Vegas, Baby!

Once again – I am blogging about Vegas WAYYYY too late, but better late than never! This mini-getaway was SO much fun, especially since the majority of it was free!! I earned the trip as an incentive through the hair products company I’m part of, and I’m so glad I worked my butt off and got to go. We felt like total tourists and didn’t even care, ate amazing food, and soaked up the gorgeous view from our hotel room. I will never forget walking into our room on the first night, pushing back the curtains, seeing all the lights from the strip and screaming “We’re in a free hotel room!!!” Such a cool opportunity, and hopefully not my last!

Our strip started with three absolutely heavenly things: Hopdoddy Burger Bar (with fries so good they might make you cry), Starbucks (the only place where “Daniel” is too difficult of a name to spell), and a double rainbow sighting at the airport right outside our gate.

27BBCC77-1919-4FB9-8133-895ED64A8CE4

I love traveling, but especially when it’s with him. ♥

We had a choice between Paris and Planet Hollywood, and on the advice from several friends, decided to stay at Planet Hollywood. And I’m really glad we did. The room was huge, the hotel was modern and fun, and like I said – our view was spectacular.

For our first full day in Vegas, I spent most of the day in training, and it was AWESOME. The energy in the room; the stories that were shared; being the first to find out about new products and updates – I loved every second! Daniel had to entertain himself while I was busy, but we met for lunch at Gordon Ramsay’s burger place inside our hotel, and yummmmmm. Super good.

After lunch, Daniel told me I had to try one of the old-fashioned slot machines with the handle you pull – so I did! I put in $10, got it up to $15, and got nervous, so I cashed out. Haha!

We had some free time in the afternoon, so we decided to walk around the Strip a little before it was time to get ready for the gala that night. It felt like we were right in the middle of the action!

Watching the fountain shows in front of the Bellagio was one thing I really wanted to do while we were in Vegas. Luckily, we got to see them multiple times, including from our own room!

B481676D-C291-4E64-9302-8EB7C4AA5FF0

After our mini walking tour, we headed back to fancy up for the evening.

2880DC27-FA9E-4D42-A4F3-D61BBD2D52F0

MONAT had reserved the entire second floor of the hotel for our event, and even took over the elevators!! It was so fun getting to dress up, eat dinner with my friend Juli and her husband, and then dance (and photobomb other people’s pictures) at the reception after dinner! Easily one of the most fun things I’ve done with MONAT so far.

I just love her.

F137355C-C7CD-4EDD-8250-6DAFCE054454

And him. He was such a good sport that night.

The next two days were free days to ourselves! We spent Thursday exploring more of the Strip and eating ridiculously good food.

F6FF99FE-3037-4A41-A263-5DAA39B76349

Our first stop was the Bellagio, which was right across the street from our hotel. I had read about the gorgeous chihuly ceiling in the lobby, and I wanted to see the conservatory and botanical gardens as well. They did not disappoint!

They change the displays out every season, and we got to see the fall display!I was blown away by the size of those peacocks. See all the different colors in their feathers? INDIVIDUAL ROSES.

 So. Many. Roses!!!

We also got to see the world’s largest chocolate fountain…

…AND this massive sports bar with virtually every game that could possibly have been on at that moment. (Probably not the world’s largest but still enormous.)

After taking in everything there was to see at the Bellagio, we walked over the Caesar’s Palace and wandered around in the Forum Shops. We made it just in time to watch “The Fall of Atlantis,” an animatronic show with special effects…

…like actual flames!

We had lunch at the Bacchanal Buffet inside Caesar’s (O…M…G) and then headed back to the Strip to walk off the 30 pounds of food we ate. Seriously – best buffet I have ever been to. You know how most buffets have, like, decent food at most stations and then one or two really good stations? At this place, EVERY station was the good station. They had gourmet sliders and fries, mini chicken and waffles (my fav), make-your-own street tacos, sushi, kobe beef, a dozen kinds of pasta, seafood, a crêpes station, gelato…….I truly don’t know if I have ever been that full after a meal, before or since.

Even though it was quite a walk (and once we got there, I got real depressed thinking about having to walk all the way back), I’m really glad we made it up to the Venetian. The Grand Canal Shoppes were really beautiful, and I loved watching the gondolas! Plus, we found a really cool hat shop and some giant art installments to take cheesy pictures in front of.

