pretzel bites.

pretzel bites.

Monday, November 7, 2011

weekend away leftovers +bag of sweet potatoes = stuffed sweet potato skins for dinner

over the weekend my husband josh and i went to the catskills with friends. to the catskills. i love saying that. it sounds rustic and fancy at the same time. it was heavenly there. perfect burnt golden leaves that smelled the way fall should. it never smells like fall in the city. not really. not even in brooklyn. so this little getaway was a perfect combination of things. reading in front of a wall of windows overlooking the hudson river/hiking around a scenic mountain lake/drinking local hot apple cider/feeling all at once overwhelmed and inspired by antiques stores/and... EATING. lots and lots of eating. and lots and lots of leftovers that we brought home with us precariously wrapped in plastic and foil because it's somehow painful to waste so much perfectly good food. and also our friends have a car. but the problem is it's hard to actually eat leftovers. there are only two of us and though i'm not much help i'm also irrationally offended when josh doesn't finish them. it's tricky. so i had to get creative.

we came home with:
-a greek yogurt container of two day old veggie chili eaten not once over the weekend, but on five separate occasions. (i'll have to post that recipe some time. it really was delicious.)
-greek yogurt.
-shredded "mexican" cheese mix.
-shredded mozzarella.
-the single largest container of ricotta i've ever possessed.
-a bag of small sweet potatoes.
-grape tomatoes.

we had in our fridge:
-tomato sauce. date purchased unknown. mold check successful.
-banana peppers. a staple in our home. i eat them on bagels, for which i know you are now judging me.
-vegetarian bacon bits. about to expire.

all of that = stuffed sweet potato skins!

on mondays i work from about 8 in the morning until about 6 in the evening. and every single day i want to take a nap at 4 in the afternoon. which i don't. most days. by the time i get home i'm usually pretty exhausted, especially in fall/winter when idiotic daylight savings has stolen away my evening sunshine. but occasionally i get home energized enough to cook a proper dinner. and by proper i mean appetizers for dinner. while i was at work i read up on microwaving potatoes and i actually cannot believe i'd never done it before. instead of waiting an hour for the things to bake in the oven (and accidentally filling up on snacks before dinner time because an hour is sometimes just too long to wait), i got home and immediately hoisted myself onto one of my kitchen chairs and then onto the kitchen counter and up to the microwave, which is placed in the most inconvenient spot imaginable, and i nuked the sweet potatoes for 6 minutes on one side and 5 on the other. and that was it! it actually worked! then i cut them in half while they were still too hot because in case you haven't gathered already, i'm not the most patient person, and i scooped out the flesh and stuck them in the oven i'd preheated to 400 degrees. after 7 minutes i flipped them over and then after another 7 i took them out to fill them.

filling step one:
potato skin 1: "mexican" cheese blend
potato skin 2: veggie chili (x2... we have a lot of veggie chili left)
potato skin 3: ricotta, tomato sauce, mozzarella

i stuck them back in the oven for another 13 minutes until the cheese looked nice and melted, then out for toppings.

filling step two:
potato skin 1: "mexican" cheese blend, greek yogurt, vegetarian bacon bits
potato skin 2: veggie chili, greek yogurt, cilantro
potato skin 3: ricotta, tomato sauce, mozzarella, banana pepper

then i sprinkled them all with salt and pepper and they were ready to go. i also threw together a little salad. arugula, tomato, a splash of olive oil, a splash of balsamic vinegar, lots of salt and pepper. a lovely, pepper and sweet salad that made me feel less guilty about eating stuffed potato skins for dinner.

and there it was... a fridge clearing dinner of leftovers on a monday evening... not all that pretty, but definitely yummy!