Quinoa + Veggie Casserole

Happy belated Valentine’s Day!  I hope your weekend was filled with tons of love and affection.  And, if it was anything like our weekend, filled with food.  TJ and I never celebrate Valentine’s in the most traditional of ways. We always celebrate a day or two (sometimes a week) before or ahead (who needs to fight all those crowds?!).  We have opted for cheap, delicious meals in lieu of fancy shmancy overpriced restaurants.  We have gone to Disneyland instead of doing anything too romantic.  We’ve even done a scavenger hunt race.  Now, that we have Olivia, we wanted to continue our non-traditional celebrations, but also sprinkle in a little of that cheesy heart stuff that a little kid loves.  

So, our weekend was full of food.  It is the way we would celebrate, after all!  Instead of boring you with all that we ate, I’ll share with you what we had last night.  We went to an incredible restaurant downtown, Marugame Monzo.  They specialize in handmade udon noodles. Oh man.  We had such a fantastic time.  Olivia had a whole bowl of Zaru Udon (chilled noodles with a dipping suace) to herself! Man, can that girl eat!  After dinner, we headed to The Pie Hole, a fantastic place that specializes in all things pie, both sweet and savory.  We, of course, had a little sweet treat to end the night.  Needless to say, we need some healthy meal alternatives to counter-balance all those indulgences!  If you’ve read some of my past posts, then you already know that I’m heading straight to our Quinoa.  It’s such an easy choice for us. High in fiber and protein and, best of all, Olivia loves it!  We chose to make a casserole dish.  We saw a recipe that was similar to this that used brown rice, but since we’re on our quinoa kick, we decided to substitute it.  This is a lovely cheesy casserole dish with tons of vegetables.  It’s super easy to make – which is always a great perk!  As always, you can substitute whatever veggies you have on hand.  Today, we used carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, and peas.  Also, Enough chattin’ – let’s get started!

What You’ll Need

1 small onion, chopped

1 medium carrot, chopped

1 cup of cauliflower florets, chopped

1 cup broccoli florets, chopped

1 cup peas

1-2 tablespoons of olive oil

1/3 cup + 1/2 cup of your favorite tomato sauce

1/3 cup + 1/2 cup ricotta cheese

8-ounces of mozzarella cheese, shredded

2 cups cooked quinoa (we cooked ours in chicken broth)

salt, to taste (we omitted the salt due to the sauce + chicken broth + cheese, but if it’s for a mainly adult audience, go ahead and pop some salt in for added flavor!)

What You’ll Do:

Preheat your oven to 375.  Grease an 8×8 baking dish.  We greased ours with a little coconut oil.  Make sure your veggies are chopped up into bite-sized pieces.  

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Heat your oil in a large saute pan and add your veggies.  Saute the vegetables until the vegetables are tender.  

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Transfer the cooked vegetables to a large bowl.  Add 1/3 cup of pasta sauce, 1/3 cup of ricotta, and 1 cup of the mozzarella.  Stir to combine.  

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In another bowl, combine your quinoa, salt (if you’ve chosen to include it), 1/2 cup pasta sauce, 1/2 cup ricotta, and 1/2 cup mozzarella.  

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In your baking dish, press half of your quinoa mixture into the baking dish.  Spread all of the vegetable mixture on top, followed by the remaining quinoa mixture.  

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Bake for 50 minutes.  Once it’s done, allow it to cool for around 30 minutes before you serve it up.

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Fiber? Check! Protein? Check! Veggies? Check! Healthy? Check! It passes a bunch of tests!!  And, more importantly, it Tastes Oh So Good!  Enjoy!

~ M ~

Cheesy Quinoa Bites

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Have you been reading a few of the posts I’ve written?  If so, you’ll remember that I posted about a Quinoa “Mac” and Cheese.  Have you tried it yet? Isn’t it yummy? It really has all the indulgence of macaroni and cheese, but some goodness of the extra fiber and protein from the quinoa.  Since we’ve been on a quinoa kick around here (it is just so nice to be able to buy it in bulk!), I wanted to think of another recipe that I could make that Olivia could eat for lunch while I was at work.  Enter the Cheesy Quinoa Bites.  I know, you’re probably thinking that these are just another spin on the Mac and Cheese – just in smaller ‘bites’ form.  I promise you – although there are some similarities (cheese + quinoa), the addition of some white beans and the absence of the panko crust take it to another flavor dimension..whoa…flavor dimension. So deep.  

