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Scrub the potatoes clean and poke with a fork several times on each side.
Cook potatoes either by wrapping in aluminum foil and baking for 40 minutes.
If you're in a time crunch, you can ‘bake’ the potatoes in the microwave! With microwave on high heat, cook the washed and poked potatoes for 8 minutes. Turn potatoes over, and put back in the microwave for another 3-5 minutes (or until steaming and soft).
Slice potatoes in half and gently scoop insides into a high-sided pan. Leave just enough potato in the shell to allow skin to hold its shape.
In the pan, add butter, heavy cream, sea salt, garlic powder and black pepper and mash together until creamy.
Refill the skins with mashed potatoes and then allow everyone to load the potato with their toppings of choice (sautéed broccoli, bacon pieces, caramelized onions, green onions, sour cream, shredded chicken, salsa, roasted veggies, etc.)
Top the filled potato with cheddar cheese and place under the broiler until cheese bubbles and begins to brown - approx. 2-3 minutes