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Archive for March 13, 2012

TIP OF THE DAY: Mashed Potato Martini

Mashed potatoes are more festive in a
martini glass…with custom toppings. Photo


Yesterday we suggested a baked potato bar. Today, we’re adapting the idea to mashed potatoes—specifically, a Mashed Potato Martini.

This could be the best mashed potato recipe: a fun and memorable way to serve guests.

You dish out the mashed potatoes in a Martini glass, and then provide toppings for each diner to customize the dish.

If you don’t have martini glasses, use whatever dishware/glassware you have, or consider plastic rocks glasses from the supermarket.

If you want a special St. Patrick’s Day version, head to the green toppings underneath the main list.

This recipe is courtesy of Erica Moore-Ciganovic, Chef/Owner of Bonne Bouffe Catering in Los Angeles. More wonderful potato recipes are available at


Mashed Potato Toppings

Offer some of these toppings—as many different choices as your time, budget and fun factor allow.

  • Dairy: compound butter, crumbled Gorgonzola, finely shredded cheese, freshly grated Parmesan, horseradish creme, sour cream, whipped Butter
  • Meat: crumbled hickory bacon, grilled tri-tip sliced thin, julienne of rosemary chicken, sautéed turkey sausage with cranberries and sage, spicy duck sausage with cilantro and spices, sweet Italian chicken sausage
  • Seafood: black caviar, garlic sautéed rock shrimp, Norwegian smoked salmon, poached lobster
  • Vegetables: artichoke hearts, basil pesto, caramelized onions, caramelized peppers, chopped scallions, chopped tomato salsa with capers, crisp potato ribbons, grilled zucchini and summer squash, hearts of palm, onion confit, onion crisps, roasted Japanese eggplant slivers, sautéed wild mushrooms, steamed broccoli, sundried tomatoes
  • More: country gravy, diced jalapeños, toasted pumpkin seeds, salt and pepper, herbs (basil, cilantro and parsley are good for starters), roasted garlic
    Green Potato Toppings

  • Creamed spinach
  • Diced green bell peppers
  • Green herbs: shredded basil, snipped chives, dill and/or parsley
  • Minced jalapeños (seeds removed)
  • Pesto
  • Salsa verde
  • Sliced green onions
    How many types of potatoes have you had?

    Check out our spudly Potato Glossary.

    Find more of our favorite vegetables and recipes.


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    ST. PATRICK’S DAY: Green Velvet Cupcakes Recipe

    If your family loves red velvet cupcakes, surprise them with these green velvet cupcakes for St. Patrick’s Day. The recipe, from, is a small switch-up that will create a lasting memory.

    A green twist on classic red velvet, these cupcakes take basic cake mix to delicious new heights with the addition of Pure Vanilla Extract, green food color, sour cream and cocoa powder.

    This recipe, for 24 cupcakes, uses a cake mix. Feel free to bake your own favorite chocolate cupcakes from scratch.

    With the mix, prep time is 20 minutes, cook time is 20 minutes.


    Ingredients For Cake

  • 1 package (18-1/4 ounces) German chocolate cake mix
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 bottle (1 ounce) green food color
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Cream cheese frosting (recipe below)
  • Green sprinkles or sanding sugar

    Red velvet becomes green velvet for St. Patrick’s Day. Photo courtesy McCormick.


    Ingredients For Cream Cheese Frosting (White)

    Makes 2-1/2 cups. If desired, you can divide the batch in half and color one batch with 1/2 teaspoon green food color.

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 box (16 ounces) confectioners’ sugar

    1. Make Batter. Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat cake mix, sour cream, water, cocoa powder, oil, food color, eggs and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on low speed just until moistened, scraping sides of bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes.

    2. Fill. Pour batter into 24 paper-lined muffin cups, filling each cup 2/3 full.

    3. Bake & Cool. Bake 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely on wire rack.

    4. Make Frosting. In large bowl, beat cream cheese with butter, sour cream and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in sugar, until smooth. Makes 2-1/2 cups.

    5. Frost & Decorate. Frost with cream cheese frosting. Decorate with sprinkles or sanding sugar, if desired.

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    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: The Best Sweet Potato Chips From Food Should Taste Good

    Our new chip of choice. Photo by Elvira
    Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.


    Love super-crunchy chips? How about sweet potatoes?

    Then you may fall in love with the new line of sweet potato chips from Food Should Taste Good.

    Available in three flavors plus Original, these thick, crunchy chips are more than snacks. They can be used as the base of canapés without cracking and garnish a bowl of soup without getting soggy.

    If you like to mix and match ingredients in creative ways, you’ll find many uses for them beyond enjoying them, chip by chip, from the bag or bowl.

    Read the full review to discover why sweet potato chips are better for you, and why they don’t get any better than these choice chips from Food Should Taste Good.

    Find more of our favorite chips in our Gourmet Snacks Section.



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