These little cheesy quinoa bites are packed full of protein and fiber from both the quinoa and white beans, packed full of nutrients from all the vegetables, and packed full of yummy taste from oh-so-yummy cheese.  Honestly, you can’t lose!  Another big perk is that they’re crazy easy to make and you can easily pop the whole batch in the refrigerator and warmed up.  I haven’t done it myself, but you probably could even freeze them and just warm them up when you and baby are ready to eat them.  Enough typing – let’s get started!

What You’ll Need:

2 cups cooked quinoa (again, for extra flavor, we cooked our quinoa in low-sodium chicken broth)

8 egg whites

1 cup of shredded carrots **

1 (15 oz can of white beans)

2 cups of chopped up broccoli **

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

4-6 teaspoons of garlic powder (you know darn well I’m going to put in way more than this!)

1 teaspoon of onion powder

Parmesan Cheese to top

Cooking Spray (we just used coconut oil and took a paper towel to grease up our mini-muffin tin)

What You’ll Do

Grease up your mini-muffin tin.  Grease up your tin.  

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Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients.  

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Portion out the mixture into the mini-muffin tins. They won’t really expand, so feel free to pack up each little muffin “well”!  If you’re cheese lovers like we are, then feel free to sprinkle some Parmesan Cheese on top, or even some more shredded Cheddar cheese.

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Bake for about 20-25 minutes until the edges are starting to brown.  Let them cool and pop em out! That’s it! So easy!  This makes about 48 “bites”.  

** ALTERNATIVES **

Honestly, throw in whatever chopped veggies you have! Shredded zucchini? Yup! Cauliflower? Why not? Go veggie crazy!  

Whatever veggies (or even variety of cheese) you choose, you’ll take comfort in knowing you and family are eating something packed full of fiber, protein, and nutrients!  Plus, they’re cheesy so you know they’ll Taste Oh-So-Good!

~ M ~

Quinoa “Mac” & Cheese

I know. It’s January, which means all of us are still trying to eat healthier for the new year. Am I right? We are supposed to be eating yummy salads all the time and feeling super fantastic about it. BUT let’s be realistic. I’m not eating salads left & right and baby girl sure would be mad if I just tried to feed her nothing but salad all day long.  Yes, we all love some good salads and veggies. But we all need a little indulgence!  So, instead, I’ve been trying to lighten up some comfort food and classics.  That’s where this Quinoa “Mac” & Cheese comes in.  Super indulgent with that yummy, creamy cheese sauce. But just a little less guilt-inducing using quinoa and throwing in some chopped veggies. I know, you’re saying to yourself “There’s cheese in that recipe!”  “There’s butter!” You’re right. There’s all of that. But everything in moderation, right?  It really is a win-win!

Sure – maybe it doesn’t taste exactly like macaroni & cheese. But I can guarantee you this. It’s still yummy, the whole family will still love it, it’s filling, and it won’t make you feel like you’ve broken those New Year’s resolutions just yet!

Ready to get started? Let’s do it.

What You’ll Need:

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

1 1/2 cup Whole milk

A large pinch or two of nutmeg

A large pinch of salt

8 ounces of shredded sharp cheddar cheese

3 cups cooked quinoa (1 cup uncooked quinoa – we cooked our quinoa in chicken broth for a little extra flavor)

1 cup of shredded & diced up carrots **

1 – 1 1/2 cups of diced broccoli **

FOR THE TOPPING:

1/2 cup grated Parmesan

4 Tablespoons of butter, melted

3/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs

What You’ll Do:

Preheat oven to 350 F.  In a saucepan add 3 tablespoons of butter and melt it down over medium heat.  Add the flour.  Whisk continuously until a paste forms.

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Whisk in milk. Increase heat to medium/high and bring to a boil whisking the whole time. Stir in the nutmeg, salt and cheddar cheese. When sauce is smooth remove from heat.  Throw in your veggies and quinoa into the cheese sauce.

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Transfer the mixture to a baking dish.  We used an 8×8 baking dish.  If you have a smaller cast iron skillet, I’d throw it in there.  Since we have a larger cast iron, we didn’t want the mixture to turn out too thin in the skillet, so I would only throw in our Quinoa mac & cheese into our cast iron skillet if I 1.5x or 2x this recipe.  In a small bowl, mix together the melted butter, Panko breadcrumbs, and Parmesan.  Sprinkle over the casserole and pop in the oven for about 20-25 minutes (until it’s bubbly).

