Thursday, January 7, 2010

My Mashed Potatoes

I have always loved mashed potatoes, but have never liked the dry kind unless smothered with real butter.  I make two kinds of mashed/whipped potatoes - and they can be mixed and varied. I love them whipped and smooth, but NOT runny.  It always depends on the ingredients and how big the potatoes really are.

2 pounds of Idaho Russet potatoes (5-6 potatoes)
1/2 can evaporated milk (get a named brand)
1/4 cup butter (I usually add 1/2 cup mayonnaise or sour cream)
1 tsp sea salt
1 heaping tsp of baking powder

Skin, pare, & cut potatoes into chunks. Then bring salted water to a boil, add potatoes.  Bring it to a boil again.  Turn down the heat so it won't spill, and then I add some butter or a little olive oil so it won't bubble out, and cook until tender. That takes about 30-35 minutes.

Drain potatoes, put back on heat to warm up and steam off some of the left over water.  Be sure you watch it so it doesn't burn.

Mash, then whip so there are no lumps....THEN add the butter, then the mayonnaise or sour cream, and salt to taste.  Add the evaporated milk very slowly while whipping on slow (you don't want to splatter) until it is to the consistency you like - don't make soupy if you like your potatoes to stand up on the plate.  Otherwise they will be like gravy. Ugh.

Now whip in the baking powder and then let it set on the stove for about 10 minutes - if you can, keep it on a very low heat as long as it doesn't burn. Otherwise, warm a bit, cover, turn it off and then leave on the burner you were using (I usually do this because I've burned it tooooooo many times!).


From My Good Friend Marie

Marie is a defense attorney like I was, and we met in court in San Diego. Pretty hot stuff!  I enjoyed eating at her house a few times and she always seemed to know her way around the kitchen. This looks like it will be my husbands favorite - we have some fresh frozen Alaskan Salmon in the freezer I will have to get out to cook this weekend!  Thanks Marie! Hugs to you.......
Baked salmon w/ vegetables


1.  Nice piece of Salmon (Costco sells terrific salmon)

2.  (any fruit combination, chopped, such as:  peaches/strawberrys;  kiwis/strawberrys; apples/kiwis/strawberrys;   3.  fresh mint if you can find it.)  chop fruit and mint; 
*((for xtra zest add: chopped onion and/or chopped jalipeno hot peppers to this fruit mixture for xtra zest))

4.  olive oil (bottom of pan)
5. chopped spinach (line bottom of pan w/ spinach)

6.  any kind of vegetables,  such as:  carrots, onions, broccoli;  onions, mushrooms, califlower;  whatever vege's you have.
7.  1/2 cup orange juice

a.  Get rectangular cake pan
b. put olive oil on bottom of pan
c.  line bottom of pan w/ bed of chopped spinach.

d.  Place salmon in middle of pan, ( right on top of that bed of spinach).
e.  salt and pepper the salmon
f.  sprinkle dill  on salmon

g.  put vegetables around the entire pan (all around the salmon); 
h.  pour 1/2 cup of orange juice around all the vegetables.  (for steam when baking)

i.  On top of that piece of salmon, place chopped mixed fruit/mint/(onion/jalipeno) mixture, (covering entire piece of salmon w/ the fruit mixture).

Cover pan w/ aluminum foil

Bake at 400 degrees for (depending on size of salmon) 30-45 minutes, but check. don't over bake.


These are from my niece Megan - sound good! She won first prize at work for their holiday cookie contest. She is the sister to my handsome Fireman nephew, and just as cute. A Vice President at a large financial institution and isn't 30 yet! Wow! Takes after her auntie (auntie runs away laughing!)
Carmelite Cookie Bars
2 cups oatmeal
1 1/2 cups butter
2 tsp baking soda
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups brown sugar (packed)
1 tsp salt
32 caramels (1 bag)
3 Tbs cream or milk
3 Tbs butter
1 bag chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Combine dough ingredients using a pastry blender until crumbly. Press 3/4 (or less if that will cover) of the dough onto the bottom of a 9x13 jellyroll pan. Bake for 10 min at 350-no longer as there's a second baking!
Melt caramels with cream & butter. Pour over baked crust. Top caramel with chocolate chips, nuts, and remaining dough. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Let cool. Cut into squares and enjoy!