Easy, Fancy Hasselback Potatoes

Hasselback potatoes were very popular last year, so naturally I’m finally getting on the bandwagon. Easy side dishes that look fancy are always great for a holiday table, entertaining friends, potlucks or even to spice up an ordinary Wednesday night.

Cheesy Hasselback Potatoes


5 large potatoes, thinly sliced but not all the way through to the bottom.

1 clove of garlic, minced

4 Tablespoons of butter, melted

1 teaspoon of salt

¼ teaspoon of pepper

5 springs of thyme, removed from stem or 1 teaspoon of dried thyme

About 4 ounces of gouda, finely shredded (parmesan would also be good)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray small casserole dish or a cake pan with non-stick spray. Mix garlic, butter, salt, pepper and thyme in a cup. Place sliced potatoes in pan and then pour butter mixture over top, making sure it gets into each slice of potato. Top with shredded cheese and make sure some of it gets into each slice of potato. Bake covered with foil for 30 minutes and uncovered for 25 minutes.

This can easily be made in advance and then reheated in the oven or under the broiler before serving.

I love dishes that look fancy, taste amazing and are super easy to make. This is definitely one of those dishes. What is your go to side dish? I also love making polenta or mashed potatoes and then add some green beans, acorn squash or even some decadent burrata with tomatoes and basil.

Gluten-free Steak Rub Recipe

A good steak really only needs salt and pepper and a hot grill or cast iron skillet. A good steak however can be really expensive. I love to use more flavorful marinades or rubs when cooking some of the more cost effective cuts like top round or london broil. This is a wet steak rub and is reminiscent of the flavors that go into South African farmer’s sausage. It gives just a hint of flavor that most people here in the US have not had before, but reminds me of my childhood 🙂

Steak Rub (enough for about 3 pounds of steak)


¼ cup of olive oil

4 teaspoons of ground coriander

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1 ½ teaspoons of onion powder

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1 ½ teaspoons of salt

¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper

3 Tablespoons brown sugar

2 Tablespoon red wine vinegar


Mix all ingredients together in a gallon storage bag. Place the steaks in and make sure to cover them with the rub. Allow to sit for at least 20 minutes before cooking. Cook to your liking. I like to cook it about 4 to 5 minutes on each side for a rare to medium rare finish for about a 3cm thick steak. Allow to rest for 7 to 10 minutes before cutting.

Serve with some easy polenta or grilled cheesy potatoes, like this one from The Recipe Rebel. I made a version of it last night, minus the bacon and it was so easy and delicious!!

Add some asparagus or grilled corn (shuck, rub with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper then grill, turning frequently) and you have a great barbecue dinner.

Make sure you check if the spices are gluten-free. According to McCormick, they will list it on the bottle if it contains gluten, usually in spice blends. Badia is certified gluten free and can be found usually in the international section of many grocery stores, but sometimes next to the other spices.

What is your favorite way to cook a steak?

Beef Pot Roast

Winter will not quit here in the northeast! While the weather doesn’t yet call for actually making lemonade from lemons, take advantage of the cold and make warm, comforting food for you and your family. I have found it is definitely worth the effort to put the time in to prepare a meal in the morning before heading out the door, so you can come home to a completely finished meal that you just need to serve up.

This Beef Pot Roast recipe is an entire meal in your slow cooker. After preparing, there is no more work!

Beef Pot Roast


2 to 3 pound roast sirloin, or other favorite cut

1 teaspoon of salt

1/8 teaspoon of ground black pepper

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 pound of potatoes, diced

3 to 4 large carrots, peeled and diced

8 ounces of sliced baby portabella mushrooms

3 shallots, diced

2 to 3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon of salt

1/8 teaspoon of ground black pepper

1 teaspoon dried thyme

2 Tablespoons of olive oil

1/8 cup of red wine vinegar

1/8 cup of balsamic vinegar

1/8 cup of soy sauce (I use La Choy gluten-free soy sauce)

1/8 cup Worcestershire

¾ cup of beef stock

2/3 cup of water

2 Tablespoons of brown sugar


Take roast out of the refrigerator and rub with 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/8 teaspoon of ground black pepper and 1 teaspoon of dried thyme. Let sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.  Turn slow cooker on low and add potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, shallots, garlic, 1 Tablespoon of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/8 teaspoon of ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon of dried thyme. Toss to cover vegetables.

In a heavy bottomed pan, heat 2 Tablespoons of olive oil. Sear roast on all sides and place into the slow cooker on top of the vegetables.

In a medium bowl mix the remaining ingredients and then pour over the roast. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.

Pot roast is the ultimate comfort food! Bonus, this is naturally gluten-free. Just make sure that the vinegar, soy sauce and herbs you use are gluten-free. I like to use Badia or McCormick dried spices. Badia is certified gluten-free and McCormick will mark on their bottles if there is any gluten present.

Here are some more slow cooker ideas from previous posts. What is your favorite slow cooker recipe?


Potato gnocchi is one of my favorite foods! It is so versatile. It can be the star of the meal or the great accompaniment to your favorite roast. You can toss it in any sauce you like. Tomato, pesto, my Mascarpone Pasta sauce or my pink sauce.

Most recently I served it up with a roasted chicken (recipe coming soon!) and made a gravy from the pan drippings. A great comforting meal, especially on a snowy day. Gnocchi is something that you can get the kids involved with if you don’t mind making a mess of your kitchen 🙂  It is fun and delicious. I have adapted this recipe from Tyler Florence to make it gluten free.

