Cheesy Twice Baked Potatoes

I was fixing beef filet and shrimp for my wife’s birthday dinner last weekend and wanted to have potatoes as a side.  And while I love loaded baked potatoes, it’s sometimes easier and requires less stuff on your dinner table if you stir all the toppings into twice baked potatoes.  These turned out to be a family favorite in a hurry!

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CHEESY TWICE BAKED POTATOES

Ingredients

  • 5 Medium Russet Potatoes
  • 6-8 Strips Crispy Cooked Bacon
  • 2 Cups Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 3/4 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 Tsp. Salt
  • 1 Tsp Black Pepper

Instructions

  • Throughly wash your potatoes and bake directly on the top rack of your oven for 60-75 minutes at 425 degrees.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool enough to handle.
  • Cut potatoes in half lengthwise.  Scoop out center leaving just enough potato in the skin to hold it together.  Place scooped potato into a medium size mixing bowl.
  • Place the skins on a baking sheet.
  • Add heavy cream to potatoes and use a hand mixer to combine until mixture is fairly smooth.  There will be some lumps – like all delicious mashed potatoes!
  • Chop cooked bacon and add to the potato mixture along with half of the cheddar cheese, salt and pepper.  Stir together with a wooden spoon to prevent the mixture from becoming too gummy.
  • Fill each potato skin with a scoop of the mixture until all of it is used.  They should be filled just to the edge, but not heaping.
  • Top each potato with remaining cheddar cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes until cheese is brown and bubbly.
  • Serve immediately.

You can definitely make these ahead of time and bake in the evening or the next day.  You’ll need to extend to the baking time though to allow them to warm through.  Serve these on their own or with sour cream and chopped green onion as garnish.  Maybe you’ll whip up a batch for your picnic this weekend – try using 10 small russets instead to make 20 halves.  I know you’ll love these and your guests will too.  Dig in!

Tangy Bagel Dip

Football season is always a great excuse to indulge in some great fattening appetizers while taking in your favorite games.  We’ve had this bagel dip in our regular snack rotation for years!  You’ll love the creamy savory taste of this cool dip with just the right bite of garlic and onion.  Simple in ingredients, I usually offer some variances for you to try.  However, don’t mess with success on this one, it’s perfect just the way it is.

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TANGY BAGEL DIP

Ingredients

  • 2-8 Ounce Bricks Cream Cheese
  • 10 Ounces Sharp Cheddar Pub Cheese
  • 1 1/2 Tsp. Garlic Salt
  • 4-5 Green Onions, Chopped
  • 1 Dozen Bagels

Instructions

  • Place room temperature cream cheese in a bowl and mix with hand mixer until smooth.
  • Add pub cheese and mix again until combined.  Any brand works well – Kraft and many grocery store brands are available.
  • With a spatula, stir in garlic salt and green onions until distributed evenly.
  • Chill for 2 hours and serve.
  • Cut or tear your favorite bagels into pieces.  We like to use everything and onion bagels.

I suppose if you want to be a little healthy, you could always dip veggies instead of bagels.  I think celery and radishes would be great with these ingredients.  Otherwise, grab a cold beer and dig in and enjoy!