Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes... A yummy Treat!

Today I'm going to share with you a treat.  This one is healthy but a yummy treat none the less.  And because I love you, I'll share the recipe and even some pictures!   I found this recipe a couple weeks ago and tried it out.  Loved it.  It's not something my family would like though so I get to have it all to myself.  I decided to make it again (with a few modifications to make it my own) just to see how well they freeze.  If they freeze well, then I'll make a huge bunch of them and freeze them for my lunches!  Anyways... I documented my recipe in pictures just so that I could write down the recipe later.  If you like twice baked potatoes and you like sweet potato then this recipe is for you!!!

 Okay first step... Take your sweet potatoes and bake them at 350 for about an hour or so.  It really depends on the size of your potatoes.   Last time I made these, I baked them for 60 minutes and some parts were still a bit undercooked.  This time I baked them for 70 minutes and they were a little too soft to cut so there is a fine line.  I did not get a picture of my baked sweet potatoes but I'm sure you can picture them.   Next you scoop out the sweet potato and put it in a bowl.  You want to leave a nice rim of potato still attached to the skin to give it some support.  Drizzle some olive oil over the skins and throw them back in the oven to crisp them up.  I'd say leave them in for about 5-10 minutes but watch them close.. If you have scraped a bit to vigorously like moi and have too much skin showing, it will burn the skin.  And yes it may look like I need a new cookie sheet but the truth is, I did get new cookie sheets for Christmas and for some reason I still grab this old one to use.  I say it's well loved and seasoned.

Next step!  BACON!!  Cut up some bacon and throw it in a pan to get crispy and yummy! When bacon is in a recipe, you know it's gonna be a good one!

After the bacon is cooked, pull it out and put it on some paper towels.  Drain most of the bacon grease out of your pan but leave a bit in because you are going to be sauteing some onions in that very pan.  
 Now after these have cooked down a bit, normally I would put in some fresh spinach.  Unfortunately today I didn't have any.  Fortunately though, I keep frozen spinach nuggets in my freezer for just these sorts of occasions.  So throw in some frozen chopped spinach (I used 2 nuggets) or some fresh spinach and let it wilt.
 When the spinach is cooked down, add your bacon back in and set aside!  

Isn't that starting to look deeeee licious?????

Now back to the bowl of sweet potato innards....  Add to it some cream cheese, sour cream and salt and pepper.    This is where you could experiment with different flavors.  Honestly though, simple is great too!
Mash it all up with a fork.  Make sure that you don't make the same mistake I made and pick a flimsy fork for your mashing..  It will end up bent like mine did.  
Add in your bacon, onion, spinach mixture..... It's really starting to come together now!
But what recipe would be complete without more cheese?  I say be creative with what cheese you use.  Last time I made this I used mozzarella and Parmesan.   This time I had no mozza but I did have this wonderful cheese baby. 
Asiago cheese... a wonder in the cheese world!
  I also had some of this Parmesan as well. 
Make a beautiful snow mountain of cheese in your sweet potato mixture and stir it up.
Fill your skins with that mixture and add some more of that wonderful cheese on top. Bake it again for about 10 minutes just to melt that cheese and get it nice and toasty.
Serve up in a cute bowl or plate!
And take a wonderful bite!
Now it appears to me that I lied when I said it was something that none of my family would like .. I was wrong.. As the smells swirled around our house, it's beauty enticed my oldest girl.  A girl who is always willing to try something once.   She loved it and proceeded to ask for a whole one for herself.  I said no.  How can my experiment of freezing them work if there are none left to freeze?   Now when it comes to someone getting a bite of food from mom, it wouldn't be fair if they didn't all got a bite.  Toby tried some... I didn't take a picture of him gagging... no surprise there.  I liked it but he shovels food in so quickly that I can never get a picture.  Sweet Pea wanted to try some too!

She's looking pretty optimistic here.
Now she's not quite sure.....
Nope... it's not a winner for her.

And there you go.. Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes!

Here's the recipe.

2 sweet potatoes
3-4 slices of bacon
1 half red onion, diced
2 nuggets frozen spinach or 2 cups fresh spinach
2 oz cream cheese
1/4-1/2 cup sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 - 1 cup cheese

1. Bake potatoes at 350 for 60-70 min or until fork tender.  Set aside to cool slightly.  Cut potatoes in half, and scoop out the potato leaving a small rim still on the skin.  Drizzle the skin with olive oil and pop back into the oven to crisp up.
2. Cut bacon into small pieces and fry.  Scoop out cooked bacon and set aside on paper towels.  Drain most of the bacon grease and add onions to the pan.  Saute until transparent and add spinach.  When spinach has cooked down, add bacon back and set aside.
3. Add cream cheese, sour cream salt and pepper to the sweet potato and mash. Add bacon mixture and mix.  Add grated cheese.
4. Fill the skins with the sweet potato mixture and top with cheese.  Bake for an additional 10 minutes.
5. EAT!


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