Thursday, January 20, 2011

Smashed Potatoes

This really isn't the best picture, but these are the best potatoes!

2 lbs red potatoes (about 16 small to med; 2 inches in diameter), scrubbed
1 1/2 tsp salt, divided
1 bay leaf
4 tbs unsalted butter, melted and warm
½ cup cream cheese (4 oz), room temperature
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3 tbs chopped fresh chives or 4 ½ tsp dried (optional)

1. Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with 1 inch cold water; add 1 teaspoon salt and the bay leaf. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently until a paring knife can be inserted into the potatoes with no resistance, 35 to 45 minutes. Reserve ½ cup of the cooking water, then drain the potatoes. Return the potatoes to the pot, discard the bay leaf, and allow the potatoes to stand in the pot, uncovered, until the surfaces are dry, about 5 minutes.

2. While the potatoes dry, whisk the melted butter and softened cream cheese in a medium bowl until smooth and fully incorporated. Add ¼ cup of the reserved cooking water, ½ teaspoon pepper, the chives (if using), and ½ teaspoon salt. Using a rubber spatula or the back of a wooden spoon, smash the potatoes just enough to break the skins. Fold in the butter-cream cheese mixture until most of the liquid has been absorbed and chunks of potatoes remain. Add more cooking water 1 tablespoon at a time as needed, until the potatoes are slightly looser than desired (the potatoes will thicken slightly with standing). Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper; serve immediately.

Notes: White potatoes can be used instead of red, but reds are so much better. Try to get potatoes of equal size; if that’s not possible, test the larger potatoes for doneness (using a paring knife). If you only larger potatoes, increase the cooking time by about 10 minutes. I usually end up using all of the reserved liquid, it will look a little loose at first, but after standing for five or so minutes, the potatoes soak up all the excess.

Monday, January 17, 2011

No one likes a whiner

I don't think I've ever posted anything on my blog about being pregnant. I think that most of the people that read my blog are also facebook friends, so even though I'm not a great blogger, most of you knew. For those unfortunate facebook friends, you've also been subjected to quite a few days of whining. I would like to think that I'm not a whiner by nature. Whenever I have to listen to whiners, it annoys me, so I try to return the favor. I will make my children repeat things multiple times, just so they realize that I will not respond to them if they whine.

I am due on February 1. I still have about two more weeks, and yet, I have been incredibly anxious to have this baby. Jacob (my youngest) was born three weeks early, and I anticipated something similar to happen with this baby. I started dilating more than two weeks ago, which is nothing new for me. However, I usually don't progress much past a two before I go into full blown labor. Yet, a week ago, I was at a 3.5-4, hence my delusion that I would go into labor last week. When I didn't, I was of course discouraged (bag packed twice, mom called once, contractions stopped each time). When my friends (one due before me and one due after me) both had their babies on the same day, discouraged doesn't cover how I felt. So, I continued on with the whining.

So what does this have to do with anything?! I'm trying to go back to my normal self. Here's my new outlook. My next appointment is Thursday, maybe I'll have dilated further, maybe not. The good news though, is that my doctor told me earlier that Friday is the earliest the hospital will allow him to induce me. Maybe he'll schedule me for Friday, maybe not, but schedule me he will. By going the route of induction, I have a few bonuses. Anyone who knows me, knows that I'm a planner. This is why induction appeals to me. I get to plan the day, I can be sure I'll have someone here to watch my older kids, and I'm guaranteed that my doctor will be the one to deliver me. Will I make it to Thursday? Probably. All I know is, I'm tired of my pity party. It's not helping, it makes me grouchy and short with my kids, it makes my husband look at me with pity, and leaves him feeling more helpless about the situation. So, when she's ready, she'll come...or the Pitocin will evict her.