Simple Potato Gratin <3 Olivia

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Hi! First post since December for me… been in a pretty major cooking slump. Anyway, this is from the Smitten Kitchen (one of my favorite cooking blogs). We had this for Christmas dinner and it was delicious.

Simple Potato Gratin:
– 3-4 tbs. butter
– 1 1/2 yukon yellow potatoes (peeled)
– 1 cup half & half (or milk or cream)
– approx 1/2 cup shredded cheese (gruyere or parmesan)
– salt & pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
1. Slice the potatoes thinly (use mandoline if possible)

2. Grease a 9×12 glass dish with butter/oil. Place a single layer of sliced potatoes on the bottom of the pan, and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Place 1/3 of the shredded cheese over the first layer.

3. Repeat the layering process, til you end up with 3 layers– but don’t put cheese on top of the final layer, you will do this later.

4. Pour the half & half into the dish, it will come up to the third layer–add more if needed. Place in the oven.

5. After about 30 minutes, remove the dish and press down the potatoes with a spatula so the potatoes are kept moist. Place back in the oven for another 30 minutes. 15 minutes before it is done, sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.

eat & enjoy 🙂

Mexican Chicken Casserole


I love a good recipe to last the week. Or just for a big dinner. This dish is totally from my brain and a great combination of veggies and protein in one. It’s super low fat and high in protein. Here’s what you’ll need:

1 pound of chicken breast, sliced as thinly or thick as you’d like
bread crumbs
1/2 can of black beans
1/2 can of corn
1 can of diced tomatoes
shredded cheese (of your choosing, I did Mexican mix)

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Slice your chicken into pieces, I just halved each chicken breast piece, and coat in the bread crumbs. Place the chicken in a casserole dish.

Sprinkle the top of the chicken with salt, pepper, parsley, and Tabasco to your liking.


Next, drain and rinse the corn, beans, and tomatoes.

I layered half the can of corn on top of the chicken, then half the can of beans. Finally, I added the whole can of diced tomatoes.

I sprinkled a little bit of salt, pepper, and parsley on top of the tomatoes.

The last step is evenly coating the top of the casserole with shredded cheese of your choice.


Put in the oven at 375 for 45 minutes.

Eat hot or save for the next day! This was FULL of flavors and the Tabasco gives it a nice kick. It is so delicious and you can have a totally guild free meal. You can eat this on its own or with a side of pasta or quinoa. Nomz.



Skinny Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup


We DEEPLY apologize for the hiatus we have had. Graduate school had taken over our lives for a while but WE ARE BACK. During our graduate school hurricane, I needed to make various recipes to last me the week. So, the Crockpot was my best friend. I made this Skinny Chicken Noodle Soup and I couldn’t even eat the whole batch in a week. Here’s what you’ll need:

6 oz of reduced sodium chicken broth
1 can of corn (I used creamy corn)
4 carrots chopped up
4 celery stocks chopped up
1 pound of chicken breast, cubed
2 cups of diced up mushrooms
1/2 of a finely chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 a package of rotini pasta (of whatever past of your choice)

Step one, put everything in Crockpot, including the raw cubed chicken (trust me). Add the ingredient to your liking and taste.


Step 2, set Crockpot on high for 4.5 hours.


Step 3, enjoy.

This recipe is genuinely the easiest recipe ever and its delicious. You’ll enjoy it and so will people you give it to. I ate it over the week for lunch then froze the other half. Deeeeelish!



Veggie Stir Fry


Okay, this is easily my favorite recipe I’ve ever created. I was super craving Chinese but needed a healthier version. I had just gotten a TON of veggies so I decided to make this stir fry, it was incredible. Tasted JUST like the stir fry you order! Here’s what you’ll need:

1 cup of rice, 2 cups cooked
1/3 cup of frozen peas
1/3 cup of chopped up mushrooms
½ cup of cut up kale
1.5 tablespoons of soy sauce
1 tablespoon of bbq sauce

Ok first, make your rice. Make sure it’s nice and fluffy.

Chop up your veggies if you haven’t already while you wait.

In a big pan heat up a tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat.

Put the mushrooms, peas, and kale in there and cover so they sweat.

Let them in there for about 5-7 minutes stirring once or twice.

Put in the soy sauce and bbq sauce and mix it up, lowering the heat to low.

