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Is there a better flavor combo than blue cheese and bacon? I particularly love blue cheese and bacon on top of thick-cut pub chips, sprinkled with some green onion for character, but stuffed into a twice baked potato with butter and a touch of cream? OMG.
Starches LOVE dairy. Think about it. Butter, cheese, sour cream, heavy cream … you name it, potatoes want to be their best friend. Dairy is a daily ingredient in our household in many different forms. There’s a touch of milk in my morning coffee, cheese on every pizza I make, yogurt in my afternoon smoothies. I was raised on milk, and I’m now a dedicated, lifelong fan. 🙂 Did you know that milk typically only travels a distance of 300 miles? The milk you consume is regional, which helps contribute to the farm-to-table movement that so many of us love!
Lately, I’ve been really into supporting local products. Luckily, the dairy industry works hard to ensure that their products are fresh, real, and locally-sourced. Before we moved to North Carolina, I had to find a local milk farm. There are so many benefits to consuming dairy, and you should check out the Undeniably Dairy website for more info. It’s worth it, I promise.
There are three types of dairy in these insanely good twice baked potatoes! Being raised in the midwest, meat and potatoes are (honestly) still my favorite meal combo! I made gouda, jalapeno + bacon twice baked potatoes about a month ago, and I’ve been using that recipe about three times a month since its creation. We cook a lot of steak and potatoes around here. 😉
For me, steak and potatoes brings back memories of sharing some of my favorite meals with my family. There’s something so special about sharing delicious food with the people you love, and dairy has always been a big part of that for me. From making mac and cheese as a child with my mom, to learning to cook risotto with my boyfriend. Sharing a meal with the people I love helps me stay connected with those I love. A good meal encourages good conversation, positive reinforcement, stories from the past, and support for the future.
My mom made us dinner every single night, no exaggeration. She and my dad are both teachers, so they would have evenings off. She insisted that we all sit together, every single night, and share dinner together. No TV, cell phones were not even a thing, and she would encourage conversation from each of us as we enjoyed our meals.
Our culture has slowly moved away from sharing a meal at the dinner table, as most of our lives are now consumed by work, or maybe school, or even sports and activities every evening. We get so wrapped up in the constant demand of the world around us, but seldom listen to the demand of our own mental and emotional well being.
I’m a FIRM believer that sitting down to a hot meal, surrounded by family or friends, is a cure-all for any stressful woes you may currently be battling. Even throwing a few steaks on the grill, whipping up a few of these twice baked potatoes, and roasting some vegetables is a perfect excuse to have friends over! Have everyone bring a bottle of wine (or a non-alcoholic option), and set up the patio table with a gorgeous tablecloth and place settings. Slice the steak and serve it from a platter, encouraging people to pass and share the main part of the meal! Then make these twice baked potatoes, and a couple of the gouda, bacon + jalapeno twice baked potatoes. Cut all of them in half, then arrange them on a platter, as well. That way, everyone could try a little of both and talk about their favorite version!
My brother and I made these a few days ago to pair with some grass-fed ribeyes that Mark had recently picked up from the store. We made two of these blue cheese, butter + bacon twice baked potatoes, two of the gouda, jalapeno + bacon guys, and sliced all the meat onto a platter to share. We also made our favorite spicy, creamy brussels sprouts … and we feasted. WE FEASTED. Sitting around the table after a long day, having my boyfriend and brother by my side, was such an enjoyable moment away from the stresses of everyday life. Indulging in amazing flavors of the blue cheese, butter, and bacon … it was exactly what I needed to feel revived and ready to conquer whatever the next week would bring!
So add as much dairy as you like to your next family meal! Adding a touch of wholesome, natural, and fresh flavor to any dish will only make it better. After learning about how often dairy farmers recycle their water on a daily basis, contribute to the farm-to-table movement, and strive to reduce their carbon footprint, I am excited to embrace the community even more.
Cheers to your next family meal, and to these blue cheese, butter + bacon stuffed twice baked potatoes being a part of that!
blue cheese, butter + bacon stuffed twice baked potatoes
- 2 large russet potatoes
- 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 4 Tbsp. creamy, crumbled blue cheese
- 1/2 cup half and half or heavy cream
- 4 strips crispy bacon finely chopped
- salt + pepper to taste
- chopped chives for garnish
- Bake potatoes in the oven until tender, about one hour. Alternatively, cook potatoes in the microwave using the "potato" setting, or about 3-4 minutes per side. (Cook 3-4 minutes, flip, cook 3-4 additional minutes.)
- If your oven is not already on from baking the potatoes, set it now to 250. Once potatoes are cooked through, slice each potato in half lengthwise.
- Use a spoon to remove the starchy inner potato, leaving the skin as a shell.
- Place removed potato into a large bowl, and add butter, blue cheese, half and half. Mix to thoroughly combine. Sprinkle in bacon, then add salt and pepper to taste.
- Spoon the potato mixture back into the four potato shells, and top with additional bacon or blue cheese (optional). Bake at 250 for 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven, garnish with freshly chopped chives, and serve hot. Enjoy!