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Twice-baked potatoes easy and yummy

January 11, 2011
By Wendy Monro

This week was an example of how I like things to work out for my article, even though it wasn't how I usually plan it.

I hadn't made anything to write about by Friday. Usually, I come up with my idea by Wednesday. So, that part wasn't exactly how I like it. The week just flew by and all of a sudden it was Friday.

Anyway, Friday morning arrives and I had to leave work early because Daphne wasn't feeling well. I had tons of work to do and I had to leave it and go get my daughter. I had a feeling she would have a tummy ache because she took her vitamins on an empty stomach. I even warned her in the morning that it wasn't a good idea. Sometimes, they just don't listen to the mom. Oh well, that could be a whole article in itself.

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Twice-baked potatoes could be a main dish, but go well with roast chicken, too.

So, I left work and decided not to get stressed out about all of the work I left unfinished. I picked up Daphne from school. She looked miserable. I knew she just needed some food in her tummy and she would be fine. She was halfway through a sentence, "I don't feel..." and I said, "hey, should we go get some sushi?" Suddenly, the color returned to her cheeks, a smile grew on her face and she said, "yes!" It was a miracle.

So, we had a girls' lunch, which doesn't happen very often. It was wonderful to have some time to talk without any interruptions from a little brother or a dad. I really enjoyed our time together as mother and daughter. Furthermore, nothing bad happened by leaving my work until Monday. After lunch, Daphne didn't have a bad tummy anymore. We were both happy. While we were eating, I remembered something I forgot to do.

I forgot to pay Jordan, my employee and friend, because I left so early. So, I called him and said, "why don't you stop by after work to pick up your check? Better yet, why don't you stay for dinner too?" He said he would love to. I asked him what his favorite dish was. Jordan reminded me that he wanted me to show him how to make twice baked potatoes. "Oh yeah," I remembered. "Yes, we can do that. Come straight over and we'll make them together," I told him. This is the part I was referring to earlier about my article the idea for my article working out just perfectly. I love it when a recipe comes together because someone really wants to eat a particular food. Jordan wanted to eat twice baked potatoes and he also wanted to learn how to make them. That is a win win for me. Yay! I was so excited.

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Twice Baked Potatoes

Serves: 6-12 (depending on how many they want)

Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

6 large russet potatoes

10 slices of bacon

5 cups cheddar cheese, shredded (divided)

3 cups mozzarella cheese

1 cup sour cream

1 stick butter

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. While the oven preheats, cook the bacon in a skillet until crispy. Set aside on a paper towel. Poke holes into the potatoes with a fork and place them into the oven. Bake for 30 minutes. Turn them over and bake for 30 minutes more. While the potatoes are baking, mix the filling together. Chop the bacon into small pieces. In a large bowl, combine the bacon, 3 cups of the cheddar, the mozzarella, butter, salt and pepper. Once the potatoes are baked and soft in the middle. Let them cool for about ten minutes. Slice them in half. Scoop out the inside potato. Add this potato to the cheese mixture. Mix well. Place the filling back into the potato skins. Place these back into the oven for ten minutes. Add the other 2 cups of cheddar to the top of the potatoes. Place back into the oven for ten minutes more.

Daphne and I went to the market after our sushi lunch and picked up what we needed. I wanted to make the potatoes extra creamy. So, I decided some good sour cream, sharp cheddar, and mozzarella cheese would be a good idea. Then, I decided to add some bacon, which Daphne frowned upon. I told her I would make a few without bacon for her. She was fine with that. I thought some good crispy bacon would really make these tasty (which it did!).

Later that evening, Jordan arrived and we started getting the ingredients together.

First, I made us some cosmopolitans. If you are having a friend over to cook with, a cocktail makes it that much more exciting. I made Daphne and Jack virgin cosmos. It was so much fun making the potatoes with a friend and soon the whole family was involved in the kitchen. Everyone wanted to scoop out the insides and help pile the filling back in. Twice baked potatoes are really fun to make, especially for the kids.

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In the end, the potatoes could have been a meal in themselves. They were big and cheesy and wonderful. I served them with roasted chicken and an arugula salad drizzled with black truffle oil and pine nuts. I have been obsessed with black truffle oil lately. It is so good. These potatoes can pretty much be served as a side to any meat dish. I sent Jordan home with a few to eat later. At the end of the evening, Daphne told me it was one of the best days she could remember. This coming so soon after Christmas made me feel amazing. The next morning, I cut up a leftover potato and served it to Claud with a fried egg on top. That was delicious too.



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