3 Easy Methods for Baking a Potato


This post might be elementary to a lot of you, but there was a time when I wasn’t entirely sure how to make a baked potato to achieve the results I wanted (crispy skins). I love a good baked potato, and while my favorite is a twice baked all loaded up with cheese, bacon, chives and sour cream, I rarely eat it that way merely because of all the calories. But, I will indulge from time to time. So, normally, I just add a little butter, salt & pepper. Listed below are three ways to make them.

Regardless of which method you choose, it’s essential to remember to wash the potatoes and prick them many times with a fork. If you forget, you may have a little explosion in your oven or microwave.

Front: Regular, baked potatoes. Back: Twice baked.
  1. Oven-Baked Potatoes: Pre-heat the oven to 425°F. Rub the potatoes with olive oil, sprinkle them with salt and pepper, and prick them with the tines of a fork. Lay them directly on the oven rack or place them on a baking sheet, and cook for 45-60 minutes, until their skin is crispy and sticking one with a fork meets no resistance. End Result – crispy potato skins.
  2. Potatoes Wrapped in Foil: Follow the same directions as for oven-roasted potatoes, but wrap the potatoes in foil before cooking. End Result – a softer skin and the potatoes stay warm in their foil if you’re not eating right away.
  3. Microwaved Potatoes: Follow the same direction as for oven-roasted potatoes, but  place all the potatoes on a microwave-safe dish and microwave at full power for five minutes. Turn them over and microwave for another 3-5 minutes. If still hard in the middle, microwave in additional 1-minute bursts until cooked through. End Result – super-fast cooking time with soft skins.

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Grilling No-No’s


Everyone loves to grill, so I wanted to share with you a few tips that you may or may not be aware of.

1. NO fork – tongs are the ticket when you BBQ; turning your food with a fork lets the juices escape.

2. Never toss ice-cold meat or seafood on the grill; it reduces your grill’s temp and prevents tasty juices from getting seared in. Meat needs about an hour out of the fridge.

3. Getting sauced too early – talking about the food 😉 don’t slather on the BBQ sauce until the last few minutes of grilling. Most BBQ sauces contain sugar, which will burn if put on too early.

Got Sauce? Now You Do!


Here’s a quick, easy & delicious recipe for pizza/pasta sauce that doesn’t require cooking.

Ingredients

  • 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tbsp oregano
  • 1/2 tbsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary, crushed
  • 1 tbsp sugar

Directions

  1. Mix tomato paste, water & oil – mix well.
  2. Add the rest of ingredients and let stand for several hours to let flavors blend.
  3. If you’re short on time, you can heat the sauce in a small saucepan.