Saturday, May 28, 2011

mash-tini's for 300.

Just in case you need to throw a big party sometime soon, I thought I would share details and a shopping list from our Mashed Potato Bar we served at Mallory's graduation party. I would say that the party was a HUGE hit. Adjust the amounts for the size of your "Mash-tini" party. (Another guest named them "spud-tini's".)

TIPS: I rented 100 "margarita" shaped glasses because the "martini" glasses at our rental place were too small to hold the toppings without spillage. We washed glasses at the neighbor's kitchen sink to keep a steady flow of clean glasses. The trickiest part was boiling and mashing 100 pounds of potatoes the day of the party, but we got it done. We kept the mashed potatoes warm in four large electric roasters. (25# of potatoes fit in each roaster.) I would recommend Yukon Gold potatoes, and it is my one regret that I did not. To save $ I bought the store brand russets and when we were forced to peel and remove spots on the 100#, I would have handed over any "savings" in a heartbeat. Yukons are a softer potato with thin skins that do not have to be peeled. What a time-saver on a project like this! Toppings can be anything you want and whatever is in season. If it was late summer I would have included chopped tomatoes and peppers from the garden. We just filled up the serving containers as they emptied. The amounts listed below were pretty spot on, except that we ran out of bacon - but that was OK since it was the most expensive topping and 8 pounds was enough. I think it is a must-do to put an olive in each glass for the "real Martini" touch - along with the carrot and celery stick "straws". We did have non-stemmed plastic cups available for young children to manage. Our decorating theme was Black & White, Candles & Crystal.


100 pounds Yukon Gold Potatoes

1 gallon Half & Half

5 lbs. butter

Salt & Pepper to taste



7 lbs. sour cream

1 quart Hidden Valley (made from scratch - 2 packs)

1 1/2 lbs. red beans (cooked until tender with onion for about 2 hours)

10 lbs. ground beef, fried (with 6 packs taco seasoning)

8 lbs. cheddar cheese, grated

8 lbs. bacon, fried & crumbled

4 lbs. frozen corn, cooked

4 bunches cilantro, chopped

4 cups green onions, chopped

1 large jar jalapenos

2 cups chives, chopped



300 green olives

300 carrot sticks

300 celery sticks

I had to laugh because when I was telling my Dallas daughter how successful our party was, and how clever everyone thought the menu was - she reminded me that she had her first "mash-tini" at a Dallas wedding when she was in middle school which was over 15 years ago! I am glad it was still fresh and innovative in our little corner of the world. Whether you are serving 25 or 250, give it a try and put your own spin on it. Love, Mother Rabbit

Thursday, May 26, 2011

figure out how to have a garden.

Even if your garden is only a clay pot on your back porch, figure out how you can have your own little patch of earth to grow things in. Find a spot - any spot - enrich the dirt with some potting soil and then plant something. Water it. Watch it. Feed it. Then get ready to be blessed. Few things are more rewarding and therapeutic than getting your hands in the dirt and watching something grow. I am amazed every time. How can putting such tiny seeds in the dirt yield such a rich bounty? Be it zinnias or cucumbers... grow something.

Photo: My cherry tomato plants are one of the only things I don't plant from seeds. By July, this part of my little backdoor garden will be overrun with cherry tomatoes. How glorious.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

packing for europe.

Mother Rabbit has three of her bunnies converging in Italy this June. How exciting. Abby & Katie are traveling together and are actually meeting Emily & Barrett in Florence one night for dinner. The bunnies are busy packing and getting cool backpacks to put their things in. They all want to pack light and Mother Rabbit has a recommendation:

Go shopping at your favorite store and buy some basic pieces you love. Not items on sale, but things you love. Select basics that you love so much that you wouldn't mind if someone made you wear them two weeks straight. Voila. Plus new clothes have sizing in them that keep them looking new for longer. Make sure items you select all coordinate and can be mix-and-matched. Pack a fabulous scarf. And select shoes that you could wear for a marathon.

And don't forget to pack your Frommer's Guide and a blank journal to record your "three favorites" from every day. Is there room in that bag for Mother Rabbit?

the potty cocoon.

Try this out before you laugh. If you have a child that is having trouble going poop (is it any better to say "trouble having a bowel movement"?), tell them to lean slightly forward on the toilet and layer a cuddly blanket or soft, warm towel over them. It creates a cozy tent or cocoon that provides a bit more privacy and for some reason is relaxing. All of this helps. Encourage them to relax and be comfortable, and then they can try rocking gently forward and backward to encourage the process.

Note: This works for adults too. (Again, no laughing allowed until you have tried it.)

Before you ever take over the counter medicine for this kind of ailment, always try prune juice and/ or dried fruit first. Dried apricots and dried plums (prunes) are awesome.

I hope it comes out OK. (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

never pick your scabs or blisters.

This is important. Our bodies are engineered to heal and repair. They do not need our help in the form of removing scabs or blister skin prematurely. Resist the urge to pick a scab. Let it fall off naturally (unless you were hoping for a big scar.) In the case of blisters or bed sores, the top skin layers and fluid provide a protective cushion as the body heals in layers. Let the skin layers work themselves off as naturally as possible.

I know a certain cancer warrior who got a nasty bed sore from his lengthy hospital stay. He thought the skin "looked bad" and cut the skin off without consulting Mother Rabbit. He paid a very painful price by exposing all those nerve endings.

If you have a blister from a burn, raw aloe vera gel straight from an aloe vera leaf is not only comforting but helps heal the wound. No aloe vera? Try honey.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

the power of a list.

Life can get crazy. I can find myself running in circles... and forgetting things... and losing track of things, not to mention time. Then I remember to take time to sit down and MAKE A LIST. There is so much power in a PLAN that is written down in some form. We have a crazy week with graduation party plans swirling around me and pressing in on me. Now the activities to be done are safely on a list. Now I can breath in and out and look at the list for instructions. I still have lots of work to do, but the work load is divided by day and no longer seems overwhelming.

Do you need a List today? Mother Rabbit can't live without them.