Kerrian’s Kitchen

KN, p.158 “Shrimp Cream Cheese Baked Potatoes”



It’s holiday cooking time and that means special side dishes to go with your great entrees. Here’s one that Sheila and I really like because it goes with all kinds of poultry and beef. We’ve never tried it with ham, but I bet it would be a tasty alternate to the sweet potatoes we usually serve with the pork dishes. We often do Cream Cheese Bakes for our baked potatoes and we add the shrimp at the holidays.


I found a leftover shrimp baked potato in the frig and discovered that the addition of the shrimp makes the dish hearty enough to stand on its own as a lunch – add a salad and you’re good to go. Alone or with dinner, it’s a favorite at our house. This is also a make-ahead dish, so you can refrigerate the finished potatoes for a day until you are ready to reheat them for dinner.


No bodies were found anywhere in the vicinity, except those overstuffed folks taking naps while recovering. 😉

Shrimp Cream Cheese Baked Potatoes
Recipe type: side dish
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • Idaho or russet potatoes, 1 for each person
  • Milk, 1/2 to 1 tablespoon each potato
  • Margarine for rubbing on the skin of each potato (optional)
  • Margarine (or butter) 1 heaping Tablespoon each potato
  • Whipped cream cheese, (Temptee or Philadelphia) 1 heaping Tablespoon each potato
  • Sea Salt, ½ teaspoon each potato
  • Large cooked shrimp, 4 for each potato, deveined and shells removed
  • 1 Tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 1 teaspoon powdered garlic
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Scrub potatoes, rub margarine on outside to create more tender, tasty skin (optional).
  3. Place skewers lengthwise through center of potato. Prick potatoes with a fork.
  4. If buttered, place sheet of aluminum foil on rack below where potatoes will sit, to catch the drippings.
  5. Place potatoes directly on oven racks and bake for 20 minutes.
  6. Set aside two whole shrimps for each potato. Cut the rest of the shrimp into 1/4 inch pieces and refrigerate all shrimp until ready to use.
  7. Flip potatoes in oven every 20 minutes and prick again. Cook until potatoes feel soft when squeezed (about 50-60 minutes total).
  8. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes on cooling rack (or cool enough to handle while scooping)
  9. Cut the fully baked potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out insides (leaving the empty skins intact) and place pulp in mixing bowl. Set skins aside in baking dish, being careful not to tear them.
  10. Whip potatoes with electric mixer until smooth.
  11. Gradually add 1 heaping tablespoon margarine (or butter) for each potato until well blended.
  12. Gradually add 1 heaping tablespoon whipped cream cheese for each potato until well blended.
  13. Add milk only until fluffy (consistency of mashed potatoes).
  14. Add salt to taste (about ½ teaspoon each potato)
  15. Heat 1 Tablespoon butter or margarine in frying pan, add garlic powder and stir to mix. Immediately add all shrimp (whole and pieces) to the frying pan and lightly toss to coat.
  16. Add shrimp pieces only to potatoes and mix until just blended.
  17. Using large spoon, divide mixture evenly among potato empty skins. Smooth or texture surface with fork or back of spoon.
  18. Place one whole shrimp on top of each filled potato skin.
  19. Cover and refrigerate until ready to reheat.
  20. Just before placing in oven, insert a teaspoon of butter or margarine into each potato half and bake for 30 minutes to reheat.
  21. Test centers (should be hot to touch before serving).
Also need: potato skewers, aluminum foil, cooling rack, electric mixer and bowl, medium frying pan, shallow baking dish (big enough for all potato shell halves)

Enjoy!  🙂

*Photo by Patti Phillips



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KN, p. 157 “Kerrian’s Favorite Butternut Squash”


Butternut SquashIMG_4845_2

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. There. I’ve said it.   🙂

All that fun food brought by people showing off their best recipes? The outrageously delicious pies? How could it not be a foodie adventure?


But, wait, you say… remember Lola’s food puzzle dish? Unrecognizable in any food group that we could figure out? That’s why it’s an adventure. You never know what will turn up.


