6 large #1 russet potatoes

¾ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

¾ cup shredded parmesan cheese

½ cup butter

1 ½ cup sour cream

¾ cups half and half

1 cups cooked, diced Painted Hills All Beef bacon

1/2 cup chopped green onions

Salt to taste


1. Pre-heat oven to 450°.

2. Wash and slice potatoes in half lengthwise.

3. On a lightly oiled cookie sheet, place potatoes face down and bake until tender. (Reduce heat in oven to 375°)

4. Scoop potato flesh into large bowl and mash by hand.

5. Fold in half and half, butter, bacon, cheeses, salt, and onions. Mix well.

6. Stuff potato shells with mixture. Add extra cheese on top.

7. Place in oven at 375° to reheat for 8-10 minutes or until tops are golden brown.

Ten Rules for Christmas Dinner

1. Make sure your menu has something that everybody will eat. Including that fourth cousin removed that just blew in from Tibet and has been living in a monastery for the last three years eating only Yak soup.

2. Use a seating chart which keeps unruly guests and relatives limited to one per main table. Also make sure uncles with hearing disorders are seated next to the loudest voice in the room. If it happens those people are one in the same, seat them with the people listed in #4 on this list.

3. Have Eggnog served equally among guests so they are all on the same plane.

4. Have small children seated at a separate table or next to their spinster aunt who knows all there is about child rearing.

5. Have future ex- son in law or daughter in laws sit next to the matriarch of the family. This helps with the conversation at the other end of the table. It should also provide specific memorable moments.

6. Be sure your Jell-O salad has set properly. Jell-o can take on the properties of the Pacific Ocean if not properly chilled. I’ve actually seen this happen in real life. Lime Jell-O is especially difficult to get out of Khakis.

7. Use only real whipped cream on your deserts. Canned or frozen whipped topping is a crime against nature. You can be made to eat fruitcake (the one you received in 2005) every day for a year if caught using anything other than real whipped cream.

8. Make no reference to the shade, texture, style, length, or contour of any female’s hair, especially your mother’s. It matters not that the color cannot be found in natures color spectrum. Such ill-advised comments may lead to upset stomachs, cold stares in your general direction, and deafening silence from all the aunts and grandmothers. The smirks, grins and gaffes from the older male dinner guests should not be mistaken as a show of support of your lack of brain function. They are simply remembering when they did the same thing. But now 45 years later they have grown accustomed to the reaction by the females in their age group.

9. It is mandatory that you must east at least one of Aunt Sophie’s (insert worst cook in your family here) deviled eggs stuffed with pickled herring. It is also mandatory that when taking said egg off the platter (in full view of Aunt Sophie) you must have an emergency napkin hidden in your other hand for immediate use when you walk (briskly) into the other room. Use napkin swiftly when out of Sophie’s sight. Wait 90 seconds then find nearest trash receptacle. Politely explain you do not wish to spoil your dinner when offered a second serving. * This same maneuver may be used for any appetizer but not limited to selections that contain Brussels sprouts, crab apples, or rice salad.

10. When all family and friends are seated, take a moment and give thanks. Thanks for all the little nuances that make families what they are. Thanks for friends that stay in your life. Thanks for being able to gather and share these times together. Thanks for the blessings big and small that create memories to cherish. Thanks for the flicker of time we call life.

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