Sep. 25, 2015

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With the Holidays soon approaching I am looking forward to fall weather and baking some new items. The Summer was wonderful but just a wee bit to hot for me. I used to be a total beach bum, but these days I prefer a little cooler weather. I decided to do this site because my entire life living in the Appalacian (Kentucky) we grew up cooking. We grew our food, we canned and stored our food and we had Sunday dinners that were to die for. Any reason to cook and we did it. Through the years I could not tell you how many church dinners, reunions, dinners after a funeral(which I always thought was wierd to be eating at this particular time) but seems we ate for any occasion. I think maybe it could have also been that it was really the only thing to do besides work. There was not a lot to do back then and especially in a small town, and I did not even live in the town, I was living totally out in the country, where you could yell for hours and no one would hear you. Regarless, it seems that good food always makes people happy and preparing food has always given me pleasure. I love seeing others enjoy something I have cooked or baked to perfection and then hear their comment and the joy of them explaining how good it is. I am always happy to help someone with a tip for cooking, or to find an easier way for them to prepare a nice meal.  My children seem to just expect all the good food and they really don't know what it is like to not have home cooked meals and desserts as it has always been the normal in our home. I have learned through the years that a lot of folks can cook but they don't do baked dessert items, or a lot of folks love to bake but really don't like to or don't know how to cook very well. I have no idea how I learned to cook like I do, maybe from times of having no choice but to create something from nothing, or from absolutely loving the smell of something baking in my home. Many people do not want the house to smell of food, me on the other hand I love it!! Whether it is herbs and garlic or pumpkin spice or cakes I love it, it just feels like warmth and home to me. I have never had any help preparing the things I make and in the past have done food for a crowd of 750 people, and I have done a sit down , eat a meal wedding reception for 250 people. I can tell you that on that day I totally earned my money. I was thinking about Thanksgiving today and remembering this awesome Carrots Au Gratin that I made and if you like carrots and you are a cheese lover as I myself am I think you would enjoy this recipe. It is wonderful for the Holidays, so Happy Cooking!!

CARROTS AU GRATIN

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 cups shredded Monterey Jack chese, divided

1 1/2 cups fontina cheese

1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese

5 pounds carrots, finely grated and squeezed dry*

2 tablespoons chopped fresh tyme, divided

Garnish: chopped fresh tyme

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a 13x9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

2.In a medium bowl, combine cream, flour, salt, and pepper, whisking until smooth; set aside.

3.In a separate bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups of Monterey Jack cheese, fontina cheese, and Parmesan cheese

4.In prepared baking dish, layer half of carrots, half of cheeses, 1 tablespoon thyme, and half of cream mixture;repeat layers. Cover with nonstick aluminum foil.

Bake for 45 minutes.  Remove foil, and top with remaining 1/2 cup Montery Jack cheese, bake for 5 to 10 minutes or until chees is melted. Garnish wtih chopped fresh thyme, if desired.