Garlic Mashed Potatoes


Do you have that one food that whenever you have it, you think of “home”.  Mashed potatoes are “home” for me.  Every holiday, every fall, every home-cooked, comfort-food meal involves mashed potatoes in the Hunt fam.  Mashed potatoes are the equivalent of a food-blanket.  They’re warm and soft and comfy and make me want to curl up on the couch and watch movies.  Wrapped in mashed potatoes.  Truly, I’m pretty sure that there is nothing better than homemade mashed potatoes.

With that said, I can confirm with full certainty that I am pretty sure I make the best mashed potatoes ever.  Sure they have heart-stopping amounts of butter, cream, and salt in them, but it’s not like you’re eating them everyday, right?

Really though, my mashed potatoes are so good that, while making these for dinner while visiting my family in Vegas, my brother and I may have eaten a good serving or two with just our fingers long before dinner would be served.

A little uncivilized, yes, but totally worth it.

I have to warn you that when I said they have “heart-stopping amounts of butter, cream, and salt” in them, I really meant it.  If you are not a fan of buttery, creamy, slightly lumpy mashed potatoes, you probably will not want these.  (Although to be completely honest, I’m not sure why anyone would want dry, flavorless, starchy mashed potatoes, but to each their own).  One of the best parts of mashed potatoes is that you get to put all kinds of fun things on top of them–like meat juice (gravy).  Also, they get served with wonderful foods like pot roast and turkey and pork chops.  Is anyone else hungry right now, too?

Please just do yourself a favor and make these potatoes at least once this fall.  I know your mom says that she makes the best mashed potatoes ever, but I wholeheartedly believe that you have the power to prove her wrong with this recipe.  (I know this because now every time I’m making dinner with my mom, she asks me to make the mashed potatoes.  Coincidence?  I think not).


10 small russet potatoes, peeled

3/4 c. heavy cream or half and half*

6 Tbs. butter, softened**

Lots of salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste

1-2 tsp. garlic powder***

Bring a large pot of water to a boil at medium-high heat.  Add the potatoes and boil until fork tender, about 15-20 minutes.

Drain potatoes and let cool slightly.  Transfer potatoes to a large bowl, and begin mashing using a potato masher (alternatively, you can use a potato ricer or a hand/stand mixer, but it’s up to you).  Add cream, butter, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Continue mashing to desired consistency.  If you like lumpier mashed potatoes, I would recommend stirring ingredients in to maintain consistency.

Taste and add more seasoning, if desired.

–Mashed potatoes can be made in advance.  To reheat, I recommend putting them in a large pot on the stove on medium heat.  Add a splash of cream and a couple more tablespoons of butter to keep them from drying out.  Stir frequently to prevent burning.–

–Sometimes I add 1-2 Tbs. of finely chopped fresh rosemary.  It tastes amazing, and it’s an easy way to make potatoes fancy!–

Serves 6-8.

*I know this is an ungodly amount, but just trust me.

**Remember what I said about trust?

***I highly recommend garlic powder over chopped fresh garlic.  I like the consistency better with garlic powder, and it’s easier to season it.  However, you can totally use fresh garlic if you prefer!  I also recommend starting with 1 tsp. of garlic powder and adding more if necessary.  I like mine very garlic-y, but some may not!



My little brother (A.K.A. my honorary photographer reflected in the spoon above) told me that mashed potatoes reminded him of mountains while photographing these for me.  I told him that reminded me of the children’s book “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs”.

Happy fall, friends.


*Song of the Day: Hold On–Alabama Shakes


My Favorite Summer Albums 2015


In the 3+ years that I have been blogging, I realize that I haven’t really written much in the way of music.  Sure, I’ll throw in some music references when blogging a recipe or outfit, and I might mention an album I’m currently digging every once in a while.  And of course, I always do my “song of the day” at the end of each post.  If you go onto my ‘me in a nutshell’ page, you’ll notice that I list about 846 bands/musicians that I love.  But I’ve really slacked on actually writing about music.


