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Make-Ahead Bacon-Cheesy Mashed Potatoes

Ahh… Sunday Dinners. Do any of you get together with family for a Sunday dinner? Or perhaps maybe Saturday works out better?  It doesn’t matter what the day, but I find it very important to have a nice sit down dinner with family that involves a bit more than the usual rushed weeknight fare, and also involves more than just my household family. We extend the invitation to family close by, like my in-laws. We enjoy being able to sit down and catch up with each other after a long week. Unfortunately my family live on the other end of the United States, in Washington state, but fortunately, I like my in-laws.  😂 The kids enjoy it too. It’s important to include the young kids into the conversation at the dinner table. Even Joe has a good time and brightens the room with his smiles.

Speaking of smiles, I got a lot of smiles for these mashed potatoes I made for just such a meal occasion. For Sunday dinner, I made The Best Chicken Marinade, which is a recipe I found over on Mom on Timeout, and absolutely delicious! I highly recommend it, and I also made Slow Cooker Barbecued Green Beans I found over on Spicy Southern Kitchen. By the way, another recipe you should definitely check out after you’re done here.

Right away, I’m sure you can see how easy this special Sunday dinner came together. I got chicken marinating, plus my own personal Grill Master, so make ahead #1. Then my potatoes, which are make ahead #2, and green beans done in the slow cooker make ahead #3. I had pretty much everything done and my feet up by 1 pm! All that was needed to do was pop those potatoes in the oven and dinner was served! Folks will think you slaved all day over this meal, and that’s ok. Let them think so, and take the credit! I do! 😆

So here we go! As usual, just peel your potatoes and cut them into little chunks. I used russet potatoes, so I peeled them. I have not used any other kind of potato with skins, I just didn’t want skins for this recipe. No other reason really. So cover those with water, and set on the stove and bring to a boil. Boil them until they are fork tender. Then drain them and return them to the pot.

Oh yea, and did I tell you I cut out a lot of fat but left all the flavor and richness? You bet! Less fat, no sacrifice! So add in your light sour cream, your neufchatel cheese (1/3 less fat cream cheese), and salt and pepper.

Grab your hand mixer and whip those potatoes until smooth, and cream cheese has melted. Now stir in your chives, reduced-fat cheese, and your real bacon bits. Combine that real well, then spread into a greased 13×9 baking dish. Drizzle the top with melted butter and sprinkle with some paprika. Here’s the part where you can decide to go ahead and finish it off and pop in the oven, OR if you’re preparing this ahead of time,  you can cover it and refrigerate until you’re ready.

30 minutes before you are ready, take it out of the fridge and let it come to room temp. Then shove it in the oven, covered, for about 40 minutes. Then uncover and bake about 20 minutes more.

All that’s left is to serve it up, and enjoy! Don’t forget the wine! 😉

Print Recipe
Make-Ahead Bacon-Cheesy Mashed Potatoes Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Place potatoes in a large pot and add water to cover. Salt the water and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat; partially cover and cook for 20-25 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  3. Drain potatoes and place in a bowl. Add sour cream, neufchatel cheese, salt & pepper.
  4. Beat with hand mixer until smooth and cream cheese has melted.
  5. Stir in fresh chives, cheddar cheese and real bacon bits until combined.
  6. Spread in a greased 13x9 backing dish.
  7. Melt the butter and drizzle over the potatoes. Sprinkle with paprika.
  8. At this point you can choose to cover and refrigerate until ready to serve, or bake right away.
  9. When ready to bake, if you've refrigerated your potatoes, let them stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.
  10. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake, covered, for 40 minutes. Uncover, and bake 20 minutes longer.
  11. Enjoy!
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Amazing Blue Cheese & Bacon Burgers

This summer has been quite amazing so far! We’ve had a lot of cookouts, and a lot of time spent with family and friends. Although back to school is coming, and coming fast, it may feel like summer is coming to an end. In reality, we still have quite a bit of summer left! So lets not waste it! Fire up that grill! I’ve got something amazing for you!

I recently had my dad visiting from South Carolina. Although some would say my dad is a very picky eater, I wouldn’t classify him as picky. I would put him in the “simple” category. He’s a very simple person when it comes to food. He’s all about easy, traditional, and a meat & potatoes kinda guy. So for me, that’s super easy to cook for. I know the man pretty darn well, and I know that there are three things he loves a lot! That’s burgers, blue cheese, and bacon. So I created this Amazing Blue Cheese & Bacon Burger for him, which I slightly adapted from a Kraft. Before I get into the recipe, I just want to let you know that although I mention McCormick Grill Mates specifically, this is in no way a compensated post. I just really like the stuff.