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** ALTERNATIVES **

You could easily substitute in your favorite veggie in this dish – a few bunches of spinach? Kale? Mushrooms? Go veggie crazy! Add in those nutrients you crazy animal!

No matter what veggies you use, no matter if you use a cast iron skillet or casserole dish, no matter if you use the more common white quinoa or less common black quinoa – I assure you this is a comfort dish you can feel less guilty about.  Healthy comfort food that Tastes Oh-So-Good.

~ M ~

Green Bean Casserole – From Scratch!

Green Bean Casserole. Yes. The dreaded potluck dish that everyone makes fun of. Goopy, overly salted, condensed cream of mushroom soup over green beans and greasy crispy onions that came out of a can. Lovely. Sounds yummy, right? Yeah – no wonder this dish is the bane of holiday potlucks everywhere!  So, why am I posting about this dish? Because have you ever tried it made from scratch? Forget about that condensed mushroom stuff! Forget about those greasy stringy onions you pop out of a can!  Made from scratch, this dish is an amazingly delicious side dish at any holiday gathering!  I promise you it is worth the extra effort!  Someone passed along this recipe and they got it from the amazing blog, Smitten Kitchen.  The recipe is pretty perfect the way she wrote it.  I’m not stupid enough to try and change too much, but we did just tweak it slightly for our tastes (read: extra garlic).

Every year we try to do something special with our friends for the holidays.  We’ve had Ugly Christmas Sweater parties with tons of friends, dinners for smaller groups, and a brunch.  This year, with two babies in the group (ours and another cute lil girl), we decided we’d keep the shindig a little smaller and do a Friendmas Dinner with some of our closest friends.  In addition to TJ’s yummy homemade apple pie and a so-tender-it-fell-off-the-bone brisket, we made the Green Bean casserole.  All that, plus some delectable dishes our friends brought, we had a great time chowing down while spending time with some of our most beloved people.  OK – enough with all that emotional lovey dovey stuff. Onto the recipe. I know you’re over hearing me gush about the amazing people in our lives!  Fine, fine! Have it your way. Here’s the recipe.

What You’ll Need:

1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed and halved

(Crispy Onions)

2 medium yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced (We used our mandolin to get the onions super duper thin)

1/4 cup all purpose flour

2 tablespoons breadcrumbs

1/2 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Canola, safflower, or peanut oil for frying

(Mushroom Sauce)

5 tablespoons butter

18 ounces of mushrooms, chopped

Large pinch of nutmeg (freshly grated, if possible)

Freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

6 garlic cloves, minced

4.5 tablespoons all purpose flour

2 1/4 cups chicken broth (I prefer chicken broth, but you could use vegetable broth to make it a vegetarian dish)

3/4 cup heavy cream

What You’ll Do:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

To make the crispy onions: Toss the onions in the flour, breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper.  We filled our cast iron skillet with about 1/2 inch of canola oil.  Heat the oil up.  Add the onions a handful at a time and fry until lightly golden brown (don’t over-fry them – don’t forget they’re going into the oven afterwards!).  Remove the onions with a slotted spoon and let the oil drip off a bit and then spread out the onions on a paper towel to drain.  Repeat with the remaining onions and set aside when done.

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Prep the green beans:  In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil and boil the green beans for about 5 minutes.  Drain the beans and then plunge them into an ice bath so that they don’t continue to cook (again – they’ll continue to cook in the oven later so don’t overcook them now!). Drain the green beans again and set aside.  to full stop them from cooking. Drain again, and set aside.

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To make the creamy mushroom sauce:   Over medium-high heat, melt butter in the bottom of your cast iron skillet. Add the mushrooms, salt and pepper and saute them for about 3 to 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and saute one minute more. Add the flour and stir it until it fully coats the mushrooms. Add the broth, 1/4 cup at a time, stirring the whole time. Simmer mixture for 1 minute, then add cream and bring back to a simmer, cooking until the sauce thickens a bit, about 5 to 6 minutes, stirring frequently.

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Coat the green beans in the creamy mushroom sauce.  We did this directly in our cast iron skillet.  Once the green beans are coated thoroughly, sprinkle the onions on top.

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Pop the cast iron skillet in the oven and bake the dish for about 15 minutes (the sauce will be bubbling and the onions will have gotten darker).  Serve and eat when it’s warm!

TJ and I actually assembled the green beans and creamy mushrooms the day before.  The day of our Friendmas dinner, we then brought out our green beans and mushroom sauce and then topped it with the crispy onions and then popped it into the oven.