Add in the rice at this point and stir everything together well. Let it sit on the heat for a minute or two, stirring often.

Done! This was honestly one of my favorite meals I’ve made in a long long time. You will not be disappointed by this. Next time, I may add in an egg to really make it a true copy cat!



Greek Yogurt Chicken


After needing a very intense study break, I decided to create something with what I had in the fridge. So I decided on this fun new recipe! Here’s what you’ll need:

1 pound of chicken thighs
1 russet potato cut up
½ a yellow onion
2 cloves of garlic
Italian seasoning
1 of the 100 calorie 0% fat Greek yogurts (they’re usually 8 oz.)

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Cube the chicken thighs – you can make them as big/small as you want.

Place the cubed chicken into a baking dish. Sprinkle with turmeric, parsley, Italian seasoning, basil, salt and pepper. Put as much or as little as you want. Use a spoon and mix it all up.

Finely chop the onions and garlic and mix in with the chicken.


Cut up the potato very thin, as thin as you can get it and whatever shape you’d like it. Mix it in with the chicken. Use a spoon to mix it all up.


Dump the container of Greek yogurt into the chicken mixture and use a spoon to mix it all up well. Add in a little bit more of all of the seasonings and mix again.




Place in the oven for an hour. Take out and enjoy!

Enjoy while hot! This was really good and very well seasoned! The chicken practically melts in your  mouth. Easy dinner and lots of left overs.



Chicken & Mushroom Vodka Sauce Pasta


After some intense working out, I needed a very carby dinner. So here is what I came up with based on what I had in my kitchen. Here’s what you’ll need:

¾ of a yellow onion cut up
2 cloves of garlic, diced up
1 pound of cubed chicken breast
1 package of cut up mushrooms
1 package of pasta (I used rotini)
2.5 cups of red sauce (use your favorite)
4 tablespoons of Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of pepper
1 teaspoon of basil
2 tablespoons of diced up parsley

First, dice up your chicken, onion, garlic, and parsley.




Set a large pot to boil for the pasta. Put pasta in when it comes to a boil (probably while the onions/garlic are cooking).

In a separate pan, add a splash of olive oil and leave on medium heat for about 3-5 minutes. Put in the onions and garlic and let it sweat for about 7 minutes.


Then add in the chicken, pepper, salt, and basil; cover it. Mix it 2 or 3 times over 10 minutes. Add in the mushrooms and continue to let this sweat and combine.



I had to split this up into two bowls, but put in one cup of the red sauce and 2 tablespoons of Greek yogurt and mix it up. Add the rest of the red sauce and yogurt in the other bowl and mix.


Drain the pasta when it is done and put it back into the pot.

When the chicken is done, remove the excess liquid – I did this by using a spoon which had holes in it and adding the chicken/mushrooms one spoonful at a time to the pasta.

As stated above, combine the chicken/mushrooms with the pasta. Leave the combination on the stove on low. Then add in the pasta/Greek yogurt mix. Use a large spoon and mix it well. Finally add in the diced up fresh parsley and mix.

Let the pot sit on the stove on low for about 5 minutes mixing once or twice.


Serve and enjoy-HOT. It is sucha delicious combination of spices and textures. You will enjoy and so will your friends and family!



Baked Broccoli


It’s pretty clear how much I love broccoli. It’s so healthy, full of fiber, and delicious. I make this pretty often when I need a quick veggie side. It’s a GREAT recipe to get kids to start liking veggies, for busy grad students, and for anyone who likes broccoli! Here’s what you’ll need:

2 stocks of broccoli (cut it up so that the florets are still pretty big)
2 egg whites
1/3 cup of bread crumbs

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Cut up the broccoli.

In a bowl, crack your eggs and leave just the egg whites.

Put the broccoli in the bowl and mix well with the egg whites.


Add in a sprinkle of parsley, pepper, and salt. Then add in the bread crumbs. Mix everything well- add in more bread crumbs if you want it more breaded.

Lightly spray a cookie sheet with nonstick spray. Pour the broccoli onto the cookie sheet. Flip the florets so that they are facing stem up.


Put in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

After about 7 minutes take a spatula and unstick them from the bottom of the pan and then bake the rest of the time.


When done, enjoy with some chicken or use it as a healthy snack!

I really like this recipe because it’s easy and the broccoli turns out so crispy and delicious. If you’re feeling bold, add a spicy dipping sauce- yum.