Tag Archives: cooking

I’m not going to lie, these potatoes are sinful.  And I attempted to serve them on Easter, but I accidentally left the whole pan of taters in the fridge at home.  Or perhaps I sub-consciously did it on purpose so I could have them all for myself, I’m not sure.

Here’s the deal: there is a ton of fat in this recipe.  After sauteing your veggies and layering it all in a large pan, you dump in 2 cups of heavy cream and 2 1/2 cups of cheese!  As you can imagine, it turns the lowly potato into velvety goodness.  But if you eat these potatoes too often you are going to have to invest in bigger pants so save it for special occasions like Christmas.  Or a Tuesday.

The recipe comes from none other than the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten, and can be found in her cookbook The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook AND can be found online at the Food Network.  Before I started cooking I read through most of the comments and there are some slight adjustments the other reviewers suggested and wholeheartedly agree:

  • You can cut the cream in half and replace it with whole milk.  If you use the full amount of cream (which is what I did) you will end up with a delightfully creamy dish but there will also be a pool of butter-fat swimming at the top of your dish.  Go ahead and replace some of that high fat dairy with a lower fat option, it will still be delicious.
  • Based on other readers suggestions I boosted up the flavors with a few sprigs worth of chopped thyme, 1 garlic clove, extra pepper, and replaced half of the onion with a sauteed leek.  It added some terrific layers of flavor.
  • Feel free to swap out the cheese for whatever you have on hand.  In addition to the Gruyere I added a few grates of parmesan because I love it.  I also grated some parmesan over the dish in the last 5 minutes and broiled it till browned.
  • You can make this dish ahead of time by preparing everything as listed, then baking it for roughly half the time (45 mins or so) just to get everything “set” then refrigerate after it has cooled off.  Then when you are ready to serve, throw it in the oven for the remainder of time (another 45 min or so).  Just don’t put it in the fridge and forget that it’s there.  I’m just saying, it can happen to some people.
  • If you have a mandolin or a little slicer like this one from Kyocera,  now would be a good time to pull it out.  I was able to slice up my potatoes and fennel so fast and evenly, much thinner than I could have done by hand and definitely more consistent.
  • Note that this recipe serves 10 so unless you are making it for a small army (which happens to be the size of my family) then I’d cut it in half.

As for the process itself, it’s pretty straightforward: slice up your potatoes and let them soak in the cream while you saute your aromatics.  Dump all of that plus the cheeses in a buttered dish and bake for roughly 1 1/2 hours.  You can find the full recipe by clicking here.

It’s blustery and rainy here in CA but there is the promise of sunshine for the weekend.  I sure hope so, my skin is turning an unattractive shade of pale!

Crumbs?  Just a bunch of small topics, links, articles that I have run across lately that just didn’t make it to a post all their own.  Enjoy my ramblings!

  • The Seven Year Pen from See Jane Work.  It is exactly what it sounds like, a writing pen that lasts for 7 years!  And it comes in all sorts of dandy shades/designs like the blue “ciao” one.  I kinda want one.
  • I know I’ve told you about it before, but I’m going to tell you again because I use it all the time!  CardStar (for our new friends) is an app for your mobile phone that allows you to load your store rewards cards (like CVS, Sam’s Club, Ulta, Panera, etc.)  into your cell phone so that 1) you don’t have to scrounge around in your purse or wallet for your rewards card while you are standing at the checkout and 2) you can leave the cards at home if you want because all the info is preloaded into the app.  At checkout you just whip out your phone and the checker “scans” the bar code straight from the app.  Voila!  I have never used rewards cards & coupons  so much as I have since I started using the app.  I used it today!
  • Did you know there is a group on Facebook called Discussing Downton Abbey?  I’m just sayin’….
  • Not everyone can/wants to shell out the bucks for a Brazilian Blowout Hair Smoothing Treatment but did you know they have a whole line of hair products that work insanely well at smoothing your hair? I know some of you have been nervous about the formaldehyde in their original formula but they now have a line called Brazilian Zero that contains no formaldehyde.  It’s not for everyone, but if you have unruly hair like mine, I recommend it.
  • Someone on Pinterest posted this “markdown schedule” for Target.  I haven’t had a chance to see if it’s true or not but I’m gonna.  Like, tomorrow.
  • If you’re new to cooking or just want to brush up on the basics, I really recommend Kelsey’s Essentials on Cooking Channel.  She’s perky but not in an annoying way and she gives you the essential techniques you need to be a great home cook.

And that’s what’s been on my mind lately!



Every family has their own “culture” and in my family it consists of two main things:  sports and cooking.  We are all athletic and we all cook.  We spend a great deal of time talking about food and pestering Grandma for her secret recipes and cooking up a storm.

Not only do I read cookbooks with voracity, I would choose to watch cooking shows over most movies.  On a lazy Sunday morning I will roll out of bed, brew a cup of espresso, then crawl back into bed and watch a few cooking shows I have saved on the dvr.  Shows like:

Barefoot Contessa– Ina Garten has the most amazing cookbooks.  I really do cook from them all the time, in fact, I have made that apple tart she is making in the photo. Her show is full of inspiration and her house is gor-ge-ous!

Mexico: One Plate at a Time with Rick Bayless:  Rick Bayless lived and studied in Mexico for many years before coming back to the States and opening some of the finest upscale, authentic Mexican restaurants in the country.  Watching his show is part cooking-part travel show.

French Food at Home:  Most people don’t know of Laura Calder or her show on Cooking Channel, probably because she hails from Canada and her show debuted there.  She teaches about French cuisine and how to incorporate it into everyday life.  She is sophisticated with a side of cheeky.  The food is simple but elegant at the same time.

Keep your Real Housewives of New Jersey, I want to watch cooking shows!  They are simple yet entertaining, at least to a girl who loves to cook.


Only a few days left!  You can start from the beginning here.

I really would love to see this recipe…