Last year, we were invited to dinner at a college pal’s house. (Translation – we go waaay back) Everybody brought a side dish and the butternut squash was one of the standouts. I happen to love butternut squash, but at home we usually have it whipped and buttered. Mary’s version is so much more interesting. She added chestnuts and rutabaga and now it’s the only way we serve it.


Mary told us the secret ingredients (she cooks creatively and doesn’t always make a dish the same way twice) and Sheila and I went to work on crafting a recipe that could be shared. Well…Sheila cooked and I tasted, to make sure the balance of flavors worked. I did do some wicked peeling, chopping, and scooping though. 😉



4-5 cups cooked Butternut Squash (4 pound squash yields 5-6 cups)

1 teaspoon olive oil, extra virgin, cold-pressed

1 teaspoon Sea Salt + 1 teaspoon Sea Salt

2 Tablespoons water for baking squash

2 cups cooked Rutabaga, rough mashed or pureed (1 medium rutabaga)

3 Tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon Nutmeg

2 Tablespoons heavy cream

1 dozen Chestnuts, cooked and peeled, for garnish (Gefen sells a package of recipe-ready chestnuts – already peeled and cooked)

Pepper (to taste)



Start the prep of the squash first, then after it is in the oven, start the rutabaga prep.


  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Place whole squash in microwave. Prick 2-3 times with cooking fork. Microwave on high for 4 minutes to make it easier to slice.
  3. Remove from microwave and cut in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds and place both sides face up on baking sheet.
  4. Lightly coat with olive oil and 1 teaspoon of the sea salt.
  5. Place 1 Tablespoon water in each of the bowls of squash, place tray in oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  6. Turn the butternut squash face down in the oven and cook for another 20 minutes, or until tender.
  7. Remove the squash from the oven, scoop out all the meat, place the meat in a standing electric mixer, and mix on high for 1 minute.
  8. Slow to medium speed and add butter, nutmeg, and cream. Mix until well blended.


  1. Peel the rutabaga and slice into 1/4 inch thick pieces.
  2. Add 1 teaspoon Sea Salt to 2 quarts boiling water. Add rutabaga slices to the pot (Water should cover the rutabaga).
  3. Boil until tender enough to break apart when pierced – about 40 minutes.
  4. Drain rutabaga.
  5. Rough mash with spoon if you’d like a dish with texture or put through a food processor if you want a creamy mashed potato texture.


Add rutabaga to squash in the mixer bowl and whip on high for 3-4 minutes or until mashed potato consistency, adding salt if needed and pepper to taste.


If you are making this ahead of time, place the finished mixture into a large bowl suitable for reheating.

Garnish with chestnuts and serve.


Prep time: 40 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Serves: 6


*Many thanks to Mary Gerrard for the delicious addition to the Thanksgiving table.  🙂

*Photo by Patti Phillips




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Kerrian’s Notebook, p. 155 “Triple Baked Beans”



It’s near the end of the Major League Baseball season and one of our teams made it into the playoffs! I won’t mention which one it is because I don’t want to jinx their chances. 😉


In honor of a great finish to the regular season, the neighbors are having a garage cookout – it’s too cold to stay outside in the backyard for long – and we thought we’d try a new baked bean recipe to go along with the hot dogs and hamburgers our buddies are serving.


Easy, tasty and we can make it last minute or the day ahead. Day before prep means that the flavors will be more intense on the day of the party.


Triple Baked Beans
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
  • 1 - 15 oz. can black beans
  • 1 - 15 oz. can pinto beans
  • 1 - 15 oz. can northern beans
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon mustard powder (Colman's has a great flavor)
  • 1 heaping Tablespoon green chilies
  • 2-3 strips bacon, cooked, drained & chopped
  1. Pour off most of the liquid from each of the cans of beans.
  2. Place all the beans into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add brown sugar, mustard powder, and chilies and stir until well mixed.
  4. Pour mixture into shallow 2 quart baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
  5. Stir the mixture and then add the cooked bacon. Stir again.
  6. Stir every 15 minutes until the beans are tender – about an hour total.

Serve with corn bread and enjoy!  🙂



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