Mashed Potatoes with Fresh Basil, Blue Cheese and Greek Yogurt

Know what those are?

Those are the Mashed Potatoes that won the Tastemaker 2K10 Cook off Challenge at Blissdom.

and they’re mine. :-)

I can’t even begin to put into words how much fun the Tastemaker Challenge was.  Crazy, loud, exhilarating, insane, silly, fun, tasty…

They did such a good job driving us crazy keeping the details secret!  They had great shirts made for us that said “Team (tastemaker’s name)

There might have been a bit of competition between the Tastemaker fans, as you can see with Tanis and Casey

However, no potatoes were harmed during this picture but MANY were consumed by the hungry crowd in the form of the Mashed Potato Bar and the signature Potato Vodka cocktails.

We were given 20 minutes, a secret ingredient, a ‘style’ mashed, baked etc… and a table full of possibilities to use as well as already cooked potatoes.

My secret ingredient was fresh basil!  My first thought.. SCORE!  Y’all know that I love me some Basil!!!

I grabbed some of my favorite ingredients:

  • potatoes
  • greek yogurt (NOM)
  • blue cheese crumbles
  • tabasco
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • fresh basil
  • a lemon
  • butter

And I got to workin’ it

My fellow tastemakers were AWESOME and the competition was fierce!!!   I had more fun with this Tastemaker Challenge Process and the live cook off was like the loaded toppings on a hot perfectly cooked baked potato.

Enough chatter.. y’all want the recipe, right? RIGHT!

K.. tiny side note.. this was a challenge, I was time crunched.. the exact portions are a bit ‘iff-ish’

  • 4 medium potatoes (110 calories each) (HOLLA to my Team Rachel girl SARAH who knew that when asked!)
  • greek yogurt ( 1/2 C-ish)
  • butter ( 2 Tbsp)
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 C blue cheese crumbles (this may have ended up being a cup……)
  • 1 lemon’
  • tabasco (y’all know it’s up to you.. I added 6 drops)
  • chicken broth to moisten (milk works, too but we didn’t have any)
  1. Your potatoes should be cooked (keep in mind that in the pics and for the challenge, I served my mashed potatoes in the skins of more potatoes for aesthetics.. if you want to do this, you’ll need more than 4 potatoes)
  2. Finely chop 5 basil leaves (I roll them together and then chop them, much easier) if anyone took a pic of me doing that.. I’d love it!
  3. Put your potatoes (yes, with the skin) in a bowl and mash the livin’ daylights out of them.
  4. Add in greek yogurt, 1/2 C blue cheese crumbles, 2 tsp salt and pepper, add in basil, dashes of tabasco and some chicken broth, veggie broth or milk to moisten and the juice from 1/2 a lemon.
  5. Mash some more and mix some more.. do a little hot potato dance or the mashed potato while you’re at it.

6.  Because this was a cook off challenge and we were being judged on Creativity, Taste, Health, Visual and Crowd Participation (seriously y’all.. the crowd was amazing.  The Blissdom bloggers ROCKED that party).. I purtied mine up by serving them inside the scooped out skin of two more potatoes.

7.  I filled the skins with my mashed potato mixture, topped each with a basil leaf, a bit more blue cheese, some salt and pepper and a teeny squeeze more lemon juice.

They were nommy!!!!!

I have to give a supah star shout-out to my amazing roomie Jo-Lynne because her stupendous videos won her the FAN FAVORITE award at the Tastemaker Challenge!!!

Thank you to EVERYONE who came out to support us, to the AMAZING team at Fleishman-Hillard for putting this ridiculously fun event and project together and to the United States Potato Board, this was one of the highlights of my 2009 and a seriously amazing way to kick off 2010!!!

A special thank you to my fellow tastemakers; Melanie., Jo-Lynne, Jen, Melanie, Jodi, Jim, Amy and Lindsay,  it has been my honor, privilege and joy to work with y’all.

If you’re linkin up to Mouthwatering Mondays, YAY!  Say HI, leave a comment and leave your recipe URL in the MckLinky.. visit other MWM participants and make sure to link back here so that others can share in the love.

super thank you to Casey, Jessi, Heather, Sarah and Lotus for taking pictures and letting me use them! xoxo


  1. Miss says

    First of all, can I just say? You look AMAZING! Breathtaking woman!!

    Also, I’m so very very proud of you and all the hard work you put in during this challenge, its so very clear that every minute you spent wrestling with that damn video software PAID OFF. Oh and your amazing cooking skills totally helped. 😉

    You deserved this win. Those mashed potatoes look delicious!

    .-= Miss´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday – Hide and Seek =-.

  2. says

    awe – Looks like you all had so much fun….
    I wish I would have been able to be there – Team Rachael all the way!
    .-= designHer Momma´s last blog ..Are You Ready for Some Football? =-.

    • says

      I was so sad when you didn’t win one of the contests :-( :-(
      I would have SO saved a shirt for you!
      Casey has one, maybe she’ll let you borrow it 😉 LOL

      NEED an Emily hug!

    • says

      CONGRATS TO YOU, ROOMIE! Ya fan fav, you xoxoxo
      I can’t wait to see what’s up next for us!!!!

