Scalloped Potatoes

The perfect Easter side dish.

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Ok this recipe is a real winner. Scalloped potatoes are so yummy. I didn’t grown up eating scalloped potatoes with Easter dinner. My Grandma hates cheese (crazy right?!) so a potato dish covered in cheese just wasn’t on our table. But in my house we love cheese and potatoes and my hubby loves anything smothered in a creamy sauce. That means this recipe is a serious winner!

Layers of potatoes smothered in a creamy sauce , sautéed onions and more cheese than your diet would ever allow. This is comfort food people. It’s for special occasions not everyday.

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I’ve got a few tips for making this recipe and then we can get into making (and eating) this deliciousness!

Ok first things first cut those potatoes thin! As thin as you can. Personally I use a mandolin. They are really great at this job. This is the one I have. I love it because its small but effective. I use setting number two!

Secondly the type of potato. You can use russets but I like using a yellow potato. They hold their shape better after a long cook time and overall I prefer their flavour.

Slow cook your onions. This is a must! I’m super impatient but for this dish you can rush cooking your onions. You want them soft, translucent and not even a little brown. If they brown they will discolour your cream sauce.

Layering. Add sauce and cheese in between each layer of potatoes. Now depending how thin you cut your potatoes you will have approximately 4-6 layers of potatoes. Spoon a small about of sauce over each layer and sprinkle a small amount of cheese over each layer.

Now lets get into this delicious recipe!

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Scalloped Potatoes

Yields: 12 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp Butter
  • Yellow Onion, thinly sliced into half moons
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Vegetable Broth (you can use chicken)
  • 2 cups Milk (I use 2%)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • 1 tsp Fresh Thyme, chopped
  • 4 pounds Yellow Potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick
  • 2 cups Old Cheddar Cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup Fresh Parmesan Cheese, grated

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°F.

In a large sauté pan melt butter over medium low heat. Add onions sauté until soft and translucent, about 6-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add flour to the pan. Cook flour and onions for about a minute. Slowly add vegetable stock, stir constantly until a thick but smooth sauce forms. Slowly add milk to sauce, stir until smooth. Add salt, pepper and thyme. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes to thicken slightly. Set aside.

Line a 13×9 inch baking dish with a layer of potatoes. Top with 1/3 cup sauce (approx.) and onions. Sprinkle 1/4 cup cheese over sauce. Continue to layer potatoes until complete. Pour the remaining sauce over the top layer of potatoes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Cover pan with foil and bake for 30 minute. Remove foil and bake for an additional 30-40 minutes until the top is brown and the potatoes are cooked though.

Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Top with additional thyme and cheese if desired.

Recipe adapted from Gimme Some Oven.

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Grapefruit and Ginger Champagne Cocktail

Hi everyone! I’m back to blogging after a little Christmas break. It was so nice to get out of the kitchen and visit with all our family for a few days. It was hectic and I’ll admit I’m still exhausted from travelling but it was well worth it. We had a really great Christmas. I hope you all did too.

Now we’re all in this awkward stage between Christmas and New Years where like isn’t totally normal yet and chocolate and sweets are a main food group. I went back to work the day after boxing day and I will admit that really messes with my post Christmas coma I typically enter into. But it’s almost the weekend and then before we know it it will be New Year’s Eve.

New Years Eve is my jam, but I’m very particular in how I spend it. I’ve been on trips to Mexico, snowboarding, parties, game night and fancy dinners. But the only way we spend our New Years now is at home. We decorate the house, dress down in brand new comfy sweats eat fabulous food and drinking the best cocktails and wines. We play games, watch movies. And our strangest but favourite tradition is eating homemade cinnamon buns and drinking champagne while watching the ball drop at midnight. Then we stay up until 2 am chatting about our hopes, dreams and goals for the next year. It is one of the best nights of the year!

In the past I’ve cooked an elaborate dinner for New Years, but this year I am working, so we are doing appetizers only. I’m planning a charcuteries platter, baked brie, various homemade dips with the best bread in town and all of the homemade puff pastry appetizers in my freezer (yum!). I will be making fresh homemade cinnamon buns for midnight so I thought that keeping it simple with our savoury options was the right choice.

I’m also saving myself time so that I can make some delicious champagne cocktails. The recipe I’m sharing today has been a staple at our New Years Eve celebration for a few years now and I just cant get enough. I think it’s great to leave cranberry and pomegranate behind after Christmas and celebrate the brighter flavours of the season like citrus. Such as grapefruit. I love the colour a ruby red grapefruit gives this cocktail and the addition of ginger ale helps to sweeten things up and give another dimension of flavour. This is perfect for a small party where you have time to make your guests drinks. It is super fun and festive for New Years. I hope you enjoy it.

Grapefruit and Ginger Champagne Cocktail

Yields: 1 cocktail

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce Vodka
  • 1 ounce Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice (blood orange is great too!)
  • 2 ounces Ginger Ale
  • Champagnes
  • Mint Leaves

Directions:

In a champagne flute combine vodka and grapefruit juice. Add ginger ale, then top with champagne. Garnish with mint leaves.

Adapted from Half Baked Harvest.


Brown Butter Shortbread with Maple Glaze

Today’s post is the very last Christmas cookie recipe I will be sharing for 2018. How did this month go so fast? I cant believe Christmas is in just a few days. If you still haven’t checked out week one through three of this series click here, here and here.

