If you ask my brother and sister I make the best mashed potatoes in the world. And I like that title. But really the style of mashed potatoes you like is really a personal thing. Some like them whipped and fluffy, some like them with chunks of potato in them, some people like them cheezy and some people like them savory. I like them all ways, some of the time. Today I made them for lunch with our steaks we had grilled out for watching the Cowboy game and I thought about a lot of things while I was making them. The way I make my mashed potatoes depends on who I am cooking for and what I am serving with it... kind of like choosing a wine pairing :) With Kim and Ryan I know that they like cheesy, buttery potatoes that are smooth and creamy. George likes his potatoes with garlic, and lots of it.
The secret to mashed potatoes is dairy... not potatoes (cause that's not a secret).
You can use a few forms. For today's mashed potatoes I used sour cream and plain yogurt with roasted garlic. They seemed a little dry so I added some milk to smooth them out.
I always: use a hand mixer... no matter how creamy you are going to get them use a hand mixer and they will come out so much better.
I usually: use sour cream as my diary...in a pinch I will use milk, and at times I will use whipping cream.
I always: use some form of garlic - garlic powder, garlic salt, or roasted garlic like I did for George today. I do the amount based on the crowd (George = a ton)
I never: make powdered mashed potatoes... okay I lied.. I did when I was a wee little homemaker, but times have changed!
Good luck in your quest of making wonderful mashed potatoes and may they never be lumpy or dry!