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Archive for November, 2010

mashed potatoes

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

***Updated 11/21/2012. Recipe now at end of post.***

We can never go home for Thanksgiving.  Mainly because I work.  Our Thanksgiving usually consists of hubby cooking for my co-workers and our friends who also aren’t going home.  We’ve fondly referred to it as Thanksgiving for Misfit Toys.  This year, hubby is traveling for work and not home until Wednesday night.  Which means I have to pitch in.  Please note I am inept in culinary skills.  Here’s my time line of what’s happening in the kitchen.

10:00  I walk into kitchen.

10:01 I search for recipe.

10:04 I locate it, and realize cooking with a recipe on iPhone is a recipe for failure.

10:05 Print out recipe.

10:11 scrub potatoes per recipe

10:15 darn, I forgot to turn on oven.

10:15 turn on oven

10:17 Cricket the Shih Tzu wants to go outside

10:28 walk-in and realize I left oven on.  (Don’t tell hubby!)

10:29 wash hands

10:30 finish scrubbing potatoes

10:33 stick potatoes in microwave

10:34 take potatoes out, forgot to fork them

10:36 put potatoes back in microwave

10:44 turn potatoes

10:45 make coffee, feel success is upon me

10:56 place potatoes in oven

10:58 look for standing mixer.

10:59 confusion, what is a paddle attachment for standing mixer

11:00 text hubby

11:01 twitter pix in hope someone online knows

11:01 facebook update that I’m making mash potatoes

11:02 get snarky response from Mrs. B that it is ‘mashed potatoes’

11:03 why is oven beeping?

11:15 turn potatoes in oven, realize i needed gloves, these things are piping hot!!!

10:35 forgot timer again.  get potatoes out of oven.

11:42 opened oven door so I can have a moment to finish reading recipe. I have to melt the butter? Why?

11:43 says to put inside of potato into medium bowl then transfer to mixer. Seems like too many bowls, and dishes to wash.

11:48 hot potato…. hot potato!!!

11:49 rereading recipe again. annoyed it says, don’t under cook potatoes.  like one can tell the cook-ness of a potato. it’s not like the tuber is going to tell me it’s ‘done!’

11:54 Cricket has lost interest in my endeavor and is sleeping instead of eating the dropped potato pieces on the floor.

12:00p Potato skins are not like egg shells right? They can ‘end-up’ in the bowl?

12:02 it said mix on high. that was NOT a good idea!!!!

12:03 oops. reread. that’s why there was supposed to be two bowls. i was supposed to transfer half then add half. oops. lesson learned.

12:07 Recipe says heavy cream needs to be hot.  Doesn’t that curdle it?  Do I just stick some in microwave?

12:16 heated cream. but 3 cups have expanded. do i use all or just 3 cups? help!!! help!!!

12:25 my hand is tired from mixing! i want this thing done!

12:33 done! kitchen is a bit of a disaster! but mashed potatoes are done! we’ll see how they taste… tomorrow!

***The recipe that hubby left me with a specific note to not get creative!***

Serves 8 to 10

Be sure to bake the potatoes until they are completely tender; err on the side of over- rather than undercooking. You can use a hand-held mixer instead of a standing mixer, but the potatoes will be lumpier.


5pounds russet potatoes (about 9 medium), scrubbed and poked several times with a fork
3cups heavy cream , hot
8tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), melted

1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 450 degrees.

2. Microwave the potatoes on high power for 16 minutes, turning them over halfway through the cooking time. Transfer the potatoes to the oven and place them directly on the hot oven rack. Bake until a skewer glides easily through the flesh, about 30 minutes, flipping them over halfway through the baking time (do not undercook).

3. Remove the potatoes from the oven, and cut each potato in half lengthwise. Using an oven mitt or a folded kitchen towel to hold the hot potatoes, scoop out all of the flesh from each potato half into a medium bowl. Break the cooked potato flesh down into small pieces using a fork, potato masher, or rubber spatula.

4. Transfer half of the potatoes to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat the potatoes on high speed until smooth, about 30 seconds, gradually adding the rest of the potatoes to incorporate, until completely smooth and no lumps remain, 1 to 2 minutes, stopping the mixer to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.

5. Remove the bowl from the mixer and gently fold in 2 cups of the cream, followed by the butter and 2 teaspoons salt. Gently fold in up to 1/2 cup more of the cream as needed to reach your desired serving consistency. Once the desired serving consistency is reached, gently fold in an additional 1/2 cup cream.

6. To Store: Transfer the mashed potatoes to a large microwave-safe bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for up to 2 days.

7. To Reheat: Poke lots of holes in the plastic wrap with the tip of a knife, and microwave at medium-high (75 percent) power until the potatoes are hot, about 14 minutes, stirring gently halfway through the reheating time.


Sunday, November 21st, 2010

I went to my first Patriots game Sunday.  I’ve lived in Boston for nine years, though not consecutively.  I went to college here, worked here twice, I’ve covered numerous Patriots-based stories but this was my very first game.  And it was awesome!

Not only did the Patriots beat the Colts but a friend of hubby’s got us pre-game field passes. There was Tom Brady up close, that one was obvious.  But I also got to see my favorite player, Patrick Chung, told Deion Branch I was a huge fan as he ran by, watched Peyton Manning drill balls into the hands of his receiver, and was asked if I was part of the Kraft family because we were in Robert Kraft’s area on the field (We were quickly told to move on!).

What made the experience even more enjoyable… I was thoroughly prepared for my first Patriots game at Gillette Stadium due to all the fabulously nice tweeps on Twitter.  Here are some of the suggestions, many of which are brilliant!  Thanks!!!


@susantran OH I almost forgot, bring some cough drops for right after the game, or you might be a little hoarse from all the screaming later


@susantran Oh and snacks too LOL!


@susantran bring one of those little stadium butt pads. Those seats are uncomfortable.


@susantran LOL some inventive suggestions there. Average wardrobe for Pats game: Jacket, Gloves, Warm hat, lap blanket and Hot Cocoa.


@susantran are you able to go to CBS Scene. Or do you have to stick with NBC affiliated restaurants


@susantran Don’t forget your flask. Dr. McGillicuddy’s Mentholmint does the trick.


@susantran a Philadelphia Eagles jacket.


@susantran Must bring invite to luxury or owners box. It’s cold out there. My wife loved the Bass Pro Shop though. Seriously crazy.


@susantran dress like your going skiing no sun at 415 start


@susantran it’s going to be cold, get those hand warmers to put in your gloves and boots. Park in P-2 and Fried Dough at Halftime is my Fav


@susantran I went to 1 game when I was a kid. Bring a warm jacket (depending on weather). Sneak in snacks if prices are high. lol