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I just wanted to quickly share an appetizer I’ve been making a lot recently that is perfect for the upcoming tailgate season: mini twice-baked potatoes. They’re super easy and adaptable, and they end up looking very chic. Plus, there’s no actual baking involved unless you really want to go the extra mile.

I start by finding the tiniest white potatoes I can find (you really only need about 15-20 even for a group because you get two appetizers out of every potato). Then, I boil the potatoes whole until the insides are soft but outsides are still firm (I test them by cutting one or two in half). Then, drain them and rinse them under cold water until they are cool enough to touch.

Cut them in half keeping in mind that you will scoop out the middle, so make sure that you pick the side to cut that will leave you with the two deepest halves. I use a little melon-baller to scoop out the middles and discard the middles into a bowl. Then add a combination of sour cream, cheese (cheddar or whatever kind you like) and chives to the potato mixture and mash it all together. Then, begin the process of re-filling the potatoes.

Continue ’til they’re done!

At this point, you could pop them in the oven to make them a little oosier and crispier, but I’ve been serving them at room temp and they’ve been delicious as-is! Enjoy!

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I thought I’d post some pics (now that I’m trying to take my camera with me everywhere) of the UVA/ UR game this past weekend. We were so happy that Ryan’s friends from undergrad, Jeff and Dana, could come and visit— we had so much fun hanging out with them! The game was definitely all the talk about town: UVA’s first game of the season with a new coach (that we stole from the team we’re playing for the first game).

The weather was absolutely beautiful. It seems in perfect timing (yet at the same time long overdue!) that the first few days of September have ushered in the most beautiful fall weather. We are keeping our windows open and trying to soak up as much of the brisk breezes and the crispy leaves popping underneath our feet before it goes away.

One thing that was not my favorite about this game. #1. Ryan nor I has ever paid for UVA game tickets (they, historically at least, have been pretty easy to come by, especially when I was working for UVA), however, for this game, we waited so long to decide to go and there was so much buzz about the game that we ended up having to buy tickets at the good ol’ fashioned box office. #2. In my life, never have we had such terrible seats. I guess that’s what you get when you wait til the last minute. Though, even for someone like me who’s scared of heights, I have to admit it was kind of fun sitting in the highest seats in the stadium… it was sort of like high school or something, thinking you’re really cool for having the highest seats (and being furthest from the parents).

Here’s the cool kids—Ryan, E & A. Hangin’ in the highest seats in the house.

Dana, Jeff and Ry— a.k.a. the UR contingency.

Ry, watching the game with the mountains on the horizon.

Me and Ry.

So, over the eight or so hours that we spent with Jeff and Dana on Saturday, they were unfortunately exposed to many of the exciting, tedious, neuroticspecial details that fill my life. One which is at the forefront of my mind: how I am going to not kill my orchid. So, I naturally explained my tactics to them and filled them in on the orchid blooming cycle. And, Jeff, finding himself very concerned about my orchid and very eager to help me make this blog a smashing success, suggested that I post my orchid progress and that I perhaps begin to blog about “caring for my orchid.” I don’t think I will take it that far— I’m just not sure if blogging about horticulture is my thing, but I’ll share my orchid progress, so long as it’s pretty and I don’t begin to kill it. So, here’s my orchid one day after I brought it home, which involved letting it sit overnight next to a cold window (apparently the temperature drop at night helps the orchid bloom). I already have two… almost three new blooms!

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