Baked stuffed spuds and Doodle bug cupcakes.....
Every year on the day before Civic Holiday( The first Monday in August), Robin's uncle has a BBQ for his side of the family. Its a great tradition because we realized this year that last year was the last time we saw some members of the family. The BBQ is always a pot luck with Robin's aunt and uncle providing the main dish. Some members of the family are not very adventorus eaters. I learned my lesson one year when I brought Ina Garten's curried cous cous salad and it sat untouched. So, I try to stick with very familar recipes.
Our neice Chelsea was here on Saturday night and she's taken an interest in cooking ( much to my delight). She helped me with these baked stuffed potatoes. Last month I bought a 50lb bag of russet potatoes to keep in the basement. Did you know how many potatoes there are in 50lbs? I didnt realize, but its something like 50-70 depending on the size. Some of those suckers were huge!! I used about 20 to make this dish. I never follow a recipe as I've been making some variation of them for years. Because they were so large, and it's hot as hell outside. I microwaved them first for a few minutes. I finished them in the oven. Then, Chelsea and I scooped out the insides. We mixed them with a stick of butter, about 1/2 c. of sour cream, shredded cheese, chopped green onions, salt and pepper. Half of them got mashed cooked broccoli thrown in. They're topped with more cheese, and some smoked paprika and finished on the grill. Its a perfect make-ahead dish because the flavor doesnt suffer when cooked the next day.
There were a few kids at the BBQ so Chels wanted to make a cute dessert. For previous BBQ's, she's made a sand pail cake and a cheese ball snail. I baked up a batch of my favorite banana cake recipe( its called Frosted Banana Bar on Allrecipes.com). I made them into cupcakes and it worked out great. I tinted the homeade cream cheese frosting with food coloring ( I was going for purple, but it didnt work out well). Chels decorated them to look like bugs. She used skittles for the eyes and red string licorice for the legs. Too cute.