These next two pictures are literally just pictures we took for other people – the Holsteins one is for my family (“Holshteen’s books eez eh book shop”, lolllll) and the Transformers one is for Daniel’s brother, Isaiah. :)

Thursday night, we had dinner at this fabulous Italian place that Daniel’s boss had recommended called Scarpetta. It’s inside the Cosmopolitan and gets two thumbs wayyyyy, way up. Literally the best pasta I’ve ever had. And after dinner, we went to see DAVID COPPERFIELD!! Which I sadly took no pictures of, because it’s not allowed. Lol.

David Copperfield is a legend, and I was really pumped about the chance to see him in person. Although, I have to admit – his show felt just a teeny bit stale, almost like he was a bit bored with it. I kind of get it though. After all, he’s been doing this for decades. But still, what a show!! He did multiple things we had no explanation for, including making enormous objects appear and disappear out of thin air. Definitely entertaining!

95B04F86-2319-43F6-AF7C-635F09C15E6F

On Friday, our final day in town, we wanted to visit Fremont Street. I wish we could have gone at night, but it was still neat to walk around and look at all the old neon (and people watch – there are some weeeeeeirdos in Old Vegas!!).

We ate lunch at a cute little place called Therapy that had amazing deconstructed s’mores and took a walk through Container Park, an offbeat mini shopping center built from shipping containers. The playground in the middle looked like a giant tree house. We were obsessed with the atmosphere and spent almost an hour just hanging out on the terrace before we had to head to the airport for our flight home.

Probably one of the funniest parts about planning this trip was trying to figure out what to do with our free time, besides eat. I remember googling “what to do in Vegas if you don’t gamble or go clubbing” and was a little surprised by how many articles popped up about things to do with your kids in Vegas. And I was just like, whyyyy would you ever take kids to Vegas?? Who knows.

All things considered, I don’t know that Vegas would have ever been on our bucket lists, but hey – if someone tells me I earned or won a free trip somewhere, I’m gonna go!! Thanks, MONAT, for an awesome getaway! ♥

 

6 Things That Helped Me Survive Keto

You might remember that last June, Daniel and I started something new: a ketogenic diet. We had both been struggling with discipline regarding food, and truthfully? I didn’t even care about how unhealthy I was. I knew my choices weren’t wise; I just didn’t care. But we reached a point where we both knew that something had to change. After seeing the results from a couple of friends who went on Keto, Daniel basically pushed us into it after our Colorado trip – and I am SO GLAD he did!! It was incredibly hard, but also incredibly worth it. I lost 30 pounds in a little over 3 months. Months later, it is still surreal to say that!

I was nervous in the beginning because of how many foods we had to give up. Tortillas, pasta, chips, potatoes, sweets – how would I survive?? My sugar detox was rough, and there were a few days when we didn’t feel great as our bodies adjusted to less calories and basically no carbs. But I can confidently say that if and when I diet at any point in the future, it will always be Keto. True, we had to give up a lot of things we liked to eat, but we were also allowed to eat a lot of things you wouldn’t normally eat on another diet, like butter, fatty meats, and dairy!

Again – I won’t lie and say it was easy. But after the first week or two, we fell into a familiar, comfortable rhythm. I understood what we could eat and what we couldn’t; I learned how to meal plan and prep; I found sugar-free desserts that satisfied my sweet tooth; and I lost almost all of my unhealthy cravings and gained more self control than I thought possible.

One of the best things to come out of the experience, besides the weight loss and healthier perspective on food, was getting to share it with others! I was so thankful for the advice we received from our friends, and I was so excited to jump on that train and be that helpful person for someone else. When you start something new, it always helps to hear tips from people who have already done it, so here are a few things that made the process easier for us!

1. This website.
This was my go-to for almost all of my Keto questions. Using the macros calculator is an absolute must to get you started, and the articles about food do’s and don’ts were super helpful.

2. This macro meal planning template.
Before I found this worksheet, I had to do all the macro math by hand. As long as you know your protein/fat/carb intake, all you have to do is type it in once and the formula calculates your totals for the week, including calories! This was an absolute Godsend.

3. Finding good recipes.
I cannot explain how overwhelming it was to keep track of my macros before I found Keto-specific recipes with the macros already listed. I was putting every single ingredient from a recipe into MyFitnessPal and dividing to find out the serving size. It was EXHAUSTING. When I discovered that I could search for Keto recipes, it changed everything. There are dozens of blogs who specialize in low-carb recipes, and they include the macros and nutrition facts for each recipe!! Some of my favorites were Low Carb Yum, Low Carb Maven, Peace Love and Low Carb, All Day I Dream About Food, Kasey Trenum, Ditch the Carbs, and Ruled.me. We were also really thankful for flavored sparkling water and chocolate chip cookie dough fat bombs!

