You Say Potato, I Say...Potato

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After a mui busy week thus far, Shaun and I finally finished up the last of our Thanksgiving leftovers last night. I have to say, we were both pretty sad to see them go but it made me happy to know that none of the food we made went to waste! (I have serious issues with keeping leftovers and then said food going bad before being eaten. I hate being wasteful!) So are you sick of Thanksgiving food yet? I hope not. Because today I’m dishing up two more delightful sides. And what is Thanksgiving without carb-o loading on potatoes? For our pre-Thanksgiving dinner with our friends Lindsey and Eric, we made two potato versions. The first were creamy, velvety, mashed Yukon gold potatoes.

The second were mapley sweet 'n savory mashed sweet potatoes. Can you tell that I have a love for all things mashed?

While the mashed potatoes were dense and decadent, the sweet potatoes were light and airy. Though I could have used a crunchy brown sugar topping on the sweet potatoes, I decided to let my sweet tooth subside for the rest of the guests and left these with just a hint of sweetness from the maple syrup and bit of brown sugar. Meanwhile, the mashed potatoes were filled with buttery goodness and made creamy with the addition of heavy cream - an ingredient that I've come to find makes everything just a little bit better. Oh and if the mashed potatoes look familiar, it's because they were also featured over at Haute Apple Pie's Virtual Thanksgiving Potluck earlier this week! Be sure to head on over to check out the whole rundown and the fun dinner that the ladies put together with some other great guest bloggers!

Thanksgiving Mashed Potatoes (serves 4-6)
*Adapted from the Sandy Cannon recipe collection
2-3 tbsp salt (or more if needed)
2-3 lbs potatoes, peeled & cubed
1/2 C heavy cream (or more if needed)
4 tbsp butter
pinch black pepper
chives, dried or fresh

Peel the potatoes and cut into cubes. In a large pot, add the potatoes and cover with cold water. Add salt and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat slightly to a light boil and cook for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Remove from the water and place in large mixing bowl. Add butter and heavy cream. With the back of a wooden spoon or a fork, smush (yep, it’s a technical term) the potatoes and lightly mix together. This will prevent splatter all over your beautiful kitchen once you break out the mixer. Add black pepper. With a hand mixer, or in a stand mixer, beat until smooth and creamy. Add more salt or more heavy cream if needed. Garnish with chives.

Luckily for me, Lindsey is not only a potato peeler extraordinaire, but she is also a whiz with the hand mixer! Not only were these potato perfection, but they were easy to boot. A little too easy if you ask me. In fact, Shaun came home from work the next day with another bag of potatoes. Should I take the hint?

And as much as I love the rich, heavy cream laden mashed potatoes, I need a little sweetness in my life. Though I love all sweet potato varieties equally, I just love the hint of sweet that these brought to the table.

Sweet Potato Casserole
*Adapted from Food Network
3 lbs sweet potatoes, washed
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted plus more for the preparing the pan
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 C chopped pecans

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Prick washed potatoes all over with a fork. Lay on a foil-lined baking sheet (which will make your clean up easy peasy!) and bake for about an hour until the potatoes are very soft. Let them cool and turn the oven down to 350 degrees.
Scoop the sweet potato out of their skins and into a mixing bowl. Mash the potatoes until smooth (Lindsey, the whip-master, used a hand mixer to get ‘er done). Add the eggs, butter, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and syrup. Mix until smooth. Add mixture to a buttered baking dish, top with pecans and bake for 30-40 minutes.

I feel confident that if you like 'em sweet, these would be absolute perfection with a brown sugar crust made from brown sugar, flour, butter and pecans. Or perhaps with a few marshmallows on top? Some coconut perhaps? Just sayin'.

So there you have it. A sweet & savory roundup of the potato dishes from our pre-Thanksgiving celebration! So what do you think? Are you a fan of the mashed potato? Do you prefer a sweet or savory sweet potato dish? And bonus question: Which do you prefer? White potatoes or sweet potatoes?

In case you missed it, check out how we brined a turkey at 3AM and made the perfect turkey sausage stuffing! And for even more Thanksgiving food ideas, check out our Recipes page, under Thanksgiving!