Tired of the same old mashed potatoes? Mashed potatoes don't have to be boring! Add a burst of flavour to your mash with these 10 flavourful mashed potato recipes!
Sweet potatoes are a well-known superfood and an excellent addition to any holiday dinner. This dish can be assembled a day in advance. Just sprinkle it with streusel at the last minute and pop it into the oven.
Get the recipe: Sweet Potato Mash With Pecan Streusel
If you're making this recipe ahead of time, choose a large shallow ovenproof dish, which will decrease the time needed to warm it in the oven while the turkey is resting.
Get the recipe: Crunchy Parmesan-Topped Double Potato Mash
The secret to crispy salmon skin is cooking the fish 90 percent of the way through on the skin side, in a nonstick pan! Don't try to turn the salmon too early; if it's sticking to the pan, it's not ready to turn. Potatoes mashed with spinach, tarragon and horseradish make the perfect accompaniment!
Get the recipe: Crispy Salmon on Braised Vegetables and Spinach Mash
This twist on shepherd's pie features smoky, spicy chorizo and flavourful Oka cheese. A casserole this large will take several days to thaw in the fridge, so don't worry if it's still a bit firm after thawing for a day. The partial thawing just allows it to reheat a bit more evenly.
Get the recipe: Pork Pie With Oka Mash
Korean cuisine is renowned for its spicy fermented cabbage (kimchi) and beef dishes. Here, juicy beef tenderloin and creamy potatoes mixed with pungent kimchi use that inspiration for an East-meets-West entertaining meal that's as special as it is tasty. Serve with crisp stir-fried vegetables.
Get the recipe: Soy-Ginger Tenderloin Steaks With Kimchi Mash
Take mashed potatoes (a favourite comfort food) to soaring new heights with the simple addition of goat cheese and garlic. You might want to make a double batch for a crowd – it will fly off the table.
Get the recipe: Garlic Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes
We boost the flavour of this potato purée with olive oil and fresh parsley. On another night, make this dish with fresh sole fillets or scallops instead of the salmon, and call it the catch of the day. Serve with lemon wedges.
Get the recipe: Lemon and Caper Salmon With Herbed Potato Mash
Looking for a change from plain old mashed potatoes? Spruce up your holiday table with this seasonal side dish. Buttermilk and Dijon mustard add pleasant tang and creamy texture (without the addition of cream). To avoid a gluey purée, do not overmix. Fresh chives add a festive hit of colour.
Get the recipe: Parsnip and Potato Puree
Rutabaga, also called turnip, is an often overlooked (but tasty) root vegetable. With a texture similar to potatoes, rutabaga is delicious mashed or roasted. It is available year-round and stays fresh thanks to its waxy skin. You can use a sharp knife to peel the skin away, or buy the vegetable already peeled and cubed.
Get the recipe: Pan-Fried Steak With Horseradish Rutabaga Mash
Slightly sweet and peppery turnips hold their own in this extra-creamy mash, adding a welcome hit of flavour to the classic comforting side. Make it ahead and simply pop the dish in the oven to reheat before your meal.
Get the recipe: Roasted Garlic Potato and Turnip Mash
Sara Lanthier was 38 and single. But skipping love and marriage didn't mean forgoing the baby carriage, too.
At eight years old, Will is Sara Lanthier's everything. "He's hilarious and smart. He's super artsy and could build Lego for three hours at a time and not bat an eye," his mother asserts.
Nine years ago, Sara had written off being a mom. At 38, after a handful of short-lived relationships and one failed engagement, she thought, It's not going to happen; I'm already in my late 30s and I haven't met anybody. Plus, she didn't think she could manage the expense of raising a child on her own, so she made peace with her status as the resident fun aunt in the family.
Then, one night, her dad and her stepmom sat her down and suggested she try to have a child on her own. "It hit me out of left field," she says, but they praised her strength and her independence and promised to help out financially. Though motherhood had never seemed like an option, Sara realized the only thing that had been stopping her was the question of money. She decided to do it.
She picked a donor through Xytex Corp, an American sperm bank that divulges extensive donor information, including a personal essay and photos of the donor as a child and an adult. She went through more than 60 profiles to narrow down to her top five options, then she had her friends over for a cocktail party to help make the final decision. "I joke that I went with their No. 1 pick because my taste in men is what landed me in this situation," she says.
Alas, when she went to order him, he was sold out. Instead, she went with her friends' second choice—and her first—a German-Portuguese glassblower and artist.
After Sara underwent several rounds of tests with LifeQuest Centre for Reproductive Medicine in Toronto, the time for insemination finally arrived. Because of Sara's age, the chance of success was only 33 percent, but she found out six days later that she had conceived, and the pregnancy stuck.
She knows she's fortunate to have a supportive family, and because she lives in a time when it's possible to become a single mother by choice. "I have friends at my neighbourhood coffee shop who are in their 70s and never had kids. They wish this had been an option when they were younger," she says.
