Tag Archives: potatoes

Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce & Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes


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Thanksgiving week is HERE!!! The stores are busy, turkey salt & pepper shakers are taking over and the kitchen smell yummy. It is just a really fun time of year.  Outside looks like fall, maybe even a snowflake here or there……. Peppermint Mocha creamer is in the store! (for those who don’t enjoy coffee, it is also good in hot chocolate…….) So, lets enjoy the busy week!! If you are in the store, the busy store, take a moment to look around, enjoy the sights. The older man pushing the cart while his wife scurries about with the list. The carts full of turkeys, stuffing and cranberry sauce. (JUST don’t shop when you need to be somewhere at a certain time. You will be crabby. Just don’t go. Period. Go when you have time to enjoy it.)

A few recipes that seemed “holidayish” to me.


Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce, now, cranberry sauce is NOT everybody’s thing. BUT if you enjoy tart things (me), then this will be right up your alley. It has a nice kick of orange in it, and apple too! It freezes well! So go ahead and make it easy for your Thanksgiving day meal and check one thing off your list!

Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce 

1 c. brown sugar
1 c. water
12 oz. pkg cranberries
1 TB. orange peel
2 oranges, peeled and chopped
1 apple, peeled and chopped

Mix brown sugar and water, heat to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Add the remaining ingredients and boil for 20 minutes. (Stirring often.) Chill. This also freezes well.

Recipe adapted from a Betty Crocker New Christmas Cookbook.

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These potatoes are a handy recipe to have in your file. “Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes” is what I like to call them.  Make a full batch of it one day, and freeze it into freezer safe containers for easy side dish on a busy day!! OR make a day or two before  a big gathering, let’s just say Thanksgiving, and it will sit in the fridge waiting for you!!

I keep mine pretty simple with just salt & pepper. But feel free to add garlic, garlic salt, or onion powder to yours ~ depending on your taste.

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes 

5 lb. potatoes
6 oz. cream cheese
1 c. sour cream
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 TB. butter
paprika, optional

Peel and cut up the potatoes, put in a pot of salted water and boil till tender, drain. Add the cream cheese, sour cream, salt & pepper. Mash till smooth. Use right away, or chill in fridge till needed OR divide into freezer safe containers for later meals.

When time to serve ~ Place potatoes (thawed) in a greased casserole dish. Dot with butter and sprinkle with paprika. Bake @ 350º till heated through, about 30 minutes. (OR cook in a greased crock pot, on low for about 4-5 hours, till heated through.)

This recipe is in a lot of church/school cookbooks, so I am not sure who to give the credit to!! A good “handed down from generation to generation” recipe!!


Cheesy Grilled Potatoes


Well, it looks like fall in my house, how about yours??  Leaves scattered here and there, fall salt & pepper shakers just waiting to be shook. Macintosh Apple and Harvest candles ready to be light. HOWEVER, it is at least 80 something degrees outside PLUS humidity that will curl anyone’s hair. So. For now , those candles will stay un-lit and we will just cool down with the sight at fall wreaths and pumpkins AND hooded sweatshirts.   Fall will be here soon, for now I will embrace this pressure/humidity induced headache and enjoy the day, knowing that fall is nearly here!!!

Perhaps you planned Pot Pie for dinner and realized that this was NOT the day for that ;/  Might be a  good night to grill……Need a side dish? This potato recipe has been enjoyed by us a lot this summer. It is quick and easy to throw together, tho it does take some time to grill. Kick back, relax and enjoy the evening well grilling, it is BOUND to cool a bit!

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Cheesy Grilled Potatoes   

6 med. red potatoes, cut up (I leave skin on)
5 green onions (or 1 med. onion, chopped)
3 TB. fresh grated Parmesan
1/2 tsp. seasoning salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 TB. butter, cut up
cooked, crumbled bacon (4-5 slices)
1 c. colby jack cheese, shredded

Mix together the potatoes, onions, Parmesan, seasoning salt and pepper. Place potato mixture on a piece of GREASED heavy-duty foil (or 2 layers of regular foil). Dot with butter.  Top with another piece of GREASED heavy-duty foil (or 2 layers of regular foil).

Grill over low heat for about 20 – 25 minutes per side. (We like ours crispy on bottom, so we probably cook ours about 50-55 minutes total.) Open packet up and top with bacon and cheese, close grill lid and let set about 5 minutes till all melted.

Serve and ENJOY!!

Serves 4-6.

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home Magazine.

Twice Baked Potato Casserole


SO this recipe is dedicated to my Aunt Sher. I needed to share this with her in case some 8 year-ish-older  (not sure on my  that certain child’s age) asks her to make “twice baked potatoes” (that certain youngster probably didn’t say please or an adequate thank you either.  I am SURE she WAS appreciative and MENT to say “please” and “thank you”!!)

A story….

Now that I am a mom to school age children I understand to a degree the busyness of after school and evenings. Well, my aunt was watching my brother and I, and well, probably at 4 o’clock Aunt Sheryl asked me what kind of potatoes we like. I am sure she expected me to respond with “mashed is fine”. No. I said “we like twice baked.” I am sure all she was thinking was…um…..um…..OK. (Those do take a bit of time and prep and we only ate them ONCE in a while….FYI) Well, she made them. I am sure they were fantastic, as is EVERYTHING she makes. Oh, the innocence of youth. We don’t think of the work it takes to get those delicious meals on that table!!! That will forever be one of my favorite stories, of course I don’t remember it…I was told of it years later and Aunt Sher, thank you AND I am sorry……for making MORE work for you!!

