Last week there was this very important game on TV.  Lots of guys running around a field, protected with padding, helmets, and jock straps.  Something about the New York Giants winning?  Oh right!  It was the Super Bowl.  Well, not being a fan of football, I was still very excited when my friend Carly (aka Apple Girl) invited me over for a potluck football viewing party.

Carly was going to bake ginger soy chicken, which turned out amazing!  Other potluck contributions included an apple crisp, French macaroons, chips, and fantastic fried Mac and Cheese balls (made by another Apple Girl, Rachel).  Instead of beer, we sipped on Mango Peach White Sangria that Carly put together (if you are lucky, she’ll write a guest blog post and share her recipe with the rest of us!).

When thinking about my contribution to the potluck, I was reminded of an episode of The Pioneer Woman on Food Network where Ree Drummond makes double baked potatoes.  I love potatoes, and when cut in half and baked, they resemble footballs!  This was going to be perfect, I thought.  I decided to make these double baked potatoes vegetarian, colorful and relatively healthy by adding some vegetables.  The Southwestern Confetti Double Baked Potatoes were born, cooked, and devoured.

Southwestern Confetti Double Baked Potatoes



Ingredients


12-14 small Idaho potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
coarse salt
1 small onion, finely diced
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
1 tablespoon Southwestern seasoning blend
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup sour cream
1 bunch green onions, sliced
8 ounces shredded cheese, divided
ground black pepper

Directions


1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Scrub potatoes and pat dry with paper towels.  Coat potatoes with half of olive oil and generously sprinkle with salt.  Place a cooling rack inside a baking sheet.  Arrange potatoes on top of the cooling rack and bake for one hour.

 

2.  While the potatoes are baking, heat the remaining oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onion, bell pepper, jalapeno and seasoning.  Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.

3.  Once baked, remove the potatoes from the oven, and cool.  Slice potatoes in half.  Carefully scoop the potato flesh into a bowl, making sure not to rip the skin.

4.  Add half and half and sour cream to the potatoes.  Mash thoroughly and season with salt and pepper.  Stir in sauteed vegetables, green onions and half the cheese.

 5.  Scoop the potato filling back into potato skins (I used a cookie scoop).  Sprinkle potatoes with the remaining cheese and bake for another 20-30 minutes, until the potatoes are heated through and the cheese has melted.

Time to eat!

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