Seeking inspiration for an easy, yet fancy theme for your next party?
Well Congrats! You found it right here in the great state of IDAHO! That’s right, I’m talking about a gourmet mashed potato bar. ‘Cause ain’t nobody does potatoes like IDAHO does potatoes.
So, let’s start with a little bit of rustic-chic charm, add a twist on some yummy potato classics, and finish with a memorable and yummy dessert. Sounds like a recipe for success!
Let’s get this party started!
Who said that Idaho can’t be chic?
Rustic and glamourous may seem like a conflicted contradiction, I get it. However, anyne who has recently visited the up-and-coming city of Boise or skiied the slopes of Sun Valley understands. There is something inherently majestic about rugged beauty.
Regardless of where you call home, it is this natural allure that we can all tap into as inpiration for this party theme… Earthy elements topped with a heavy dose of panache.
Awe…Gold spray paint…let me confess my undying love for you. You can make something as simple as a tumble weed or an actual potato seems so in vogue. (NOTE: You can NOT freeze said gilded potatos for later parties. They don’t thaw properly.
The tablescapes were also comprised of placemats cut from thin plywood (to be described in a later post), faux sheep skin hides, and an assortment of neutral-toned baubles and candles.
The backdrop is a 4x8 ft piece of plywood from the local hardware store which I have used for many parties. For this particular soiree I stapled on some shimmery wallpaper. I propped it up on a stool below the table so that the effect was a 9.5 foot tall attention grabber.
The Idaho-branded wood slab was a gift from my dear friend. I picked up the deer from Tai Pan trading and the steer horn from Tandy Leather.
The Most “Idaho-licious” Mashed Potatoes Ever!
- 5lb bag of red potatoes
- 2 T Garlic
- 4 tsp Better than Boullion (or 4 bullion cubes)
- 1 cup Sour Cream
- 8 oz package of Cream Cheese
- 1/2 c Butter
- Salt and pepper
- Place potatoes (washed and halved), garlic, and bullion in pot
- Fill water to an inch above potatoes
- Boil for 20 mins and drain water
- Place into greased crock pot and mash slightly with spoon.
- Add remaining ingredients and stir slightly
- Cook on low for at least two hours
- Shortly before the party, spoon into inexpensive wine/champaign/martini type glasses. Can be placed on a cookie sheet, covered with tin foil, and placed in the oven at 175 degrees to keep warm while your guests arrive.
Who doesn’t like to choose their own adventure? The beauty of a baked potato bar is that, despite the ease and relatively low costs involved, each guest gets to feel like “a boss” as they navigate their way through the buffet line.
Add-in options include but certainly aren’t limited to:
- Shredded cheese
- Parmesan Cheese
- Black Beans
- Red Peppers
- Onions (cooked or raw)
- Sour Cream
- Ranch Dressing
- Cubed ham
- Carrot shreds
- Ranch Dressing
Ice Cream Potato
I saved the best for last! This conversation starting dessert is the perfect way to top off a potato themed party! Plus, most of the steps can be made weeks in advance.
Vanilla Ice Cream
Hot Chocolate Mix (in a small bowl)
Food Safe Gloves
yellow and red food coloring
Scoop out 1 to 1 1/2 cups vanilla ice cream. Use hands to form and smooth scoop into the shape of a potato. Place in bowl of hot chocolate mix and use spoon to heavily cover the ice cream ball with cocoa. Very lightly tap off excess mix and place in a cake pan or other tray. It may be neccessary to add more chocolate mix to “bald spots” on the potato. Repeat process, but place pan in freezer after the 3rd-6th potato (if they start to get too soft). Once all of the potatoes are made, wrap tray in wax paper and tin foil. These potatos can be made weeks in advance.
To Serve: Swirl chocolate sauce on dessert plates and gently place frozen ice cream potato on top. Finish with a sour cream sized serving of canned Whip Cream.
Optional: Dye coconut shreds the color of cheddar and sprinkle on top.
Note: Must be served quickly before the ice cream starts to melt.
*Thanks to Sue at MHAFB Gunfighter Club
Next week we will start to tour my own home.
Questions? Comments? I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave me a message below.