4. MyFitnessPal.
Even though I used it more in the beginning before finding the excel template and simpler recipes, this was still really helpful throughout our diet. I used it to look up foods we hadn’t already eaten, or whenever we went out to eat. I also used it to find out the macros for recipes that didn’t have the nutrition facts listed.

5. Doing it with someone.
Dieting, reading through a Bible study, exercising, praying, traveling – honestly, this tip works better for just about anything. Daniel hit his weight goal before me, which meant I had about a month of a half of doing Keto by myself. It was much easier when we were both eating the same things, because we didn’t keep stuff we couldn’t have in the house. When he quit, it was so hard to watch him eat food that I couldn’t. Especially if you’re married or have roommates, just know that it is easier to stay disciplined when they are eating what you’re eating. But even if your spouse or roommate isn’t participating, having a Keto friend to hold you accountable definitely helps.

6. Seeing the weight loss in the mirror, not just on the scale.
Seeing numbers go down is one thing. But looking in the mirror and seeing your body transforming is another. I started to see a new person with each week that went by, and that felt absolutely amazing. I had more confidence in myself than I think I’ve ever had in my whole life, and that felt even more amazing!

If you’ve been on Keto before, what is your favorite Keto-friendly recipe? Please share!

Post-Keto Food I’m Dreaming About

If you haven’t already heard, I’ve been doing Keto since the end of June! My first blog post about it is here, and you can see my first before-and-after shot on my Instagram. My husband and I started Keto because we were in a total rut with our eating habits and needed something intense to snap us out of it. And it absolutely has. Daniel lost 23 pounds before he quit, and I’ve lost about 25! But my last 10 pounds have been the hardest to lose, and I am seriously about to scream. Daniel quit Keto early because he had already hit his weight goal and actually lost more than he meant to. Terrible problem, right?? Excuse me while I go punch something. Annnnnyway, I decided to keep going because I was so close to my goal. At first, it was fine doing Keto alone. Daniel told me not to cook anything different, which was really sweet. The next time I went to the store, I bought him a few snacks that I knew he missed (which he obviously appreciated). But as the weeks have gone by, I have found myself growing more and more impatient with my weight loss plateau. Y’all, I’ll be honest – I’m about done with this. I miss food like WHOA. Over the last week or so, I’ve been working on a list of all the specific things I can’t wait to eat as soon as I’m done with Keto, and OMGlookatallthecarbs:

French fries. (Far and away, the thing I’ve missed most.)
Biscuits.
Pancakes.
Pasta.
Warm, melty chocolate chip cookies.
All versions of popcorn.
Donuts.
Tortillas.
Chips.

And weirdly, that’s pretty much it! If you read my other post about all the foods I gave up in my first month, you’ll notice that list is significantly longer. I’ve been surprised by how many things I thought I would miss more that I haven’t really missed much at all. Even though we had to give up a lot of things, Keto was not that hard of a diet. We’ll definitely return to it in the future we we need a jumpstart again. In the meantime…….I’M SO READY TO BE DONE. Pray that these last 4-5 pounds will finally come off. And pray that I will have self-control not to stuff myself with carbs and gain all that weight back in the first three days.

For my buddies doing Keto – you’re doing so great!! Don’t give up!

The Best Alfredo Sauce You’ll Ever Try

GUYSSSSSSSS. I can’t believe it didn’t occur to me to share this recipe with you before now. I’m sorry, honestly. Because you’ve been living your whole life eating sub-par alfredo sauce, when you could have been eating this creamy goodness.

I found this recipe on the “Mmm…Cafe” blog via Pinterest a few years ago, and I haven’t used another recipe since. I’m not an “alfredo sauce out of a jar” kind of girl; it’s soooo much better when it’s homemade. But if you ARE an “out of a jar” kind of person, just know that this recipe is incredibly easy and doesn’t take much time to make. We’ve eaten it on top of all kinds of pasta, and we even ate it just with chicken when we couldn’t have pasta because of the Keto diet! No matter how many times I make it, it always tastes just as good.

HOMEMADE Alfredo Sauce

Literally the best. You won’t find a better recipe than this. 

