Twice Baked Potatoes

These are a real treat for family or guests and worth the effort especially, if making a big batch to have on hand in the freezer.  It's just as easy to make many at one time, and enjoy more often without all the clean up.  When sacks of potatoes go on sale this recipe really delivers bangs for the bucks.

Steak Dinner and Twice Bake Potato
Twice Baked Potatoes
4 or more medium to large baking potatoes
Recipe is for 4 potatoes, 8 halves prepared, but can be doubled or tripled if making a larger quantity to freeze for future meals or make for a large gathering.

Tablespoon or 2 of oil to rub 4 washed potatoes
1 stick of butter cut into pats
1/2 cup cooked diced bacon (or bacon bits)
1/2 cup sour cream, or ranch dressing
1/2 cup of cheddar cheese, or cheese of choice
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. salt  (can be seasoned salt of choice)
pepper to taste
(optional chives or chopped green onions)

400 degree oven.
Rub washed potatoes with oil and bake until done, approximately an hour.  Meanwhile, in large bowl add butter, bacon, sour cream.

Ready to Freeze
Cut each baked potato in half scooping insides into the bowl. Don't scrape too thin; leave enough in shell so it's firm for refilling. Lay empty shell halves on baking sheet for refilling.

Smash and mix potatoes in bowl with butter, bacon and sour cream, adding cheese, milk, salt and pepper. Mix well until blended.

Fill shells abundantly with mixture and if serving immediately, top with more cheese, then garnish with chives or chopped green onions.  Place in oven again until heated through and cheese melts and top crisps up, about 10 minutes.

* If preparing for freezer don't add garnishes until ready to re-bake in the future. I let filled potatoes cool down, then freeze on baking sheets.  Once frozen half-wrap in foil and place in freezer bags.

To use from freezer, defrost with foil on, put on extra cheese and chives, and re-bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes; or take off foil and microwave;  if using frozen, keep foil on and bake at 375 for 30 minutes until heated through, adding garnish near the end.

* Times may vary depending on size of potatoes.
Makes 8 servings
Estimated cost: $2.80 or less; .35 cents a serving or less.

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