Three cheers for those refrigerated mashed potatoes you find in the dairy aisle! With a little doctoring up, I can't tell the difference from homemade from scratch potatoes. While they obviously cost a little more than if you started with a bag of spuds, they aren't the thing that's going to break your budget and you won't end up with half a bag of rotten potatoes that you didn't use....They are often on sale as well, which is when I tend to buy them, but with the holiday coming up, here's a quick shortcut on a sidedish that will certainly be admired.
For my family of 7:
Take 2 packages of the mashed potatoes and put them in a deep casserole dish. Throw in cream cheese, butter :) and sour cream to taste (I use one block of cream cheese, half a stick of butter :) and no sour cream because my kids don't like it too tangy.) Microwave it until it's all nice and hot and the extras are melted. Stir until blended. Top with grated cheddar cheese. Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes until the cheese melts and browns and the potatoes are piping hot. Done! No peeling involved unless you count peeling the cellophane back from the potatoes. So good!