      Seriously, adore you.
      Yes, the last pic, of us as a group.. Lotus took with my camera 😉

  3. says

    I’m sorry I missed seeing you win (I had my own little sweet potato to put to bed at that time) but I am so glad I was able to meet you- you are one of the most beautiful people that made Blissdom bliss for me.


    • says

      Steph, I’d have missed it for that little sweet potato, too.

      YOU are one of the ones who made Blissdom for me. I’ve admired you from afar for a long time and you are simply genuine, beautiful, funny and lovely in real life and I’m proud of you for so much and grateful to you for more.
      I have darlin’ pics of Ivey, I just need to flickr them xoxoxoxo

      One of my new fav memories…. the last nigh in Barb’s suite. That was priceless.

        • says

          YES. exactly. I can’t even describe it. It was warm and perfect and inspiring and just, my heart overflows from it. The group was just right and natural and the words that were spoken, the memories shared… *sigh*

    • says

      Looking out there and seeing y’all cheering and having fun made it that much more fun for me.
      Thank you for being there and thank you for being you.

  4. Liz says

    Aw Man! Looks so fun, I’m mad at myself for missing out, I was feeling sorry for myself, and was drowning my sorrows with a brownie and diet coke in my room lol! Congrats for winning, and nice to “see” you IRL!
    .-= Liz´s last blog ..Blissdom =-.

    • says

      Well, a brownie and a diet coke are an awesome combination. 😉
      I’m sorry you missed it too, and that you were feeling down.

      Anything I can do?

      Thanks for the congrats!! 😉

  5. says

    Yay! You are speedy – I love that this post is up already because it means I can make it for dinner tonight, seriously! SO great to meet you over the past weekend and thanks again for all the time you put into the US Potato Board’s Tastemaker Challenge – it certainly paid off! xo

    • says

      Heh 😉
      I promised y’all that I would!

      Y’all are rockstars and this definitely set the bar. I loved it and THANK YOU for including me!!!!

  6. Heather says

    YUMMMMMY. Congrats on winning girlie! I am super excited for you :) And from your tweets, it sounds like you had a lot of fun while at Blissdom!
    .-= Heather´s last blog ..5 things I love in 2010 =-.

  7. says

    Yay…I was so psyched you won!

    As usual, I didn’t get near enough time to hang with you:( But, I’m so glad you talked me into Blissdom…I had a blast!

    Talk at you soon:)
    .-= Nap Warden´s last blog ..Not MIA =-.

    • says

      It’s crazy that we spend more time “together” over the phone from hundreds of miles away and when we get together… in the same place… we couldn’t be further apart 😉 LOL.

  8. says

    If there’s anyone in the world I’d want to be totally spanked by… er, um in a cooking contest, it would be you. I had such a blast hanging, drinking and cooking with you, Rachel. I’m so sad it’s over.

    Oh, that last group pic is hilarious, because did you notice I was flashing a “P” for potato instead? Yeah, I shouldn’t drink (that much) while cooking.
    .-= BusyDad´s last blog ..That Burning Sensation =-.

    • says

      You are awesome, you held your own around 500 women. You wore pink, you danced, you karaoked, you cooked your tail off and you proved that you are one in a million 😉

      Thanks for all your support, Jim. You’re a true friend.

  9. says

    Congrats on your win, Rachel! Sooo bummed that I missed it. Maybe I’ll make it to Blissdom next year!
    .-= Karly´s last blog ..Chocolate Chip Scones =-.

      • says

        I just have to buy the potatoes and basil, I have everything else! Had Gorgonzola on salad at lunch, with fresh grilled chicken, pear slices, and herb mix. Made at home. OMG SO GOOD! I am so fortunate that we can grill in the winter! ;p
        #teambluecheese FTW!
        .-= Al_Pal´s last blog ..Sensitivity: I have it. =-.

    • says

      It would have been so much fun having you there! I miss your smilin’ face but, you need to stay home and keep cookin’ that baby 😉 😉


  10. says

    Rachel–Congratulations Lady!!!! Thank you so much for posting the recipe and all those great pics. What a superstar Tastemaker you are–and a blast to be with, too. So fun meeting you!

    • says

      Aww Thank you, Meredith! You really set the tone for the energy for the event. You were a rockin’ emcee and people were talking (raving) about you after the party and even the next day!
      It was a JOY meeting you, too! Thank you so much for everything!

  11. Krissa says

    Congratulations, sweetheart! Enjoy basking in your glory! 😉
    .-= Krissa´s last blog ..Bounding, boundaryless , boundaries. =-.

  12. The Little Brown House says

    Wow! Good for you – and great recipe!! I am so envious – blissdom sounds, well, blissfull!

    Thanks so much for sharing and hosting!
    .-= The Little Brown House´s last blog ..Tasty Tuesday – Death by Chocolate =-.

  13. says

    I’m totally kicking myself for not grabbing a spoon and chowing down on your creation that night! It looked soooo good! Guess I’ll just have to make it for myself, soon!
    .-= Malia´s last blog ..Energy & Refuge =-.

  14. Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] says

    Massive MASSIVE congrats, Mama! You SO deserved to beat that Jim guy.

    .-= Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing]´s last blog ..My Girl and Dolphins =-.


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