Recipe: Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Often it is the little, simple dishes that make people really happy. I think mashed potatoes are the perfect example. Creamy, buttery, smooth, not too whipped and perfectly seasoned. Mashed potatoes are the perfect side dish underneath osso buco or next to a seared beef filet.

There are several steps to making mashed potatoes come out as the kind of side dish that everyone wants - so I always feature them in at least one of my fall cooking classes. Therefore (a very long) but great description of how to make the very best mashed potatoes possible.


Recipe: Flavored Oils

Flavored Oils are fabulous - they can add or improve many types of dishes (meat, fish, pasta) in a lot of different ways.

For you diet-doers - oils can add flavor to a dish without the fat, calories, etc. that are usually involved in enjoying a typical sauce with your meal. (Like the wateress puree sauce I had Friday night at City Zen - we are talking pureed watercress added to about 4 oz. of clarifed butter - AWESOME! - but not a Diet-Tiers' sauce)

If you have acid reflux or something similar a flavored oil is a great thing to mix in with your salads - therefore enjoying the 'vinaigrette-like' flavors - without the problems associated with additional acid in your diet.

Flavored oils are also a great way to inpart 'color' or 'design' into a presentation - while limiting the additional complications of the flavors of the dish. I am sure we have all eaten at a restaurant where we are served a dish that has some pretty red or green dots on it. Noticing that there are only a few dots on our plate, we dip our fork in it - taste it - and realize it is roasted pepper or basil flavored. Therefore, it is not there to be a 'sauce' per say - but sure makes your dinner look a whole lot more exciting.

Oils are super easy to make. The only problems that arise could be when making 'green colored' oils. I'll list a few different recipes for some of my favorite oils and then go into a little detail on how to make a great - and exceptionally bright and vibrant green - oil.

Book Signing: Rachael Ray

Don't miss your chance to meet and greet Rachael Ray!

Where:Wegmans - The Dulles/Sterling, VA Store,(Directions)

When: Thursday, December 15th - Noon

Why: Her Most Recent Book 365: No Repeats

Rules of the Wegman/Rachael Signing: You must buy the book at Wegmans sometime between now and then, because in order to get in line to get your book signed, you have to show them (1) Her Book and (2) The Receipt of Purchase from Wegmans. On December 15th, you need to get there early because you have to wait in line at their customer service desk to get a 'ticket' (verifiying your purchase there), which allows you to get in line to have her sign your book.

Thankfully Wegmans is at least offering the book at a 20% discount starting November 1st. Ms. Ray will only be signing 300 peoples books and only signing first names - due to a limitation on time - and will NOT SIGN any other books or memorabilia at the signing.(Ahhh...the power of the Ray!)