Au Gratin Potatoes


With 2 bags of potatoes in my pantry it was no brainer to decide that one of the Christmas dishes would include potatoes.

Looking through the freezer and fridge, I also had some Parmesan-Reggiano (1 cup) and heavy cream.  It is decided- Au Gratin Potatoes.  These potatoes will remind you of an Alfredo and is rich, creamy and decadent.

Combine the following in a bowl and set aside:

  • 2 1/2 cups of heavy cream
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Thinly slice approximately 2 1/2 lbs or 3-4 large peeled potatoes.  I like using a mandoline for even slicing and place my potatoes in water so they don’t brown while I am assembling.

If you are going to bake right away- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  You can also make the day ahead and refrigerate until you are ready to bake.

Grease a 2- 1/2 quart baking dish (cooking spray or 2 tablespoons of melted butter).

You will be layering the ingredients- depending on your baking dish used it may be 3 or 4 layers.

  • Layer of potatoes
  • Layer of cheese
  • Liquid mixture
  • Repeat

Bake uncovered for 60-70 minutes.


  1. Use another type of cheese
  2. Add onions and/ or red peppers:  I would incorporate before the cheese layer.
  3. Have left over ham, dice and add a meat layer.
  4. Don’t like garlic?  leave it out.
  5. I have also added smoked paprika (1 teaspoon)




Scalloped Potatoes and Ham


Probably not on the diet list, but if you are looking for a scrumptious, hearty dish here it is!  My husband said it was AWESOMEY GOODNESS.

I wish I could take the credit for this dish but it is from The Pioneer Woman.  The only thing I added was a sprinkling of smoked paprika over each layer.  Almost all the ingredients came from my stash in the deep freeze.  We all love cooking fresh, but when you have kids, activities and more sometimes you have to be prepared.  To accomplish this we cut up left over ham from the holidays and freeze.  What else in our “freezer stock”… that we can use for this dish…diced onions, butter and cheeses.  I try to buy butter and cheese when on sale and freeze so I never run out.

I know you are excited to make this for dinner tonight and rather than copy her recipe I am including the link right HERE.

I hope you try this one as it is easy and so delicious.


Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli and Rice Casserole

Growing up in the 70’s I ate A LOT of casseroles.  I really do like the ease of casseroles and crock pot cooking, especially for a family.  This recipe is very rich and probably not the best if you are watching your weight, but it is some gooey goodness.  You can adapt this recipe to fit your family….Rice or no rice….a lot of broccoli and mushrooms or not….chicken or no chicken for a side dish. Make it your own!!

I made this for just 2 of us, but since many of you will probably make this for a family I am going to family size the recipe.


  • 4 Chicken Breasts, cut into strips or diced
  • 3-4 Cups Roasted Broccoli
  • Pint Mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 medium Onion, diced
  • about 2 Tablespoons Garlic, minced
  • Olive Oil, as needed
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 2 packages Cream Cheese
  • 2 cups Milk
  • 2 teaspoons Garlic salt
  • 3/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 cup Mozzarella
  • Rice
  • Chicken Broth (optional)
  • Panko (optional)
  1. The first step is to roast your Broccoli.  In a bowl, toss the broccoli florets with olive oil (enough to coat), salt, pepper and minced garlic to your liking.  Place on a cookie sheet and roast in  400 degree oven for about 20 minutes.  After this is done cooking turn oven down to 350 degrees.
  2. Next you want to start your rice as that will take about 20 minutes too. Place 2 cups of chicken broth into a pot and let come to a boil.  Add 1 cup of rice, cover and turn to low.  I have never had a problem with cooking rice this way.  You can follow directions on the package or however you cook it.  If you are using brown or wild rice note the cooking time will be different. You can just use water rather than broth but I like how the broth adds flavor to the rice.
  3. Over medium- high heat add 1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil to pan.  Add the onions and cook until translucent about 2 minutes.  Add chicken seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic.  **Actually I just used the same bowl I tossed the broccoli in to season my chicken since it still had a lot of garlic.  When chicken in almost fully cooked add the mushrooms.
  4. Sauce:  In a medium pot over low- med heat add the milk, cream cheese, garlic salt, and parmesan cheese.  Stir/ whisk until melted.  This can take a while and if you can multi-task you may want to start it at the same time of step 3.
  5. Spray your baking dish with cooking spray.  You can use a 9 x 13 or I used a 2.5 L round Corning Ware.  Some people have told me they have made a similar dish and mixed all together but I liked it layered as follows:
    1. Rice
    2. Half of chicken mixture
    3. Half of sauce
    4. Mozzarella
    5. Rest of chicken mixture
    6. Rest of sauce
    7. Panko (optional)
  6. Bake about 20 minutes.

Adaptions:  This recipe is very rich!!!  That being said you can easily change this recipe up.  Try using 1 package of cream cheese and/ or use chicken broth to make the sauce.  You can add a little milk to get the consistency you want.  You can also omit the rice and with a thinner sauce serve it over noodles.  I wanted a lot of veggies when I made it so I increased the broccoli and mushrooms and used only a small amount of chicken. Get creative and as I have said before make this your own recipe.