Because food connects us all, Yahoo Life is serving up a heaping plateful of table talk with people who are passionate about what's on their menu in Deglazed, a series about food.
Catherine Giudici Lowe is the Season 17 winner of The Bachelor, a mom of three and the self-proclaimed "mashed potato queen."
"From a very young age — probably when I was 10 — I was in charge of cooking the mashed potatoes for any family gathering," Lowe tells Yahoo Life. "We'd have like 20 people who were Filipino and Samoan and they were big and they could eat. I made a lot of potatoes."
Her secret for making crowd-pleasing spuds? A bit of preparation.
"Just make sure you do it so you're not frantic," the 35 year old shares. "I like to make sure they're peeled in the fridge in water the night before so I'm not doing all of it at one time and I can really season as I go. It's a really time commitment–heavy dish that people expect a lot from."
In addition to making really good mashed potatoes, Lowe, whose mother is Filipino American, has recently started learning to make traditional Filipino dishes. "My mom was a single mom so she didn't really teach me a ton about Filipino cuisine," she says, "so I'm really doing that now."
Lowe says if she could sit down to a meal with anyone, it'd be one of her Filipino ancestors so she could get some cooking tips. "I feel like recently I've gotten into trying to be authentic in my Filipino cooking," she says. "I'm obsessed with doing it, so maybe someone from the Philippines in my family tree could help me be really good at honoring the traditions and honoring the heritage."
Among her current traditional Filipino favorites? Arroz caldo, a rice dish with chicken, ginger, garlic and lime. "It's really really good for when you're not feeling good and you want a warm dish," she explains. Lowe has also learned to make lumpia, meat-filled egg rolls, and pancit, a noodle dish with chicken and vegetables.
When she's not channeling her ancestry in the kitchen, Lowe says she keeps things simple, turning to family favorites like grilled salmon and a side of roasted kale or broccoli for dinner.
"My kids love it," she says of her balanced cooking style. "My thing I did before they were born was drink a green juice every single day so they are really into and love that flavor. It has to have some connection because now, they will drink green smoothies and green juice — they prefer it over lemonade."
Lowe, who spoke with Yahoo Life as part of her work promoting Mrs. T's Pierogies and the brand's All-Star Moms campaign, says while she handles the bulk of the cooking in her household, her husband, Sean Lowe, often helps with breakfast. "He's Gaston," she jokes. "He really just makes eggs."
As a lover of mashed potatoes and motherhood, Lowe says her partnership with Mrs. T's was a perfect match.
"They're encouraging and supporting moms to fulfill their passions and explore things outside of their role as moms," Lowe said of the brand's Mother's Day-related campaign, in which they're giving away cash prizes to help moms fund the pursuit of their own interests. "I'm doing piano [for the campaign] and I am loving learning something new for my own enrichment. When your children see that, they really respect it. They love seeing you do something different."
"Being a mom is a rewarding job that is so important to society and our communities," says Lowe, who created an Air-Fried Mini Pierogy Shrimp Tempura Bowl recipe for Mrs. T's, "but it’s also really important to pour back into ourselves as adults and as women."
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