*Note: Just as I was saving my post last night, I saw Rachel's post about the very same book. How very serendipitous that we were thinking along the same path!
A favorite series of books at our house is Charlie and Lola. Recently, we laughed through this one:
I'm enjoying this phase in my daughter's childhood (babyhood) where she eats pretty much whatever I put in front of her or in her mouth, and I'm simultaneously mourning that those very days are somewhat in the past for my 3-year-old son. He's actually not too terribly picky, but where and when do they figure out that certain foods are ones they don't like, when they used to gobble them up??
Anyway, in the book, Lola states, in no uncertain terms, that she will never eat carrots, peas, potatoes, fish sticks, cauliflower, sausages and especially tomatoes. Charlie, humored by her stubbornness, ever-so-sneakily convinces her to eat "orange twiglets" and "green drops from Greenland" (very rare!).
Lola will not eat potatoes, "not even mashed!" only to be told they are not having potatoes, but cloud fluff all the way from the top of Mount Fuji. Mashed potatoes are not on the list of disliked foods in our house, but in case they make their debut on said list, I'll keep the "cloud fluff" idea in my back pocket. Until then, here's my favorite way to make mashed potatoes (they turn out a little different every time depending on how much of the ingredients I have on hand).
Garlic Cheese Mashed Potatoes
4-5 large potatoes, cubed and boiled until tender (*see note)
3 large cloves garlic, boiled with the potatoes
3 ounces cream cheese (I've also used Ricotta cheese when I have some)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
chopped herbs to your taste (chives, oregano, thyme, rosemary)
Put all ingredients except herbs in large mixing bowl and blend together until smooth with electric mixer. It is possible to overwhip your mashed potatoes, as they will turn into a glue-like mess, so just mix it until all the ingredients are blended. For smoother texture, put cooked potatoes and garlic through a potato ricer. Add more milk if you like it less stiff. Fold in herbs at the end or sprinkle on top. So delicious you don't even need gravy!
*Note: I like to use Yukon gold potatoes because I just scrub them and don't worry about peeling them. A little bit of thin peel is not enough to make it chewy but adds to the rustic-ness (is that a word?). The texture of the potato is more starchy and, hence, creamier. If you are using Russet potatoes, here's a great video on how to peel them in a snap - I tried it and it works!