For classic, reliable, and fluffy mashed potatoes, I rely on the tried and true classic Basic Mashed potatoes recipe from allrecipes.com.
Basic Mashed Potatoes:
2 pounds baking potatoes (I prefer Yukon golds)
2 T butter
1 cup of milk
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes, and then drain. (note: I peel and pare my potatoes first. I don’t like skins in my mashed potatoes, and paring them helps them to cook more evenly).
2. In a small saucepan, heat the butter and milk over low heat until the butter is melted. Using a potato masher or an electric beater, slowly blend the milk mixture into the potatoes until smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
1. I get the water started before I start peeling the potatoes. By the time I’m done, the water is usually ready.
2. After I drain the potatoes, I return them to the pot. I add the milk/butter mixture in there and use the hand mixer in that same pot. Them I put it in a different dish to serve it. But this cuts down on making another unnecessary dirty bowl in a very busy kitchen.
Bacon Wrapped Asparagus
You had me at bacon. Plus, this is super easy, presents beautifully, and is an easy way to serve veggies to a large gathering.
Bacon Wrapped Asparagus:
1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place asparagus on a plate and drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with the salt and pepper and toss to coat evenly.
3. Count the spears and divide into the same number of groups as you have guests, or at least 8 groups.
4. Hold a bundle, and starting midway to the top, wrap the bundle with one piece of bacon. Overlap it lightly at the top to secure it in place. Then place the bundle on the lined baking sheet, seam-side down. Repeat with each remaining bundle of spears.
5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the bacon is crisp and the asparagus is tender. Serve warm.
I love making this for the holidays, It is super easy, especially when you have a lot of other dishes to assemble. But that is also what makes it a great veggie side dish for any weeknight. They key to making this a time saver for you is to buy the pre-cooked beets in the produce section. To make this recipe I used 2 boxes of the pre-cooked beets.
Roasted Beets with Feta and Walnuts
1. Wash, dry and place the arugula into a large serving bowl.
2. Slice the beets into quarters, or round slices as per your preference, and place them on top of the arugula.
3. Crumble the feta on top of the beets, and sprinkle the whole bowl with the walnuts and chives.
4. Drizzle the olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a zig-zag pattern across the top of the salad, and serve.
Kris Delaney is a marketing executive, foodie, travel enthusiast, and book nerd based in Atlanta, GA.