Sweet Potato and Kale Gratin

Side dishes | November 17, 2015 | By

Sweet Potato and Kale GratinThanksgiving is just the best holiday. Hands down. It’s all about good food and family time. That’s all you need. No presents, no fuss. Leading into Thanksgiving, I’m going to be sharing some personal favorite recipes – some new to us and a few oldies, but goodies.

Today, I have a super exciting collaboration. I recently got a tour of the Whole Foods store in Albany. While I’ve been to that store (and a few of their other locations), I learned so much about Whole Foods and spoke with some of the awesome folks who work there. I was super impressed with the level of thought that goes into the quality of everything that they carry, and I even learned about some other local brands that I’d never heard of before – including pressed juices from Red Jacket Orchards in Geneva, N.Y. 

What I really took away from my trip to Whole Foods was that great food starts with great ingredients, which is also kind of the philosophy behind Christen in the Kitchen. It’s all about using some simple, stand-out ingredients to make something amazing. So take a trip to Whole Foods and find some great products. If you can’t cook, just take a swing through their delicious bakery and bring dessert to Thanksgiving!

I love gratins and they’re perfect for the holidays. They’re a fair amount of effort, but they can be prepared ahead of time and reheated when its time for dinner. This is also a fancy way to integrate some greens (yes, slathered in cheese, butter and cream) into your holiday meal. Also a huge bonus, this is very portable! A lot of us (including myself) travel to someone else’s house for dinner, and this is perfect to make ahead and reheat when you arrive!

Read on for the recipe and stay tuned for another delicious Thanksgiving recipe tomorrow! 


Bacon and Broccoli Mac and Cheese

Dinner, Not-so-healthy | February 24, 2015 | By

Bacon mac and cheeseWe are in the loooooong stretch of winter. The holidays have passed, but its still snowing and temperatures got down to -14 last night. Ugh. I’m just going to keep on keeping on until spring. For now, bring on more comfort foods. 

I’ve been really loving mac and cheese recipes with other things mixed in. We had dinner at Druthers Brewery, one of our favorite places in Saratoga, last week and I had a great Hawaiian Mac and Cheese there. They’ve won a bunch of local Mac and Cheese competitions, and I’d never tried any of their recipes before. It was a great hit (and we had a ton of leftovers!). This is an easy, homemade version that also sneaks a little bit of a veggie in there too. 

This is also a great make ahead dinner. Just leave off the topping and when you get home from work and while the oven is preheating, mix up the topping, add it on and throw the whole thing in the oven. 

Read on for the recipe.


Beer Cheese Dip

Snacks | February 11, 2015 | By

Beer Cheese DipI could make a whole blog about cheese. Is that sad? Maybe, but totally true.

I love a really sharp cheddar cheese, and this Beer Cheese Dip is just everything. I actually made a small batch of soft pretzel bites (I used this recipe, but adapted for bites instead of full-size pretzels) to dip, but this would be just as delicious with some corn tortilla chips too. 

This dip (originally found here) made a great pre-Super Bowl snack (and by pre- I mean like six hours before). That’s how we roll with really small kids. We snack in the mid-afternoon for an after dinner game. 

One note on this recipe: Use a fondue pot (if you have one) to keep the dip warm. Once it gets to room temperature, it becomes pretty hard. I just kept it on the stove until I was ready to serve with the pretzels. 


Broccoli Cheese Breakfast Casserole

Breakfast | January 14, 2015 | By

broccolicasseroleSome people call this breakfast casserole. Others call it strata. Either way, this is a really easy, delicious breakfast recipe. It makes quite a bit (a whole 9×13 pan) so its also a really great choice for when you’re hosting a brunch (like I did). 

We had family over for New Year’s (seriously, I know that was like two weeks ago), but I wanted to make sure I blogged about this recipe. People really liked it and it got eaten up quickly. I’ve really gotten into savory breakfast lately, and this one is really filling with a side of bacon. Better yet, you can just cook up some bacon and throw it into this. I left it separate because some of the folks who were over that day don’t do bacon (gasp!). 

Some notes on this recipe: Try to make this overnight and let it sit in the fridge. The bread will absorb almost all of the egg/milk mixture and be that much more delicious! 

Read on for the recipe.