Tag Archives: twice baked potatoes

What’s for Christmas dinner: Make ahead twice baked potatoes

17 Dec
Christmas Dinner: pork chop with homemade applesauce, green beans, twice baked potatoes, butternut squash

Today’s post is all about the potatoes.


Yesterday I wrote the first part of my post about our Christmas dinner, which is a great meal for any occasion:  roasted pork chops, homemade applesauce, Twice-Baked Potatoes, sauteed green beans and butternut squash.

At the end of the post I promised that I’d be sharing the make-ahead process that Don uses for the Twice-Baked Potatoes, which also provides you with a ready-made appetizer: potato skins.

To begin, you need baking potatoes. I get mine at Aldi’s. They sell the perfect sized and shaped potatoes in a big bag so that you don’t have to hand pick every single one. I buy two bags of them.

Early in the day on Christmas Eve, they go in the oven to be baked just as you would for any baked potato. Don bakes them at 400 degrees for one hour.

After that, they cool on top of the stove for two hours.

Potato skins

You want to take off the tops, but leave enough potato on them to make a hearty potato skin appetizer. You don’t want just skin.

At that time, Don cuts the top skin off of the potatoes, putting the tops in a serving dish to be used as Potato Skins for the next day and leaving the bottoms on the tray to be used for the Twice Baked Potatoes.

potato shells

You don’t want to scrape right down to the skin, leave enough flesh on the skin for a sturdy shell.

The next step is to scoop all of the potato flesh out of the skins, and into a mixing bowl.

making mashed potatoes for twice baked potoatoes

Next, you make mashed potatoes.

Next, you make the filling. We use butter, milk or half and half, salt, pepper and cheddar cheese, mashing the mixture just as you would for mashed potatoes.

Then, you fill the potato skins back up again. They should be slightly more full than they were before because of the added cheese, milk and butter.

Wrap the entire tray with saran wrap and refrigerate overnight.

On Christmas morning, when it’s time to cook, take your potatoes out. Let them sit on the counter for about 20 minutes to bring the temperature up a bit. Bake them in the oven 350 degrees for 40 minutes.  Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top of each one, and broil for a few minutes until brown and crispy. Eat and Enjoy!

Twice Baked Potatoes

Good enough to eat!

Additionally, to make your potato skins appetizer, you use the tops of the skins from the day before, sprinkling them with any toppings you’d like. We use cheddar cheese and bacon bits. Broil them for a few minutes in the oven before serving. We serve with a side of sour cream.

Sooo…what was for Christmas dinner? Part 1

27 Dec
Roasted pork chops, sauteed green beans, butternut squash, twice baked potatoes, applesauce

Here's my plate, just before I dug in!

Yesterday’s post showed our pretty ordinary Christmas breakfast, which despite the simplicity of it, we love it. I noted however, that our dinner is more elaborate since we do host Christmas.

We tend to be creatures of habit, so we make the same thing more or less, every single year: Pork roast with homemade applesauce, twice baked potatoes, sauteed green beans and this year my cousin Val made butternut squash with apples as well (one of my favorite vegetables ever, by the way.)

This meal is actually relatively easy to prepare because you can do a lot of it ahead of time. You can use this meal for any occasion, not just Christmas, but it’s definitely our go-to meal for Christmas Day.

Homemade applesauce

Six pounds of apples is a lot to peel, and I'm always amazed at how much this reduces once it's done. It looks like less than it is, once the apples are cooked.

The day before, I make the homemade applesauce using six pounds of apples.

You can find the recipe for the applesauce on my Hanukkah post here.

Homemade applesauce, cooked.

Here's how it looks all cooked.

Once the applesauce is cooked, I put it into the serving bowl for the next day, and put it into the fridge, cinnamon stick and all. Just needs to be reheated in the microwave before dinner.

Homemade Applesauce

Ready to serve on Christmas Day.

Another big part of the dinner which can be prepped ahead of time, is the twice baked potatoes. Don does those.

Tomorrow, I will share that recipe and show the steps to get you from a bag of potatoes to the yummy side dish that we love so much. And, as an added bonus, the recipe for Twice Baked Potatoes gives you a ready-made appetizer as well: Potato Skins. You’ll see how that happens when you read tomorrow’s post.

Here we are, ready to eat our Christmas Dinner. Missing from the photo: Don, who's taking the picture so that I can be in it, for once!