Sides can make a meal stand out and make everything more enjoyable. I have a few sides that are staples in my house, like over roasted veggies, mashed potatoes and rice. Below are various recipes that I make over and over again.

Mashed Potatoes

Boil the potatoes until tender, while the potatoes are boiling, take the butter out. I use my Kitchen Aid mixer, just to make things easier. I put the stick of butter on the bottom of the bowl, top with the boiled potatoes (remember to save 1 cup of that water the potatoes were boiled in). Add the 1 cup milk and mix. As the mixer is on, add about 1/2 cup of the water. Once the potatoes are mashed, shut the mixer off and use a spatula to mix the potatoes. Add the ground pepper and mix. If the potatoes are not the right consistency, use more water. If the potatoes seem too watery, here’s a simple trick, add 1/2 tablespoon of corn starch, then mix with the mixer. You can keep adding small amounts of corn starch until you have the consistency you want. Just be careful not to use too much, it can change the flavor of the mashed potatoes.

  • 1 pound of Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 stick of salted butter (room temperature)
  • 1 cup milk (I prefer whole, but any type would do)
  • 1 cup water from pot (after potatoes are boiled)
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper

Baked Red Skinned Potatoes:

  • 8 red skinned potatoes (peeled or not, depends on your taste)
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted
  • fresh thyme

Cut the potatoes into small cubes, place in shallow baking dish. Cover potatoes with a pinch of salt and pepper, add the butter and mix. Place fresh thyme on top of the potatoes. Bake in the oven on 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Bacon Brussel Sprouts:

  • 2 cups brussel sprouts, cut in half
  • 2 tablespoons bacon fat
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 4 pieces cooked bacon, crumbled

Cover a baking sheet with the bacon fat, grease the baking sheet. Place brussel sprouts on sheet, cut side down. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Cover with crumbled bacon.

Another way I make this, is after I make a sheet of bacon, I cook the brussel sprouts, laid out the same way, in the oven. This is a great meal with cubed butternut squash, cranberries and goat cheese. I made this side dish with leftover turkey after thanksgiving.

Honey butter carrots

Peel 1 bag of carrots, lay on a baking sheet. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Lay carrots out on pan, top with a drizzle of honey, 2 tablespoons butter (cut into cubes) and sea salt. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until carrots are to your preference.