Scalloped Potatoes and a Call for Recipes!

I’ve always thought scalloped potatoes were one of life’s great comfort foods. Creamy and rich, a nice texture contrast between the crunch cheese on top and the soft and sweet potatoes within-everything I want in a potato dish. I’ve been waiting to make this dish for quite some time but my concern was that my potatoes would be uneven and hard and, especially with my Polish heritage, unsatisfactory potatoes would not do!

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All those potato concerns fell away once my new mandoline entered the scene. I am now firmly convinced that all foods should be cut with a mandoline, if simply because it’s so stinkin fun! I got mine for under $20 at Williams and Sonoma and it even comes with a grip for when the veggies get small so that you don’t slice up your hands. So here’s to new culinary adventures and delicious potatoes! If you have a great recipe that uses a mandoline, let me know and I’ll feature it on Messy Kitchen Happy Belly!

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Mini “BLTs”

Here’s a great snack that’s easy to pull together for a potluck or a dinner party. These mini BLTs look like you spent all night slaving away, but making 20 of them only took about a half an hour. The trick is in the tools; I recommend using the pokey end of a melon baller to core your cherry tomatoes, a food processor to get a smooth filling and ye old plastic bag “piping bag”. These are sure to impress, make you you make some extra for gobbling up as you cook for “tasting”.

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Baked Veggie Fries

 

This winter I have been trying new ways of cooking root vegetables. Trying to cook with local, in-season veggies has led me to roasting and a couple purees, and this simple recipe for veggie fries made from carrots and sweet potatoes. These fries are a great mix of sweet, salty and crunchy and make a nice sidekick to many a scrumptious dinner. Continue reading

Easy Basil Pesto

Every summer my family and I diligently grow mass amounts of basil just so that we can make this great pesto. It’s an easy recipe that, with the help of a food processor, can be made in less than half an hour. This pesto keeps really well, can be frozen for a bit of summer even in January, and tastes great on everything from swordfish to sandwiches. Remember that pesto does not need to be warmed up, it will separate and you will be truly sad. Just let it come to room temp as you work on everything else, then add it to your muchies of choice.

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