Airing out the brain

My neice and nephew (and their parents) were here all last week.  So last week the boys spent every day playing with their cousins.  Then the cousins went home 😦 and the boys were left to their own devices.  Monday and Tuesday, Mr. G was home.  Monday he had his staff over for lunch so the boys and I vacated the premises for a while.  Then Tuesday the Mr. and C went to see the Hobbit, so E and I were home alone all afternoon.  Then yesterday they were home together all day.  By the end of the day the crazy was setting in.  Tomorrow it is supposed to snow.  Even if if doesn’t snow, it will be super cold.  So today I had to get them out of this house.  Their brains needed some fresh air.  And they needed something to focus on besides each other and video games. 
We went to the grocery store, Target and the book store.  And we enjoyed being together.  I didn’t have to raise my voice or threaten them once.  They didn’t bicker or fight once.  Fresh air is GOOD!!!  
We got home in time for lunch then C headed up to his school to spend some time practicing with his robotics team.  So E is home on his own.  And he’s playing Legos—which is soooo much better than video games.

Tonight we are having twice backed potatoes.  It is one of my boys’ favorite things.  Here’s what you do:
Throughly scrub one medium to large size potatoe per person you are serving.  Then do 1 or 2 extras  (you’ll see why in a minute).  Scrub them really good.  You are going to want to eat the skins!
Put them in the oven at 350 to bake.   Time will depend on the size of your taters but I usually bake mine for about an hour and 15 minutes to an hour and a half  (I use large potatoes AND I like them to be really soft).
Once they are cooked take them out of the oven but don’t turn off your oven.  Make sure and get a pot holder on your hand to hold the potatoes.  They are going to be HOT!! Cut the top 1/4 off the potato.  Don’t cut it in half.  Just cut a top off enough that you can scoop out the potato.  Use a spoon to scoop the potato out of the skin/shell and place the potato into a large bowl  Your bowl needs to be large enough to mash the potatoes.  Repeat with all your potatoes except your 1 or 2 extras.  On the extras you can cut the potatoes in half and scoop out all the potatoe.  These skins you can throw away.  The reason you cooked the extra potatoes is so that you have plenty of mashed potatoes to fill the shells back up. Mash the potatoes with salt, pepper, butter, sour cream and milk.  When the potatoes are smooth and creamy, mix in some shredded cheddar cheese.  (I do about a cup of cheese per 4 potatoes).  Then, use a spoon to fill the potato skin shells up with the mashed potato mixture.  Place each filled potato onto a baking sheet.  Top each potato with either a slice of American cheese or a sprinkle of shredded cheddar cheese.  Sprinkle a little paprika on top of the cheese then put the potatoes back in the oven.  Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly and serve immediately. 

Blessings friends!
Tracey

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