Today’s recipe is a variation on shortbread cookies. I know people think they are dry and tasteless, so I’ve added brown butter and brown sugar for a deeper flavour. I also added a delicious maple glaze to make then ever more flavourful.

These cookies are great because you probably already have all the ingredients in your pantry. These are also a slice and bake cookie so there isn’t any rolling and cutting out shapes to do. Slice and bake cookies are so simple to make.

So if you’re up for some more Christmas baking give these or any of the other recipes in this series a try. This is my last recipe post before Christmas, so I hope you have enjoyed all the festive holiday content over the past few months as much as I’ve enjoyed sharing it. Merry Christmas!

Brown Butter Shortbread with Maple Glaze

Yields: 24 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 1/4 Cup Unsalted Butter
  • 2/3 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 2/3 Cup White Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup Confectioners sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Real Maple Syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon Half and Half
  • Optional: Raw Turbinado Sugar

Directions:

Melt butter over medium heat in a light coloured skillet. Swirl the pan occasionally. Cook until butter browns and has a nutty aroma, 2-3 minutes. pour butter into a bowl and place in the fridge to solidify for about 30 minutes. The brown butter should have a similar texture to softened butter.

Whisk flour and salt together set aside.

In a stand mixer beat the cooled brown butter on high until creamy and smooth. Add white sugar, brown sugar and vanilla, cream until smooth. Add dry ingredients to the mixer and beat on low until just combined.

Form dough into two 8 inch logs. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1-2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350°F, line baking sheets with parchment and set aside.

Roll the logs of dough in turbinado sugar and slice each log into 12 equal sized pieces. Place cookies on lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake cookies for 12-14 minutes. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

In a small bowl combine confectioner sugar, maple syrup and half and half. Drizzle glaze over cooled cookies. Place in the fridge to set.

Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

You may also like…

Sugar Cookie Snowflakes
Cranberry White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Peppermint Bark

Today marks one week until Christmas….. let that sink in a moment.

Ok how are we all doing? Stressed, excited, organized, overwhelmed? Personally I’m feeling pretty good. I think I have things pretty under control. Since we travel at Christmas I’ve always had to be organized well in advance. And I think this year will be the smoothest… knock on wood. 

Today I am sharing a recipe I have made since I was a kid. I would make this with my mom and brother every Christmas as a kid and it’s still one of my favourites today. Peppermint Bark is seriously simple to make and so delicious. It looks great on a cookie tray, and it’s also a great hostess gift.

It’s so easy you can even make it in the microwave. Don’t we all need easy at the holidays? So give it a try and let me know what you think.

Peppermint Bark

Yields: 1 sheet pan

Ingredients:

  • 16 ounces White Chocolate
  • 8 ounces Milk or Dark Chocolate
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Coconut Oil, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon Peppermint Extract
  • 5 Candy Canes, crushed

Directions:

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a microwave safe bowl melt 6 ounces of the milk chocolate in 30 second intervals (1-2 mins), string in between. Stir in remaining chocolate and 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil. Spread the chocolate thinly on the prepared baking sheet. Allow to set in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Repeat the same melting process with 12 ounces of the white chocolate. Stir remaining chocolate, remaining coconut oil and peppermint extract into the chocolate. Pour chocolate over the set milk chocolate and spread out to cover. Sprinkle crushed candy canes all over the white chocolate. Return bark to the fridge to set for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Once set break bark into sizes of your choosing. Store in an air tight container in your refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. You can also store in your freezer for a few months.

You may also like…

Sugar Cookie Snowflakes

Peppermint Chocolate Cookies

Week three in my Christmas cookie series has arrived! If you missed the last two weeks find those posts here, and here.

This weeks cookie is so so delicious. These cookies are so delicious and rich, there are the perfect chocolate cookie for your Christmas spread. I actually have to make a few more batches of these since we can’t stop eating them!

I love the combination of a chewy brownie like double chocolate cookie, cooling peppermint and rich white chocolate. It truly is perfection. These are also great warmed up and eaten with a fork like a warm brownie. YUM!

Now when it comes to decorating these cookies with white chocolate the world is your oyster. Light drizzle, heavy drizzle. Half dunk, full dunk. Go ahead and do whatever you love. Just remember to work fast so your crushed candy canes will stick! Also did you know you can buy crushed candy canes? I found that out shortly after making this recipe and am so annoyed I wasn’t informed earlier. Crushing candy canes is such a pain. Oh well I guess I can buy pre crushed for next year!

Make sure to come back next week for the final Christmas cookie in this series…. I can’t believe we’re already there!

Peppermint Chocolate Cookies

Yields: 24 cookies 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 1/2 Cup White Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar, packed
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract 
  • 1 Teaspoon Peppermint Extract
  • 1 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda 
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Cup Mini Chocolate Chips
  • 8 Ounces White Chocolate
  • 3 Candy Canes, crushed

Directions:

Using your stand mixer beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugars and beat on medium high speed until fluffy and combined. Mix in the egg, vanilla and peppermint on high speed. 

In a medium bowl whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt together until combined. On low speed add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until just combined. Beat in the chocolate chips. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours or overnight. 

Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop out dough and roll into balls. Place on the cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes.  Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet. Then transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.

Melt the white chocolate in the microwave, string in 30 second intervals. Drizzle or dip each cooled cookie in the white chocolate. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Repeat for all the cookies. Place in the refrigerator to set completely.

Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

You may also like…

Sugar Cookie Snowflakes
Cranberry White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies