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Creamy mashed potatoes loaded with melty cheddar, grilled onions, tomatoes, and chives!

As you’re reading this I’m actually in a plane on the way to New Jersey! Jason’s brother is getting married and we’re up here a few days for the wedding. I had to share this easy recipe with you before I left though. As if anyone needed an excuse to eat more mashed potatoes?

Creamy mashed potatoes loaded with melty cheddar, grilled onions, tomatoes, and chives!

You might remember back in the day when I posted a recipe for Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes. Those are delicious and definitely a perfect traditional version, but I found a new method that I like even more! Instead of buttermilk I use greek yogurt, and it gives that same delicious tang and creaminess. The greek yogurt has such a rich flavor that I don’t feel the need to add the extra unhealthy ingredients like cream cheese or a ton of butter. WIN-WIN.

Loaded Greek Yogurt Mashed Potatoes
 
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Author:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs. yukon gold potatoes
  • 2 T. butter
  • 1 c. milk
  • ⅔ c. plain greek yogurt
  • salt and pepper
  • ½ c. onion, diced
  • ½ c. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 T. chives, chopped
  • 1 T. green onions, chopped
  • ¼ c. tomatoes, diced
Instructions
  1. Peel and cube the potatoes and boil in a large pot of water until fork tender, about 30 minutes.
  2. While the potatoes are boiling, sautee the diced onion in a small pan with a little olive oil or butter until they turn deep brown. Set aside.
  3. Drain the potatoes then place them in a large bowl.
  4. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  5. Add the butter and and mash everything together with a potato masher. Mash the potatoes until it’s as smooth as you can get them.
  6. Using a hand or stand electric mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the potatoes while adding the greek yogurt. You can add more milk if the potatoes are too thick for your liking Whip until the potatoes are very smooth, then salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Smooth the mashed potatoes into a casserole dish.
  8. Top evenly with the browned onions, cheese, green onions, and tomatoes.
  9. Cover and bake in the preheated oven until the cheese melts, about 10 minutes.
  10. Top with chives and serve!

 

Creamy mashed potatoes loaded with melty cheddar, grilled onions, tomatoes, and chives!

Get these on your dinner table, pronto!

Creamy mashed potatoes loaded with melty cheddar, grilled onions, tomatoes, and chives!

And since we’re on the subject of greek yogurt awesomeness, here are some other recipes of mine featuring this amazing ingredient:

Greek Yogurt Macaroni & Cheese (my most popular recipe!)

This Greek Yogurt Macaroni and Cheese is a lighter alternative to a comfort food favorite!

Greek Yogurt Green Goddess Dressing

A delicious creamy dressing made with greek yogurt and fresh herbs!

Greek Yogurt Cornbread

Greek Yogurt Pancakes

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Have a fantastic weekend!

-Lauren

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These vlogs sure do allow me to use more creative post titles! I’m glad that some of you are enjoying them and I really appreciate the positive feedback. Video is such a fun way to document life and I know I’ll be so happy to look back on these memories down the road. And I love that you guys can be part of those memories too. You don’t want to miss this video, there are some priceless Ashley moments in this one. :)

 

-Lauren

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A bright summer salad made with chargrilled corn, cherry tomatoes, and sweet Vidalia onions!

If you’ve never had the pleasure of tasting a Vidalia onion, you are missing out on quite the experience. Normally I use yellow onions for cooking, but I have strong feelings against using raw onion in anything. If a recipe calls for raw onion, I either skip it altogether or substitute for lightly sautéed onion. But I make an exception for Vidalias. If you get your hands on a real one (and there are a ton of fake ones out there, even here in Georgia where they grow), you will find an onion that is pure sweet perfection without the burn or zip (only very technical culinary terms allowed here). They are PERFECT for light summer salads like this one.

A bright summer salad made with chargrilled corn, cherry tomatoes, and sweet Vidalia onions!

Grilled Corn and Vidalia Onion Salad
 
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Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 5 ears of corn, grilled until kernels start to brown (should yield 2 c. corn kernels)
  • ⅔ c. Vidalia onion, diced (substitute with sautéed onion if not available)
  • ⅔ c. cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 t. lime juice
  • 1 t. apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ t. salt
  • 1 T. cilantro (optional)
Instructions
  1. Use a sharp knife to cut the corn kernels from the cobs.
  2. Toss together the corn kernels, onions, tomatoes, olive oil, lime juice, vinegar, and salt. Add more salt and lime juice to taste.
  3. Top with cilantro if desired and enjoy!

Corn salad is my JAM over the summer. I discovered it last year when I needed a dish to bring to a potluck picnic. Everyone at the picnic raved about the salad and asked me what was in it, and that’s when I knew it was a winner! I’ve tried it several ways (using raw corn, steamed corn, etc.), but to me nothing matches the incredible flavor of this salad with the grilled corn.

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All of these ingredients are in season in the US right now (including the appropriately coveted Vidalia onion!) so go run and grab what you need to make this incredible salad! I bet it will become a summer favorite of yours, too.

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-Lauren

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Holy HFCS!

It’s that time of year already! Ashley starts school next week along with my mom (she went back to school last year to pursue a business degree), and then next weekend David heads back up to college. We’re trying to fit in as much fun stuff as possible before all that happens. Visiting the World of Coca-Cola here in Atlanta has been on Ashley’s list for a long time, so we finally made that happen yesterday! And I’ve got another VLOG about our awesome day! Hope you enjoy!

 
 

Yes, I know. You’re inspired by my healthy habits. ;)

-Lauren

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I don’t want summer to end! I can’t get enough of the produce and feeling like I can grill anything I want! The first part of tonight’s dinner was a charred eggplant salad that caught my eye in the latest issue of Food Network Magazine:

Charred Eggplant Salad from Food Network Magazine

I also quartered a pineapple, sprinkled it with some organic sugar, and threw it on the grill while I was charring the eggplant. Adding the sugar helps the outside of the pineapple caramelize quickly on the grill and keeps the pineapple SO juicy and delicious!

Grilled Pineapple

Then I made Indoor BBQ Chicken for Jason and made myself the same thing but with a Quor’n meatless cutlet.

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On the menu for the next few days:

Tuesday: loaded mashed potatoes, roasted chicken for Jason and roasted portabella for me, garlic green beans

Wednesday: fajitas with grilled peppers, grilled steak for Jason and grilled Quor’n cutlet for me, grilled onions, guacamole, mexican corn on the cob

Thursday: Breakfast for dinner! biscuits, fruit salad, meatless breakfast links for me and smoked sausage for Jason, poached eggs

See you soon!

-Lauren

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I’ve been doing a lot of cooking but just haven’t been in the mood to set up a photo shoot and write recipes and all that. I love doing those things, but sometimes I just get tapped out. Luckily for me this is a hobby! So instead of a recipe post I filmed another vlog! Tons of fun stuff happens in this one, I think you guys will really enjoy it!

And don’t worry, I FULLY intend on continuing to food blog. I just need a little break and I really enjoy the vlogging! Mom and I are working on a pie post that I will shoot in the next few days. See you then!

-Lauren

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I’m Vlogging Again!

Some of you may know that I’m a huge lover of lifestyle vlogs. I don’t really watch tv–I watch YouTube! I think what I love most about it is that it’s like peeking into a journal of someone else’s life. Unlike reality tv, which has become so trashy and ridiculous, vlogs are real and unscripted and I love that. I’ve been thinking lately about how I really want to document our lives so that we have something to look back on in future years. I only wish that I had a bunch of videos from when Jason and I were first dating or right after our honeymoon. When you think about it, every stage in life is priceless and fleeting. Pictures are wonderful, but nothing really captures a person quite like video. SO with that long philosopical rant aside, I’m going to start doing regular vlogs of our daily life! And here’s the first of many to come. Hope you enjoy!

 

-Lauren

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July in Food

I cannot believe that August begins tomorrow. Having only graduated a year ago (and having gone straight from high school to college to law school), it still feels VERY strange to me that it’s “back to school” time and I’m not going back to school. I’m hoping that feeling will fade once I have a job (prayers for my search are much appreciated by the way), but for now it just feels weird. But I have made the most of this summer, and I plan to keep doing that until the minute the leaves start falling! Here’s the food we shared together this month.

Morello Cherry Hand Pies

A classic American pie flavor in a cute and convenient shape!

 

Bailey’s Butter Pecan Ice Cream

Incredible ice cream spiked with Bailey's and studded with buttery toasted pecans!

 

Teriyaki Tofu Bowl

teriyaki tofu bowl-1-2

 

Fresh Blueberry Tart

A delicious summer tart filled with sweet cream and topped with fresh glazed blueberries!

 

Thanks for spending another month with me!

-Lauren

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A Full Summer Saturday

In the spirit of returning to “lifestyle blogging”, I have to share part of my awesome weekend with you. Saturday was quite the full day, and it started with a trip to the farmers market with Emily!

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The Piedmont Park (Atlanta’s version of Central Park) market has been on my list for a while, so I was glad we finally got to go! It’s pretty small (compared to the markets I’ve been to in Virginia and DC), but bigger than the other ones I’ve visited in Atlanta. There’s enough stalls to feel like you’re getting some variety, which is nice.

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LOTS and lots of beautiful tomatoes were out! I guess it’s peak season here in Georgia! No complaints here.

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One stand had quite the impressive variety of hot peppers, so of course I had to snag a bunch for Jason.

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Emily and I really enjoyed it! The only thing about this market is that it’s so inconvenient to drive and park in that area for a market that’s not huge. Emily noted that we spent more time looking for a parking spot than we did actually shopping, which is definitely true. Haha! But Piedmont is always a nice trip, so I would probably return to this market despite that.

