Holidays can give any host serious heartburn in more ways than one. Whole-house-cleanup, taking the dogs to the groomers, purchasing glorious matching holiday sweaters for the entire family and rolling out a spread that would put Julia Child herself to shame makes anyone’s to-do list UN-doable.
My game in the midst of holiday madness is to do a few things ahead to make life much easier. Sometimes this notion is easier said than done, but with a bit of prep and some delegating, you’ll be on the path to the perfect party in no time at all!
The recipe I’m sharing today is a family favorite and a most requested at parties it makes an appearance. I love making mashed potato casserole because it is easily made the day ahead and the flavor combinations are endless! I substitute AE Sour Cream Dips in a variety of flavors in my traditional mashed potatoes and in this casserole recipes like this too. Amplifying flavors in common dishes is the best way to make them stand out. Take your mashed potatoes from “meh.” to “magnificent!” with a simple swap.
Here are my favorite AE Sour Cream Dips that I regularly substitute with:
AE Toasted Onion Sour Cream Dip: stirred into soups instead of heavy cream, it adds a punch of brightness and acidity from the sour cream and additional complementary flavor! Anytime I need a sour cream garnish or a mayo replacement on a sandwich, this fan favorite is my go-to.
AE Chive Sour Cream Dip: Hands down, my traditional style favorite. Best on and in my Buttermilk Mashed Potato recipe. Also amazing added into ranch dressing to thicken it up a bit for various uses.
AE Bacon French Onion Dip: This is a new one, we use it on everything and I can tell you at a party, it is the first bowl that becomes empty.
AE French Onion Sour Cream Dip & AE Garlic Sour Cream Dip: These two see regular appearances because: variety! There are endless options, and the garlic version is excellent on baked potatoes!
Holiday Hosting Tips:
#1. Festive Friends: Go in on a party with friends. Have one friend provide the location, a couple friends responsible for the food and the wildest friend responsible for the drinks.
#2. Delegate Duties: Share duties amongst friends and if you are the CEO of this Christmas party and Patty can’t decide if she should bring her bacon wrapped smokies or a spread of crackers and cheese, JUST TELL HER. And ask her if she wouldn’t mind picking up XYZ… if it makes your life easier. Assuming you have good friends, just trust that they want to help you. And let them.
#3. Tasty Activities: People love to taste test at parties, I know this from experience. So whether it is a pie tasting, or a battle between local favorites: AE Egg Nog vs. AE Hazelnut Chocolate Milk, people love casting their ballot for winning local flavors.
#4. Flavors Forever: Have exciting diverse flavors at your holiday gathering. Substitute plain ingredients with flavored ones like traditional sour cream with AE Bacon French Onion Sour Cream Dip in any recipe. You’re guaranteed to get the taste buds of your guests dancing before the music begins!
Makes 1 9×13 casserole, 12-15 servings as a side
4 lbs. potatoes, peeled and chopped. (Boiled until tender, mashed.)
*Or alternatively, 3 packets of instant mashed potatoes prepared according to packet instructions.
1 8 oz. container AE Bacon French Onion Sour Cream Dip
6 tablespoons butter
3 cups shredded cheese, divided
1 pound thick sliced bacon, chopped, cooked until crisp (drain on paper towels.)
1/3 cup green onion tops or chives, divided
In a large bowl, combine potatoes, AE Bacon French Onion Sour Cream Dip, butter, two cups of the shredded cheese, 3/4 of the cooked bacon pieces, 3/4 of the chives and stir until well mixed. Spread evenly into a 9×13 inch pan. Top with remaining cheese and bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, spread with remaining bacon bits and chopped green onion.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of AE Dairy. The opinions and text are all mine.