Potato Gnocchi


4 to 5 white potatoes

1 teaspoon of salt

¼ teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg

Pinch of black pepper

½ cup of grated parmesan

1 ¾ cup of ricotta

¾ cup of Cup4Cup Gluten-Free flour, plus more for dusting


Make holes with fork in potatoes. Bake (about an hour in the oven at 375 degrees) or microwave (on a plate about 8 to 10 minutes). When cool enough to touch, scoop the potato out from the skins and mash with a fork. Add salt, nutmeg, pepper, parmesan and ricotta, then combine. Mix flour in ¼ cup at a time.

Dust a large work space with flour. Take a handful of dough, press together and roll into a long strand, about ½ inch in diameter. Cut with pastry cutter or knife into ½ inch pieces. Lay the prongs of the fork on top of the gnocchi and gently press down and pull fork toward you rolling the gnocchi. Place the gnocchi on a sheet pan topped with parchment paper or waxed paper. Repeat until you have used all the dough.

Bring about 8 cups of water to a boil in a large soup pot. Add some salt to the water (about 1 tablespoon).  Drop in a handful of gnocchi at a time. When they float (about 2 minutes) place in your serving bowl. Repeat until all the gnocchi are cooked. Toss the gnocchi with your favorite sauce.

This is a time intensive meal to prepare, but well worth it, especially if you have help with the rolling and cutting.

If you have time, this is perfect for a Valentine’s meal. If you don’t have time this week, here are some other ideas for food to make for your Valentines 🙂

Swedish Meatballs

French Onion Soup

Chocolate Pudding Pie

Burrata Appetizer 

Potato Leek Soup

Soup is the perfect warm and comforting lunch for a blustery winter day. Great  with a grilled cheese sandwich for when you come in from a walk in the cold, or skiing or sledding.

I love to make potato leek soup around this time of year. It is so velvety and delicious. You can even make it for an elegant New Years Eve dinner with mussels and a nice loaf of gluten-free bread 🙂

Potato Leek Soup


2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 medium onions, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 large leeks, cleaned and diced

8 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves taken off stem

2 teaspoons of salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

1/8 cup of white balsamic vinegar

About 2 lbs of potatoes, peeled and diced

4 ½ cups of stock (I like to use chicken, but vegetable will work too)

¼ cup of milk or heavy cream, optional


Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.  Add onions, garlic, leeks, thyme leaves, salt and pepper. Stir and cook until onions are translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add potatoes and stir. Pour in stock and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes until the potatoes are soft.  Either blend with an immersion blender or allow to cool and pour carefully into a blender. Add more stock or some milk or heavy cream if too thick for your liking. Serve.

You can make this ahead of time and pour it into a crock pot on warm or low to keep it warm until you are ready to serve.

If you are in the mood for another type of soup, check out these other ideas:

Hot and Sour Soup to Warm your Soul

Chicken Noodle Soup

Coconut Curry Sweet Potato Soup





Potato Waffles

My kids have been asking me for latkes for the last couple weeks, so I decided to make my version last night, potato waffles. They went very nicely with our leftover slow cooked pork with gravy and acorn squash. Waffles seemed easier so that I wouldn’t have to stand over a pan and could just put the potato mixture in the waffle maker and go about with the other 5 things I was trying to do at the same time.

Potato Waffles


6 to 8 small potatoes (I used a mixture of white and yukon gold potatoes)

2 eggs

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

2 Tablespoons of shredded parmesan

1 Tablespoon GF flour


Plug in waffle maker and allow it to heat up.  Heat oven to 200 degrees. After you shred potatoes spread them out on towels to dry and wring out all the liquid you can.  In a large bowl mix the potatoes with the remaining ingredients. Scoop about 1/3 of a cup of the mixture for each waffle. Makes about 8 waffles. When the waffle is cooked, place on a baking rack over a sheet pan and place in the 200 degree oven until you are ready to serve. I served it with sour cream and apple sauce.

I had 2 waffle makers going last night. One, my regular 4 square waffle maker and two, the Frozen waffle maker my daughter got for her birthday. So some of our waffles looked like snowflakes 🙂 This is a fun breakfast idea or good way to use up potatoes if you buy too many over the holidays.

Raspberry Lemon and Thyme Tiramisu recipe coming soon…Amazing and simple. Stay tuned!


Twice Baked Potatoes, a perfect holiday side dish

Comforting, cheesy and delicious. Holidays often involve spending lots of time with family and even more time eating lots of food. Nostalgic comfort food is definitely more welcome at the table than talking about politics, religion or what Aunt Sylvia is wearing.

I have fond memories of my mom making twice baked potatoes and realized recently that I had never made them for my kids. They were even better than I remember.

Twice Baked Potato



8 small baked potatoes

2 cups + 1/2 cup of shredded sharp cheddar

4 ounces of cream cheese

1/2 cup of milk

2 Tablespoons of butter

1 teaspoon of salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme



Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash your potatoes and make 2 to 3 fork pricks into each and wrap each potato with foil. Place foil wrapped potatoes in oven directly on rack for 45 minutes, flipping over half way through. While potatoes are baking, place 2 cups of cheddar, cream cheese, milk, butter and spices in a large bowl. Once the potatoes are cool enough to touch, cut each in half and scoop out the insides and add to the bowl. Mash the ingredients in the bowl together using a teaspoon to fill the potato shells. Top with the rest of the shredded cheese. Put back in the oven for 15 minutes until the cheese is bubbly.


TIP: You can prep this ahead of time and then reheat at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes until heated through.

More holiday side dishes to come next week! Tomorrow, look out for more holiday treat ideas! And as always gluten free, but no one can tell 😉

Holiday side ideas from past posts:

Easy Thanksgiving Side Dish: My favorite! Acorn Squash

I guess Thanksgiving is coming soon?!