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 🙂

Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

Olivia’s stuffed mushrooms were AMAZING. I had to give a recipe a go after trying her’s because they were so delicious. Here’s what you’ll need:

1 package of mushrooms
½ a package of frozen spinach
2/3 cup of shredded cheese- I used a combination of Italian and Mexican cheeses
1 yellow onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon of parsley
1 egg
1/3 cup of bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

First, you’ll want to take the stems off your mushrooms and use a spoon to clear them out a little bit more. Chop up the stems.

Next, use nonstick spray to spray down an oven safe dish and line your mushrooms up.

Finely cut up the onion and garlic.

In a pan, place the mushroom stems, onion, and garlic. Place on medium heat and leave this, stir occasionally, until the onions are transparent.

Squeeze the excess water out of the spinach- as much as you can.

In a bowl, combine the onion mixture and spinach. Add in the egg and mix well. Then add in about ½ cup of cheese and mix well. Then add in the about a tablespoon of salt and pepper and parsley. Mix it up more. Then add in the bread crumbs and mix again.

Use a spoon to spoon in the mixture into the mushroom caps. Top with the last bit of cheese.

Place in oven for about 15 minutes.

When done, let them cool for about 5 minutes and eat! These would be yummy dipped in marinara sauce too, but they were delish on their own. If I had to change one thing, I’d add in a bold spice to give them a little kick. They were good- but I think a little pump to the flavor would have been yummy. They were a nice addition and (semi) healthy. If you want to skip the cheese, you could always add in tomatoes or something else healthier too.



The fact that I am from Europe and that I am a girl, means I have a predisposition to absolutely adore all things cheese. This cheese ball is flavorful, different, and incorporates any cheeses you have in your fridge. Unfortunately, I do not have a picture of this because it was DEVOURED on my birthday before I could even take a snap shot. However, it is the easiest and BIGGEST party pleaser I’ve made for a gathering so far. Here’s what you’ll need:

8 oz. package of room temperature fat free cream cheese (or any kind you’d prefer)
1 cup of any shredded cheese you may have, I used a combination of parmesan and cheddar
1/2 tablespoon of onion powder
1.5 tablespoons of salsa (any kind you like, I like Pace Medium)
Splash of salt
Splash of pepper

In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients. Once everything is mixed together nicely, take a generous piece of clingwrap and put it to the side. Make the mixture into a ball shape and place on the clingwrap. Use the clingwrap to really make the mixture into a ball shape. Place in the fridge overnight or for a couple hours. Take out the fridge 30 minutes prior to serving so it is easier to dive into. Serve with your favorite crackers. You may need a butter knife if the crackers you’re serving the cheese ball with break.

If you are serving a large number of people, just double the recipe to make a larger cheese ball.

This is a guaranteed crowd please, trust me when I say- if you’re trying to impress…bring the cheese to the people.