So, in an attempt to connect with some of my music-loving readers (as well as other music lovers), I’ve decided to write a post every once in a while about some of my favorite albums.  Since it’s way too difficult for me to pick my overall favorite albums, I decided just to limit the post to what I listened to this summer.  (That doesn’t mean that I only listened to a few albums this summer, either.  I listened to sooo many…still, I need to have some limits or this could go on for days).  Some of the albums are newer, some are older, some of the bands are together, some aren’t.  The point is that these are some really great albums regardless of how old they are.  Here’s to the end of summer!

*These albums are in no particular order.*

1. The Strokes-Is This It

 Oh man, where to begin?  The Strokes are just wonderful.  When I found out that they would be playing in Hyde Park while I was visiting London, I bought the ticket immediately.  I didn’t even have a plane ticket at the time.  Yeah.  That’s how bad I wanted to go (notice Julian’s face up there in my header picture?  Concert pics whaddup).  Is This It is an instant classic in my book.  The lyrics are simple, yet relatable.  The music is raw, edgy, and has a classic rock sound while still remaining post-punk.  It’s a mix of everything you’ll ever want in a good, solid rock band.

Also, I’m sorry for saying whaddup earlier.  I’ve been watching too much How I Met Your Mother…

2. Little Joy-Little Joy

Little Joy has been one of my favorite albums for years now.  Although it is perfect for any time, I especially love it on road trips.  I think most of it has to do with listening to it on repeat while driving to San Francisco for vacation a couple summer ago, but I think it also just has that relaxed “no worries” vibe that comes with summer.  Rodrigo Amarante and Binki Shapiro’s voices are lulling, with a sort of old-fashioned feel.  Their sound is light and catchy.  Breezy almost.  These guys know what they’re doing.  If I could see any broken-up-band live, this would be my choice.

(P.S. Fabrizio Moretti, drummer of The Strokes, was in the band too.  What can’t he do?)

3. Courtney Barnett-Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit

Courtney Barnett is just straight cool.  There’s really no other way that I can describe her.  In my mind, she’s that one mysterious girl in high school that nobody really knows, but everyone wants to be her friend, because she’s just so cool.  Listening closely, I think this vibe is reflected in her music.  She reminds me of a female Bob Dylan in some ways.  She sings about every day life.  About people’s thoughts and feelings.  She even sings about normal inanimate objects.  Her songs are not complex, yet they are.  Just do yourself a favor, and listen to this album.

4. Vampire Weekend-Modern Vampires of the City

Vampire Weekend is one of my all-time favorite bands.  I remember listening to them when I was a young teenager, maybe even a pre-teen.  However, I never fully appreciated them until this album came out.  It was only then that I really started listening to the lyrics and their use of unusual instruments in an indie rock setting.  They’re one of those bands that is able to make their albums sound different while still sounding like Vampire Weekend.  Their lyrics are poetic, their sound mellow, with a few upbeat tracks thrown in every once in a while.  Everything you want while sitting around semi-drunk with your friends on a late summer night.

Also, Ezra Koenig is probably the love of my life, but that does not mean I’m biased in any sense.

5. Mac DeMarco-Another One

This album is new guys.  Really new.  But I knew I could trust Mac DeMarco, because well, he’s Mac DeMarco.  He can’t do much wrong.  I’ve never come across another artist that is quite as experimental as he is.  His music is raw and laidback.  I love that everything he produces sounds like he just sat down with an acoustic guitar and started playing whatever came to his mind (which is kind of what he does).  When this album came out, I kept an open mind.  But I knew that in the end, it would be a exactly what I want out of his music.  Thanks, Mac.  Truly.

6. Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers-Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers

Tom Petty is one of my favorite classic rock artists.  I have very fond memories of swimming in the pool at my childhood home, my dad keeping an eye on me while he BBQed chicken and vegetables, and this album playing on the fake-rock-painted speakers.  Every time “American Girl” comes on, I can practically smell the sweet mix of BBQ smoke and chlorine.

