Baked Potato Bar

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Friday is here. After deciding what to pack for lunch all week and what to make for dinner, too, I am ready for a break. But my family would enjoy something yummy to eat. Also, it has to be fairly simple to eat away from the table, because Fridays are movie nights. That means we enjoy our dinner while we watch a movie.

Usually we have either pasta bar or make your own pizza. But last night we had pasta for dinner. There went my simple but delicious Friday movie night dinner idea.

I had an inspiration from foods that give you energy. One specific item on that list, sweet potatoes. Tonight we would have a potato bar! Complete with baking potatoes and sweet potatoes.

How to do this? Just follow these steps.

Wash potatoes and set on a towel to dry. Just get rid of the extra dirt and break off any "eyes" that may have started to sprout. I do not thoroughly dry the potatoes; just set them down while you move onto the next step.

Tear apart sheets of aluminum foil, enough for each potato to have its own shiny blanket. Place the somewhat damp potato on the foil. Sprinkle with some kosher salt. Wrap the foil around the potatoes, being certain to fold the ends over to keep the heat and any liquid that will accumulate inside.

Place the foil wrapped potatoes into an oven preheated to 450 degrees. Allow to cook for 45 minutes to an hour.

While the potatoes are baking, gather your toppings. This is the best part. Think outside the box, or foil. Since we had two varieties of potatoes, I wanted to have an assortment of toppings for each.

For sweet potatoes I chose butter and cinnamon with sugar as well as craisins and marshmallows. I had wanted brown sugar, but substituted the marshmallows since we were all out. I needed to be frugal (I only have $40 remaining for my groceries until Tuesday) and it was already 6:30 so I wasn't going back to the store (for the third time today). I think the marshmallows and craisins not only added something different but were a nice contrast to the orange color of the potatoes.

Baking potatoes are easy to top. While they were cooking, I fried some bacon. To make it easy and less messy to crumble, I placed the cooked bacon inside a plastic baggie and squeezed it till there were many nice morsels of pig fat (let's just call it what it is). I kept some of the bacon drippings in the pan and carmelized a sliced vidalia onion to be our second topping choice. Since I love onions, I also sliced two green onions to be used for a topping. Last, I set out some sour cream and shredded cheddar.

Everyone seemed very pleased with diner. It was simple but filling with all those carbs. I chose to have the sweet potato with craisins and a bit of cinnamon and sugar. The tart cranberries were a nice contrast to the sweet potato and I don't feel sluggish; remember the sweet potato is an energy food. To our Friday night dinner options I will add the Potato Bar.

Oh, what movie did we watch? Sphere, look for an upcoming review.


  1. I don't think we have ever done that before, but it was really good.

  2. At first I didn't want a potato buth when I smelled them I couldn't resist. I love baked potatoes. ha ha I love the shiny blanket tmetaphor. Very clever and comforting.

  3. Wow I love Potato Bars yummy! Good idea to add the sweet potatoes too and I loved those toppings you choose. Have you even done baked potatoes in the crockpot? It works out very well and you don't have to heat up your ovens! Look at Adam down there -What a handsome dude!

  4. Thanks for the crockpot idea, though as winter comes we will want to heat up the house.

    Yes, Adam is a handsome fellow!

  5. Three cheers for the three T ladies! I've just discovered y'all's blogs and am adding them to my blogroll. :-)

    Only trouble is, I think I'll gain wait just reading all these food posts!

  6. Thanks, Valerie!

    I think I would have already gained 10 pounds, but fortunately I have been too busy to enjoy more than a small share of each item.

  7. Yikes...did I really type "wait" instead of "weight"? The Internet doth keep one humble.

    And I'm sure typing out all these things burns lots of calories, so you're safe! ;-)

  8. Anonymous5:14 PM

    I don't want to make a potato bar, I just want to come over for dinner and eat it.

  9. I am getting hungry just reading this entry. It sounds like a great idea. I have never baked a sweet potato. Do you just bake it right along with the regular potatoes?

  10. Hi Monica. You should wrap the sweet potatoes in foil, separately, and cook them in a 450 oven for 45 minutes. Enjoy!

  11. Thanks, Sheila, I will give this a try. I really haven't ever cooked sweet potatoes outside of the holidays; and that doesn't really count with all of the sugar and marshmallows. But baking them sounds like a great thing to try. Thanks again.

  12. Leatrix7:28 AM

    Hi there, i *love* the look of the Sweet Potato recipe, and would like to try and make it over here in the UK for my friends at a dinner party, can you tell me how you do the topping? Do you cook the Potato and then add the topping, cooking it a bit longer so the marshmallows/sugar melts? Or do you cook it alltogether? Many thanks for a great blog entry!

  13. Leatrix~ I am certainly glad you enjoy the look of the potatoes. Simply cook the sweet potatoes for about 40 minutes in a very hot oven {I set mine at 450 F, not certain of the C temp; sorry}. Slice in half to open and top each half with a pat of butter; then top with some marshmallows and return to oven for 3-5 minutes. After that top with craisins to enjoy! Hopefully this is helpful.

  14. Hi Sheila, just wanted to let you know that your recipe came out brilliantly and the kids really enjoyed their sweet potatos! Now the rest of the family want to know how to do it, so you'll be sure to see your recipe doing the rounds in North Wales!

    p.s. So proud was i of my baked spud, i photographed it for you, click my name for the link x

  15. Leatrix~ If you stop by again, your potato looked great! So yummy with all the melted marshmallow. Glad I could help someone, somewhere, in some way:)


Catching my breath. Be back ASAP.