PREP TIME: 5 MINUTES
COOK TIME: 20-25 MINUTES
YIELD: 2½ cups

INGREDIENTS

½ cup butter
½  tsp. garlic
2 oz. cream cheese
2 cups heavy cream
2 tsp. garlic powder
salt and pepper
⅔ cup Parmesan cheese

INSTRUCTIONS

In a medium-to-large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for one minute or until fragrant. Add cream cheese and whisk until smooth. Whisk in heavy cream. Season with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and whisk frequently until sauce thickens, approx. 15 minutes. Stir in Parmesan cheese and reduce heat; remove from heat once cheese is melted and serve immediately over pasta. Garnish however you like – chicken, shrimp, fresh herbs, or (my personal fav) extra Parmesan!

I mean….you’re welcome. ;) Go forth and cook!

Literally Just a List of Food I Haven’t Eaten in a Month

Bread, in all its glorious forms.
Pasta.
Rice.
French fries.
Mashed potatoes.
Baked potatoes.
Scalloped potatoes.
Sweet potatoes.
ALL POTATOES OKAY.
Ice cream.
Cake.
Chocolate chip cookies.
All other (less worthy) desserts.
Milk.
Pizza.
Chips.
Tortillas.
Donuts.
Carrots.
All fruit, except berries.
Fried food.
Soda.
Juice.
Lemonade.
Snow cones.
Corn.
Gum, mints, and candy.
Crackers.
Pretzels.
Popcorn.
Granola bars.

We started the Keto diet on June 21, meaning it has been exactly one month since we’ve eaten any of those things. And you know what? I’ve survived. I didn’t think I would, but I have. This is sort of a humble-brag (sorry), but I really just want to be able to come back to this post and remember that I actually did this. I’m not saying I want to do Keto forever, but what a wake-up call it has been! God has been really gracious to me, because I was truly expecting Keto to be the worst, hardest thing ever…and it honestly has not been half as bad as I thought it would be. I’ll be thankful forever that we decided to do this. I am more disciplined about food than I have ever been in my life, even when I was doing the DietBet. I’m praying earnestly that God gives me the ability to maintain this new discipline, especially if and when we allow ourselves to start eating some of those things again. But in the meantime, while we’re still on Keto, I’ll eat all the bacon, cheese, butter, and cream I want and enjoy it with all my heart. ;)

Would anyone be interested in hearing more about our decision to do this or taking look at my recipes and meal plans? Let me know in the comments, and I might do a follow-up post!

DIY Healthy Snack Bins

I’m so glad Pinterest exists.

I love snacking way too much, and I’m much more likely to grab something unhealthy when I get the munchies, especially since unhealthy things are so convenient. But I finally bit the bullet and brought one of my multiple-years-old Pinterest pins to life: a grab-and-go snack bin!

I made one box for the fridge and another for the pantry. This project only took me about 20 minutes to do, and I didn’t spend any extra money than I usually would at the store.

Here’s what I picked for each box:

FRIDGE:
String cheese/co-jack cheese slices
Honeycrisp apples
Tapioca pudding
Strawberries
Red grapes
Petite baby carrots

PANTRY:
Ritz cracker sandwiches
Pretzels
White cheddar popcorn
Granola bars
Trail mix

Before you judge me, I realize that not all of these are necessarily “healthy.” But everything is around 150 calories or less, and the fact that the snacks are prepackaged forces me to eat smaller portions. And that is a big step forward, because now, I no longer have an excuse for eating an entire family-size bag of white cheddar popcorn in one sitting.

I’ll definitely keep up with this project! I’ve already decided to change up the box every so often with different easy snacks, like…

⋅ Hard-boiled eggs
⋅ Sliced cantaloupe
⋅ Homemade protein balls
⋅ Bananas w/ peanut butter
⋅ Edamame
⋅ Yogurt cups
⋅ Dried fruit
⋅ Homemade popcorn

Feeling inspired and/or ambitious? Let me know what you think in the comments! Or better yet, go make one of your own, and send me a picture! Happy Monday, y’all :)

World’s Okayest Party Planner: Part II

img_1753

I realize I haven’t thrown THAT many parties, but this will probably always be one of my favorites, no matter how many more I plan. I started planning this party the moment I found out Daniel had passed his first CPA exam. I didn’t know when I would get to bring it to life, but I knew it would happen eventually! I never doubted that he would pass every exam, and this party was the perfect way to celebrate his hard work.

img_1728

I also realize that camping and lumberjacks aren’t really a “new” party theme, but I thought it would be a fun theme for a manly celebration. The best part was that pretty much all of this party was DIY! The main way I kept costs down was by borrowing and re-purposing most of the decorations. My mom is one of those party-planning, quilt-making, dessert-baking, basically-everything-domestic creative geniuses, and she always adds such perfect touches in her own decorating. I knew I could count on her to have some cute camping/outdoors-themed stuff. The main pieces I borrowed from her were the red/white tablecloth, the red lantern, the silver campfire coffee pot, and the big wood slices (LOVE these). My favorite big decorations, though, were the burlap and plaid strip banner behind the food table, and the “YAY” backdrop with the gold CPA balloons!

