Well, I’m back! I feel as though I’ve been gone for forever. Our adventure overseas ending being extended by a few days due to the snowstorm that hit the East coast last week, so that added to my time away. I won’t lie – it was nice to have a few more days away from the usual day-to-day. The first leg of our trip was in Shanghai, where my brother teaches SAT prep classes. My parents, my brother, Kramer, and myself all flew out to see him together, and it was a blast. Shanghai is a trip, to say the least. People have this idea of New York City being the most exciting, hectic place in the world, but I’ve got to say, Shanghai certainly gives it a run for its money. My brother kept joking about New York being a “town” because of its size – Shanghai is home to over 14 million people, while NYC has just over eight million. After Shanghai, the family flew to Phuket, Thailand, where we spent five days relaxing on the beach, boating around to different islands, and drinking lots of Chang beer. It was glorious, and I swear that at one point, Kramer and I had tans (or at least, he did – I usually go from a translucent white color to a beige color, which is about as tan as I ever get). On our last day, though, Jonas was out in full force, and we started panicking a bit about getting home. Staying in Thailand for a longer period of time wasn’t really an option. Our flight was originally going to take us from Phuket to Beijing to Newark, but then the flight to Newark was cancelled. We were able to eventually secure a flight from Phuket to Seoul, Seoul to Tokyo, and then Tokyo to Newark, but, wouldn’t you know it, the flight from Tokyo to Newark was cancelled. We sat in the airport in Seoul, trying to figure out what to do, as though we had options, and came to terms with the idea that we’d be spending three days in Tokyo until we could get on the first flight out. However, Tokyo is my absolute number one favorite place ever, so I was secretly really excited. I felt bad missing more work, and was really grateful to my coworkers who helped pick up my slack, but bonus: three days in Tokyo! I’ll be sharing lots of photos from my trip over the next week or two, I’m sure, but I hope that everyone has had a great 2016 so far, and hey, it’s already February! Time sure does fly.
So, seeing as how it’s already freaking February, it’s time for Super Bowl food. I’m talking cheesy pretzel dogs, spicy salsa, and maybe for dessert, some peanut butter brownies. What you really need for a great Super Bowl party, though, is dip. Lots of dip. May I even suggest this Loaded Baked Potato Dip? It’s the perfect thing to serve alongside some crunchy carrots, peppery radishes, cooling celery, or even, and stay with me here, thick-cut steak fries. The warm, salty fries dipped into the garlicky, bacon-filled potato dip is what Super Bowl snacking dreams were made of, I can promise you that. I’ve partnered up with the US Potato Board to bring you this dip recipe, and I’m super excited to do it. They’ve already got tons of tasty party recipes on their website if you need more ideas, but I implore you to give this one a shot. All you need to do is bake a potato, mash it up, mix it together with a few extra ingredients, and boom – tasty, cheesy baked potato dip is yours no time at all. Bonus: even if you are indulging a bit with Super Bowl Sunday’s notoriously delicious snacks, you can at least feel good knowing that you made this dip all by yourself. Look at you, you ambitious go-getter. Go ahead and have another fry. Happy Game Day and happy eating!
Everything you need for a baked potato, about to be transformed into a dip!
You can make this dip a day ahead, if you like, and just garnish before serving.
Serving these with steak fries really took the dip over the top!
- 1 large Russet potato, rinsed and cleaned
- 4 slices of thick-cut bacon, sliced into ½-inch pieces
- ½ cup sour cream, room temperature
- ½ cup cream cheese, room temperature
- ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 2-3 tablespoons milk or cream
- ¼ red onion, finely minced
- 1-2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- 10 chives, thinly sliced
- 3-4 sprigs of curly parsley, leaves only, finely chopped
- 2 large Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch thick fries
- sea salt, for finishing
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Rub your potato with a teaspoon or two of olive or vegetable oil, wrap it in foil, and bake for 30-45 minutes, until tender. Alternatively, you can peel and boil your potato in salted water for 15-20 minutes, until tender. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized pan, cook your bacon over medium-high heat, stirring often, until crispy. Use a slotted spoon to place the bacon on a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Reserve 2 tablespoons of bacon fat and discard the rest.
- Get your steak fries baking while you finish the rest of the dip. Peel and cut your potatoes into 1-inch thick fries (you want them to be sturdy enough to dip). Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment, and toss the potatoes in the 2 tablespoons of reserved bacon fat. Place in a 450 degree F oven for 10 minutes, then flip them over, and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, until golden and crispy. Finish with a quick sprinkle of sea salt and set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl, mash your cooked and peeled potato, then combine your sour cream, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, milk, minced onion, minced garlic, garlic powder, paprika, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Mix until smooth, and then fold in your chives, parsley, and cooked bacon. Garnish with any additional chives, parsley, red onion, or bacon, if you like, and serve with your steak fries. You can also serve this with carrots, celery, radishes, or even potato chips!
- Note: this dip can be made a day ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator, covered, until ready to serve.