Burgers, in my opinion, are always simple. Especially since I don’t run the grill. If you have yourself a personal grill master, all you have to do is mix it all up, smash some patties together and present them to the grill master! Your work is done! I happen to absolutely love my grill master.  😉

So take all of the ingredients listed, except for the bun of course, and mix it all up. I use my hands for this. Clean hands of course! Sometimes, you just gotta get down and dirty to get all those ingredients mixed up completely. It works really well. I do the same thing when I make meatloaf.

When it comes to the bacon bits, please don’t use that dried up nasty crunchy stuff like Bacos. I am using Real Bacon Bits which are located with all of the other salad toppings, usually in a plastic resealable bag. It makes a world of difference. You can also fry up some bacon and crumble it. The real bacon bits just save me that step and make it more convenient.

Feel free to top your burgers with your favorite toppings. We had lettuce and tomato for ours, but you could add pickles, and onion and all sorts of things. The sky’s the limit! Whatever you like!

Sit back, relax, and enjoy this juicy burger! I kept this very simple by serving it with some potato salad. But you could do a pasta salad, or perhaps from potato wedges or fries. What do you like to serve your burgers with?


Print Recipe
Amazing Blue Cheese & Bacon Burgers Yum
Recipe by: Christine Titus
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat your grill to medium heat.
  2. In a large bowl, mix ground beef, blue cheese, real bacon bits, steak sauce and hamburger seasoning. I use my hands (clean of course) to mix it all up. It works so much better than a spoon and really gets it all incorporated into the meat.
  3. Divide meat into equal portions and shape into 8 patties (for hamburgers) or 12 patties (for sliders).
  4. Grill burgers, covered, over medium heat for 5-7 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 160° and juices run clear. Place buns, cut side down, on grill for the last 2 minutes to toast the buns.
  5. Fill buns with burgers, and desired toppings.
  6. Enjoy!
  7. Serves: 8 hamburgers or 12 sliders
Recipe Notes

Slightly adapted from Kraft

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Delicious Ranch Potato Salad

The weather here is just perfect. A beautiful 78 degrees which is perfect for me! Not too hot, not too cold. It’s wonderful, and it’s got me wanting to gather up the clan, and go to a park for a picnic. I don’t know about you, but I love picnics. Ever since I was a kid, my favorite picnic food was potato salad. As far as I’m concerned, you can’t have a picnic without potato salad! It just wouldn’t be right. It also wouldn’t be right to make the same old potato salad over and over again either. I don’t know about you folks, but I like variety. I get bored with the same ol’ thing.

So lets switch it up! I’ve created this Delicious Ranch Potato Salad, and I served it at a potluck cookout very recently. It was a huge hit with my family and friends, and I know it will be with you and your family too. Like most potato salads, this one is super easy. You can even make it a day ahead of time.

First you want to get your potatoes cut up and into the pot of salted water, get that boiling. While those are cooking, take the rest of your ingredients and combine them in a large bowl. I like to use my giant Pyrex glass bowl for almost all of my salads. I like the extra tossing room.

Once your potatoes have cooked and are fork tender, which will only take about 8-12 minutes, you’ll want to drain them well. Then add them to your dressing mixture in your giant bowl. Toss it all together, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. I use red potatoes in this recipe. I prefer to use a waxy potato in potato salads like red potatoes, fingerling potatoes are new potatoes. The waxy potatoes hold up much better, where as starchy ones like russet potatoes tend to fall apart too easily, and turn your salad into mush. Ew…

 

Print Recipe
Delicious Ranch Potato Salad Yum
Recipe by: Christine Titus
Course Salads
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Salads
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Clean and cut potatoes into chunks, then place in a large pot with salted water to cover potatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to keep it at a gentle boil and let cook until potatoes are fork tender,, about 8-12 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine all other ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Once potatoes are done, drain well, and add to the dressing mixture and toss to thoroughly combine all ingredients. Place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to let flavors mingle and chill.
Recipe Notes

You can make this salad a day ahead of time, just keep covered in the refrigerator. Light ranch dressing may be substituted for regular to save a few calories.

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