Baked Potato Buffet

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Sometimes dinner ideas come from the strangest places.  The kids were playing with their Mr. Potato Head toys (how did we end up with so many Mr. Potato Heads I don’t know!) and I decided we needed to make ourselves a baked potato dinner.

I didn’t know you need a recipe for making the best baked potato, but I do love this method.  You don’t use foil and pretty much just rub a cleaned potato with oil and salt, voodoo it with a fork and put it directly on the oven rack and cook it for an hour and a half or more.  The kids like helping clean the potatoes and think it’s hilarious when I drag out the fire extinguisher.  I read somewhere that baked potatoes can explode and it freaks me out.  The last thing I want is a fire-y potato flying through my kitchen so I keep the fire extinguisher out for good luck.  A buffet of toppings means the guys usually will eat a lot of veggies and if I leave things like tomatoes, broccoli and onions on the table while I prep the rest, they “sneak” samples, and ultimately more servings of veggies.  Other toppings like sour cream, salsa, guacamole and chili leftover from other meals work too. So this is a seemingly easy dinner, you just have to make sure you leave enough time for your potato to cook completely.  (My first attempt ended with half-cooked potatoes because I started to late with ginormous potatoes and was scared to let them overcook-explode.)

I don’t know about you but I’m always in need of last minute dinner ideas or things that the whole family can customize and eat.  We’ve found that by creating a baked potato buffet we all can choose what we want and everyone ends up with a hearty meal and I don’t need to make a ton of different dishes for everyone.

(PS. Baked potatoes are gluten-free!)

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