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I snagged some good stuff while we were there! A few different kinds of hot peppers for the hubby and some huge okra:

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Organic potatoes and blueberries:

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And Georgia peaches and lemon basil:

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It was a nice and toasty day so Ashley and my dad decided to come over for a dip in our pool later that afternoon. Our place has a really great pool and we’re definitely paying for it with pretty steep rent, so we try to use it as much as possible. The water was especially nice that day!

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After swimming Jason and I got cleaned up and ready for dinner with friends. I totally spaced on taking a photo of us but we had a great time! We went to this tapas place called Eclipse di Luna, which had a ton of vegetarian options. I got the fried green beans and quinoa salad for my main dishes and some fried sweet plantains for dessert!

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The day ended back at home with a beer and an episode of The Good Wife (our newest tv show obsession). I love summertime!

-Lauren

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Fresh Blueberry Tart

A delicious summer tart filled with sweet cream and topped with fresh glazed blueberries!

It’s PIE time again, friends! In my opinion, it should pretty much always be pie time.

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Summer is going by SO quickly! Berry season is already waning here in Georgia! But it’s not over yet. Local blueberries are still readily available and they’ve been sweet and delicious lately. It seemed like a perfect time to feature them!

A delicious summer tart filled with sweet cream and topped with fresh glazed blueberries!

This tart starts with a simple and delicious shortbread crust. The crust needs  to be “blind baked”, meaning baked on its own without the filling inside. You can use dried beans to hold the crust’s shape for blind baking but this time mom decided to use rice. Pretty much you can use whatever you have.

A delicious summer tart filled with sweet cream and topped with fresh glazed blueberries!

Once the crust is baked and completely cooled, it gets filled with a sweet, silky cream cheese mixture.

A delicious summer tart filled with sweet cream and topped with fresh glazed blueberries!

Then a beautiful heap of fresh berries get glazed and poured right on top! Perfectly summery.

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Fresh Blueberry Tart
 
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Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
Crust
  • 2¼ c. sugar
  • 1 c. butter, softened
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • ¼ t. salt
  • 3 c. all purpose flour
Filling
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • ¼ c. sour cream
  • ¼ c. sugar
  • 5 c. fresh blueberries
  • ⅓ c. water
  • ¼ c. sugar
  • 2 T. cornstarch + 2 T. water, whisked together
Instructions
Crust
  1. Cream the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed for a few minutes until the mixture is very well creamed.
  2. Scrape down the bowl and add the egg, vanilla, and salt.
  3. Add the flour and mix on low just until the mixture is combined and forms a dough.
  4. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for an hour.
  5. When the dough is chilled, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  6. On a floured surface, roll the dough out into a circle large enough to fit over your 9″ tart pan.
  7. Press the dough into the pan, cutting away any excess dough that hangs over the edges.
  8. Poke the surface of the dough with a fork and cover with aluminum foil. Pour in enough dried beans or rice over the foil to fill to the rim.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Remove the foil and rice/beans from the crust.
  10. Let the crust cool completely to room temperature.
Filling
  1. Beat together the cream cheese, vanilla, sour cream, and ¼ c. sugar with a mixer on high speed until it’s completely smooth and silky.
  2. Pour the cream filling into the cooled pie crust and smooth out with a spatula.
  3. In a saucepan over medium heat, bring 1 c. of the blueberries to a boil with the water, ¼ c. sugar and cornstarch mixture. Simmer until the berries have burst and the mixture is thick and shiny, like a glaze.
  4. In a large bowl, stir together the glaze in the pot and the remaining 4 c. of blueberries until all the berries are coated.
  5. Pour the blueberry mixture over the cream filling in the tart crust. Spread with a spatula to even it out if necessary.
  6. Chill the tart until it is completely set then serve!
Notes

A delicious summer tart filled with sweet cream and topped with fresh glazed blueberries!

We’re having a lot of fun sharing all of these summer dessert recipes with you! It’s been great to have my mom and all her expertise involved in posts regularly. In case you missed them, here are the other pies we’ve done so far in the series:

Fresh Strawberry Pie:

fresh strawberry pie-1

Bumbleberry Pie:Delicious bumbleberry pie + a pastry chef's trick to getting a lattice crust look in seconds!

Classic Lemon Meringue Pie:This classic pie is the perfect show stopping dessert for summer!

Morello Cherry Hand Pies:
A classic American pie flavor in a cute and convenient shape!

We still have a couple more fruits (do I hear PEACHES, anyone??) and types of pies that we want to share that will be awesome. Also with the next installment I’m going to do an ‘Ask the Baker’ Q&A where ALL of you will have the chance to ask my mom any questions you might have about baking, food, working in professional kitchens, anything you like! So get your questions geared up! And thanks for reading!

-Lauren

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