This was my contribution to
Wendy & Shawn's
How can you go wrong
I am very excited because I got to use
from my herb garden
To lighten it up
surely, that cut the calories like in half, right?
8 medium baking potatoes, about 4 pounds
One 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2 cups (1/2 pound) shredded sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 pint light sour cream
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup chopped chives, for garnish
6 slices bacon, cooked crisp, drained and crumbled, for garnish (Optional - I leave this out for my vegetarian friends)
1. Preheat oven to 350. Pierce the potatoes and place on a baking pan. Bake the potatoes for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until very soft. Allow to cool.
2. Peel and mash the potatoes in a large bowl with a potato masher. Add the cream cheese, butter, 1 cup of the Cheddar cheese and the sour cream. Stir well. Add the garlic, salt, and pepper and stir again.
3. Spray a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with vegetable oil cooking spray. Place the potatoes into the dish. The casserole may now be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated until ready to bake.
4. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350. Remove the plastic wrap and bake the potatoes for 30 to 35 minutes, until hot. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup Cheddar cheese over the top of the casserole and return to the oven for about 5 minutes, until the cheese melts. Garnish with the chopped chives and crumbled bacon before serving. Serves 10-12