Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes

Just wanted to record the details of the potato preparation yesterday since you never know when you'll need to make mashed potatoes for 20+ people again.. This is adapted from The Pioneer Woman recipe for make ahead mashed potatoes.

10 lbs potatoes, peeled and sliced into uniform size chunks
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 sticks butter
1 to 1 1/2 cups half & half or milk
salt & pepper to taste

Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender. Mash the potatoes (I put them in my mixer). Mix in the cream cheese, butter, half & half and salt and pepper until creamy. Spread the potatoes in a buttered baking dish. You can refrigerate for a couple of days. Let sit at room temp. for a couple of hours if they are refrigerated. Dot the top with little pieces of butter. Cover with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minuntes until heated through. This was plenty for our extended family of 23.. and even had some leftovers.


Apple & Gorgonzola Salad with Maple Dressing

Kristen and I have always seemed to struggle perfecting salads, but this one was a unanimous winner. The sweetness of the dressing is counterbalanced with the bitterness of the cheese, and the toasted nuts add a nice crunchy texture to the mix. All and all, a delicious mix of fall flavors.

• 1/2 cup raw pecans, chopped
• 1/2 tbsp butter, melted
• 1/4 cup maple syrup
• 2 tbsp vegetable oil
• 2 tbsp lime juice
• Salt & pepper to taste
• 8 cups mixed salad greens
• 2 large apples, sliced into chunks
• 1/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl toss the pecans with butter until evenly coated. Spread the pecans in a single layer on a non-stick cookie sheet or a lined baking sheet with parchment paper. Bake for 5-7 minutes until aromatic. Allow to cool completely.

Combine syrup, vegetable oil, lime juice, salt & pepper, stirring well with a whisk.

Combine greens and apple chunks in a large bowl. Drizzle with dressing; toss gently to coat. Sprinkle salad with Gorgonzola cheese and toasted pecans.