Feeling rather celebratory after a wonderful morning Mass (and knowing what we had in our larder of goodies), today's dinner menu would consist of steak- cooked outside on the grill since the weather was too good to pass up, roasted green beans & twice-baked potatoes followed by another batch of our Caramel-lite Corn (this time drizzled with melted chocolate- almost as good as a certain antlered-animal named snack) while we enjoyed a rousing family game of LIFE. We've chosen as part of our Catholic journey to devote Sundays to family time- not going out to eat or shopping, but rather spending the day going to church and doing things as a family- including reflection, recreation & relaxation. This has been a really good choice~ even though it has seemed weird not doing our bi-monthly Costco lunch and shopping after church like we've done so much in the past!
Brian and I had stopped by Roth's yesterday to buy some meat to round off the rest of our October menus, and they had some wonderful sirloin steaks in a family pack (that also happened to be just past their prime for an extra $3 off~ "score!", as my son David would say).
Green beans have always been one of my kids favorite veggies~ I confess, they LOVED canned green beans when they were young served cold with ranch dressing as a dip for them. Except when I take time to can my own (or find someone else who does), we generally do frozen green beans from Costco or fresh beans from the Saturday Market when they're in season! Our favorite way to serve them (either fresh or straight from the freezer) now is simply by roasting them in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil, some freshly ground pepper and a good handful of Kosher salt. After about 20 minutes at 450 degrees, they are a bit crisp and yet still tender~ quite wonderful to eat and still delicious a day after just heated in the microwave!
I love Alton Brown's baked potato recipe, so we decided to try to do a Keatley-twist and make them into twice-baked potatoes. The best part is as I am writing this there are three leftover coracle-shaped goodness (a coracle being a small round boat that I first heard of while reading C.S. Lewis' Cronicles of Narnia)~ I am planning on using at least one to make my version of Bubble and Squeak this week.
(baked potato part adapted from Alton Brown)
6 russet potatoes, cleaned & scrubbed
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
freshly ground black pepper
Hungarian sweet paprika (I get mine from Penzey's Spices)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using fork, poke 8-12 holes in potatoes. Brush on canola oil; sprinkle liberally with salt. Place potatoes directly on middle oven rack; place baking sheet on bottom rack. Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes. Remove potatoes from oven and dust off some of the salt, leaving most on the skin. Let cool for 10 minutes on baking sheet. Cut potatoes in half; using tablespoon, scoop out inside of potatoes & place into medium size mixing bowl, making sure to leave the shell intact.
Raise oven temperature to 450 degrees. Add cream cheese, 1 cup of cheddar and cottage cheese to potato "insides" along with pepper, to taste. Using fork, mash potato mixture while blending gently. When mixture is combined, spoon into reserved potato skins. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and paprika. Place on baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly.