Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole

Well yesterday was a success- a successful Easter dinner with the family. We kept it easy and the stress low and I think we all ended the night happy and full 🙂 With help from my parents and my MIL we had a Honey Baked ham, green bean casserole, salad and then these tasty (I think so at least! 🙂 ) mashed potatoes. I wanted a side that I could do some of the prep work ahead of time and then finish as we got closer to eating time. These potatoes were not only tasty but super super easy. One thing to note – grocery stores aren’t open on Easter 🙂 So we made this without the sour cream- I’m assuming it would be even better with it but we were just fine without it too!

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Ingredients:

5 lb russet potatoes
1/2 cup butter
8 oz cream cheese, cubed
1 cup sour cream
2 cups cheddar cheese, divided
2.8 oz jar real bacon pieces (or 10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled)
4 green onions, sliced thin
2 teaspoons kosher salt

Directions:

  • Peel and chop potatoes, place into a large stockpot.
  • Cover with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
  • Test a larger piece by piercing with a fork to make sure they’re cooked through and tender. Remove pot from heat, drain potatoes and place back in pot.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Smash potatoes with the back of a wooden spoon, it’s ok if there are still chunks.
  • Stir in butter and cubed cream cheese. Keep stirring until completely melted.
  • Add in sour cream, 1 1/2 cups cheddar, 3 sliced green onions, salt, and bacon pieces (reserve 1/4 cup bacon pieces for topping).
  • Spread into a greased 3 quart baking dish.
  • Sprinkle remaining cheddar, bacon pieces, and sliced green onion over top.
  • Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and potatoes are heated through.

Original post available HERE.

Mexican Corn

This month we are making four meals for four different friends who just had babies. Each meal we are bringing some form of Mexican food- one of our favorites! My go to side item for Mexican is often black beans so when I finally found this recipe (and loved it) I knew we had to write this one down. If you’re looking for a quick and easy side dish with ingredients you’ll most likely find in your pantry then you’ll love Mexican corn!

IngredientsIMG_2153
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups corn (about 4 ears), cut from the cob
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 glove garlic, grated
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1 handful cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime, juice
  • 2 tablespoons cotija (or feta), crumbled
  • chili powder to taste
Directions
  1. Melt the butter in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the corn, toss and let it sit cooking until charred, mix it up and let it char again, about 6-10 minutes.
  3. Add the jalapeno, saute for a minute and remove from heat.
  4. Mix everything and serve warm or at room temperature.

*This is one of those recipes that you don’t need to include all of the ingredients. We’ve often made it without the feta, jalapeños and even onion. It’s great with as many or as few ingredients as you want to include.

Ranch Macaroni and Cheese

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 8.31.21 PMIt’s snowing outside and so I think we are in need of a little comfort food for dinner. This recipe is perfect as a side dish or as a meal on its own. I don’t know if anyone else did this as a kid but I often like to eat my mac and cheese with a hotdog cut up and mixed in (are you with me on this?!)  Heaven in a bowl – the perfect snowy day meal! Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 (16 oz.) package elbow macaroni
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1/4 c. butter
  • 1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix
  • 1 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 c. Monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 c. Colby cheese, shredded
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 c. crushed Ritz crackers

 Directions:

Cook macaroni according to package directions, until just al dente. Meanwhile, combine the milk, butter, dressing mix and seasonings in a pan on the stove. Heat thoroughly.  Stir in the Monterey jack and Colby cheeses until they are melted. Stir in the sour Cream.

Drain the cooked pasta, and stir into the cheese sauce, along with the cracker crumbs.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and serve. Instant comfort food!

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Loaded Potato Salad

My family is getting together for Labor Day tomorrow. I’m always looking for new and different sides that we can try and that can appease a crowd of picky eaters. Here is my latest find. Homemade potato salad that they are sure to love.

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Ingredients:

10 Small Red Potatoes, cut into small chunks – peel ½, leave skin on other ½

1 oz. Hidden Valley Ranch Dip Mix packet

¾ c. Low-Fat Sour Cream

¼. c. Mayonaise

½ tsp. Ground Pepper

½ tsp. Garlic, minced

1 tsp. Dijon Mustard

2 tsp. Minced Cilantro

¾ c. Shredded Cheddar Cheese

5 slices Bacon, cooked and chopped

2 Tablespoons minced chives

Directions:

In a medium pot, place chunked potatoes and cover with 1” of water. Bring potatoes to a boil over high heat and reduce to medium, allowing to simmer for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender.

While the potatoes are cooking go ahead and cook your bacon. We like to cook it in the oven for less mess and ease. Place bacon strips on lined cookie sheet in a cold oven. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees and set the timer for 17 minutes. Depending on bacon and ovens the bacon should be crispy around 17-20 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together sour cream, mayo, pepper, garlic, mustard, and cilantro. Cover and set aside in fridge.

When potatoes are done, drain and place on a lined baking sheet. Immediately sprinkle with packet of ranch dip and fold potatoes over with a spatula until the dip mix is evenly distributed. Place baking sheet of potatoes into the fridge for approximately 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are cool.

When potatoes are cool, pour into large bowl of sour cream mixture.

Fold in shredded cheddar cheese and bacon. Sprinkle chives on top of potato salad.

Chill for two hours until flavors meld. Enjoy!

 

Original recipe available here.