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Home Entertaining Recipepalooza:  We asked some of our favorite bloggers to share a recipe and their tips for home entertaining. This tasty recipe comes from Emily Morgenstern of 52 Mantels, a blog about all things home, including weekly mantel makeovers, seasonal crafts, simple recipes and affordable DIY projects. She’s a lover of parties, a drinker of coffee, a believer of grace, a mommy to a sweet girl, and the wife to her best friend of a hubby.

Tillamook Cheesy Twice Baked Potatoes

Overview
When planning a holiday or special occasion menu, Twice Baked Potatoes typically make my list. They’re easy to prepare and make ahead, and are a breeze to serve from a buffet line. Plus, they’re delicious enough for even the most finicky party guest!

The beauty of Twice Baked Potatoes is that they can be made ahead OR they can be made in stages: 1) bake potatoes 2) stuff potatoes 3) re-bake potatoes. Potentially, each of these steps could be made on different days. I love the flexibility of this dish!

Prep Time: 1½ hours
Total Time: 2 hours
Yield (number of servings): 6

Ingredients
6 large russet potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 oz Tillamook All Natural Sour Cream
3 tablespoons Tillamook Salted Butter, softened
1½ cup Tillamook Shredded Classic Mac & Cheese Blend Cheese
1 ounce milk
6 strips of bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled

Preparation
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Prepare potatoes by scrubbing clean and piercing with fork in several places. Rub olive oil over potato skins and place in oven, directly on rack. Bake for 60-75 minutes, until potatoes are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. When lightly pressed, potatoes should give under the pressure. Let potatoes cool completely.

When cooled, cut each potato in half, lengthwise. Make potato boats by carefully scooping out the interior flesh, leaving the skin plus approximately ¼ inch of potato flesh intact. Set aside 6 boats and discard the remaining 6. In a large bowl, combine potato flesh with sour cream, 1 cup of cheese, butter, milk, and bacon. Mash with a potato masher until combined. Spoon mixture evenly among the 6 potato boats. Place in a large, oven-safe casserole dish, sprinkle tops with remaining cheese, and bake in a 350 oven for approximately 20 minutes.

**To make ahead: Complete all steps prior to the final baking. Place loaded potatoes in an airtight container and refrigerate until 1½ hours prior to serving. To serve, remove potatoes from refrigerator, place in a large, oven-safe casserole dish, and let potatoes come to room temperature. Bake in a 350 degrees oven for approximately 20-30 minutes.

 

About Emily:
Tips for stress-free home entertaining:
“For my family, stress-free entertaining is all about planning ahead. I always pick dishes that can be prepared ahead of time so the moments before an event are relaxing and fun!

Kitchen advice for other moms and dads:
“My advice for planning a dinner party or family gathering is to choose only one or two specialty dishes to focus your attention on. The rest of the menu can be filled in with semi-homemade fare, store bought dishes or even pot-luck style dishes. Don’t try to take on a complicated six course meal on your own. Instead, wow your guests with a delicious, home-cooked main course…and serve a bakery-bought pie for dessert. Your guests will be delighted and you’ll be a composed, relaxed host or hostess!”

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