Living in Idaho, you better love potatoes, and what better way to enjoy the big beautiful bakers than with a delicious and loaded filling. My twice-baked potatoes are easy to make and so full of hearty flavor. I mix together all the ingredients you love in a loaded baker, like bacon, cheese, sour cream and chives. You can also freeze them and then have them ready to bake whenever. They are so hearty and satisfying, they can even be a full meal. If you love potatoes, these are twice as nice.
Belle’s Twice-Baked Potatoes
8 baking potatoes, rinsed and scrubbed
2 tablespoons oil
1 cup butter, sliced into pats
1 cup real bacon bits
1 cup sour cream or ranch dressing
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded (plus extra for topping)
½ to 1 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
¼ cup chives or green onions, sliced (you can substitute with half the amount of dried chives)
Prick each potato all over with a fork. Brush the potatoes with the oil and then wrap them in foil and bake at 400 degrees for about an hour or until easily pierced with a fork. Remove from oven and let them cool a bit. Turn oven temperature down to 350 degrees. Slice off the top quarter of the potato lengthwise and scoop out the flesh, leaving about a quarter inch thick skin of the potato. They will look like little boats. Place the potato boats on a rimmed baking sheet. In a large bowl, place the scooped out flesh and add the butter. Mash until smooth. Add the other ingredients and mix well (use ½ cup of milk and then add more if the consistency is too thick). Fill each potato boat full of the potato mixture and top with more cheese. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Brenda Stanley is the mother of five children, including two sets of twins and a grandmother of eight. She is a cookbook author and novelist. For more recipes and information, visit her website www.brendastanleybooks.com.