Twice Baked Potatoes with Cheddar and Bacon

2 large russet potatoes

3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese

3 slices bacon

1/4 cup milk

2 T butter, softened

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

Prick your potatoes all over with a fork and then bake at 400 degrees for about 1 hr 15 minutes, or until tender.

Remove from oven (reduce oven heat to 350 degrees) and let cool while cooking the bacon on the stove. Once bacon is done, drain on paper towels. 

Then, cut potatoes down the middle so now you have four potato halves (boats). Using a spoon, scoop out the baked potato into a large bowl, saving the skins for later. Add the butter, milk, salt and pepper to the potatoes and beat until smooth.

Fill potato skins with the mashed potato mixture and top with cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon. Bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted and is bubbling.

note: you can also prepare these ahead of time by filling the potatoes and either keeping them in the fridge or freezing them for up to a month. When you're ready to eat, take potatoes out and bake at 350 for half an hour until hot. Then, top with the cheese and bacon and bake just long enough for the cheese to melt.