Au Gratin Potatoes.

Winter is here in full force. Though we do have less snow than predicted. It is cold though- 19 degrees F this morning. But the sun comes out and all is good. I am seriously ready for cross-country skiing and some downhill. Cmon Snow!

When it is cold outside something hot and creamy and filling suits the bill. Especially when served along side a grilled ribeye. Medium Rare. And some grilled asparagus. Dinner is ready. The key to this dish of potatoes is prep. And it takes an hour and half in the oven. And thirty minutes of prep. So plan accordingly.

Of course, once the potatoes are in the oven, you have 45 minutes to enjoy a great glass of Pinot Noir. Or maybe two.

Beauty Shot:

Au Gratin Potatoes


2 1/2 Lbs. Yukon Gold Potatoes

1 Sweet Onion, medium sliced thin.

2 1/4 C Milk DO NOT use fat free

1 C Sharp Cheddar Cheese grated

3/4 C Gruyere Cheese Grated

4 T Flour

4 T Butter

1 tsp Dry Mustard

1/2 tsp Thyme

1/4 tsp Onion Powder

2 T minced garlic. (Use the store bought for this- works wonderfully)

Salt & Pepper to taste

Optional: Buttered bread crumbs for the topping (See below for details)

Putting It Together:

Heat oven to 400 degrees F.

Slice your vegetables- slice the onion crosswise into very thin strips. Slice your potatoes crosswise into very thin slices.

Arrange the sliced potatoes a greased casserole dish on their sides. So you can see the skin. Not flat. Mix in the onions between the slices.

See how the potatoes are set on their edges?


Melt the butter and mix in the flour- use a whisk to avoid any lumps and cook the mixture till turning golden. Add in the milk, thyme, garlic, mustard and stir constantly till mixture is thickening and coats a spoon. Remove from heat and add in the cheddar till melted. Then add in the gruyere. Stir in salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the potatoe/onion casserole.

Thoroughly recommend you grate your own gruyere.


Cover with tin foil and bake in oven for 60 minutes. Take off tin foil and bake for another 30 minutes. Top will be brown in spots and a little bubbly along the edges. At this point you can let it stand for 10 minutes and go right to the eating!

Or, can add an optional crunchy topping. If you want to top with crunch, use 1/2 cup panko and 2 T melted butter. Change oven to broil on high. Sprinkle crunch over casserole. Place back in oven for about 1 minute and half. Watch closely. Will be done when the crunch is brown. Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes.

SO damn good!



Au Gratin Potatoes.

Pad Thai with Shrimp and Tofu.

I need Pad Thai. I crave Pad Thai. And since we have no Thai restaurant within 50 miles, I need to make it myself. Also, I need to engage with Amazon to get what I need. Thank you Amazon, for helping me make this delicious dinner.

Beauty Shot:

Rain drop in Bellevue WA

Pad Thai with Chicken and Tofu.


1 Lb Large Shrimp

14 Oz Package Extra Firm Tofu, cubed and pressed t remove water

3 tsp Tamarind Paste

4 T Palm Sugar ( Can use regular sugar or Stevia)

4 T Fish Sauce

1 T Lime Juice

1/2 C Hot Water divided into 2- 1/4 cups

1 T Minced Garlic

EVOO for frying

2 Eggs, whisked

1 Bunch Green Onions, white and firm green parts cut on angle

1/2 C Shredded Carrots

1/2 C Snow Peas (optional)

1 C Bean Sprouts

Chopped Peanuts

8 Oz Rice Noodles, cooked according to package

1 Fresh Lime

1/4 C Chopped Cilantro


Mix together in large bowl lime juice, fish sauce, palm sugar, tamarind paste, minced garlic and 1/4 C hot water. Set aside.

Putting It Together:

In a wok or large pan, add in 2-3 T oil and heat till shimmering. Add in cubed tofu and shrimp. I typically add the tofu first and start to crisp before adding the shrimp. Cook till all sides of tofu are crispy and shrimp is pink. Remove to plate.

Start cooking the rice noodle. WATCH these carefully! They finish very quickly.

To the wok add the snap peas. Cook for about 2 minutes stirring, so snap peas stay crispy. Push the peas to the side.

Pour in whisked egg to the open side and continue to whisk till scrambled and cooked. Add in the drained rice noodle to the wok.

Add in the cooked shrimp and tofu. Pour sauce over. Stir together till well coated.

Mix all components together.. Add in the hot water* and toss again till all is well coated. Top with bean sprouts, chopped peanuts, chopped cilantro and green onions .

Serve while piping hot.

*Watch the level of the sauce, you want it as a coating, not soupy. May want to add in the final water by tablespoon to get your desired thickness.