Stuffed Baked Potatoes

8 large baking potatoes, 10 to 12 ounces each
1 pound bacon, fried crisp, drained and crumbled
¾ cup margarine
1 cup light sour cream
6 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese (Cracker Barrel mild)
2 teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 375º F.

Wash potatoes. Wrap in aluminum foil and bake for 1½ hours, or until potatoes are soft. While potatoes are baking, cook bacon. Drain well and crumble. Set aside.

Place margarine and sour cream in a large mixing bowl. Remove foil from potatoes; allow potatoes to dry, but do not let them cool. Cut the top portion off each potato. Remove pulp from the skin and place in bowl with margarine and sour cream. Carefully scoop out potato, leaving a 1 / 8 -inch shell. Place pulp in bowl with margarine and sour cream. Add salt, pepper and crumbled bacon. Mix with electric beater until smooth (the mixture will be thick and glue-like - if too thick, add a little milk). Add cheese and beat until well blended. Mound mixture into potato skins. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake at 350º F for 30 minutes. Serve with grilled steak with sautéed mushrooms, a tossed green salad and a mature Cabernet Sauvignon. Yield: 8 servings.

If you are not going to use the potatoes immediately, freeze in a single layer in freezer. When frozen, place in a zip lock bag; return to the freezer (these freeze beautifully). When ready to use, microwave on defrost until no longer frozen. Continue microwaving on high until thoroughly heated.