Yes – I know there are sort of a lot of steps. And I know that it is so tempting to pop open that cream of mushroom soup you have in your cupboard instead of making your own. But I can guarantee you this. Making it from scratch is the perfect way to show your friends and family how much you care and making it from scratch guarantees you a dish that Tastes Oh-So-Good!

~ M ~

Mini German Pancakes

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

I can’t believe it is already 2014! 2013 went by in about half a blip. Having a little baby in the home will do that to you! Seeing Olivia grow so quickly and change so much in a year made this year just fly by! I do hope your holidays and last night’s NYE shenanigans were phenomenally wonderful!!

Now that those pleasantries are over with, I am so sad I haven’t posted in so long. Once all those holidays hit, we have sort of been running all over!  Well, here is a brand new post for the brand new year! 

Seeing that babysitters can be a bit hard to come by, we stayed in last night for NYE. Not too big a deal. We did miss out on a dear friend’s party, and though we would have loved to have gone to ring in the New Year with them, we aren’t the biggest of partiers, so a cozy night in works just fine for us.

Instead, this morning, we headed over to another dear friends’ house and made breakfast. They, too, have a baby so we knew they would be awake early 😀 We brought over some champagne and orange juice for mimosas (Buck’s Fizz?), our Savory Breakfast Pudding, and we made some Mini German Pancakes.

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Who doesn’t love pancakes for breakfast or brunch, right? The problem we always run into with making pancakes for people is that it always takes so long since you want to make them to order so that they’re warm. Or you make them jist before everyone eats, and inevitably they’re all a bit too cool by then.

This recipe solves that problem while still being simple (dare I say, simpler than “regular” pancakes?) and delicious.  Plus, they look impressive so you look like a kitchen savant.  I’m sure I’ve piqued your interest by now, so let’s get started.

What You’ll Need:

1 cup milk
6 eggs
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. orange zest (optional, but recmmended..duh!)
1/4 cup butter, melted

What You’ll Do:

Ready for how simple this is?
Preheat the oven to 400º.  Throw everything, except the butter, in a blender (we, of course, used our wonderful Vitamix). Blend the batter until smooth and there are no lumps in the batter. Slowly pour in the melted butter and blend a bit more. You’ll want to pour it slowly because the butter is hot – you don’t want to inadvertently cook up the eggs in the blender!

Once it is blended up (and keep in mind that the batter is much more liquid-y than regular pancake batter), lightly grease a muffin tin (or if you have a phenomenally well-working non-stick muffin tin, then go ahead and skip that step) and pour the batter into the muffin tins, evenly. You’ll want to fill each little muffin “well” up about halfway.  Set your timer for 15 minutes and pop the muffin tin into the oven.  15 minutes later, the pancake batter has “magically” formed little pancake “cups” all on their own.

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Fill your pancakes with whatever you want! We filled ours up with fresh blueberries & freshly diced strawberries, a touch of maple syrup on top, and a dusting of powdered sugar. So easy, delicious, and seemingly-impressive…and all the pancakes are done at the same time! Plus, depending on how you dress up your pancakes, this recipe is relatively low in sugar! Good for everyone in the family and Tastes Oh-So-Good!

Savory Breakfast Pudding

Ahhh, Fall.  My very favorite season.  I’ve lived in Southern California for most of my life now so we, unfortunately, don’t get too much of an Autumn chill and I miss it so (I spent my childhood on the East Coast where there are actual seasons).  Nonetheless, Fall remains one of my favorite seasons.  The chill in the air (though today is supposed to be a toasty 85 degrees) and the start of my favorite holidays (um…hellloooo Thanksgiving!).  

For the past few years, our dear friends have hosted a Fall Breakfast at their place.  Oddly enough, even if we are lucky enough to have a chilly weather streak, without fail it is always unseasonably warm the day of Fall Breakfast!  This year, with our friends having moved into a beautiful new place, Fall Breakfast was a wonderful way to help break in the new place.  Only thing is, our friends also have a brand new baby.  Those of you who have been through new parenthood know that the last thing you want to do is to host a party and cook up a storm.  The natural solution? Your friends do most of the cooking and you just sit back and enjoy.  And that’s what we did.  All the friends were responsible for a dish or two and breakfast came together quite nicely.  It was also Olivia’s first Fall Breakfast with our friends and their baby girl’s first official Fall Breakfast.  Quite momentous.