But her luckiest break has been Will. The day he was brought to her hospital room from intensive care (he was born 10 days early), she says, "it was like a first date." They wheeled him in and she sat there, staring at his tiny face. In the span of a few hours, she'd gone from a single woman to having a partner in crime for life. "We're a team," she says. "It's just me and him."
Time to believe in mini miracles. Drop years by following these simple beauty secrets.
When it comes to eyeliner, white is the new black. Brighten up those tired eyes with a single stroke by tracing the lower lash line with either a white or flesh-toned eye pencil. It’s like getting an extra few hours of sleep!
Pacifica Magical Multi-Pencil Prime & Line, $16, well.ca.
Grab the gloss
Over time we lose the fullness of our lips due to the depletion of collagen. Say no to fillers and yes to plumping lip glosses. Tip: adding a touch of shiny gloss to the centre of your lips also gives the appearance of fullness.
Too Faced Lip Injection, $29, sephora.ca.
Skin vexed with dull complexion and aging dark spots can benefit from brighteners. Look for serums, moisturizers and masks with Vitamin C and licorice root, which help prevent cell damage and regulate melanin production.
Ole Hendriksen, $44 for 6 treatments, olehenricksen.com.
Over time we loose definition in our face - we can thank gravity for that one! Give yourself a mini face-lift with help of blushes and bronzers. Create definition by blending blush along the highest points of your cheekbones—it helps make you bone structure pop.
Smashbox L.A. Lights Blush & Highlight Palette, $40, beautyboutique.ca.
Less is more
Nothing makes you look other than heavy powder formulas. Keep foundation sheer and only apply where needed. Excess (and heavy) product can accentuate wrinkles by settling in the creases, so choose a formula that can be layered, like a tinted moisturizer, BB or CC cream or a cushion compact.
CC Ultra Moist Cushion, $29, thefaceshop.ca.
It’s called beauty sleep for a reason. When your body goes into a deep sleep, your skin starts healing and repairing. Experts say you need at least eight hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. If that’s not your reality, give your skin a little boost with a nourishing overnight mask. It’s richer than your average night cream and is designed to go on top of your evening skin treatments as the final step, then rinsed off in the morning.
Fresh Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask, $108, sephora.ca.
Bigger, bolder, stronger
As we age there’s an uptake of wrinkles and a loss of hair, including eyelash and eyebrow hairs. Giving brows a fuller and more lush appearance instantly takes years off your face. When filling brows, use a pencil that’s a shade lighter than your natural colouring, but if you’re blonde go one shade darker.
Benefit Cosmetics Goof Proof Eyebrow Pencil, $30, benefitcosmetics.com.
When writer Shana Gray's marriage ended, she thought she'd never find love again. Then, a weeklong foray into the world of online dating renewed her faith in romance—and herself.
"I'm leaving you tonight. I won't be there when you get home."
After 22 years of building a home and a family together, those were the only words Shana Gray's husband, Tim*, had left for her. His announcement—delivered by phone call while Shana was at work—came three weeks after she'd discovered he was having an affair with a mutual friend. "I had expected to be with him for the rest of my life," she says.
After Tim moved out in April 2003, Shana was ridden with insecurity. "I remember thinking that, if my ex didn't want me after 22 years, how could anyone else ever want me?" She was afraid to trust a new man after the horror stories she'd heard from her police officer ex-husband, and it didn't help matters when she watched a TV show about male stalkers one drunken night with her girlfriends. Maybe I'll just be single for the rest of my life, she thought.
Shana had been single for 18 months when one of her friends suggested she sign up for a dating site; the friend had found love online and thought Shana could do the same. But she was skeptical. At the time, there was still a stigma surrounding online dating, and Shana assumed most men trolling for women on the web were "scuzzbags." She finally agreed to log on—for a one-week trial.
Then, on Day 2, Steve* found her. Like in a cheesy '90s rom-com, his profile was titled "Looking for Ms. Right." His bio made him seem "down-to-earth and honest," so they struck up a conversation, moving quickly from chatting on the website to hour-long phone calls each evening at 10. Shana felt like she'd known him for ages.
When it came time to meet in person, they decided to grab a coffee at the mall. They had never seen pictures of each other, and Shana was scared Steve might not be physically attracted to her. "I'm a curvy girl," she says. She also had her friends on alert in case he was a creep. But when the couple embraced, there was an instant connection—and they've been together ever since.
In hindsight, Shana, now 55, realized the end of her marriage was the best thing that ever happened to her, as it made way for Steve to enter her life. A far better match for her, he's also much more supportive of her writing. She wrote and published her first novella in 2010 and has since authored several romance novels under the pen name Shana Gray. "Steve felt that I needed to have an outlet," she says. "He'd tell me, ‘You've got to follow your heart. You've got to do what you love.' "
*Names have been changed.