Portobello Layered Mashed Potatoes.

Today was a dinner-cooking day, which always takes me back to my culinary school days.  When I first started school, I found it so strange to be cooking such heavy dinner food so early in the morning, but eventually I got used to it.  Today was a similar feeling.  Mashed potatoes at 9am – why not? 

I started by bringing my potatoes up to a boil in a big pot.

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The recipe I was using called for buttermilk, but I knew we didn’t have any in the farm kitchen.  Substitution time!  Do you guys know this trick?

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You can actually MAKE your own faux-buttermilk by combining regular milk with lemon juice.  Just add 1 tbsp of lemon juice to a measuring up, and the fill the rest of the way with milk.  Let it sit for at least 5 minutes, and voila – buttermilk!

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After about 25 minutes of simmering, my potatoes were nice and soft and ready for mashing. 

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Into the mixer – skins and all!  I almost never remove the skins on anything.  A lot of people think it’s strange, but I leave the skin on carrots, beets, you name it – that’s where a bulk of the nutrients and fiber are hiding, so why would I take it off?

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Added in the “buttermilk” along with some nutmeg, salt, and pepper, and let ‘er rip.

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Mmmmmm.  I almost never make mashed potatoes, so this was a fun treat.

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Fluffy and perfect!

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No matter what the time may be (ahem, 10am), it is always important to taste the food you are serving.

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But of course I wasn’t just making mashed potatoes.  That would be silly.  The main inspiration for this meal came from a very LARGE box of mushrooms I am trying to use up.  I pulled out every single portobello…

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And chopped them all up into bite sized hunks!

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Then I sauteed a little onions and garlic…

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And added in the yummy ‘shrooms.

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Cooked them down, added some fresh basil, and gave them a few more stirs.

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Now comes the fun part.  It was a layered portobello mashed potato dish, so I started with a layer of my freshly mashed taters on the bottom of a baking dish.

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Next, I topped the potato layer with a mushroom layer…

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And continued to layer until I ran out of food!

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Perfect amount!

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I topped it off with some shaved parmesan cheese, a sprinkle of paprika, and a quick drizzle of olive oil. 

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Popped it into the oven at 375 for 30 minutes, and before I knew it I had this golden beauty…

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Hello delicious!

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I was really excited out how well this turned out!

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It’s so hard to cook food for people and not know how the final product turns out.  So hard, in fact, that this might have happened…

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Smoooooothed the hole over with the melty cheese…

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Shhhhhh…like it never happened. 

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After work I went on an impulse trip to the mall.  Casey and I are headed to Indianapolis for a wedding this weekend, and I am SO sick of all my dresses.  I tried to find one a few weeks ago, but had no luck. 

If you followed my saga on Twitter, you know that I had major issues at the mall.  Rather than being between sizes, I feel like I am between AGES in clothing – too old for Forever 21, but too young for department stores and women’s wear.  I went to the only place I knew I could count on – Anthropologie.

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I may have spent a little more than I had planned, but I have already decided to rock this baby at the Healthy Living Summit cocktail party, and again at a rehearsal dinner in October!  See, already I’ve divided the price by three – score!

Tomorrow is a staff lunch day, and then I’m hitting the VERY long road to Indianapolis.  The car ride is just over ten hours – ouch!  I’ll be blogging from the road, and sharing all sorts of fun wedding details with you guys this weekend. 

Tomorrow is FRIDAY!  :)