Monday, October 24, 2011

The Best Mashed Potatoes

I spent 2 hours prepping and making dinner on Saturday night.  I like to cook so spending 2 hours cooking is no big deal, especially when I don't spend that much time that often.  Dinner was delicious.  My boys weren't in an eating mood though.  Carter sat at the table and ate for 9 minutes, seriously 9 minutes.  Eli lasted 16 minutes.  I have no idea what was up with them, they normally last much, much longer.  I had spent so much time cooking and the food was so yummy that Jon and I just let the boys play while we finished dinner.  The joys of parenthood!

This is the first of three of the dishes I made on Saturday.  I wanted to post the chicken I made, but I'm using the leftover mashed potatoes in tonight's dinner so I thought I should post the potatoes today.  I'm saving the other recipes for when we eat out or I make something for dinner I've already blogged about. 

This recipe comes from Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman.  (Have I said how much I love her yet?)  I make some changes though.  Here's a link to the original recipe and below is how I make them.

Creamy Mashed Potatoes
Prep time 5 mins
Cook time 40 mins
Serves 6

3lbs Yukon Gold Potatoes
1-1.5 Sticks Butter
1 package (8 Oz.) Cream Cheese, Softened
1/2-3/4 Cups Half-and-Half
Seasoning Salt
Salt & Black Pepper

1. Cut the potatoes into pieces that are generally the same size.  I quarter mine.  Like this:

2. Bring a large pot of water to a simmer and add the potatoes.
3. Bring to a boil and cook for 30 to 35 minutes. When they’re cooked through, the fork should easily slide into the potatoes with no resistance, and the potatoes should almost, but not totally, fall apart.
4. Drain the potatoes in a large colander. When the potatoes have finished draining, place them back into the dry pot and put the pot on the stove. Mash the potatoes over low heat, allowing all the steam to escape, before adding in all the other ingredients.
5. Turn off the stove and add 1/2-1 stick of butter, mix/mash well.
6. Add 3/4 up to the full package of cream cheese, mix/mash well.
7. Add about 1/2 a cup of half-and-half, mix/mash well.
8. Next add seasoning salt, salt and black pepper to your liking.
9. Eat and enter mashed potato heaven.

The things I do differently than Ree are; I only use 3lbs of potatoes, she uses 5.  I have more than enough leftovers with the 3lbs as is! I use way less butter and a little more half and half.  (I think the potatoes are creamier that way.)  You can add as much butter, half and half and cream cheese as you like.  I really like the tanginess the cream cheese adds so I use a good amount.  I also don't bake the potatoes.  I'm sure they are delicious baked, but I don't typically have the time for one more step, plus I want to eat the potatoes by that point!

Now these aren't low fat or healthy by any means.  But they are delicious.  The best mashed potatoes I've ever made or eaten!  I only eat mashed potatoes 3-4 or so times a year (Thanksgiving, Christmas and the one or two other times I make them) so I let myself enjoy these.

I'm looking forward to using them in Sheppard's Pie tonight.  I've never made Sheppard's Pie and I'm excited to see how it goes.

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