Yesterday, I made this recipe (which takes only 20 minutes to really prepare – and then it’s just popped into the oven) and it took me FOUR hours.
Why? Luca wanted to join the party! He was not loving naps, was hungrier than usual, and only seemed to be soothed if I was holding him and walking him around.
I had my first dose of, “Working from home without help is going to be verrrrry difficult.”
I haven’t decided what I’m going to do come January, when I (hopefully) start back up ‘full-time’ again with Inspiralized. My goal was to take 3 months of maternity leave (which, as you can tell, turned into really 2 months) and then start back up after the New Year working full-time.
To me, full-time would now mean working at least 5-6 hours a day, as opposed to pre-baby, when I was working 10-12 hours a day. Since I don’t have a cookbook to write this year (my third cookbook is coming out this spring!!!!), I figured I could scale back my work hours and just focus on productivity.
As for help, I wanted to experiment at first to see how I could manage working ‘full-time’ with the baby just be myself. I figured, yes, some days would be tougher than others, and I’d just have to be very disciplined about my time during the day.
HOWEVER, after yesterday’s attempt at working, I got a reality check and realized that I’m going to need to have some help. Running your own business is a 24/7 gig, and since I take this brand very seriously, I need to treat myself like a ‘normal’ 9-5er, like a Mommy who would be going back to work full-time and would hire a nanny or send their child to daycare.
Lu and I haven’t had the full discussion, but I’m leaning towards a nanny so that I can continue to breastfeed Luca – and so that I can get as much time with him as possible, of course. I can’t imagine leaving him for a full day (although I know that will soon come with my upcoming work and life events!)
SO, for now, I’m going to enjoy the final few weeks of my quasi-maternity leave and the holidays with the baby. I’m definitely excited to fill my days with more Inspiralized goals, but it’s bittersweet, because I love my full days with the baby. I guess all mothers go through this, right?
As for this recipe – let’s just say that I made these down here in Florida in hopes that we’d have them for dinner the following night as a side dish and my father ate all of them. Literally, every last one. There were TWELVE mini gratin stacks. We call it the “Maffucci appetite” – we’re bottomless pits! Needless to say, these are goooood.
These mini gratin stacks are a fun, easier spin on a potato gratin. Spiralized potatoes are mixed together with cheese, herbs, and egg and popped into muffin tins (my mother doesn’t have her own muffin tins down here so we had to buy foil ones – but I got her to buy real muffin tins, so they’re on their way!), baked in the oven and popped out for serving!
These could be served family style on a serving platter for the upcoming holidays OR they’re simply just a delicious way to serve potatoes as a side dish for dinner – or just as a fun appetizer!
However you make these, you’ll be pleasantly impressed by how easy they are – and how tasty (thanks for the approval, Dad!)
Nutritional Information & Recipe
Mini Potato Gratin Stacks
- 2 pounds russet potatoes peeled, Blade A
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large egg beaten
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons chopped thyme
- salt and pepper
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup shredded Gruyere cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a muffin tin with cooking spray.
- In the bottom of a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, egg, garlic powder, thyme, salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese. Add the potatoes and gently toss to combine. Using your hands, grab a stack of potatoes, enough to fill to the top of each muffin cavity (you may have to trim the potato ribbons as you go). Fill each muffin cavity with the potato stacks.
- Cover the muffin tin with foil, and bake until tender, 30-40 minutes.
- Uncover the muffin tin and sprinkle over the gruyere cheese. Bake, uncovered, until cheese melts and the stacks start to brown, 15-20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes before serving. To serve, using a spoon or fork to bring the gratins out of the muffin cavities. Transfer to a serving platter or serve alongside your dinner, on a plate.