Garlic Mashed Potatoes

The ultimate comfort food – sometimes that’s exactly what we need!

Garlic Mashed Potatoes (recipe courtesy of Paula Deen)


3 medium baking potatoes peeled and coarsely chopped

1 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

1/4 cup sour cream, at room temperature

1 teaspoon finely minced garlic

1 tablespoon (or more) whole milk, at room temperature or warmed

Salt and freshly ground black pepper



In a medium saucepan, cook the potatoes in salted water until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and return them to the saucepan. Add the butter, sour cream and garlic. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher or the back of a fork until the ingredients are blended. Add the milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the potatoes are the desired consistency. Taste and add salt and pepper, if needed.


Full Belly, Happy Heart

Sometimes, when I come home from work, I simply do not have what it takes to get a meal on the table. On those nights, my family has choices. The first is peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for everyone, but serving these for dinner is an act of utter desperation ~ as is cold cereal and canned soup.

Another choice is to grab fast food somewhere, knowing we are probably sacrificing nutrition for convenience. And fried food gets old very quickly, even for the little ones who really only want the burger and fries because a toy comes with it.

Thankfully, we have a better option. We had a night like this just last week, and we took ourselves to Mainstreet Restaurant for dinner. The atmosphere is comfortable, it’s like eating at a friend’s house, which we love. The dish I had was so wonderful, I had an epiphany while eating it — there is nothing better than a scrumptious home-cooked meal, except for one cooked for you by someone else. I have to comment on what I ate because it was so completely satisfying.

I had a thinly sliced, glazed pork loin. It was perfectly seasoned with a Brazilian rub, a mixture whose ingredients I can only guess at. It was absolutely mouth-watering and was better than anything I could have worked up at home feeling like I was. If you’re near Idaho Springs and don’t have the energy to make dinner, let Mainstreet make it for you. It is such an affordable treat, and you’ll leave with a full belly and happy heart.

Grown-Up Grilled Cheese

Something about the changing weather stirs up a craving in people for what we call *comfort foods*. Perhaps we long for our mother’s kitchen, where love was expressed to us through food, where we felt safe and cared for. Or maybe it’s some biological clock from ages past telling our brains to prepare for winter. Whatever it is, we know what we want. We want mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, hot chocolate, whipped cream and grilled cheese sandwiches. These foods, in order to qualify as comforting, need to be made with care, using quality ingredients. It matters how they’re made.

Sometimes I just crave a grilled cheese – crisp on the outside, and oozing with warmth on the inside. But I’ll be honest – I don’t want my daughter’s grilled cheese. I want something made for a grown-up ~ something worthy of my attention. 

Mainstreet restaurant serves just such a sandwich. When I want food that will stick to my ribs and fill me with happiness, I head over to Mainstreet for house-made bread, buttered and grilled to perfection and filled with ooey-gooey real cheese goodness. It’s not my mama’s kitchen – but it’s as close as it gets.

Love & Business

80-90% of businesses in the United States are family owned, and a good portion of those are owned by a husband-wife team. When this set-up is good, it is very, very good.

Take, for instance, Josh and Micheli of Mainstreet Restaurant in Idaho Springs. They each bring their own distinctive gifts and perspectives to their business; yet, they have a common dream and a shared vision. Their restaurant is a magnificent little place because of it. 

Their business venture has resulted in a place that is comfortable and inviting, with house-made breads, house-smoked meats, Brazilian flair and down-home cooking. It is unique and special – there is simply nothing ordinary about it. Come in and experience a treat for your senses – great coffee, wonderful food, and homestyle hospitality. Mainstreet isn’t just a ‘job’ for Josh and Micheli. It’s their dream. It’s their family, and you’ll sense it the moment you walk in.

A Little Brazil

Josh and Micheli, two Idaho Springs locals, are the owners of Mainstreet Restaurant on Miner Street. The restaurant has a quirky unique feel that is all its own, lending to its charm and appeal. The feeling of comfort and welcome one has in the eatery is in part due to the decor.

Micheli is Brazilian, and several authentic Brazilian dishes on the menu attest to this heritage. But if you take a moment from your scrumptious meal and look around, you will see many hand-painted Brazilian plates on display that are sent to Micheli by her mother who is still in Brazil. These plates are hand-crafted works of art, each one unique, with a special beauty all its own. They are certainly something special. Between the food and these lovely plates, Micheli has created a little bit of Brazil right in the heart of this cozy mountain community.

Peruvian Organic & Apple Brown Betty

Java Mountain Roasters’ Peruvian Organic coffee is clean and crisp, hitting the entire palate with its sweet, good body, and moderate acidity. This is an exquisite organic coffee, with passion fruit in the aroma and a roasted raisin-toned dark chocolate in the cup. For a perfect fall treat, pair this roast with Apple Brown Betty. 

Apple Brown Betty

4       cups peeled, sliced, pared tart apples

1/4    cup orange juice

1       cup sugar

3/4    cup flour, sifted

1/2    teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4    teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2    cup butter


Mound apples in 9-inch buttered pie plate. Sprinkle with orange juice. Combine flour, sugar, spices and dash salt. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle over apples. Bake at 375˚ for 45 minutes or until apples are tender and topping is crisp. Serve warm with cream or ice cream.

Gingerbread with Black & Tan

Fall is such a perfect time for baking – the wonderful smells fill the house and the oven actually adds warmth to the fall chill in the air. It’s also the perfect time to try Java Mountain Roasters Black & Tan coffee – a blend of light and dark roasted Indonesian and African beans, that create a unique speckled appearance and a mellow, full-bodied taste. How about trying Black & Tan with a warm gingerbread topped with a dollop of whipped cream. It’s so good, it will be like a celebration welcoming autumn.


  • 1 1/2     cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4        cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4        teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4        teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2        teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2        teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2        cup shortening
  • 1/2        molasses
  • 1           egg

Oven 350˚

In a bowl combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, and baking soda. Add shortening, molasses, egg, and 1/2 cup of water. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed till combined. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes. Pour into a greased and floured 8x8x2-inch baking pan. Bake in a 350˚ oven for 35 to 40 minutes or till a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack 10 minutes. Remove from pan; serve warm. Serves 9. *

Whipped Cream

  • 1        cup whipping cream
  • 2        tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2     teaspoon vanilla

In a chilled bowl combine shipping cream, sugar, and vanilla. Beat with chilled beaters of an electric mixer on medium speed till soft peaks form. Makes 2 cups (8 servings). *

* From Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book