The camping-themed menu included:

  • Pretzels and caramel corn
  • Apple cider
  • A chili and hot dog bar with lots of toppings
  • S’mores cupcakes
  • Candy corn and candy pumpkins

The cupcakes didn’t turn out quite like I planned, but my meltdown only lasted about 3 minutes, and then I got over myself and made it work. GIANT shout out to my mom and my mom-in-law for helping with everything from food to serving to helping clean up!

I think I mentioned this before, but I find beauty in little details. Sometimes the smallest things can make a big impact. For example, for this party, we ate off of metal pie tins instead of plain old plates! (Sidebar: I wanted to get wooden silverware, but I ran out of time. Boo.) Mom also made the cutest tiny tree confetti to sprinkle on the tables, and I used other little things like my wood candle holders, my mustache mug, and the blue speckled spoons (also from my mom) to reinforce the woodsy, manly vibe.

The best part, of course, was the people who came. Their love and support was overwhelming, and it was so much fun to celebrate with a group of people who love Daniel genuinely and prayed faithfully for us during that season of our marriage!

If you need help planning a party on a budget, picking a theme, or figuring out a menu or decorating scheme…let me know! I’d love to schedule a consultation (a fancy word for “let’s go get ice cream and hang out”). Hope you have a lovely week!

World’s Okayest Party Planner – Part I

img_1533

Sometimes, I wish that I could just do nothing but plan parties for people I love! It brings me such a unique kind of joy, and it’s one of the only talents I have that I’m genuinely confident about. I’m okay at the piano and I’m an okay singer; I’m barely okay at decorating my house; and I guess I’m okay at writing? But give me a party to plan and I truly feel like I’m in my element.

Last fall gave me two opportunities to share my gifts – (1) a rain-themed baby shower for my dear friend Kelli, her husband Blake, and their son Elijah, and (2) a woodsy, lumberjack bash to celebrate Daniel passing the CPA exams. First was the shower for the Moore family!

Whenever I plan a party, one of my consistent goals is to stay away from anything that is done too often. I like unique themes and little details that make a big statement. My inspiration for Kelli’s shower came from this cute pin I found on Pinterest a few years ago – I mean, Babybel cheese umbrellas?? Come on. I had to.

The final menu included:

  • Chocolate chip and cinnamon streusel muffins
  • Rainbow fruit
  • Babybel cheese umbrellas
  • Cloud and raindrop sugar cookies
  • Turquoise punch (a fancier way of saying “I mixed lemonade and Sprite together, and then spent about 10 minutes trying to put in the perfect amount of blue food coloring”)

I was thrilled with how everything came together! I had a few mishaps, but nothing too tragic. Although I can definitely tell you that I never want to cut out a tiny cloud by hand…ever…again.

Hands down, these were my two favorite things – the ‘too cute to eat’ cookies made by the very talented Marissa Dodd, and the cloud straws (AKA my labor of love).

Cute little parents :)

I think the most fun part was the games. I created something called the Blind Olympics, which consisted of 3 different games that all had to be completed blindfolded. Some were done on teams, and some were completed alone, but all were hilarious. I wish I had taken more pictures of them!

The first game was called “Clean Up After the Baby.” We set up a line of chairs, and one member from each team sat down facing the rest of the group, blindfolded. They were given one bowl full of cotton balls to hold in their lap, an empty bowl to hold on top of their head, and a spoon. The first person to scoop all of the cotton balls out of the bowl in their lap and put them in the bowl on their head was the winner.

The second game was called “Draw the Baby” and was inspired by the game on this post! Instead of just drawing a baby blindfolded, the participants were given a ridiculously short time limit to finish their drawing. They were also given instructions while drawing, such as “Now give the baby an article of clothing” or “Now set the scene – is the baby outside throwing water balloons, or inside drawing on the walls…?” Kelli and Blake judged the drawings and picked two winners: Most Likely to Look Like Their Baby and Most Terrifying-Looking Baby of All Time.

