Bitchin#039; in the Kitchen with Rebecca

Whichever game it is, the details are inconsequential. Game Night means one thing: party.

You and your roommates invite everyone you’ve ever met in Boston to your suite or apartment.,”The Game” is coming up: the Bruins versus so-and-so, the Patriots against those other guys, your weekly poker tournament.

Whichever game it is, the details are inconsequential. Game Night means one thing: party.

You and your roommates invite everyone you’ve ever met in Boston to your suite or apartment. You make sure all the bean-bag chairs and air mattresses are dragged out so everyone can see the TV.

You clear the fridge to fill it with store-brand soda or, if you and your pals are 21, 30 racks of Natty Ice. As an afterthought, you run to CVS for a bag of Funyons and some microwavable popcorn.

You settle into a chair and pat yourself on the back for being such a good host.

But if you really want to knock out your friends before the first play, you can start by offering up more than broken pretzel rods and watered-down beer. The following recipes are quick, easy, relatively inexpensive and will probably be the best cold leftovers you’ve ever feasted on-assuming there’s anything left over at all.

Pumped-Up Potato Skins

1 bag of russet potatoes, washed

fresh garlic

butter (optional)

olive oil


sour cream

chives (optional)

1 package real bacon bits

8 oz. bag of shredded cheddar cheese

fresh broccoli

8 oz. package of shredded asiago-blend cheese (parmesan asiago, mozzarella asiago, etc.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use a fork to poke a couple air holes into each potato. Bake for 45-60 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes.

(Optional) While they’re baking, finely chop half a bulb (about five cloves) of garlic and add to a pot with half a cup of butter. Allow the mixture to simmer on low heat; stir occasionally.

When the potatoes are done (soft on the inside, with a crispy skin) and have cooled a bit, cut them in half. If they’re on the small side, just chop off the top, so there will be more room for the toppings.

Scoop out the potatoes with a large spoon and put aside in a mixing bowl. Remember to leave a thin layer of potato to reinforce the skin.

Brush the garlic butter on the inside and outside of each skin. Bake on a baking sheet or a sheet of aluminum foil while you prepare the rest of the potatoes, but watch to make sure they don’t burn.

Mash the scooped-out potatoes with a little bit of milk and sour cream; blend until thick and creamy.

For an additional kick, blend in the remaining garlic butter.

Finely chop broccoli and half a bulb of garlic and cook with a dash of olive oil over low heat until broccoli and garlic are tender.

Remove skins from the oven. Spread a thin layer of mashed potatoes along the inside of the skins. Load each skin with cheddar cheese and bacon or asiago cheese and broccoli-or pile everything together.

Bake until cheese is completely melted. Serve with sour cream and chives.

Dorm option: The lack of ovens is a downgrade, but if you’re on campus and really craving some skins now, the frozen chain-restaurant variety might hold you over until you can hijack an off-campus friend’s kitchen.

Mouth-Watering Mexican Dip

2 bars regular cream cheese

1 can chili (or homemade chili)

8 oz. package cheddar cheese or a Mexican cheese blend

1 can salsa


tortilla chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread cream cheese evenly along the bottom of a cake pan or pie tin. Spread a generous layer of guacamole, then chili, then salsa and finally a generous topping of cheese. Add other toppings, if desired-black olives, scallions, etc.

Bake, covered, for 30 minutes, and then uncovered for a few minutes until cheese is completely melted. Serve warm with tortilla chips.

Dorm option: Luckily, this gem can be microwaved-just make the layers of the dip thinner so they can heat up quickly, and don’t cover. The dip will be ready in 2-4 minutes.

Mom’s Artichoke Dip

1 can artichoke hearts

half a cup of mayonnaise

half a cup of grated parmesan cheese

garlic powder (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drain artichoke hearts. Mash them as much as possible.

Mix with mayonnaise and parmesan cheese-set a little of the latter aside; add garlic powder, if desired.

Spread the mixture into a pie tin and sprinkle with the remaining parmesan cheese. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes, then uncovered until the dip begins to brown

Serve warm with crackers-buttery varieties like Ritz are best.

Dorm option: If you aren’t already friends with someone who has an oven, start trolling the Off-Campus Student Services office for a new pal.

Rebecca Anne Flanagan is a senior writing, literature and publishing major and managing editor of The Beacon. E-mail her wth recipe suggestions at [email protected].