Thursday, July 30, 2009

Cheesy Bacon Mashed Potatoes

So I decided to develop some kind of mashed potato recipe that my dear husband would eat without complaining and sans the gravy. One thing that I have learned being a Southern girl is that we will put gravy on just about anything that can be doused so I am trying to break the hubby from that habit. We typically eat those mashed potatoes that come in those colorful bags that you just add milk or water too, but those are BORING so I took it back to when my mom would cook. She would make these wonderful mashed potatoes that still had chunks of potato in them......Lord it would make you want to smack her but we knew better than that. So after much debate I came up with this and it was a hit.


Cheesy Bacon Mashed Potatoes

3-4 Russet Potatoes (at least 3 lbs)
6 Strips of Bacon or 1/2 bag of Bacon Pieces
1/2 cup of heavy cream
8 oz. of sharp cheddar cheese
1 tsp of salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup of chives
1/4 cup of sour cream
4 tbsp of butter

  • Peel your potatoes and place in a pot of boiling water with enough to cover the tops of the potatoes at least 1 inch. Add your salt to the pot as well. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium low and cook for about 20 minutes or until tender.
  • If you are using bacon strips, go ahead and cook those until crisp. Be sure to drain them and crumble them. Set this aside until later.
  • Once cooked, drained your potatoes and return to the pot.
  • Add your pepper, cream, and a dash of salt and return your pot to the heat. As the potatoes heat, use a potato masher to incorporate the mixture fully. The mixture should be fluffy. Do this for about 5 minutes.
  • Remove the mixture from the heat and immediately add the cheese, bacon, and sour cream to the mixture. Taste and season to your liking.
  • Garnish with chives if you like and serve immediately!
  • Feel free to use bacon pieces from the salad section of the supermarket. They incorporate the same and sometimes you can find reduced sodium options. DO NOT USE BACON PIECES...that is not bacon....
  • Feel free to reduce the salt in the recipe or use a substitute.
  • You don't technically need a masher. You can use a heavy spoon which will do the trick.
  • Pre-cutting your potatoes into chunks will cut down on cook time as well.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Caramel + Apples + Cheesecake = Yummy Goodness!!!

After spending a lazy week around the house that involved no cooking whatsoever unless you count heating up a BagelFul as cooking, I decided that I would whip out a cheesecake for the hubby since it was the last day of his vacation. So he requested a Caramel Apple Cheesecake concoction that I made a few months ago for Thanksgiving. Since he was going to handle the other part of dinner I focused solely on the dessert. I am sure that most people have seen cheesecake two ways. The first being the no bake kind that is really a no-brainer or the kind you bake that requires just a touch more effort. This is the latter but a much simpler version that does not require the use of a spring form pan. (If you don't know what that is don't worry about it). I am a cheesecake lover and figured I couldn't go wrong with those ingredients so here it is. Just a warning though...this is not one of my "original" recipes. I stole this from Paula "Butter Makes It Taste Better" Dean. She beat me to it.

Caramel Apple Cheesecake

1 9" Graham Cracker Pie Crust
1/4 Cup Caramel Topping
1/2 Cup Sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
lemon juice to taste
1 can of apple pie filling
2 eggs
2 8 oz packages of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/4 cup crushed pecans or walnuts


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • In a large bowl combine cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract. Blend well until smooth.
  • *NOTE* You can leave out the lemon juice if you like...if not then ->Add the lemon juice to the mixture. (You will want to taste the mixture often as you don't want to overpower it with lemon flavor)
  • Once you have the flavor you like set this aside and open your can of apple pie filling.
    Spoon about 1/4 cup of the apples into the bottom of the graham cracker crust.
    Set the rest of the can in the fridge to chill while the cake bakes.
  • Go back to the cream cheese mixture and add your eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated into the mixture.
  • Pour your mixture in the graham cracker crust and smooth out.
  • Place in the oven for approximately 30-35 minutes or until firmly set in the center.
  • Once done, remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
  • Once cool, take your apples and the caramel topping and place in a microwave safe container. Microwave in increments of 30 seconds or until you are able to mix the two together. Spread evenly over the top.
  • Take your crushed walnuts/pecans and sprinkle on top of the cheesecake and around the edges for decoration.
  • Place in the fridge to chill completely and serve!
* The nuts are completely optional just in case you have an allergy or you don't like the flavor.
* Keep a close eye on this as it cooks. No one likes burnt cheesecake.
* 1/3 Less Fat Neufchatel Cheese, the low fat "cream cheese" just is not going to cut it here. I didn't like the consistency or the flavor it produced. Besides, this is dessert...let go of the calories for this one. ;)