Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes. Who doesn’t just love ’em?

And it’s really easy to make them. I promise the tough part is peeling them. Honest!

So let’s get started.

First, determine how many people you are serving. You will want to have about 1 medium potato for each person.

I prefer nice large russet potatoes for my cooking.

Next, peel them. Steady there, this is the tough part.

Make sure to trim or peel away any dark or bad spots as you are peeling.

As you peel the potatoes, put them into some sort of large vessel with enough water to keep them covered. Potatoes will start to oxidize and turn an unsavory brown color if you do not do this.

Notice the potatoes are mostly under water.

Once all the potatoes are peeled, then take them one by one and cut them into large chunks, keeping the size fairly uniform. Having them all a similar size will ensure they cook at the same pace and thus will all be done at the same time.

Once they are all cut up, and in the pan, make sure there is plenty of water. I like to add a few tablespoons of salt to the water to let the potatoes get their first attempt in at absorbing some flavor.

All ready to get into the pan. Make sure to toss some salt in your water.

Cook the potatoes for about 25 minutes, you can test for doneness by sticking a fork into a chunk, you’ll know they are done when the fork slides in easily. Drain the potatoes and put back into the pan.

Test for doneness with a fork. Also, look for a flaked look to the cooked potatoes.

I like to pot a little more flavor into my potatoes, this time I am putting fresh garlic, fresh cilantro, smoked paprika, and to get them creamy a stick of butter and about 1 1/2 cups of half-and-half.

Butter, garlic, and some fresh cilantro are my primary flavor ingredients for this batch.

I start the post-cooking work by using a potato masher to break the chunks up. If the potatoes are cooked right, this will be easy. These are perfect.

Use the masher to break the chunks up into properly mashed potatoes, I move it around the outside of the pan, through the middle, to and fro, back and forth.

Then I add the butter and mash it in good, doing my best to work it through the entire dish.

Mmmm, butter. Paula Deen would be proud. Slice it up so it melts faster.

Then I add the half-and-half and use a hand mixer to blend that in with the butter.

I add about 1 1/2 cups of half-and-half to the mixture.

Use your hand mixer to blend it until smooth. You can add more salt and pepper at this point if you wish. Just make sure it all gets mixed in well.

Smooth, creamy deliciousness! <drool>

Tomato Cucumber Onion Salad

Who doesn’t enjoy a chilled salad made from fresh ingredients?
This is one of my favorites and is an easy dish to make.


1 cup diced cucumber
1 cup diced fresh tomato
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup diced red onion (I like onions so I usually add 1/4 cup of Vidalia onion as well.)
1 teaspoon white pepper
salt to taste


Cilantro, basil, or parsley to garnish

Toss cucumber, tomato, olive oil, red wine vinegar, red onion, and white pepper together in a large bowl; season with salt. Garnish as desired. Refrigerate until slightly chilled, 10 to 15 minutes. 

Tomato Cucumber Onion Salad

Tomato Cucumber Onion Salad (click to see full size image)