Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Loaded Baked Potato Dinner

Growing up, my mom was super-mom. Really. She worked full-time, cooked a healthy dinner every night, kept up with laundry, and was somehow really nice through it all, therein lies the difference between us; I would be permanently grumpy in her situation. Don't get me wrong, she wasn't a single parent, she just did the jobs a mother "traditionally" does [without asking for help] and without complaining. (I am still in awe). In our house, I perform the "traditional" roles, but not always with a great attitude. I love to serve my husband and kids, don't misunderstand, but sometimes I think it's because my "love language" is acts of service. I seem to project my wishes onto my family and then expect them to know that I want reciprocation (relationships sure are complex, aren't they?).

Lately I've noticed that Rob is quite overwhelmed with all of his responsiblities. I'm not sure how we manages to: run a foundation,service investments clients, serve as treasurer on another non-profit (and act as the general contractor on their commercial building project), help organize three conferences, mow seven commercial properties every week, and still manage to be an attentive husband and father (hey, I just realized that I am the weak link in this whole equation....).

I feel like if he can manage to get everything done during the day, surely I can manage to be productive at home. I am trying to [maintain a good attitude] while keeping the house clean and organized, effectively keep "up" with laundry , and serving my family a healthy and delicious dinner. I'm not sure how much "comfort" this provides him at the end of the day, but again, it's what I would crave if the situations were reversed (does that sound self-serving to you too?).

I cooked for a client on Monday and had some chili left over and I thought that I could make a sort of non-traditional dinner [of a loaded baked potato]. Our oldest remarked that I should serve this dinner every night (if that's not a glowing review, what is?). Typically I serve a very traditional dinner of: meat, starch, veggies. It's kind of freeing to do something a little different occasionally.

I'm sure we all know someone who may need a little comfort in form of a loaded baked potato (you know, because eating to alleviate stress is always a great idea)...make it for them today :)

Chili (for a baked potato or to eat simply)
1 can small kidney beans, drained
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 can small white beans, drained
3/4 lb hamburger, browned
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 large can diced tomatoes
smoked paprika
seasoned salt

1. Mix all ingredients, adding as many spices as desired.
2. Cover and simmer for at least 1 hr.
3. Meanwhile, poke holes in potatoes (I used red and one for each of us) and wrap in aluminum foil.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for at least 1 1/2 hrs, or until soft.
5. Top baked potato with: butter, cheddar cheese, chili, and non-fat Greek yogurt (or sour cream).

Chunky spiced applesauce
8-10 ginger gold apples (or any variety you prefer), peeled and chopped
pumpkin pie spice
3/4 cup sugar

1. In large pot, simmer apples in water until soft.
2. Using a blender, pulse apples until still chunky.
3. Add spices (amount depends on personal preference) and sugar while still warm. Serve warm or chilled.


  1. Good luck maintaining a good attitude. Not easy. :)

  2. we just finished chili on potatoes for dinner with broccoli and applesauce on the side :)

  3. We had broccoli with our potatoes and applesauce, too! We've got some great local broccoli this time of year which can't be beat-

    I hope you and your family liked the baked potatoes!