One of our favorite meals as a family is to grill some kind of meat out on the grill and usually it's chicken marinated in a "secret family recipe" (just kidding). We normally have some type of potato and a good salad or grilled vegetables. Saturday night, we decided to grill some bone-in pork chops marinated in barbecue sauce. I made cheesy mashed potatoes and a salad to go along with it. With four hungry boys around the table, we don't normally have left-overs! Needless to say, they eat it all.
For so long, as a young wife, I was afraid to try to make things from scratch. I grew up in the 70s and 80s. We had potato flakes instead of real mashed up potatoes, and stove top stuffing instead of cornbread dressing. Everything was instant, but instant isn't always the best. Over the years, I've learned that it's just as easy to make things from scratch as it is to use stuff from a box. So, if there are any others out there like me, here's my cheesy mashed potato recipe and it's really very simple. The best part is that you can add just about anything you want to it to customize them to your taste. Don't be afraid to try something different.
You just need: 5 or 6 medium potatoes, 1/2 cup of milk, 3 tablespoons of butter, 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, and salt and pepper. Wash and peel the potatoes (not all the peeling needs to be off, just most) and cut them into 1 inch pieces. Put them into a large pot of water and bring them to a boil. Boil the potatoes until they are fork tender (about 10 to 15 minutes). Drain the water and put the potatoes back into the pot and turn the heat down to low. Add your milk, butter and salt and pepper. Mash with a potato masher or fork until they are at the consistency that you prefer. I like a little bit of lumpiness to them, but you can do it however you like. Then add the cheese and stir. Heat until the cheese is melted. Then you can add any other things you like (bacon, sour cream, chives, etc.)
Now, to some, the above recipe may be a "no-brainer" but I promise you, I was completely scared to make homemade mashed potatoes or anything else for the longest time! And it seems these days that some young ladies don't know how to really cook. Maybe Mama's were too busy to teach or maybe work and kids and activities has us too busy to try. But, after watching a few cooking shows many years ago, I realized it wasn't as hard as I thought it was.
It only takes a few minutes to have a good meal for your family and you don't have to spend hours in the kitchen in order to have a real home cooked meal from scratch. Time is precious to me, so I don't want to waste any of it.