Blogger is finally cooperating. The recipes that I promised you are forthcoming - I had a request to start with this one: baked mashed potatoes.
Truthfully, this isn't even really a recipe, it's more like a concept.
I make my mashed potatoes by boiling same-sized potatoes (yukon gold, preferably) in heavily salted water until fork tender. I've actually taken to tasting a potato to determine the consistency. What you don't want are water-logged potatoes (aka wallpaper paste), or lumpy mashed potatoes. The potatoes should be very tender (but not gluey - you'll know what I mean, hopefully).
For this application, add softened cream cheese in place of some of the milk. Add plenty of butter, and the seasonings you prefer. I also add some milk - you want the potatoes to be a little on the moist side since you'll be baking them. I like to add garlic powder to round out the flavor, but any seasonings you choose are totally optional.
The cream cheese gives the potatoes, well, a creamy flavor for lack of a better descriptive For a simply ratio: for 8 potatoes you'll need about 6oz of cream cheese, 4 T butter, and maybe 1/4 cup of milk. The variety of potato you use will determine how much milk you'll need. Your best tool is your tongue - taste away.
Then, simply finish with your toppings of choice and bake at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes. We like ours with sharp cheddar (Cabot seriously sharp is my absolute fave), crumbled bacon, and plenty of chives. Try serving these with barbequed meats, a nice thick steak, or some grilled seafood. Enjoy!