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Family Favorite Mashed Potatoes

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This is no ordinary mashed potatoes recipe! With just a few additional ingredients the usual mashed potatoes become even creamier and tastier!

I absolutely LOVE mashed potatoes. Not much tastes better to me than some creamy potatoes and warm, smooth gravy. For my health’s sake, though, I usually make mashed cauliflower in the place of mashed potatoes. It seems like a weird substitution, but it really ends up filling in almost perfectly for potatoes! Sometimes, though, especially on holidays, I don’t mind letting myself have real mashed potatoes.

This is the recipe for mashed potatoes my family has been having on Thanksgiving for years. It is far from healthy but so, so delicious. The extra creaminess comes from cream cheese and sour cream. If you, like me, generally refuse to cook with anything that has the word “cream” in it, then don’t worry, I have a healthier option. Just sub in an equal amount of plain Greek yogurt for the cream cheese and/or sour cream. So, there’s really no excuse not to give this recipe a try!

Family Favorite Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients (serves 4 -6, but easily doubles!)
  • 2 lb. russet potatoes
  • 2 oz cream cheese (may replace with plain greek yogurt)
  • 1/3 c sour cream (may replace with plain greek yogurt)
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika (optional, for garnish)
  • 1/2 Tbs butter, divided into small chunks (optional)
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. Peel and dice the potatoes. Put the diced potatoes in a large pan and fill with water until the potatoes are all covered. Boil for about 15 – 20 minutes, until the potatoes are very tender when poked with a fork.
  3. Mash the potatoes using a potato masher or immersion blender. Stir in the cream cheese, sour cream, onion powder, and salt.
  4. Put the potato mixture in a medium sized baking dish (I used a round dish, 2 qt dish). If desired, top with the small chunks of butter and sprinkle with paprika.
  5. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes, until heated through (Note: The goal of this step is just to reheat the potatoes. If you are using this as part of a holiday meal and have other things in the oven at different temperatures, just stick the potatoes in at any temperature for a few minutes. Just keep an eye on them and make sure the top doesn’t burn).
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GF Sausage Stuffing

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Last Thanksgiving my Dad found a box of GF stuffing mix at the grocery store. It was the first Thanksgiving without my grandparents, who had been in charge of making the stuffing in the past. We weren’t sure how exactly to make stuffing (and I wasn’t totally crazy about Grandma & Grandpa’s stuffing. It was so dense and had no taste.), so we just followed the recipe on the box.

Stuffing usually tastes bland to me, and I slather it in gravy to make it more palatable. This stuffing, though, was anything but tasteless. It was bold, a bit spicy, and didn’t need any help from the gravy to get some flavor. Everyone else tried some of the GF stuffing and apparently it was significantly better than their regular stuffing.

The secret to this delicious stuffing? Sausage!

 

I did some research on how to actually make stuffing and then worked on recreating the recipe. The box from the stuffing mix is long gone so I  just did my best from memory. The results have been very tasty, and I’ve enjoyed the stuffing with and without gravy. I have used a spicy sausage, but I’m sure this would be delicious with a mild, or even sweet-ish sausage. Pick whatever sausage variety you enjoy the most!

In my recipe research, I also learned that putting sausage in stuffing is actually kind of a normal thing. I feel a little bit embarrassed – here I thought I had this brilliant stuffing discovery and then I found out it actually wasn’t a big discovery at all. Opps! Now, I’m just hoping that by sharing this recipe I can introduce a few other people to the world of stuffing that is good enough that you actually want to eat it.

Gluten Free Sausage Stuffing

Ingredients
  • 12 oz gluten free bread
  • 1/2 lb. ground sausage
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 celery rib, diced
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2c chicken stock (this makes a soft stuffing. Reduce the amount of liquid to make a crispier stuffing)
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. Dice the bread into small cubes and spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until the cubes are totally crisp, like the consistency a crouton would be. The time will vary depending on what type of bread you are using. It should take somewhere between 10 and 20 minutes.
  3. While the bread is in the oven, brown the sausage in a frying pan over medium high heat, breaking it up as it cooks.
  4. When the sausage has cooked, move it to a large mixing bowl. Add the diced onion and celery right into the pan the sausage was in. Turn the heat down to medium. Cook the vegetables until soft, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the vegetables to the bowl with the sausage in it, along with cooked bread cubes. Stir in the egg and the thyme and mix until the egg is distributed throughout the mixture.
  6. Turn the oven temperature up to 400° F. Put the stuffing into a greased baking dish (I used a 3 qt dish) and pour the chicken stock into the baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil and cook for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and cook an additional 5 – 10 minutes, until the top is crisp.
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