Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Twice Baked Potatoes (A delicious make-ahead side dish)

Twice baked potatoes are one of my FAVORITE foods in the whole world. Crispy potato skins, filled with creamy mashed potatoes, and topped with cheese and bacon. They're so tasty, you'll be coming back for seconds. Another plus? You can totally make these ahead of time!

make ahead twice baked potatoes

Want to take baked potatoes to the next level? Then you've got to try these twice baked potatoes. Honestly, I could have just these for dinner. They're that good!

Twice Baked Potatoes (A delicious make-ahead side dish)

twice baked potatoes a make ahead side dish

I'll be honest here. Most of the time side dishes at my house are pretty boring. Often it's a last minute, "oh yeah, I should serve some veggies with dinner" kind of thing. And then I heat up some frozen or canned vegetables.

Sometimes, when I'm at the top of my game, I make these.

twice baked potato with bacon and cheese

They do take some time. You can't just decide at the last minute to have twice baked potatoes. But they are worth it! On the plus side, the most time consuming part is just the baking of the potatoes. Not really something you need to stick around for. So, go get something else done while they bake.

If you want to, you can even make them ahead of time. Having a get together and want a tasty side dish? Make these ahead of time and pop them in the oven for 20 minutes or so right before serving.

twice baked potatoes with bacon and cheese

I remember my mom would make twice baked potatoes occasionally. She didn't add the fancy stuff like bacon or cheese. She basically mashed up the potatoes with butter and milk. As a kid, I didn't think there could be anything better. I LOVED them. But food is always better with bacon and cheese!

How to Make Twice Baked Potatoes

Twice baked potatoes seem complicated. But they're really pretty easy. Here's the rundown of how to make them. (Scroll down for the printable recipe) 

Start by baking some potatoes. Once baked, slice them in half and remove all the flesh into a bowl. You basically make mashed potatoes out of the insides. Add in butter, milk, and sour cream. Whip it up until it's nice and creamy. Season it with salt and pepper and add in some cheese and bacon.  Scoop it all back into the potato shells and sprinkle with more cheese and bacon pieces.

A note about the bacon:
You can chop up freshly cooked bacon. Most of the time, I either chop up bacon that I have previously cooked with another meal. OR I just buy the crumbled bacon. (It's in the salad toppings aisle). 

Twice Baked Potatoes Recipe

twice baked potatoes, potatoes, side dishes
Side Dishes
Yield: 8 servings

Twice Baked Potatoes (a delicious make-ahead side dish)

Crispy potato skins, filled with creamy mashed potatoes, and topped with cheese and bacon. Who says side dishes have to be boring?!

prep time: 15 minscook time: 1 hour and 20 minstotal time: 1 hours and 35 mins


  • 4 large potatoes
  • 1/4 c. sour cream
  • 1 T. milk
  • 1 T. butter
  • 1/2 c.  shredded cheddar cheese, plus extra for garnish
  • 1/2 c. crumbled bacon, plus extra for garnish
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Wash and pierce potatoes. 
  2. Bake potatoes at 375 degrees for one hour and 15 minutes. 
  3. Remove from oven.  Let sit for about 10 minutes, or until cool enough to handle.
  4. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise. Scoop out flesh and place in a bowl.
  5. Add sour cream, milk and butter and whip until smooth and creamy.
  6. Stir in cheese and crumbled bacon.
  7. Scoop spoonfuls of the mashed potatoes back into the skins.
  8. Sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese and bacon pieces.
  9. TO MAKE AHEAD: At this point you can cover the potatoes with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
  10. Bake at 375 for 15 -20 minutes, until potatoes are hot and cheese is melted.



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Created using The Recipes Generator

Don't forget to pin it!!
twice baked potatoes

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Flower Monogram - an Easy DIY!

This flower monogram welcomes spring inside, even if mother nature is still trying to decide if it's spring yet outside. These flower letters are so fast to make. You can totally do this in 30 minutes or less. Plus it's EASY, so it's a great DIY for tweens, teens and adults alike.

The theme for this month's Inspire My Creativity party is SPRING. The first thing I think of when I think of spring is flowers, so I knew I needed to make something with flowers.

Flower Monogram - an Easy DIY

Flower Monogram - an Easy DIY!

Flower Monograms

I knew my little girls would want to make them too, so I got letters for their first names. They each made one and they turned out really great. Other than cutting out the top of the letter, they were able to do it all on their own.

flower letters

Full disclosure: Yesterday was one of those days when I remembered why I like to craft alone! We had a bit of a tiff an all out meltdown about who got to sit where. It really ended up being quite a miserable experience for all of us. (Just so no-one comes to the inaccurate conclusion that it's always rainbows and unicorns around here.)

floral monogram

But they turned out cute!  I think I like their letters better than mine.

Want to make your own? Let's get to it!

Supplies needed for a flower monogram

paper mache letter
artificial flowers
floral foam
white paint / paintbrushes (optional)
utility knife / kitchen knife
hot glue
wooden plaque (or something to display it on - optional - you can totally just hang these right on the wall or place them on a shelf.)

DIY Floral monogram decor

Steps to making a flower monogram

So you guys, I intended to take pictures of each step. But I just can't seem to manage that and a video at the same time. I got a second camera for that exact reason, but apparently I'm not good at multi-tasking. I will try my best to explain the process below. Or keep scrolling to skip ahead to the video!

1 - Cut out the top of the letter with a utility knife.

2 - Cut foam to fit inside of the letter.

3 - Hot glue the foam in place.

4 - Apply a light coat of white paint to the side of the letter and let dry.

5 - Arrange flowers in the floral foam.

6 - Once the flowers are arranged how you like, add a bit of hot glue to each flower to secure in place.

7 - Add the letter to your display board using hot glue.

flower monogram

Enjoy the video!

Let's see what everyone else came up with for spring!

Here's a list of my co-hosts:

Shani  |  Sunshine & Munchkins
Christine  |  Swordfights & Starry Nights
Meg  |  See The Happy
Candice  |  She's Crafty
Julia  |  The Quiet Grove
Marie  |  The Inspiration Vault
Brooke  |  My Beautiful Mess
Heather  |  Glitter On A Dime
Carmen  |  Living Letter Home
Cathy  |  A Boy and His Mom
Sarah  |  The Strawberry Nest
Adree  |  The Keele Deal
Alexandra  |  EyeLoveKnots

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Click here to enter

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Easy Crochet Blanket Tutorial

Learn to make an EASY and QUICK crochet blanket. I was totally surprised at how fast this afghan worked up! This tutorial uses just two stitches, chain and half double crochet, making it a great blanket for beginners. Using a thick yarn, like Bernat blanket yarn, speeds up the process. The thicker the yarn, the faster the blanket will be finished.

Easy Crochet Blanket Tutorial