For our dishes, we thought we would do one sweet dish and one savory dish.  TJ and I figured that he’d make some pumpkin pancakes at their house the morning of.  I decided the savory dish to complement that would be our Savory Breakfast Pudding.  It’s a bread pudding – but savory.  That description kind of throws people off a bit, but I promise you it is delicious.  It is like a breakfast sandwich – in casserole form.  I originally got this recipe from an Emeril Lagasse recipe.  I’ve changed a few things about it to suit out tastes a bit more.  Either way you go, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!

What You’ll Need:

2 tablespoons of butter + 2 tablespoons of melted butter

1 large yellow onion, sliced into thin rings

About 6 ounces of bacon, roughly chopped

About 6 ounces of sausage, casings removed and crumbled **

Few teaspoons of minced garlic

8 large eggs

3 cups of whole milk

1 cup of heavy cream

1 teaspoon of Essence (recipe below if you want to make your own, which I highly recommend)

Large pinch of salt

Pinch of fresh ground black pepper

8 stale croissants, torn up into 1/2 inch pieces

2 cups of grated Fontina or Gouda

1/2 cup of bread crumbs

1/2 cup grated Paremsan

What You’ll Do:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish.  We just lightly greased our dish with butter.  In a skillet, melt 1.5 tablespoons of butter and toss in your onions.  Saute the onions until they are soft and starting to caramelize. Throw in your chopped up garlic and cook another few minutes.

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In another skillet, melt the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of butter.  Add your bacon and cook for about 3 minutes.  Remove the bacon and drain on a paper towel.  In the same pan, cook up your crumbled sausage for about 3-5 minutes until browned.  Remove the sausage and drain on a paper towel.  Set aside.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs up.  Whisk in the milk, cream, salt, pepper, and Essence.

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Once it is all mixed in, throw in your torn up croissant pieces.  Make sure the croissant pieces are covered in the egg mixture.  Let sit for 5 minutes.

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Now, throw in your sausage, bacon, onions, and 2 cups of grated Fontina or Gouda (we used Fontina here because..well, because that’s what Trader Joe’s had on hand that day!).  Stir to combine and let sit for another 5-10 minutes.

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Pour the mixture into your lightly greased baking dish.

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Bake covered for 40-50 minutes, until almoat completely set.

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What we did is prepare the dish the night before the breakfast.  You can assemble it up to this point (before you pop it in the oven).  Cover it with foil and pop it in your fridge, unbaked, for 8 hours/overnight.  The next morning, we simply started by uncovering the dish and baking it for the 40-50 minutes, as directed above.

In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs (feel free to use seasoned bread crumbs, etc. It is quite delicious), grated Parmesan cheese, and 2 tablespoons of melted butter.  Uncover the pudding (if you’ve covered it with foil to prevent crazy browning) and spread the Parmesan bread crumbs evenly over the pudding.

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Increase your oven temperature to 375 and pop the pudding back into the oven for another 15-20 minutes (yup, pop it in while the oven is increasing in heat…no need to wait for it to fully get to 375).  It is done when the top is nice and toasty and the rest of the pudding is set (just insert a knife and see if it comes out rather clean). Wait 15 minutes before eating. There you have it! This is best served hot.

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** VARIATIONS **

Play around with the type of sausage you’d want to put in.  Hot sausages are great to use and gives this dish a nice kick.  We have even used Kielbasa and just chopped it up super small.  Whatever you’re in the mood for, try it out!

This is a great dish to bring over for a potluck, great for holiday breakfasts when the family is all gathered around.  It is so easy and you can just let it soak up all the great flavors overnight.  Next morning, pop it in the oven and there you have it – a great breakfast ready for the family (or friends, of course!) that Tastes Oh-So-Good.

Emeril’s Essence

This is a great combo of seasonings to have on hand and you can find his recipe here.  I have also listed out the ingredients below for your convenience (I’m so nice, right?!).

2 1/2 tablespoons of Paprika

2 tablespoons of Salt

2 Tablespoons of Garlic Powder

1 Tablespoon of Black Pepper

1 Tablespoon of Onion Powder

1 Tablespoon of Cayenne

1 Tablespoon of dried Oregano

1 Tablespoon of dried Thyme

MIx it up. And, in the words of Emeril – “BAM”! You’ve got yourself some Essence.

~ M ~

Ooh, La La! Les Gratins!

