As Seen on Good Day! Garlic-Basil Mashed Potatoes & Loaded Potato Bites

Garlic-Basil Mashed Potatoes
Serves approx. 4-6 people
-2 lbs. red potatoes
-1 1/2 cups half & half
-1/2 stick butter
-2 cloves garlic, finely minced
-2 tbs. fresh chopped basil
-1/2 cup cream cheese
-Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Quarter potatoes and boil in water for about 15 minutes, until fork tender.
2. Drain water, leaving potatoes in the pot.
3. If removing peels, let potatoes cool before removing skins with the edge of a spoon or knife. Skins may be left on, however.
4. Add half & half, butter, garlic, basil, cream cheese, and salt and pepper. Mash together using a potato masher.
5. Cook potatoes on medium heat for a few minutes, until they thicken, and the rawness has cooked from the garlic.

Baked potato bites

Makes approx. 20 bite-sized balls

-1 cup mashed potatoes

-1 cup bread crumbs, plus some for coating potato balls

-1 large egg

-1 cup shredded cheese
-2 tbs. chives, chopped

-Cheese cubes

-2 tbs. Bacon bits or chopped bacon (optional)

-1 packet dry Ranch dressing
-Vegetable oil, for frying
-Ranch (for dipping)

1. Heat several inches of vegetable oil in a soup pot (medium heat).
2. In a mixing bowl, combine potatoes, bread crumbs, egg, shredded cheese, chives, bacon, and dry ranch packet. Mix throughly.
3. Using a tablespoon measure, scoop some mixture into your hand. Push the cheese cube into the center, and roll into a ball.
4. Roll the ball in bread crumbs and drop into the oil. Fry for about 3 minutes, until the ball is golden brown.
5. Fry in batches of up to 5, draining cooked potato bites on a paper towel.
6. Serve with some Ranch dressing for dipping!