Mashing the Competition

It’s that time of year again, my favorite time, Thanksgiving.  I know that most of the traditional fare does not appeal to the little stomachs of the family.  Personally,...
mashed potatoes with brown sauce on dining table

It’s that time of year again, my favorite time, Thanksgiving.  I know that most of the traditional fare does not appeal to the little stomachs of the family.  Personally, I found it hard to get my daughter to try anything but ham, dessert, and mashed potatoes.  Many people are trying new potato recipes this year, but they are a go to in my house.

Potatoes are a great staple at the dinner table, but where did they come from?  According to, “By the middle of the 19th century, the baked potato was a popular item sold on the streets of London by vendors. According to the food historians, it was during this time the potato gained acceptance by the middle class. By the end of the 19th century, the humble spud was elevated to the ranks of haute cuisine and served by chefs in the finest restaurants. Enter potato souffle, croquettes, Lyonnaise, au Gratin and a la Bechamel. Smashed potatoes are an American iteration, surfacing in the late 19th century.Mashed potatoes are repurposed in many ways they can be made into potato pancakes, dumplings, potato bread/rolls, Shepherd’s pie topiing or fill gnocci. Riced potatoes (see next) give leftover mashed potatoes a different look and texture.]The first recipes we find for serving mashed potatoes in their skins (or jackets, as they were called then) were printed in American cookbooks in the 1880s. It is not specified whether the skins are meant for decoration or intended for consumption. Curiously, the first recipes for stuffed baked potatoes had them standing on end, as opposed to cut lenghthwise as we do now.”

Well, whenever mashed potatoes graced our tables, they are here to stay.  I noticed that letting my child help in the process helped in her really enjoying the dish.  You could allow the kids to help with a number of dishes for Thanksgiving in order to get them to try new thigs.  My secret is heating up the milk/cream before adding it to the hot boiled potatoes, what’s yours?  Here is a fabulous recipe, from the Pioneer Woman herself, to try out this year.



2 sticks butter, softened, plus more for pan

5 pounds russet or Yukon gold potatoes

One 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 to 1 teaspoon seasoned salt

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a 4-quart baking dish.


Peel and cut the potatoes into chunks. Bring a large pot of water to a simmer and add the potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook until fork tender, 20 to 25 minutes.


Drain the potatoes in a large colander. Place them back into the dry pot and put the pot on the stove. Mash the potatoes over low heat, allowing all the steam to escape before adding in all the other ingredients.


Turn off the heat and add 1 1/2 sticks butter, the cream cheese, heavy cream, seasoned salt, kosher salt and pepper. Mash to combine.


Spread the potatoes in the prepared baking dish. Throw pats of the remaining butter over the top of the potatoes and bake until the butter is melted and the potatoes are warmed through, 20 to 30 minutes.


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