Entertaining recipes & tips from some of our favorite bloggers!
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“When planning a holiday or special occasion menu, twice baked potatoes typically make my list. They’re easy to prepare and a breeze to serve from a buffet line. Plus, they’re delicious enough for even the most finicky party guest!” - Emily Morgenstern of 52 Mantels
Preheat oven to 450°F. 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°F 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 350°F oven for approximately 20-30 minutes.
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 6 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!