Best Brothers – Recipe: Baked Potato Bites

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Lately, I am mesmerized by the relationship of my boys.  I see them in a brotherly moment, and I have to grab the camera.

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I am fascinated by how much they look alike, how similar some of their personality traits are…yet, how different and individually special they are, at the same time.

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When Ethan was a baby, we worried about his health problems and needs overshadowing Gabriel’s toddler experience.  Looking back at pictures, I know that we had no reason to be concerned.  We always included Gabriel in everything, and he loved it.  He was just as great of a brother then as he is now.  Ethan truly adores him…and the feeling is mutual.

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As they have become older, my worries shifted to how Gabriel would accept the fact that Ethan is different, how he might not be able to carry on an actual conversation or play catch in the backyard.  Once again, my worries were all for naught.

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Gabriel does have conversations with Ethan, and, on pretty days, they are jumping, running, and playing together in the backyard.  For the longest time, it did not seem as if Gabriel knew that Ethan was different…special.  But, now I know that Gabriel knew it all along.  He, like us, just did not care.  He loves and accepts him just the way that he is.  And, you know what?  Ethan has helped mold Gabriel into the person who he is – kind, compassionate, sensitive, loving, all-around-wonderful.

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They are brothers, and they are friends.  And, to them, that is all that matters.  Yes, there are differences, just as there are similarities.  They are brothers, yet they share more than just the same blood.  At times, it is as if they share a heart and soul, too.  Yes, they are special…they are best brothers and best friends.

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Because of their unique bond, Gabriel can get Ethan to do things that no one else can get him to do.  Ethan watches Gabriel, learns from him, and tries to be like him in so many ways.  We are hugely blessed that Gabriel is such a great example to and for Ethan.  It is the case with every facet of their lives, even with food.  When Ethan does not want to try something, Gabriel swoops in, tries it, and then offers it to Ethan.  Such was the case with these potato bites.  Ethan did not know what to think about them…because they were messy…and different than normal potatoes.  He did try them, and he liked them.  Proof once again that different is special and good and usually perfect in every way.

Baked Potato Bites

Baked Potato Bites

Ingredients

12 red potatoes

Olive oil

1/4 cup sour cream

1/4 cup butter

Kosher salt

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground pepper

Green onions, chopped

8 ounces Colby Jack or cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Prepare a baking sheet by spraying it with cooking spray.
  2. Rub the potatoes with olive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt, and place on the baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes.
  4. While the potatoes are baking, mix together the sour cream, butter, salt, and pepper.
  5. After 30 minutes, remove the potatoes from the oven. Allow to slightly cool.
  6. Slice the potatoes in thirds.
  7. Place about 1 teaspoon of the sour cream mixture on each potato, and top with about 1 tablespoon of cheese and 1 teaspoon of green onions.
  8. Bake for another 5 minutes, and then serve with ranch dressing.
http://cookingformykids.com/2011/10/19/best-brothers-recipe-baked-potato-bites/

Enjoy!

I have shared this recipe at It’s a Keeper and  A Glimpse Inside.

Short and Sweet – Recipe: Shredded Beef, Bean & Goat Cheese Taquitos

Summer is short and sweet.  I do not know how it passes by so quickly, but it does.  Yes, I am still in denial.  But, Gabriel went to a party today, so we were able to visit with one of his former teachers, as well as many of the parents of his friends.  It gave me the comfort that I needed to remember that we go to a great school with great teachers and wonderful families.  We are blessed.

So, I will soak up this last week of the summer with my biggest little and my middle little.  And, I will be thankful that I still have one more year at home with my littlest little before she starts Kindergarten next year.  I have a bucket list of all of the things that I want to do with them this week, and, even though I know that the week will fly, we will cherish every moment…and then start counting down the days until Christmas break!

It has been a great weekend, and I have enjoyed all of the time with my family.  We made simple meals at home so that we could have lazy days.  Today we made these Shredded Beef Taquitos.  I ran home from running some errands and had an hour to cook lunch and feed the family before I took Gabriel to the pool party.  Mission accomplished.  We made it to the party almost on time.