The last game (the BEST game) was called “Feed the Baby.” I divided everyone in to teams of two, and each team was given a jar of applesauce and two spoons. Everyone blindfolded themselves and stood in two lines, each person facing their partner. When I said “go,” the team members fed the applesauce to each other at the same time. The first duo to finish their applesauce won! I don’t think I stopped laughing the entire time they played.

Even the prizes followed the ‘blind’ theme: winners from each game got to draw a random prize out of a giant mystery prize box! I wrapped the top of the box with wrapping paper and cut a hole in the middle, large enough so they could reach in but couldn’t see what they were grabbing. The prizes included cute kitchen towels, Cheese Whiz, movie theater boxes of candy, a top hat, a whoopie cushion, alphabet fridge magnets, an extra-large mason jar travel mug with a lid and straw…all kinds of nonsense.

img_1531

If you liked this party, you’ll definitely want to read my next post: Daniel’s lumberjack CPA bash! Coming soon! :)

A Simma 4th of July

image

Second only to Christmas, the 4th of July is probably my favorite holiday because of how many good memories I associate with it: grilling out, watching fireworks from blankets and truck beds, making patriotic crafts and singing patriotic songs, playing board games, and more than anything, spending sweet time with family.

I was SOOOO lucky this year, because some of my cousins came to visit all the way from Mississippi!! The last time I saw these kiddos was at my wedding! Look at Betsey and Lanah – they were so teeny! ♥

My weekend started out with a FaceTime session the little brother and helping the little sis move into her first apartment!

I still can’t believe she’s actually old enough to be done with college and about to start her first real grown-up teaching job. *feels*

The rest of the weekend with my little (and big) cousins was completely wonderful! We spent a bunch of time coloring, playing my dad’s player piano, watching movies (Ever After and Singing in the Rain), eating candy constantly, and playing Apples to Apples.

For our 4th of July cookout at the house, I got the chance to make a new recipe I stole from my pal Ashley McCain – jello watermelon – and it was a big hit!

It’s easier to make than you might think, but it looks like you spent an impressive amount of time pulling it off!

The only thing missing from our family celebration was Daniel. :( He needed to study for his upcoming CPA exam, and it was better for him to stay home so he wasn’t distracted. I was happy to get home to him and Fitz at the end of the weekend, and we celebrated together by grabbing fast food and watching the fireworks show in town.

Real life = dogs don’t have the patience to pose for pictures like humans.

I know it’s a month late, but what is your favorite 4th of July tradition?

Homemade Mashed Potatoes

image

I may not be good at a lot of things…but one thing I AM good at is mashed potatoes.

My recipe is COMPLETELY made up, so most of my directions include the words “until it looks/tastes right”, but whatever.

Start by gathering your ingredients. Potatoes are awesome in that you can season them pretty much however you want, but personally, I like to use butter, garlic powder, salt, parsley, sour cream, and milk or cream. Feeling creative? Try out your own seasoning combinations and let me know what you use!


Homemade Mashed Potatoes

Two words: SO. GOOD. Served most often with baked breaded chicken and green beans.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20-30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

1 large Russet potato
2-4 tablespoons butter (depending on how much you’re channeling Paul Dean)
Sour cream (a heaping spoonful)
Milk or cream (until it looks right)
Garlic powder (until it tastes right)
Kosher salt (until it tastes right)
Parsley (a few pinches)

Instructions

1. Fill pot with cold water and a pinch or two of salt. Set aside.
2. Wash and peel potato. Chop into small pieces and pour into pot. Turn burner on and heat to boiling, then reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
3. Keep the potatoes simmering for 15-30 minutes, depending on how big your pieces are. If you’re not sure if they are done, taste one!
4. Drain VERY well and return potatoes to the pot.
5. Begin adding ingredients, starting with the butter and sour cream. This is very important – be gentle with your mashing! You don’t want to over-mash, or they’ll taste like glue. Mash just a little for chunkier potatoes, or longer for smoother potatoes.Slowly incorporate new ingredients one at a time. Add milk or cream until your desired consistency is achieved.
6. Season to taste with garlic powder, salt, and parsley (or add your own flavors!).

If you don’t get them right the first time, keep practicing! It took me awhile to really perfect mine. Happy eating!


What’s your go-to recipe, the one you KNOW you’re good at? I want to know!