7. Karen O-Crush Songs

I have this theory that my spirit animal is the lovechild of Karen O and Zooey Deschanel.  Sadly, this combination is not realistic or possible, but I still love them individually, of course.  When Karen O debuted Crush Songs, I was pretty stoked and for good reason.  In Crush Songs, Karen O was able to create a sound that is both feminine and edgy punk.  It is pretty much everything that I have always wanted to create on my own but have not been able to accomplish.  Thank you Karen O for being such an inspiration for all those women who love punk but have a hard time finding legit female punk artists.

8. The Lumineers-The Lumineers

This album has a sweet, nostalgic sense that comes with the folk-indie genre.  Although I would not necessarily classify The Lumineers as folk, there is definitely a prominent influence which perfectly compliments the summer-feel I was looking for.  Beginning with “Flowers in Your Hair”, this album starts out with tales of fond memories of a past life and continues the story-telling theme with slower, sadder songs such as “Dead Sea” and “Slow it Down”.  Calming, catchy, and candid, this is the album to listen to while spending an intimate evening on the patio.

9. Bright Eyes-I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning

I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning is by far the most popular Bright Eyes album there is.  Conor Oberst, the man behind the twangy guitar and slow drawl of a voice, is an expert in writing honest, raw music.  There’s a large part of me that believes that most of the album was written behind a closed bedroom door, the lyrics taken straight out of his personal diary.  I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning is one of those albums that almost everybody likes.  That album that, when you turn it on, everyone goes, “Ohhhh…I forgot about this song.  I love this song”.  If you’re ever at a bonfire, there will inevitably be a guy with an acoustic guitar slung around his shoulder.  Ask him to play “Lua”.

10. Modest Mouse-Strangers to Ourselves

If there’s one thing to be said about Modest Mouse, it’s that they always deliver.  Every time a classic punk band comes out with a new album, I get nervous.  I’m perfectly aware that no band wants to recreate an album that they’ve already made, but I still want them to sound familiar.  Modest Mouse is able to accomplish this tedious task so perfectly, and Strangers to Ourselves is proof of that.  If you’re ever looking for the ultimate grunge-y album to play at a party, throw this one on.  Everyone wants to jam to this album.

11. Paul McCartney-RAM

While in London over the summer, a new friend nervously recommended that I listen to this album.  Claiming it to be the original, indie album, his suggestion immediately intrigued me.  1. I love indie music.  2. I was in London, so I had to listen to The Beatles, or at least Paul McCartney.  I listened to the whole album in one sitting, and I have to say, I was impressed.  While a few songs such as “Oh Woman, Oh Why” were familiar, most of the album was a completely new experience for me.  Rest assured, the album was Sara Lynn-approved.

12. The 1975-The 1975

As I said earlier, I was in London this summer (wait, did I tell you that I was in London this summer…???), so basically The 1975 was playing everywhere.  The British are very proud of their artists, and they should be.  The 1975 has such a hip aesthetic that is hard to compare to any other band.  Punk-rock with a few splashes of pop, it’s a fun album to throw on when you want to have a solo-dance party in your Honda Pilot on the way to your morning coffee stop.  Or while sitting in a Geek Squad shop in the basement of a London-based technology store.  Either works.

What albums did you listen to this summer?


Song of the Day: take your pick ^^^

My Happy Things 9.9.15

happy things

Hello friends!

I haven’t posted a “happy things” article since I was in Europe.  That’s mainly because I originally intended for “my happy things” posts to be a way for me to communicate with my readers overseas since I did not have kitchen access and didn’t really want to worry about getting a bunch of clothing pics the whole time.

