These loaded bacon ranch duchess potatoes are a fancy twist on classic mashed potatoes, but loaded with all the greatness of baked potatoes. Eat them duchess style or just as mashed potatoes for dinner tonight!
Did you ever watch Road Rules on MTV back in the day? The fact that I have to say, “Back in the day” is distressing to me, but as an avid MTV watcher – when my mom wasn’t around – I loved Road Rules and The Real World. And when they combined into one show for the Real World/Road Rules Challenge, I was like Bam Reality TV-Ception!!!! Real World Seattle (duh), and Real World Hawaii and New Orleans were my favorite seasons.
But there was one season of the Real World / Road Rules Challenge that I always remember – because of one particular challenge. Both groups were parked out on their respective RV’s and given their clue – which frankly I can’t remember – but it told them in so many puns and alliterations to get their butts to sleep because the next challenge would test their sleep deprived mental fotitude. Basically the Real World team actually slept, and the Road Rulers didn’t – and after staying up for 48 hours doing mind teasers, simple math and identifying song lyrics of MTV artists, it became painfully aware that after hour 30 of no-sleep that even doing 2+9-5 was a test of will.
That’s about how I felt yesterday. After one hour of sleep and a 12 hour work day. And after a flight that was delayed three times in Denver (once for computer issues – cue panic!) and didn’t get me home and in bed until 2:30 in the morning, when I had to be up and back to work at 6am. More on this next week.
I love sleeping, it’s my favorite.
If I don’t get my 7 hours I’m a royal wreck. Yesterday, work was all the hards because I couldn’t even remember where a document I update daily lived – on my desktop. My brain had all but cracked open my head, hung a “left for lunch” sign on my forehead and never returned.
With nine hours of sleep under my belt now, I feel like a champ and can testify to the restorative properties of sleep.
But it’s not just sleep that is so important, but good and nutritious food. For this recipe, I have teamed up with Idaho Potatoes to help bring awareness to Meals on Wheels and providing good food to those less able. Right now, during the Virtual Side Dish Challenge, some of your favorite bloggers are teaming up and throwing down with their favorite potato recipes, for a chance to win $5,000 for their own local Meals on Wheels programs. I’m so pleased to be apart of this adventure and know that this kind of money in any community can do some serious good.
Please take the time to go vote for your favorite recipe -*Cough* Mine *cough* and bring some light into the lives of seniors today.
Now, I think it’s just about time for a nap.
Loaded Bacon Ranch Duchess Potatoes (or Loaded Bacon Ranch Mashed Potatoes)
5 pounds Idaho® Russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
4 tablespoon butter, cubed
6 ounces cream cheese
½ cup half and half
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 package powdered ranch dip mix
5 slices bacon, cookies and finely chopped
2 stalks green onion, finely minced
1 ½ cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1. In a large stockpot, add quartered potatoes. Fill the stockpot with cold water until potatoes are covered. Cover the stockpot with a lid and bring the potatoes to a boil. Boil until the potatoes are fork tender. A fork should be able to pass through the potato without the potato falling apart. Drain potatoes.
2. Pour potatoes into a large mixing bowl, or a stand mixer bowl outfitted with a paddle attachment. Turn mixer onto low, or using potato mash, mash potatoes until they are smooth. Add in butter, cream cheese and half and half and mix in. Once incorporated, sprinkle in pepper, and powdered ranch dip mix, stir in. Finally, mix in bacon, green onion and cheddar cheese. Mix until all ingredients are evenly distributed.
3. Preheat oven to 375F. Outfit a piping bag, like one used in cake decorating, with a coupler and a large tip with a wide decorative pattern. Fill the piping bag with the mixed potatoes and pipe into tall round stacks onto a non-stick baking sheet that has been sprayed lightly with non-stick spray.
4. Bake until potatoes turn golden brown on top, about 20-30 minutes. Remove from baking sheet with a spatula and serve immediately.