twice baked potato casserole

The chill is in the air.  Potato season is back.  Some of the best comfort foods feature potatoes, and this recipe should be classified as an all-time comfort food recipe.  It comes from Gooseberry Patch, which is a collection of recipes from home cooks around the country featured into categorized recipe books.

Twice baked potatoes are often served as individual portions, but this recipe suggests removing the potatoes, adding the usual ingredients, and then simply baking into a casserole for serving. The recipe was very easy.  I did not use bacon, which is a typical stuffed potato ingredient, but it can easily be added to the recipe.  In fact, I am sure it would make the recipe even more tasty.  I would use pre-cooked bacon crumbles found in the salad dressing aisle at the market.

To make this recipe:

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Choose 4-5 Idaho baking potatoes, wash and poke with a fork.  Bake for 60-90 minutes at 400 degrees, based on their size until done.  Slice the potatoes in half, remove the pulp into a bowl and mix with the following ingredients:  salt, pepper, 1/4 cup margarine, 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup sour cream, and 6 chopped green onions. Add other ingredients to personalize for your family–green or black olives, white cheddar cheese, bacon, chives, other herbs from the garden, and even browned mushrooms.

Using a hand-held mixer, cream into mashed potatoes.  Prepare a ceramic baking dish with Pam cooking spray.  Spoon the mixture into the dish.  Top with 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese and extra green onions or chives.  Bake at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes until brown on top.    This recipe will serve 6-8 along with a dinner entrée.

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