2 Easy Sides For Dinner

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One of the biggest challenges I have when making dinner is the side dishes.  I want to mix it up and not eat the same things 3x a week.  I’ve been on the hunt for reliable side dishes for years and have scored a couple of good recipes.  These are two of my newest favorites, that the whole family eats, without complaining.    What’s great about making these two dishes together is that they are completed at almost the same time so you can have them both on the table piping hot.  The recipes originally came from a Rachael Ray cookbook but I’ve modified them slightly.

Stuffed Potatoes

4 slices of pre-cooked bacon
2 large baking potatoes or 4 medium sized ones
1/2 cup of sour cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

• Take a fork and pierce your potatoes multiple times, and then place them in the microwave on high for about 12 minutes.  These guys are going to be hot when they come out so give them a few minutes after they are finished baking before you handle them.

• While you’re waiting for them to cool off – preheat your broiler (I just use my toaster oven, it uses less energy and it heats up faster too).

• When the potatoes won’t burn you to touch them, split the potatoes and scoop out the inner portion and place it in a mixing bowl.  Add the bacon, sour cream and cheese to the bowl and using a potato masher smash it all together.  Scoop the mixture back into the potato skins and broil them until the tops turn a light brown.

Honeyed Carrots

1 pound bag of frozen crinkle cut carrots
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup of margarine
1/4 cup of honey

• Boil the carrots in a pot with the 1/2 cup of water, margarine and honey, when it hits the boil point place a lid on the pot.  Reduce the heat to medium and let the carrots cook for about 10 minutes. 

• Take the lid off and increase the heat slightly, so that the honey can glaze the carrots, stir frequently because the honey will burn on the pot if it just sits.   

Interestingly enough – my family won’t eat cooked carrots any other way and I LOVE my Pyrex Nonstick pot for making these as if I forget to stir it, the carrots nor the honey will stick to the bottom of the pot.

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