The 25 Days of Holiday Goodies Day 11: Mashed Potatoes

25 Days of Christmas Goodies Button

So, if you look back at the original list, I am not quite following the list for today.  It is totally and completely my fault.  My mom printed out her recipe for cheesecake, and I flubbed it and can’t find where I put it in my house.

Since I cannot find it, and I am going to my mom’s later today so I can take a picture of it with my phone (yay, phone!), I am going to substitute a later-day’s recipe for it.

Enter that king of side dishes:  mashed potatoes!

Yes, I am probably a bit sleep-deprived.

However, in Muffin’s opinion, mashed potatoes top all side dishes, except possibly macaroni and cheese.  He even eats them (shockers!) sans gravy.

And the doesn’t like the high falutin’ ones like twice-baked potato casserole, chunky mashed potatoes, or potatoes with enough seasonings and “stuff” so that I can eat them stand-alone.

No.  He likes the spud, cream, and butter to stand on their own merits.

As a result, I give you the most boring of pictures:



Mashed potatoes, no gravy.  Muffin’s arguably second-favorite side.

And how do I do it?  This is how…

Mashed Potatoes

Source:  Trial and Error (and Blood, Sweat, and Tears) by Me

5 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled, washed, and cubed

1/4-1/2 cup heavy cream

additional milk as necessary

4 T butter (or buttah)

salt and pepper, to taste

Boil potatoes in a pot full of water until fork tender.  Drain and return to pot.  Add butter to begin melting.  Using a hand mixer, cream potatoes until most lumps are removed.  Add cream (and milk, if necessary).  Continue mixing with hand mixer until mixture is lumpless (yes, that’s a technical term) with a whipped consistency.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve topped with gravy or shredded cheddar and bacon bits.  (or, nothing if you are my child)

This recipe is completely and totally Muffin Approved!

Muffin Approved

What is your favorite mashed potato recipe?


Funny Muffin Friday: “Green” Potatoes

Funny Muffin Friday

Now, before I begin this post, I must debrief by saying that Muffin’s favorite color is green.  He has lately been very upset that all of our towels are blue and white.  He doesn’t understand why we don’t have green towels.  (Considering the fact that I tried several times to get him to “commit” to a favorite color, I shouldn’t complain.)

I’ve been able to get him to try (and mostly like) green food because of this love of the color green.  Green peppers notwithstanding, of course.  Well. if you remember from Monday’s menu plan, I attempted Missy’s Twice-Baked Potatoes from Miss Kay’s cookbook (of the exploding potato fame) to go with Muffin’s favorite pork chop recipe, Dr. Pepper Pork Chops.

The Dr. Pepper Pork Chops also have the distinction of being Josh’s first slow cooker recipe that he tried.  I didn’t get the chops thawed in time for preparation for dinner Tuesday, so they got moved to Wednesday.  We had the chicken spaghetti instead.  Well, Wednesday I was running behind getting ready for work, so I asked Josh to start them up before I left.  Josh used Big Bertha to make the pork chops because we needed the time-and-warm feature.

Muffin was so so so excited about the pork chops.  But then came the potatoes.  Actually, they are more of a twice-baked potato casserole.  I purchased Kroger brand ranch dip mix which turned the potatoes green.

I figured surely he would love them.  They had everything he loved…bacon…cheese…ranch flavor…potatoes.  He almost refused to try it.  I suggested he try it with a bite of pork chop.  He did and took a long drink of his drink afterward.

“I don’t like it,” he said Wednesday night after that one bite.  I was really and truly shocked.

Then, when I picked him up at my mom’s Thursday afternoon, I heard from my mom, “So, what are green potatoes?”

I glared at Muffin.

“He did say he really liked the pork chops,” my mom hastened to explain and smooth things over.

Josh and I really did like the “green” potatoes, but they are unfortunately not Muffin Approved.

For those of you who want to try them, as I did (mostly in an attempt to find a sour-cream-free twice baked potato alternative) here is what I did.  As usual, I didn’t entirely follow the recipe.  If you wish to compare the two, please be sure to check out Miss Kay’s cookbook.

“Green” Potatoes (Hopefully, yours won’t be green!)

Adapted from Missy’s Twice-Baked Potatoes from Miss Kay’s Duck Commander Cookbook

8 small-to-medium potatoes, baked in a 350 degree oven

4 slices bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled

1 stick butter

1 package ranch dressing or dip mix

1 1/3 cups milk

2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1/2 cup chopped green onions (We told Muffin they were scallions)

Tony’s or Duck Commander Cajun Seasoning, to taste

Place the butter in a largish bowl.  While the potatoes are still hot, empty the potatoes of their jackets into the bowl over the butter.  Discard the skins.

Pour the ranch mix onto the potatoes, and the milk, as well.  Mash the potatoes with a potato masher until they are creamy and have absorbed the milk.  Stir to make sure all is mixed completely.  Stir in 1 cup of the cheese, 1/4 cup of the green onions, half of the bacon, and Tony’s to taste until all are mixed together.

Turn the contents into a 9×9 baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.  Top with the remaining ingredients.  Shake on more Cajun seasoning to taste.

Bake in a 350 degree oven until hot with melted cheese on top.

(I made this ahead to the “baking” step and stored it in the fridge, wrapped in foil.)

25 Days of Holiday Goodies Day 25: Mom’s Potato Salad

25 Days of Christmas Goodies Button

Merry Christmas!  I have a special Christmas gift for you on the culminating day of the 25 Days of Holiday Goodies.  I made my mom dictate her potato salad recipe!

One of Josh’s favorite dishes that my mom makes is potato salad.  For him, it was love at first bite.  I have never attempted her potato salad.  Just as with my family-famous beans, her potato salad recipe is not written down…until today!  They always have to be served in the “potato bowl,” an avocado oval Corning dish from the 70s.  Yes, for those of you familiar with a certain Corner Gas episode of the same name, the potato bowl is THAT important.

Mom’s Potato Salad

4-5 potatoes


1/2-1 yellow onion, diced

3 heaping tablespoons sweet pickle relish (she uses Vlassic currently because we buy the gallon jar of it at Sam’s and split it)

1-2 eggs, boiled, peeled, and mashed

1/4-1/3 cup mayonnaise (she uses Kraft)

1 tablespoon mustard

pepper to taste

a bit of paprika, sprinkled over the top

Peel and dice the potatoes.  Boil them in salted water until fork tender (just before mashing consistency is how it has always tasted).  Drain the potatoes and put them in the “potato bowl.”  (See above)  Gently stir in the remaining ingredients, making sure to leave the potatoes mostly intact.  Check the seasonings and add more salt and pepper, if necessary.  Refrigerate several hours until serving.

Most recently, we had this dish last night at the Christmas Eve present opening at my parents’ house.


Mom's Potato Salad

Potato salad isn’t exactly Muffin Approved.  I think it has something to do with the onion.  He likes everything else in the mix.