To bad I wasn’t keyed into the things  in the kitchen 20 some odd years ago….I would have known not to ask for that dish!  I hope OTHERS who love Twice Baked Potatoes will enjoy the ease of this recipe as well!!

(If you do not know of this said Twice Baked Potato I am referring to, PLEASE let me know and I will share the REAL recipe ASAP!!!!!)

* You may or may NOT use the bacon or chives, it is good with or without!

Twice Baked Potato Casserole 

6 c. – 8 c.  of unpeeled, diced  red or white potatoes
8 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded
4 oz. softened cream cheese
1/2 c. sour cream
salt & pepper to taste
4 slices of bacon, cooked crispy and cut up, opt.
fresh or dried chives, to taste of well, opt.

Boil the cubed potatoes JUST till barely tender, do not over cook or you will have mashed potatoes (IF this happens you are fine, just re-name it Loaded Mashed Potatoes or something cool like that.) Drain.

Meanwhile, combine the cheddar cheese (save 1/2 c. for the top), softened cream cheese, sour cream, s & p, bacon and chives. Add the hot drained potatoes to this mixture, stir gently. Spread in a greased 7″ x 11″ pan. Top with the reserved cheddar cheese.

Bake @ 350° for about 40 minutes.

Serve and Enjoy.  Serves about 6.

Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes


Wondering how you are enjoying favoritefamilyfoods??? Anyone looking for a particular recipe that maybe I can help with? Am I sharing TOO many recipes each week??? Is my “unprofessional recipe writing” hard to understand? Thank you for reading and sharing with your friends and family! 🙂 And, hey, have fun in the kitchen!!!! Happy cooking/baking! I would LOVE to hear from any one who is reading, it started out with just my family and friends BUT is now reaching new readers, YEAH!! I would love to hear how you heard about favoritefamilyfoods!! OR maybe you have been with me from the beginning…thanks for stickin’ with me!

and now…..a recipe…..

I left my house with a crock put FULL of sliced raw potatoes ………

and came HOME to this……

OK, FINE, I had to add a few things and mash with my potato masher, but it PRACTICALLY IS that easy. I LOVE this way of making mashed potatoes. I could skip the meat and just eat potatoes. I remember eating mashed potatoes as a snack when I was in high school. Who does that? Do you want to know how to make these easy peasy 1-2-3 potatoes????

Sure, I will tell you! 🙂

I first was introduced with this crock pot way of cooking mashed potatoes when I saw it on my friends blog, Kat’s Kitchen. I remember calling her while I was making it and saying ” really, this is all I do?” THEN calling her when it was all done saying “it worked!!!” I was excited. Check out that original recipe here, I still go that route at times ~ when I want the garlic taste. But when I want just plain ol’ potatoes I follow the “recipe” below. Here are some tips that will help you the first time you make this. I hope your family enjoys this as much as we do. It works great when you make a pot roast lunch on Sunday, turn it on high at 8 A.M.  and it will be ready for the finishing touches and on the table by noon!

* My family eats about 6 small to medium-sized Idaho potatoes, so I am sharing the approximate amounts of ingredients I use for that amount of potatoes.

* I use red potatoes or white. Choose what suits you. I sometimes cook with the skins on and sometimes peel them, so do whatever floats your boat.

* I go heavy on the sour cream, I just do. If that is not your thing, add more milk. To achieve the consistency you want.

* Other options to add to your potatoes, AFTER they are cooked, are ~ shredded cheddar cheese, snipped chives, cooked and crumbled bacon ~ just add in what you like in your potatoes.

* Remember to give the potatoes a stir after you have added the water, oil, and salt & pepper. I was too excited and busy taking my picture….that….I FORGOT to stir. RESULTING in some potatoes that stuck to the crock pot and got dark on me, not complaining, but did not equal picture worthy  white potatoes……. oh well.  They tasted GREAT still!

* When the potatoes are all cooked and the liquid is drained, you can put the potatoes in a bowl, and mash with your mixer for nice smooth potatoes or simply leave the potatoes IN the crock pot and use a potato masher, mashing till smoothish. I have done it both ways and we like it both ways.

* These potatoes DRINK milk practically, add as much as needed. As it cools IT WILL thicken up quite a bit!!! Add extra milk to the leftovers when warming up!

* This recipe serves about 4 adults and a handful of kids, 4 or so…..so lets say it serves 6??? ish?

Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes
6 medium-sized white potatoes
1/2 c. water
2 TB. olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
3 oz. cream cheese
1/2 c. sour cream
1 – 2 TB. butter
milk, amount needed to get to “your kinda potato consistency”
season with more salt & pepper, if needed
Scrub your potatoes, ESPECIALLY if you plan on leaving the skins on. Slice up. (I had about 7-8 c. worth of potatoes, really you cannot go wrong with how many or how little potatoes you use ~ just adjust the rest of the ingredients if needed). Dump potatoes in a greased crock pot (whatever size fits your potatoes, the one I used was a 4 qt). Pour  the water and oil over. Season with salt & pepper. Toss together. Put the lid on and set to high. Cook on high for about 4 hours, till the potatoes are nice and fork tender.  Drain off the access liquid. (I just use the lid and carefully tilt the removable part of the crock pot, and drain  ~ some liquid is OK.) Add the cream cheese, sour cream and butter, put the lid back on so everything softens nicely.  Start mashing (if using a mixer, I will  put the potatoes in another bowl 1st and then mash with mixer or just use a potato masher). IT will be thick at first so slowly add some milk, mash, add more milk, etc. Till you at your prefered mashed potato consistency. Taste, season with salt & pepper if needed.  Enjoy.

Recipe inspired by this one at Kat’s Kitchen.