On hot summer nights it is nice to have a few simple meals to fall back on. Especially meals that will be easy to prepare and not heat up the kitchen. Growing up, we usually had bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches or a cold pasta salad on those hot evenings. Our favorite was cold chicken (from leftovers), celery, halved green grapes and cold pasta with a mayonnaise dressing. That was my mom’s specialty and we all loved it. This year, I took an idea from my daughter Gina and put together another meal that everyone loved. Because Gina has eight children, she is incredibly busy and looks to prepare dinner items ahead of time to take away from the busyness of making dinner, usually doing a load or two of laundry and helping with homework…all at the same time. Gina makes baked potatoes in the crock pot and has a baked potato bar with toppings so each one can fix their own potato with the topping that they like. It’s a great addition then to their dinner.
During the last hot and humid spell when I didn’t want to put the oven on, I used her idea/recipe and served Gina’s crock pot baked potatoes with bowls of toppings along with a great salad for a group of ten that I had for dinner. It turned out great…so I wanted to pass it on. Whether it is because of the heat, family busyness or just the plain love of a great baked potato, remember this method for anytime of the year! Enjoy the rest of your summer, it seems to be going by so quickly.
- Baking Potatoes (1 per person plus an extra)
- Olive Oil
- Seasoning Salt
- Your choice of toppings such as, butter, sour cream, grated cheese, chives, bacon etc
- Wash and pierce each potato multiple times with a fork (I make one extra in case there is a bad one in the group) drain or dry
- Tear off 8-10 inches of aluminum foil for each potato
- Roll potato in olive oil and season with your favorite seasoning salt and black pepper
- Wrap each potato in a piece of aluminum foil
- Lay or stand the potatoes in a crock pot (If you are making quite a few, standing them up will allow you to cook more at once)
- Cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 3 hours.
- Use a cake tester or instant read thermometer to test the potatoes for doneness
- Place toppings in individual bowls
- Unwrap potatoes and serve