AMY & REE: Chicken Fried Steak with Gravy and Creamy Mashed Potatoes

I got all antsy to make these two dishes from PW's cookbook once the weather started cooling off. And, trust me, I know they are a heart attack waiting to happen. But a delicious one, if I do say so. We just happen to have some cubed elk steak in the freezer, a gift from last hunting season, which worked perfectly for her Chicken Fried Steak. The roux gravy was easy and yummy as well. Her Creamy Mashed Potatoes, though, are really time consuming, as you basically make traditional mashed potatoes then mix in a lot of butter, cream cheese, and cream and bake them again. All extra steps which take too much time and don't really enliven the flavor all that much, in my opinion. And I'm back on a roll with baking and cooking, my friends, since we just celebrated the 2nd Annual Food Network Cookoff, where I spent the last several months all about the Barefoot Contessa. And, as the weather makes my bones ache for comfort food and indoors, you can be expecting more PW cookbook posts soon. Also, I'd better get my ass in gear if I'm to make my December 31st deadline!