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I have never lived anywhere with so many die-hard sports fans as Chicago. You can’t leave the house without seeing jerseys, rooting fans, or TVs televising live event, and for good reason. There’s not much that compares to cheering on your favorite team and watching them kick butt – except for when the don’t. The all-time best part of football season, however, has to be the food. Even if you’re not a sports fan you still have to eat, and football seasons means lots and lots of food, especially at my place!
When you host friends and family in your home during sporting events it’s kind of expected that you feed them. Thankfully I love doing just that and even more I love when it’s something super easy.
Take these twice baked loaded baked potatoes. They are delicious and so simple to make that anyone can do it. If you have older kids or friends willing to help you can delegate most/all of the work to them. Scooping the potato away from the skin is my least favorite part so I happily hand that part of the process over to whoever is available and willing. I prefer to cook the potatoes in advance so I spend less time in the kitchen on game day.
I’m not ashamed of cutting corners, especially if I can use premium ingredients to do that. La Morena Sliced Green Jalapeno Peppers make it easy to add just the right amount of heat. Whenever I am in the city I stop in to Tony’s Finer Foods because they have an amazing Hispanic section. They always have La Morena products in stock and the prices are amazing.
So, let’s get on with it! Here’s how you can recreate my all-time favorite game day dish!
Start with 4-6 (dry)baking potatoes that have been scrubbed clean. Rub the potatoes lightly with olive or canola oil. Preheat the oven to 400F and bake the potatoes on a cookie sheet for an hour.
Cut the potatoes in half (lengthwise) and let them cool until you can comfortably handle them. Scoop the potato part out carefully, making sure to leave the skin/shell intact. The easiest way to do this is to leave a 1/4 inch layer of potato connected to the skin. Put the potato flesh into a large bowl or stand mixer.
Add 1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, 2 tablespoons of milk, 1/4 cup of sour cream, 4 slices of cooked & crumbled bacon (feel free to use the jarred stuff for some extra time saving), 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 3 tablespoons of diced jalapeno peppers, and 1/2 cup of cheese. Blend the mixture well and scoop by the tablespoon into the set aside potato skins.
You can top with a slice of cheese at this step if you’d like!
Bake at 350F for 15 minutes and serve ’em up hot to your guests.
The ingredients are flexible so feel free to add, omit, and change to fit your guests taste buds.
When it comes to food cravings my biggest ones are for carbs – namely potatoes. I don’t know what it is but I can never get enough of them. Maybe it stems from childhood when my mom would prepare Mrs. T’s Pierogies after school. They were my favorite thing after a chaotic day in the life of a pre-teen. You remember those days, right?!
Mrs. T’s Pierogies were always so good, and remain delicious today. Creamy whipped potatoes wrapped up in a slick, dumpling like pasta shell. Mmmm…. Pure goodness and so readily available.
I’ve always loved how Mrs. T’s Pierogies could be prepared to suit your preference. They can be soft, chewy, crispy or anywhere in between. You can boil them, bake them, grill them or saute them.
I also think it’s incredible that Mrs. T’s Pierogies come in so many varieties. There is something for everyone no matter what your taste buds are craving. There is a 4 cheese blend, broccoli and cheddar, spinach and feta…even sauerkraut pierogies – all with that creamy potato filling.
Full list of Mrs. T’s Pierogies Flavors:
Potato & Cheddar (also available in mini size)
Potato & Onion (also available in mini size)
Potato, Spinach & Feta
Potato, Broccoli & Cheddar
Potato, Cheddar & Jalapeño
Potato & 4 Cheese Blend (also available in mini size)
Potato, Sour Cream & Chive
Potato & American Cheese
Potato & Five Cheese Blend made with Whole Grain Dough
Potato, Cheddar & Bacon Minis
They use fresh ingredients, like sharp Cheddar cheese and savory onions. All you have to do is season them to your liking and serve up Mrs. T’s Pierogies with your favorite sauce or dip.
There is a recipe that sounds spot on on the Mrs. T’s website for Pierogy Kebobs. The recipe can easily be adjusted to use the grill instead of the broiler and sounds like it’s worth a try. I can definitely see it wowing guests of all ages. The fact that they are affordable ($2.49 to $3.29 per 16-ounce box) makes them even more appealing. If you’re looking for a great after school snack, a quick fix for game day or just something to satisfy the cravings then check out Mrs. T’s!