Potatoes on Monday. Potatoes again today. Too bad I don't have the power to declare national holidays; I would declare this week to be week of the potato.
A local restaurant makes the most amazing garlic, cream cheese mashed potatoes. (They have great martinis, too, which, oddly enough, go really well with the aforementioned mashed potatoes.) These potatoes are the potatoes against which each recipe I try at home is judged.
This recipe is the closest I've gotten.
Creamy Mashed Potatoes
Taken from Pioneer Woman Cooks (p. 146 - 148)
Makes 4 servings
2 1/2 lb Yukon Gold potatoes
6 Tbsp butter, softened
2 Tbsp butter (optional), softened
4 oz cream cheese
1/4 (or slightly more) C half-and-half
1/4 tsp season salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of water to a slow boil over medium-high heat.
Peel potatoes and rinse in cold water. Chop in halves and/or fourths for quick and even cooking. Add potatoes to pot. Increase heat to high and bring to full boil. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes. The potatoes are ready when they are poked easily with a fork.
Drain potatoes. Return to pot on low heat.
Mash potatoes over low heat until steam escapes. Continue mashing about 2 minutes or until all lumps are gone. Turn off heat.
Add butter and cream cheese. Add half-and-half. Stir.
Add seasonings and adjust to taste.
Spread potatoes in 1-quart baking dish. Add 2 Tbsp sliced butter (optional). Bake covered at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.
I realize that the picture I included is terrible. Don't let it cloud your judgment. Potatoes just aren't particularly photogenic. These potatoes are perfect in every way.