*The below recipe is from Marcy Smothers's new book "Snacks: Adventures in Food,Aisle by Aisle." you can learn more about Marcy on FoodWineandMarcy.com.

"Baking potatoes can take up to an hour. So why not zap them and get the picnic started sooner? This salad is dressed with the same toppings you’d use on a traditional baked potato, even though the potatoes are not baked. (That can be our little secret.)"

Serves 8


4 large red potatoes, about

2 pounds

4 slices cooked bacon,

chopped into small pieces

2 tablespoons chives, minced

1 cup sour cream

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon celery salt

1/2 cup white cheddar cheese, shredded

Salt and pepper to taste


- Wash and dry the potatoes. Cut a wedge in each one lengthwise, ¨û inch wide and 1 inch deep. Microwave the potatoes in a microwave-safe dish until cooked, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the potatoes with oven mitts. Cool for 5 minutes, and then slice the potatoes in half, sliding your knife down the wedge lengthwise. Continue to cool until the potatoes reach room temperature.


- Cube the potatoes, leaving the skin on, and place the cubes in a large bowl. Mix in the bacon and chives. In a separate bowl, blend the sour cream, garlic powder, and celery salt. Pour it over the potatoes and toss. Gently mix in the white cheddar cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

- It takes more time to cool the potatoes than to cook them in this recipe. However, if you’re still tight for time, go ahead and substitute bacon bits and pre-shredded cheddar.