You will notice that this recipe is a variation of two others that I have already posted – Beef, Bean, and Goat Cheese Taquitos and Egg, Bean, and Goat Cheese Taquitos.  I love recipes that are flexible enough to change just slightly enough to call it new.  It all goes back to that goal of mine to make more of our meals quick, easy, and fun.

Shredded Beef, Bean & Goat Cheese Taquitos

Shredded Beef, Bean & Goat Cheese Taquitos

Ingredients

Shredded Beef - I put a roast in the crock pot, added beef broth, salt, and pepper, and cooked it on low for 10 hours. After it cooled, I shredded the meat.

Refried beans - I usually make my own, but today we used plain 'old canned refried bans.

Goat cheese

Corn tortillas

Cooking spray

Kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Cover baking pan with foil.
  3. Heat the corn tortillas in the microwave, working with 3 at a time. Place a damp cloth between each tortilla, and heat for 30 seconds. The damp cloth will add moisture to the tortillas and make them easier to fold without cracking.
  4. Add about 4 pieces of the shredded beef, 1 tablespoon of refried beans, and 1 tablespoon of cheese.
  5. Roll up as tight as you can, and place seam side down onto prepared pan.
  6. Keep rolling them up until you are out of ingredients or tortillas, whichever comes first.
  7. Spray with cooking spray and lightly sprinkle with kosher salt.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
  9. Serve with ranch and salsa.
http://cookingformykids.com/2011/08/14/short-and-sweet/

I hope that you enjoy your week as much as I hope to enjoy mine.

For the Love of Produce – Recipe: Pico de Gallo

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We are in the process of getting ready for our next summer event, our annual family reunion.  We are lucky in that it is not technically out-of-town for us, but it still takes us away from our home for a few days.  So, all of the travel prep still needs to be done – clean house, buy groceries to take with us, wash sheets, pack. Yes, I clean house and wash sheets before we travel.  I like to come home to a clean, organized house so that I can start fresh with the unpacking, laundry, etc.

We get an added little bonus at the reunion this year.  My sweet sister-in-law is expecting a baby, my first nephew, so we are having a baby shower while we are there.  I am in charge of the dessert bar.  The desserts will not be gluten-free. But, I am baking special treats for my sweet gluten-free boy so that he will not miss out on anything.  And, since we are in this together, I will be joining him with the gluten-free sweets. I just now discovered Gluten-Free Girl last night, and I am so excited to try some of her treats.  I love her passion for food and for making sure that a gluten-free world is still a tasty one.

Today we went to several stores, one of which is one of my favorite places to buy produce.  It is a farmer’s market grocery store, and their produce prices are excellent.  We picked up a little bit of everything, mostly so that we would have fruit for breakfast and vegetables for our pizza night and some pico de gallo for snacking.

Since I am not preparing any new recipes today, I wanted to share the pico de gallo recipe that we love.  I am sure that this is a similar recipe to one that you prepare for your family.  It is a little spicy for the littles, but Sean and I love it.  Oddly enough…I do not like tomatoes….except in pico de gallo.

Pico de Gallo

Pico de Gallo

Serve with tortilla chips and watch it disappear.

Ingredients

4-5 tomatoes, finely chopped

1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped

1/3 cup onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped

1 lime

kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Chop the tomatoes and add to a bowl. I do not use the seeds or tomato pulp in my pico. As I noted above, I am not a fan of tomatoes, and I think that it is a texture thing. So, I just use the true meat of the tomato for the pico, and I chop the tomatoes very finely.
  2. Add the chopped jalapeno, onion, and cilantro.
  3. Squeeze the juice of 1/2 of the lime and then sprinkle with kosher salt.
  4. Gently mix together and taste. You can add more lime and/or kosher salt, as needed.
http://cookingformykids.com/2011/07/27/for-the-love-of-produce/

Enjoy!


Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by Shenandoah Growers Organic Fresh Herbs.