Cauliflower Gratin with Manchego and Almond Sauce

This is part two of my Spanish recipe series. I don’t buy cauliflower often but, using this recipe I will definitely change that.

Get the recipe here.


Candied South Carolina Sweet Potatoes

This is another great side dish from Carolina Cooking.  I made a couple of changes, I cut the sweet potatoes in rounds instead of lengthwise and I raised the temperature to 400 instead of 350. It also called for baked sweet potatoes, I was confused if that meant to bake them in the oven first then peel and slice. I suppose you could try it this way too.

Candied South Carolina Sweet Potatoes

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: 40 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
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6 medium baked sweet potatoes

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup margarine

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/2 cup syrup (drained from peaches, apricots or pineapple)



Peel and cut the potatoes. Place a layer in a casserole. Mix the rest of the ingredients and spoon over the potatoes. Alternate with the layers. Bake covered in 400F for 30 minutes and uncover and cook for another 10 minutes.


Dillon Fresh Corn au Gratin

This was a great side dish I made the other night alongside grilled chicken. This is courtesy of Carolina Cooking given to me by a friend, while visiting Charleston, North Carolina.

Dillon Fresh Corn au Gratin

  • Servings: 5 to 6
  • Time: 35-40 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
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3 tablespoons of butter or margarine

1 tablespoon flour

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup shredded American Cheese

3 cups fresh or frozen corn

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup soft white bread crumbs



Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in saucepan; blend in flour. Stir in milk; cook until medium thick, stirring constantly. Add cheese, corn, nutmeg, sat and pepper; mix well. Place mixture in a buttered 1 quart casserole dish. Melt remaining butter and mix with the bread crumbs. Sprinkle over the casserole. Bake in a 350F oven for 35 to 40 minutes or til the bread crumbs are brown.

Green Bean Casserole

A great Thanksgiving side dish!

the fashionista cook

This is a side dish I have been cooking for the past Thanksgivings. It is courtesy of Paula Deen but I did omit a couple of things and it was just as delicious.

1/3 stick of butter

1/2 cup diced onions

1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

2 cups of sliced green beans

3 cups chicken broth

1 (10 3/4 ounce ) can of cream of mushroom soup

1 (2.8 ounce) can French-fried onion rings ( I omitted this)

salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste

1 cup grated cheddar cheese ( I omitted this)

Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees.

Melt the butter in a large skillet. Saute the onions and mushrooms in the butter.  Boil the green beans in the chicken broth for 10 minutes and drain. Add the green beans and the mushroom soup, onions rings and seasoning to the onion mixture. Stir well. Pour into a…

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Zucchini Ravioli


the fashionista cook

I found this recipe on Facebook, it’s one of those cooking videos that people share. This one really caught my eye. A ravioli made from zucchini, what a great idea! Here’s the link to the video  here

The video doesn’t share the measurements for the ingredients but I will provide you with one. Quantity may depend if you want to make it as a side dish or main dish. I made this the other night as a main dish for 2 people and had some left over.

Zucchini Ravioli

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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2 to 3 zucchini

1 15-0z tub of ricotta

marina sauce ( I made my own)

1 egg, beaten

salt and pepper

basil leaves shredded

1/4 cup or so of shredded Parmesan cheese

handfull of shredded mozzarella cheese

2 cloves of garlic, minced


Cut off the ends of the zucchini. Make wide strips using a vegetable peeler or mandolin slicer. Over lap 2 strips vertically and 2 strips horizontally.


the fasionista cook



Scoop the ricotta mixture in the middle and fold over. Place in a baking dish. Spoon over the marianara sauce and top with mozzarella cheese. Place in oven at 350 and bake for 20 minutes.


Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers

This could be a meal by themselves or it would go nicely along grilled meat. It did take longer to cook than what the recipe stated. But, I will place the baking dish on the bottom shelf. I also made a mistake and added to much water and so the sauce was too thin. Only add enough water to reach a quarter of the height of the vegetables. This was courtesy Alexandra Statou, Cooking with Loula

Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers

  • Time: Under 2 hours
  • Difficulty: easy
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6 medium tomatoes

6 green bell peppers

1 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil

2 onions, grated

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

3/4 cup of uncooked short-grain rice

2/3 cup of pine nuts, toasted

1/2 cup of dark and golden raisins

1/2 cup of parsley, chopped

1 1/2 tablespoons of dried mint

sugar, as needed

salt and pepper

6 tablespoons of breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon of tomato paste


Cut a small cap off the tops of the tomatoes and peppers and reserve. Remove the seeds and pith off the peppers and scoop out the inside of the tomatoes using a spoon over a bowl. Place the hollow tomatoes and peppers in a baking dish ensuring they fit snugly. Puree the tomato pulp in a food processor or blender till smooth.

