Potato Skins and Merlot: Placating My Inner Type A

Merlot and potato skins aren’t exactly a match made in heaven, but that’s what’s on my menu tonight. First, the potato skins…
Potato skins are one of B’s favorite foods (not that I’m likely to turn them down). They are notoriously unhealthy, but I never understood why they were so bad.  I know potatoes aren’t the lowest calorie food in the world, nor are cheese and bacon, but still, they didn’t seem that bad. When I thought about making them myself and searched for recipes online, though, I figured out the real problem. Maybe I’m just that ignorant, but I had no idea most restaurants deep fry the potato skin after baking the potato! Now I get it. I obviously see the problem with deep fried potato skins filled with bacon and full-fat cheese, dipped in full-fat sour cream and ranch dressing. I also see how easy it is to cut out huge portions of the fat and calories. Bake the skins, use less bacon and add ground turkey instead, use low fat cheese and fat free sour cream. So simple! I also added a little bit of Hatch green chile for spice. Maybe I’m a bit biased, but I think my healthier version tastes just as good. The cheese might not be quite as gooey, but it works!

I also mashed the potato scooped out of the skins with a little bit of fat free sour cream, a drizzle of white truffle oil and a pinch of truffle salt. We’ll have those for dinner with the brats we bought at the Pike Place Market.

Since we eat out so much, I try to be as calorically conscious as possible when we do eat at home and work. That means a lot of green salads at lunchtime for me and low calorie leftovers for B. That combined with B’s sheer will to get us out the door to the gym most mornings by 6am helps keep things in check. I know there are varied opinions on the truth of the calorie bank, but I choose to manage my diet in this fashion. I don’t condone starving oneself to save up for unnecessary excess, but I do try to help us both be careful so we can truly enjoy our restaurant adventures.

As for the Merlot, I realized at some point today that we are booked solid through the new year. We have a free weekend day here and there (though they are few and far between), but between demanding work schedules and our own social and travel commitments, I’m not exactly sure when we’re supposed to sleep… or do laundry.

We live by our calendars. As much as B and I are completely opposite in many ways, we both maintain order in our lives by keeping a tight reign on our schedules and coordinating our calendars to what some might consider an excessive degree. The fact that our Thursday dinners are currently scheduled through October 13, 2011 is just one example. I spent time today organizing and prioritizing my work and personal commitments in an attempt to restore some calm to the Type A obsessive aspects of my personality, but I fear I just made it worse. I began to see a fraction of what must happen between now and the new year and may have panicked just a little.

So, tonight I am grateful for wine bottle vacuum sealers since B won’t touch a glass of red wine for any amount of bribery. Merlot and potato skins. I’m a classy lady!



  1. Love the "healthy" alternative you were able to concoct. And is it a bad thing that I'm not surprised AT ALL that you've got your Thursday Night Bites planned out almost a full calendar year in advance? :)Glad to see some things never change.

  2. No, some things NEVER change. Thanks for pointing out that it's only ALMOST a year in advance. Excuse me, I need to go schedule a couple dinners. 🙂

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