A Run Up to Thanksgiving – 5 Days Out

With Thanksgiving coming up we wanted to share some of our family’s favorite dishes for the Thanksgiving meal. James will not be with us for Thanksgiving this year, he will be hosting a dozen people at his place in Portland, Oregon. We (Jim, James, and myself) decided to share some of our family favorite recipes with all of you. All of the recipes are developed by our family so we hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

Mashed Potatoes with Buttermilk and Mascarpone

Hi it’s James dictating to Mom from campsite in mountains above Los Angeles. Yes Mascarpone is the same stuff used to make Tiramisu. It is not sweet, just creamy and yummy. This really works with mashed potatoes and the buttermilk just adds a hint of sourness. This a great support for my Dad’s gravy. When I worked as a Chef for the Ahwahnee, this was an Autumn mainstay. I have refined it and have made it my own. Enjoy!



Author: Chef James R. Kirkley, IV

Yes this is the same stuff used to make Tiramisu. It is not sweet, just creamy and yummy. This really works with mashed potatoes and the buttermilk just adds a hint of sourness.

Serves: 4

Mashed Potatoes with Mascarpone and Buttermilk


4 pounds, russet potatoes – peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces (about 5 large)
6 tablespoons, unsalted butter –┬ácut into 1/2-inch pieces, at room temperature
2 cloves, garlic – peeled and smashed
Kosher salt
1 cup, mascarpone – at room temperature
1/2 cup, buttermilk
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon, chives – finely chopped


  1. In a 5-quart saucepan, combine the potatoes, 2 tablespoons butter, the garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain in a colander and remove the garlic cloves. Return the potatoes to the pan and, using a potato masher, mash the potatoes until smooth.
  2. Add the mascarpone, buttermilk, the remaining 4 tablespoons butter, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper to the potatoes. Stir over low heat until smooth and warmed through. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and serve. Top with finely chopped chives.

Not only is this a delicious alternative to regular mashed potato recipes, but it’s a very user-friendly way to serve your potato side dish. They’re really decadent: not too rich, but just rich enough, and perfect for any special occasion. If you cannot find mascarpone, don’t bother making this, there really is no substitute.


Carrots Vishy

Hi James again, this recipe comes from an old standby cookbook by Pierre Franey called the 60 Minute Gourmet, which as far as we can tell is no longer published. This is the recipe solely responsible for getting Mom to like carrots.


Author: James R. Kirkley, IV

Easy and delicious

Serves: 4

Carrots Vichy


8 carrots – peeled
2 tablespoons, butter
2 teaspoons, sugar
1/2 teaspoon, salt
pepper – to taste
1 tablespoon, parsley – chopped


  1. Slice carrots into thin 1/8 inch disks.
  2. Place carrots in large non-stick frying pan. Barely cover with water. Add butter, sugar and salt. Pepper comes later.
  3. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring occasionally. Let water boil completely away. The carrots will start to saute in the butter and the sugar will caramelize and coat them. Saute the carrots until they start to get brown. Sprinkle with pepper and serve immediately. Garnish with parsley.

The sweetness of the carrots really complements savory foods and this is simplicity itself to make. Great with rice pilaf and pork or chicken.

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