Add about 6 tablespoons of oil to a pan and add the onions and garlic and cook over medium heat till translucent. Add the pureed tomato, increase the heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer till thickened. Reserve 2 tablespoons of this tomato sauce in a small bowl to use later. Add the rice, pine nuts, and raisins to the pan. Cook for about 8 minutes, stir often so that it doesn’t stick.

Off the heat add the parsley, mint and 1 teaspoon of sugar, salt and pepper. Stir well.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Season the inside of the tomato and peppers with salt and pepper and a pinch of sugar. Fill each with the rice mixture until 3/4 of the way full. About 1 1/2 tablespoons of filling. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to each, then cover with the reserved caps. Brush the outside with oil, and sprinkle with the brad crumbs. Add enough water to fill 1/4 of the height, add the reserved tomato puree and tomato paste to the water.

Bake in the oven for over an hour or until the vegetables are wrinkly like raisins. Add water if it gets dry. 

Spicy Grilled Salsa

This is part 2 to my posts this week. This salsa was served with the Herbed Meat Kebabs. Courtesy of Einat Admony. Her suggestion was to use the broiler for roasting but, I actually used the grill and then prepared the salsa while the kebabs were grilling. I also placed the peppers and tomatoes in a bowl and covered for a few minutes so that the steam  will make it easier to peel off the skin. Then place in an iced water bowl.

Spicy Grilled Salsa


1 large red pepper

1 large green pepper

1 large red onion, halved

1 jalapeno chile

2 large tomatoes

3 gloves of garlic

2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt

pinch of freshly ground black pepper


  • Roast the peppers, onion, jalapeno, tomatoes and garlic on the grill, or broiler. Get a deep brown, char all sides. About 20 minutes.
  • Peel away the skins. Remove all stems and seeds. Chop coarsely for a chunky salsa.

Transfer to a serving dish and add the parsley, oil lemon juice and salt and pepper.


Oven-Roasted Brussels Sprouts

If you’re not a fan of Brussels sprouts like me try this recipe. It takes no time to make and healthier than frying.

1 pound of Brussels sprouts

1/4 cup of honey

1 garlic, finely chopped

1 Anjou pear, peeled, cored and grated

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Trim the Brussels sprouts and tear off outer leaves.  Cut the sprouts in half then place them in a large bowl and add all the ingredients. Toss together well and spread out onto a cookie sheet in one layer. Roast until tender about 35 to 40 minutes. Recipe courtesy of chef Einat Admony. Serves 2 to 4.

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Potato-Leek Gratin

This dish is such a crowd pleaser! Everyone was digging into it before I could get a good picture. I make this on the holidays and special dinners. I got the recipe from the Williams -Sonoma catalog years ago. Their catalogs used to be filled with great recipes. I made adjustments to it for my preference. I assemble it in a baking dish instead of a covered fry pan. The measurements can also be adjusted depending on how many quests. I’ve made smaller versions of it as well.

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 pounds of leeks, white and light green portions, rinsed well and cut into 1/4 inch rings

1 1/2 tablespoon Kosher salt

1 teaspoon fresh thyme

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 cup heavy cream

6 ounces grated Gruyere cheese

3 ounces grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

3 pounds of russet potato, peeled, cut into 1/4 inch slices

3 tablespoons of minced chives

In a large non stick fry pan with a cover over medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons of butter. Add the leeks and salt stirring to coat with the butter. Cover and cook stirring occasionally until the leeks are tender.


About 20 minutes. Add the thyme, nutmeg, cream and pepper. Simmer uncovered till it thickens. for about 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool. Wipe the pan and grease it with the remaining butter.

I skip this step and grease the balking pan instead and start my layering process. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.


In a bowl combine the cheeses. Layer of the potatoes on the bottom. Spread the leek mixture on top. Sprinkle with the cheese and chives. And repeat, 2 more times. Cover and bake in the oven for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for anther 30 or till golden brown.  Sprinkle with the remaining cives and let sit for 15 minutes before serving.


Cauliflower and Broccoli with a Gruyere Sauce

Gruyere cheese is one of my favorite cheeses so when I came across this recipe on internet I had to make it. I added broccoli to the mix, it was for cauliflower only so I adjusted the  quantities in the sauce. Recipe courtesy  of

8 cups of bite size cauliflower florets, (about 1 head)

4 teaspoons all purpose flower

1 cup 1% milk, divided

1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese or 2 ounces

1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives or parsley

1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic or 1 clove, I love garlic so I added more and I simmered it with the milk

1/4 teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Steam or boil the vegetables till tender 8 to 10 minutes.


Meanwhile whisk the flour with 2 tablespoons of milk until smooth. Heat the remaining milk in a saucepan over medium heat until steaming. Add the flour mixture. cook whisking till the sauce bubbles and thickens, 2 to 3 minutes. Off heat add the cheese, chives or parsley, garlic and salt and pepper. Spoon over the cauliflower and serve.