However, I have been having a pretty rough couple of weeks.  Without getting into too much detail, the past few weeks have been very stressful and have left me a little heartbroken.  I’ve had a lot of those “I can’t catch a f***ing break” moments.  As dramatic as I make it sound, this is quite abnormal for me, so I do not always know how to handle it.  Panic attacks are somewhat typical for me, but they’ve been worse than usual lately.  While I know it has a lot to do with lack of sleep, not working working out, and not caring for my body as well as I should be, a series of events have lead my life to be very stressful.  I do my best to remain positive, but sometimes I’m just sad.

I’m not afraid to admit that.  I find nothing wrong with sadness, and I find nothing wrong with my anxiety.  It’s just a part of my life, and while I think I’d be better off without it, I also know that it is a part of who I am.  Admittedly, I have a hard time expressing this over my blog since it is very personal and vulnerable.  However, I think it is important to acknowledge that everybody has “something”, whether it’s anxiety or depression or anything else.  I feel lucky that I have the resources and self-motivation to break myself out of my anxiety-funks, and truthfully, I do feel a lot better now than I did a few days ago.  However, not everybody has those means.  There’s an unfair stigma associated with mental health issues, and I would love to help end that.  After all, most people do not know right off the bat that I have anxiety.

Which goes back to that old cliche.  Don’t judge a book by its cover.

Unfortunately, oftentimes when I get sad about real things, I start to get upset about stupid, irrelevant things.  Like why did Little Joy break up?  Why is it socially unacceptable to eat ice cream for dinner every night?  WHY IS SEASON 4 OF NEW GIRL NOT ON NETFLIX YET?!

(Seriously though, Netflix.  New Girl.  Season 4.  Let’s go).

Anyways, since I’ve been having a hard time lately, I decided to bring back the “happy things” posts.  I probably won’t update them every week like I did in London.  But I will definitely keep them around for when I need encouragement, or for when I just want to share some cool things with you guys.

So while I am sad, I also know that there a lot of beautiful things in life.  There is so much to be happy about.  Writing music and blog posts is one of my favorite ways to express how I’m feeling.  I tend to use sarcasm when I write, and I like to make fun of myself–life is too short to take everything seriously.  Sometimes life is hard, but we just have to laugh it off and keep going.  Plus sarcasm makes me happy.  And I would like to use my writing to spread happiness.

And occasionally use profanity on the internet.  Sorry, readers.  It’s who I am as a person.


My first “happy thing” was getting my disposable pictures back that I took in London.  Although this one came out blurry, I’m really in love with it.  Flowers + coffee = a perfect day.

“The Medic” by Foxing.  Foxing is one of my favorite bands ever.  Also, their album The Albatross is just all around so perfect.  You know when you can feel somebody’s emotions through their music?  That’s how I feel when I listen to their album.

Plus, they’re going to be playing a show in Reno in November, and I’m soooooo excited.

So.  Excited.


The balloon races in Reno!  This is an annual event that is super popular, and one of the coolest things about living in Reno.  I have never actually been to the balloon races, but last year a balloon went off track and landed in my cul de sac!  It’s a pretty neat event, because you can see the balloons floating around Reno for pretty much a whole weekend.

Anyways, this year I’m going to go (even though it means waking up at like, 4:30 a.m. to watch them light up O: ).


Living in beautiful Reno.  I took a little walk around the midtown/downtown area the other day, and I was just so happy to be there.  Although the river is really low, it’s just such a pretty place to live.  And the people are so nice.  And there’s really good food and coffee and music.

And I’m really just so lucky to live here.

Whine About It.  Nothing cheers me up quite like watching these videos.  Okay, maybe baby elephant videos make me a little happier, but these do the trick also.  This one is probably my favorite, because it’s just so accurate.

(P.S. How do I get a job where I get to drink wine and bitch about life?  I want that job).

Thanks for reading, guys.  My family comes into town on Friday for my aunt’s wedding, and I can’t wait to have an amazing weekend.

*Insert inspirational quote here*


*Song of the Day: The Medic–Foxing*