A Messy Potato Gratin & A Blog Award!

My first thought when I pulled this dish out of the oven was that there is no way I can post it. It looks burnt, and it’s a huge mess. But then I tasted it, and it was delicious. The deliciousness pushed me to post it. I figured I could share my mistakes with world so that they are not repeated.

I was inspired by all the bloggers who made potato gratin for French Fridays With Dorie to make one myself. I don’t have the book (yet) so instead I used a recipe I already had. Potato gratin is very easy in theory. Slice potatoes, pour cream over them, top with cheese, bake. But there are a couple of things to keep in mind. Milk and cream bubble when heated, so don’t fill the baking dish up to the top (unless you like scrubbing burnt cream out of your oven). Another option is to place a baking sheet that won’t warp under the baking dish to catch any overflow. Slice the potatoes as thinly as possible so that they cook evenly, no one likes a raw potato. Also, the cheese can be put on the gratin midway through the baking so that you don’t end up with a burnt looking gratin like mine.

Next up, an award!

When I started this blog I had no expectation that anyone would read it. It was something I decided to do for myself. Through it I have discovered some wonderful blogs and people and I happy (and shocked) to say that one of those people has been kind enough to give me a blog award. Patty of Patty’s Food has passed on the One Lovely Blog Award to me, and I am very honoured.

There are a few bloggers out there whose posts just make me happy when I read them. They are funny and kind and amazing cooks. I hope you take some time to check them out if you don’t already know them.

Janice of Kitchen Heals Soul

Roxan of Kitchen Meditation

Heather of Pretty Peas

Azmina of Lawyer Love Lunch

Sarah of Baking Serendipity


Potato Gratin

  • 2 lbs potatoes, sliced thinly
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • one pinch dried rosemary
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • cheese, grated to cover
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. In a large saucepan, cook potato slices, cream, milk, garlic and seasonings until the milk starts to boil. Stir very gently so that the potato slices don’t break.
  3. Discard the garlic cloves and pour potato and cream mixture into a baking dish.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes, then cover with cheese and bake for 20 more minutes.
  5. Let cool (the gratin will still look liquidy when first pulled out of the oven, but will set as it cools.



Sweet Potato Hash

Part of our Thanksgiving tradition is the morning after brunch. My aunt and uncle make us a wonderful dinner, and the following morning the guests contribute to breakfast. The last two years I’ve brought a Sweet Potato Hash.

The first time I tried this dish was at an office breakfast. My friend JB brought it, and I loved it. I asked him for the recipe numerous times, and he eventually shared it with me. Turns out I could have just Googled it. What makes this hash great is the bacon, and the fact that everything else is cooked in bacon fat. Hey, it’s Thanksgiving.

The hash is really easy to make. The longest part is the prep work, having a good knife to cut the sweet potato is key. Once the chopping is done, the dish comes together very quickly. It’s a great make ahead dish as the flavours meld together well overnight. I’ve always had this dish as part of a brunch, but it would make a great side dish for a dinner.

Sweet Potato Hash

From the Oct 2007 issue of Gourmet

  • 1/2 pound sliced bacon, cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 2 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  1. Cook the bacon in a large non stick skillet. Once cooked, remove the bacon pieces from the pan and drain on paper towels.
  2. Drain off some of the fat, leaving at least 2 tbsp behind. Add the onions, bell peppers, salt and pepper to the skillet. Cook until the vegetables have softened. Add the sweet potato to the skillet, then cover. Cook, stirring occasionally for 10 to 15 minutes, until sweet potato is softened. Stir in reserved bacon and thyme.
  3. Serve warm or at room temperature.