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bowl of garlic mashed potato

The holiday season is here, and UH News is asking members of the University of Hawaiʻi ʻohana to share their favorite recipes. The hope is these recipes and the short stories that accompany them will give everyone some ideas for eats throughout the holidays.

Windward Community College Chef Daniel Swift calls this recipe for garlic mashed potatoes his classic favorite.

man holding bowl of mashed potatoes
Windward Community College Chef Daniel Swift

“Growing up in Idaho, we always had potato dishes and we didn’t want the standard potato dishes all the time so we experimented a lot, and this one is one of my favorites because I love garlic,” Swift said. “There’s a little bit of milk, a little butter, and I like to keep the potatoes chunky—that’s why we’re using a red potato.”

He said, “It’s just a little twist on the traditional mashed potatoes. It’s always on the table for the holidays!”

Swift’s recipe appears in Windward CC’s 50th Anniversary Cookbook—a compilation of recipes and memories gathered from faculty and staff members. The cover artwork by alumna Shar Tui‘asoa—known as Punky Aloha—expresses the theme of the 50th anniversary gala fundraiser, E Miha, ʻĀio! (Pull with the crest of the wave to our future). All proceeds from the sold-out cookbook supported the college’s $1-million goal to fund scholarships for students at Windward CC. To help the college reach its $1-million goal for scholarships, visit

Check out holiday recipes from previous years


1 ½ pounds red-skinned potatoes (or your favorite type) cut into 2-inch cubes
12 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole
8 cups water, or enough to cover the potatoes in a pot
3 cups milk (hot)
¼ cup fresh chopped chives, green onions (optional parsley)
¼ cup olive oil or butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Yield: 6 servings

E Miha Aio Windward C C 50th Anniversary Cookbook cover


  • Wash potatoes and dry with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.
  • Cube potatoes and place them in a pot with the garlic and cover with water.
  • Bring to a boil and cook the potatoes and garlic until the potatoes are tender.
  • Meanwhile, heat the milk on low heat in a separate pan with the olive oil or butter.
  • Drain the water from the potatoes. (Reserve 1–2 cups for use later).
  • Add salt and pepper (many people prefer white pepper in their potatoes, but it is up to you. For heat, use a little cayenne).
  • Using a potato masher or the beater attachment on a hand mixer, mix the potatoes until broken up but not fully smooth.
  • Stir in the milk gradually so as not to splash it all over. The thickness of the potatoes is up to you. Some like their potatoes thin, in which case you can add additional liquid saved from boiling the potatoes.
  • Add chopped chives, green onions or parsley with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Place in a serving bowl and drizzle with a little bit of olive oil or add a pat of butter if you wish. You can also sprinkle with a touch of paprika, black pepper or even some chopped parsley, onion or chive to garnish. Serve hot.

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If you would like to share your UH-mazing holiday recipe, learn how to send it to UH News.

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