Kathy Maister's Start Cooking

How To Make Mashed Potatoes

print recipe card posted in Soups, Salads, Sides and Sauces, Vegetables and Beans, Vegetarian by Kathy Maister
Difficulty:

I was surprised to hear one of the trainers at my gym say that he prefers instant mashed potatoes from a box rather than the real thing! I thought to myself – he needs a few tips on how to make perfect (real) mashed potatoes!

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At the grocery store, you will notice that there is an incredible variety of potatoes to choose from. There are usually signs above the potatoes that will tell you which ones are great for baking versus which ones are better for mashing. If there are no signs, just ask someone who works in the Produce section for some guidance.

To make 4-6 servings of mashed potatoes you will need approximately:

  • 2 pounds of potatoes
  • ½ to ¾ cup of milk
  • Salt and pepper (to your taste)
  • 2-6 tablespoons of butter

You can make mashed potatoes in just a few easy steps.

Step 1: Wash the potatoes

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Step 2: Peel the potatoes

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Step 3: Cut the potatoes into 1 ½ inch chunks

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Step 4: Put the potatoes in sauce pan and cover with water

(adding 1 teaspoon of salt to the water is optional)

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Step 5: Bring to a boil. Turn down to simmer. Simmer 20 minutes

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Step 6: Drain the potatoes

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Step 7: Add milk, butter, salt and pepper

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Step 8: Start mashing!

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Keep mashing until the potatoes are creamy and lump free.  You can garnish your mashed potatoes with some chopped parsley if you like.

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Aaahhhh! Perfection


The Equipment you’ll need:

  • Sauce pan with a cover
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Knife
  • Potato masher
  • Timer
  • Colander (optional)

Tempted as you might be to try using a blender or a food processor to mash potatoes…DON’T! Believe me, years ago I tried that. You end up with a gluey, uneatable, awful mess. If you are mashing for a crowd, an electric hand mixer will work beautifully!

Here are just a few more ways to cook potatoes from startcooking.com:

Potatoes – Baked Potato with Salsa

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Potatoes – Microwave Baked

Potatoes – Microwave Baked (video)

Potatoes – Oven Baked

Potatoes – Roasted

Potatoes – Sweet Potato Casserole

Potatoes, How to Choose and Use

Enjoy!

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How To Make Caesar Salad

print recipe card posted in Soups, Salads, Sides and Sauces, Vegetarian by Kathy Maister
Difficulty:

Caesar Salad is a standard item on a lot of restaurant menus, but can easily be made at home. It can be an appetizer or, by adding some protein such as chicken or shrimp, can be turned into a complete meal.

(Both the origin of Caesar Salad and its original dressing ingredients are debatable, but Romaine lettuce, Parmesan cheese and croutons are always the base of a Caesar Salad. A homemade Caesar Salad dressing historically included lemon juice, olive oil, an egg, Worcestershire sauce OR anchovies and freshly grated black pepper.)

Today, pre-made Caesar Salad dressing is readily available on the grocery store shelves.

For 2 servings of this Caesar Salad you will need:

  • 1/4 cup of pre-made Caesar salad dressing
  • 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 head of Romaine lettuce
  • 2/3 cup of croutons

Romaine Lettuce is the norm for a Caesar Salad. In general, choosing lettuce for a salad can be pretty confusing. Startcooking.com’s post on Salad Green From A to Z describes many of the more common types of greens available at most grocery stores.

Be sure to wash the Romaine lettuce and then chop or tear it into bite-size pieces.

Freshly grate Parmesan Cheese and add it to the lettuce.

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Gently toss the salad greens with the Caesar dressing and sprinkle on the shredded cheese. Then top with some croutons.

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If you like anchovies, then adding a few on top is always a tasty addition!

Salad’s ready!

Enjoy!

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Cranberry Relish

print recipe card posted in Soups, Salads, Sides and Sauces, Vegetarian by Kathy Maister
Difficulty:

The holidays are almost upon us. If you are lucky enough to get an invitation to a dinner that includes a turkey or a goose, offer to bring the cranberry relish. This recipe involves no cooking, but I guarantee your efforts will be appreciated!

There are three ingredients needed for this recipe: whole-berry cranberry sauce, mandarin oranges and walnuts.

Buy already shelled or chopped walnuts. (The shelled walnuts are generally bigger pieces of walnuts). Be sure to buy the “whole-berry” cranberry sauce.

Until you are ready to make this relish, store the can of the whole-berry cranberry sauce and the can of the mandarin oranges in the refrigerator. They should be really cold when you make this relish.

You need a really nice bowl, big enough to hold the cranberry sauce, oranges and about ½ cup of walnuts. You can make and serve this in the same bowl if the bowl is big enough. Or just use a medium size mixing bowl and transfer the relish into your serving bowl.

Open the can of whole berry cranberry sauce and spoon it into a bowl.

Drain the mandarin oranges in a colander and add them to the cranberries.

Now add about ½ cup of walnuts.

GENTLY stir everything together being careful not to break apart the mandarin oranges.

That’s it!

Enjoy!

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