I'm not going to tell you ..
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how happy I am that fall is here.
How I love the crisp air and the pristine blue skies of September .. re-finding my jeans and sweaters in the back of the closet .. and apple picking dates
I'm not going to tell you how much I love riding my bike through campus when the leaves are starting to change. That the sound of the marching band practicing brings back great memories of playing my saxophone in high school.
How listening to college football on the radio reminds me of my brother. On Saturday afternoons I wonder who he's rooting for and what's cooking on their stovetop for dinner (he's an incredible cook!)
I'm not going to tell you about all of the cooking magazines I've been impulse buying at the grocery. I simply can't resist fall recipes like casseroles .. soup .. and all things made with pumpkin.
How I've started listening to Keith Richard's autobiography .. and can't seem to stop
That Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays ( “I'll trade you two snickers for your popcorn ball” )
I'm not going to tell you that I started lifting weights with a trainer because one of my goals is to become stronger. That I started with just the bar because I'm obsessive about form. That I feel a bit embarrassed by how sore I've felt after
That Halo Top Ice Cream is simply amazing
As are jumbo ice-cube trays
And Shep Gordan's interview on The Tim Ferriss Show
I'm not going to tell you how challenging it's been to potty train two puppies.
That most of the time I feel like a failure. They're rock stars at puppy kindergarten and catch on so quickly(!) Sit .. down .. come .. heel .. we've mastered them all. Potty training? Not so much
That selfishly I just want them to get it. I can't wait until they can hang out in my office in the evening and snuggle with us in bed.
Instead .. I'm going to tell you how Harry and Sally have grown .. two to three pounds per week(!) Six weeks ago we started with size small collars .. and now we've moved on medium and have to let them out a little more each day
How it seems strange to put big bags of dog food into my cart. “You're kidding .. we're getting low again?”
That Sally loves to play fetch and Harry's content to quietly chew on sticks.
How tricky it is to get a good picture of the two of them together
Instead .. I'm going to tell you how excited I am to see my grandson this weekend. That it warms my heart to be invited into their family.
I'm not going to tell you that it's always the littlest things that make the biggest impact. Like having something stuck in the slider of my car's driver seat. How challenging it is to drive a stick when your seat is stuck all the way back.
How thankful you are to the nice people at Toyota for removing said quarter.
That Little Z sat with me while I waited .. and more than a few people took his picture. “Does his tongue always hang out?” Indeed .. it does.
One of the things I like about Fine Cooking's gratin is the way they strike flavorful .. deep and rustic notes .. in a preparation that isn't overly decadent.
I'm not a fan of creamy starch-bomb gratins .. and this isn't that. Instead .. a baking dish is lined with layers of deeply caramelized onions .. thinly sliced potatoes .. and thyme. The potatoes are tossed with a modest amount of milk which ends up percolating through the other ingredients while baking.
It's the sort of dish that's perfect just out of the oven .. or reheated the day after .. or the day after that. But be sure to read through the recipe entirely before committing to it – the prep takes some time .. and it takes a decent amount of time to bake
ps: If you're not able to find Comté .. Gruyere makes a great substitute
~ Adapted from Fine Cooking
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 lb. yellow onions, thinly sliced (about 3-1/2 cups)
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes (about 5 large)
- 1-1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
- 4 oz. grated Comté cheese (about 1-1/2 cups)
- 2 cups whole milk
- Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 deg F
- Caramelize the Onions
- Heat 1 Tbsp of the butter and the olive oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat.
- Add the onions and cook without stirring until beginning to brown (~ 5 to 7 minutes)
- Sprinkle with a strong pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan frequently with a wooden spoon and spreading the onions evenly over the bottom of the skillet, until golden brown (~ 30 to 40 minutes)
- Add 1 Tbsp water at a time if the onions begin to stick to the skillet.
- Set aside to cool
- Assemble and Bake the Gratin
- Peel the potatoes.
- Using a mandoline or sharp knife, slice the potatoes into thin rounds (about 1/16 inch thick).
- Spread about one-third of the potatoes in the bottom of a 3-quart baking dish.
- Sprinkle with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and half of the thyme.
- Scatter half of the caramelized onions evenly over the potatoes, and top with one-third of the cheese.
- Make a second layer with half of the remaining potatoes.
- Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, and top with the remaining thyme and onions.
- Top with one-third of the cheese.
- Top with a third and final layer of potatoes.
- In a 2-quart saucepan, bring the milk to a simmer.
- Stir in the nutmeg, and then pour the hot milk evenly over the potatoes.
- Top with the remaining cheese.
- Cut the remaining 1 Tbs. butter into small pieces and scatter on top.
- Bake, until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a paring knife and the top, is golden brown (~ 1 hour to 1-1/4 hours)
- Cover loosely with foil if the top begins to darken too quickly.
- Let the gratin cool for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
% Protein: 18
% Carbs: 50
% Fat: 2