4 servings. You'll need:
2 average-sized baking potatos, or an equivalent amount of your favorite variety of potato. Peeled or unpeeled, your choice (I like to leave the peels on & just give them a good pre-cooking scrub with a veggie brush)
Ranch salad dressing
Buttermilk (Heavy Cream can be substituted here)
8 - 10 strips of cooked Bacon (I use the pre-cooked kind, just to make things easier)
Shredded or grated cheese (whatever kind of cheese you like. I prefer a cheddar / monterrey jack mix, though parmesean is really good too)
A big spoonfull of minced garlic
Salt & pepper
Attitude like you are the greatest thing to step inside a kitchen since Julia Child
1) Cut your potatoes up (cubes or rounds, doesn't matter). Also get your oven going on "bake" at 400F (that's roughly 204C for those of you who insist on using that weird European system)
2) place the cut bits into a pot and add water until they are just covered. Place pot on medium high or high heat until it comes to a boil, allow bits to boil for 10 minutes or so, until they get soft.
3) While the potatos are boiling, put your cooked bacon strips into a food processor and hack them into little bits while maniacally screaming "How do you like that, pig? Not so much fun when the shoe's on the other foot, is it? IS IT?!?!"
4) Once the potatoes have been boiled into submission, transfer them to a large mixing bowl. Taunting the potatoes at this time is optional, though recommended. Just don't mention Dan Quayle, because they're still pretty pissed off at his inability to properly spell their name.
5) This is where you add your Ranch Dressing and Buttermilk. You can go 50/50 on this or go heavy on the Ranch for bolder flavor. I don't have measurements because I kinda do this part by eye, but start off with about 1/8th cup of both. Beat your potatoes into further submission like you're the hand of an angry god with either a hand mixer or (if you want to go "old school" on their asses) a manual potato masher. Keep adding Ranch and Buttermilk until the desired consistancy is achieved*.
*NOTE: add your liquid ingredients in small amounts to avoid making the mixture too thin. Add a bit, mash until blended, then check the consistancy, repeat until it is your desired thickness.
6) Add your chopped and throughly intimidated bacon bits to the mix. They should be scared as all get-out by now, given what they've been through, so they should distribute themselves evenly though the mix without giving you any trouble. If they resist, just give the food processor a few pulses, thet'll remind them who's the boss. Oh yeah, throw that heap of minced garlic in now too. In addition to being tasty, it'll let you know if there are any vampires attending your dinner party.
7) Salt and Pepper the mix to taste. i.e. add some salt & pepper, then freaking taste it to see if you need more or if you overdid it. If you need more, add it. If you overdid it, well, you're screwed and will have to start all over, ya freaking imbicile. HAR!
8) Sorry, I seem to have been channeling Greg Crites for a sec there.
9) Transfer the mix into a casserole dish. Top with bread crumbs and cheese, enough to make a nice layer over the potato mix.
10) Place in your preheated oven while chanting "Cthulhu fh'tagn". Bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and just starting to brown on top.
11) Remove from oven and immediately cram a heaping spoonful in your mouth*
*NOTE: If you are not fond of blisters in your mouth and on your tounge, let the potatoes cool for a few minutes before consuming, ya freaking wimp.**
**Damnit Crites, get outta my head!
**Conjunction Junction, what's your function? No seriously, I slept through grammar class, so I have no idea what you do.**