I am absolutely beat!  It is Sunday night and I am beat.  Oh, I’m not complaining.  Not at all.  Today was a most wonderful day.  Today was one of my best friend’s baby shower!  The beautiful baby girl is due to arrive in just over a month!  Yes, I already know she is beautiful.  Trust me.

The baby shower was absolutely beautiful.  Because the parents have traveled all over together, the theme was “Around the World in 9 Months”.  Get it?  Too cute, right?!  All us planners were in charge with bringing foods from many of the places they have been together.  And lucky, lucky me.  France was on the list!

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French food seems to be so daunting, doesn’t it?  Some recipes call for such an investment in time and don’t even get me started on some of those fancy culinary techniques!  But guess what?  There are plenty of French recipes that are simple and rustic, and most importantly, delicious!  So you can impress your friends with a fancy shmancy French dish and not have to spend all day cooking nor learn all new culinary skills!

I decided to make two gratin dishes for the shindig today.  The two dishes I knew would sit well over the course of the party and were easy to make.  Win-win!  Of course, in true “Me” fashion, I doubled and tripled these recipes because I wanted to make sure there was enough food.  Naturally, I don’t have a gratin dish that big, so I actually cooked these in a casserole dish.  But they still turned out beautiful and delicious!  The two gratin dishes I made for today were Potimarron et Cannelle (pumpkin & cinnamon), and Pommes Boulangere (Baker’s Wife’s Potatoes).  I’ll start with the Potimarron et Cannelle.

Potimarron et Cannelle

What You’ll Need:

3 sugar pumpkins (These are the smaller pumpkins you’ll find. They are sweet and are common in making pies)

4 eggs

2 Tablespoons of soft brown sugar

3/4 cup of heavy cream

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Salt, Pepper

What You’ll Do:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Puree the pumpkins (see below on pureeing pumpkins) and add cream, sugar, and cinnamon.  Mix.  Then, add in the whole eggs and season with salt and pepper.

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Make sure everything is thoroughly mixed.  Pour the pumpkin mixture into a gratin dish and bake for about 45 minutes.  Just for a little pop of goodness, I sprinkled the top with just a little sugar.

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*Pumpkin Puree*

It really isn’t too difficult to make your own pumpkin puree and I think it truly tastes much better than the canned stuff you find.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Take the pumpkins and cut the stems off.  Cut the pumpkins in half.  Scoop out the guts and seeds.  Brush the inside of the pumpkins with oil.  Place the pumpkins, flesh-side up, onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Pop them into the oven and roast for about 45-55 minutes.  The time depends upon how many you are roasting, how big the pumpkins are, etc.  You’ll know they are cooked, though, when the skin is darker and wrinkly and you can easily poke the pumpkin with a fork.  Take the pumpkins out and let them cook for about 10-15 minutes.  Take a spoon and carefully peel away the skin.  This should be quite easy since you’ve roasted them.  Take all that pumpkin meat and place in your food processor or blender.  Blend away until silky smooth.

Pommes Boulangere

What You’ll Need:

4.5 pounds of potatoes

4 onions

4 cups of chicken stock (if you’d like, substitute vegetable stock to make this a vegetarian dish)

2 large sprigs of thyme

2 large sprigs of rosemary

1 bay leaf

1/2 stick of butter, melted

Salt, Pepper

What You’ll Do:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Peel the potatoes and onions.  Slice them into rounds.  If you have one, use a mandolin so that the potatoes and onions are super thin and sliced evenly.  If you don’t have a mandolin, just make sure you try and slice everything as thin as possible and as evenly as possible (because who wants food cooked unevenly?!).  Also, try to make sure you don’t wash your potatoes nor rinse them! Lay down a layer of potatoes at the bottom of your gratin dish.  Next a layer of onions.  Keep alternating.  For each layer of potatoes, lightly season the potatoes with salt and pepper.  Finish with a top layer of potatoes.  Heat up the stock.  It doesn’t need to be boiling – just hot.  Pour the stock over the potatoes and onions.  The stock should just reach the top layer of potatoes – but make sure the top isn’t “drowning” in stock.

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Add the thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf.  Make sure they are submerged in the stock.  Brush the top of the potatoes with melted butter.  Bake for about an hour to an hour and a half until the potatoes are tender and the top layer of potatoes are a beautiful golden brown.

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Because we ended up doubling and tripling our recipes, we completely underestimated how long these dishes would take to cook today, but luckily, they still turned out beautifully!

How easy are these dishes?  Try them out and let me know how you like them and if they Taste Oh-So-Good!

~ M ~