What is it about food on a stick that just screams summer? Popsicles, corn dogs, those deep fried twinkies that are usually found at carnivals all invoke nostalgic memories of childhood summers (or scenes from “The Sandlot”). The ease of eating something on a stick or a skewer harkens back to the good old days of sandy feet and racing after the ice cream truck at the sound of its tinny song or getting smoke in your eyes while roasting the perfect marshmallow.

One of my favorite things to make in the summer is baked potatoes; they are incredibly easy to make and when you load them up with sour cream and cheese, it’s just the perfect compliment to anything else from the grill. Of course, sometimes you want the flavor of a baked potato without eating the whole thing. In the spirit of embracing my summer nostalgia, I recently made Loaded Bacon Tot Skewers for my co-workers for an office potluck. Try them out for yourself! For those trying to be healthier, feel free to omit the bacon or use turkey bacon instead.

Loaded Bacon Tot Skewers

Makes 20 sticks

1 lb. defrosted tater tots

2 packages of bacon

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

3 tablespoons chopped chives

ranch dressing or sour cream for dipping

1 package wooden skewers

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees while the tater tots are defrosting. Once the tots are soft to the touch, place one tot on the stick and then pierce it with the bacon, add a second tot and weave the bacon on the skewer and repeat until there are four or five tots on the skewer. Once all of the skewers are complete, place the sticks on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet for 15 minutes, and fully cook the bacon. Sprinkle cheese over the skewers so the cheese melts over the top of the tots. Plate the skewers and garnish with the chives. Serve the skewers with ranch dressing or sour cream for dipping.