve done it on their own, we’re pretty damn awesome.
Meal planning can get be tricky and if you have a teenage boy like mine who’s appetite went from being stuffed silly eating a Happy Meal to “I’m still hungry” after devouring a 24oz prime rib steak. Costco suddenly became my best friend.
I’m not one who likes to spend hours on end in the kitchen, cooking and cleaning, but if it means I get to create a great meal that scores a perfect 10 in satiety, I’m all in.
We both love going to the Keg steakhouse every now and then as a treat. Our favorite is their twice baked potato to go with their melt-in-your mouth prime rib. Every time we order their twice baked potato, I often say to my son I can make this at home too. Just as good, if not better.
Being a certified Foodie (yes, a real one), I’ve done my fair share of reverse engineering formulas over the years. I’ve been in the food industry for well over 20 years, behind the test kitchen adding a pinch of salt, garlic powder or cracked black pepper. So here’s my version of a twice baked potato that’s easy to make, delicious and great for dad’s (and single dudes) out there who are similar to me and don’t particularly enjoy slaving away in the kitchen much.
Here’s what you need (Prep ~20mins. Cook time ~50 mins):
- Russet potatoes (they’re the long brown ones you normally get for baked potatoes) – figure out how many you want to make and go out and buy some!
- Green onions (chopped up)
- Sour cream (your choice if you want to go light or heavy. I usually go with the 14% Milkfat).
- Butter (leave it on your counter until it’s soft).
- Milk (any % is OK)
- Bacon. Why? Life’s exponentially better with bacon. You’ll want to precook these and cut into smaller bits. Generally I cook about 1 bacon per potato.
- Shredded cheese (optional).
- Preheat your oven to 425F.
- Drizzle some olive oil and coat the entire potato. Place them on a foil lined baking tray.
- When the oven is preheated, pop them into the hot oven (bottom rack) for 45 minutes.
- After 45 mins, pull them out of the oven (and leave it on) and allow the potatoes to cool off a bit.
- Slit the potatoes along the top (see picture) and hollow out the inside of the potato into a large mixing bowl. Leave a little bit of the potato intact or you might end up tearing through the skin.
- Add the chopped green onions, about 2-3 tablespoons of butter and using a hand blender, mix gently, breaking down the large chunks of potato. Add a splash of milk to help make the blending a lot easier.
- Add the bacon bits and about 1/4 cup of sour cream. Add more to your liking. Using the hand blender, mix everything thoroughly until it’s relatively smooth. If the mix is too thick, add more milk. (If it’s too runny, sorry, you’re hooped….bake another potato and top up your runny mixture.)
- Fill the empty potato shells and stuff em full! Caution: this part gets sticky from all the starch.
- Sprinkle a little cheese ontop if you’d like and pop it back into the oven for another 10 minutes.
- Once the cheese is melted, switch your oven onto broil and brown it for about 5-7 minutes. Voila!
The best part is, if you have extra bacon, guess who gets to eat it?
This was what I prepared for him last night when I went out with my buds for a fundraiser bowling night. He just whipped up the protein of his choice on his own and dinner was served.
I like making this every now and then because I can make several in advance and keep in the fridge for a few days. For us single guys, that’s meal planning. Or in the case of my son, this was appetizer.
Oh, one more thing. There’s the friggn’ cleanup. Have fun boys.