I really admire people who can get dinner on the table using a butter knife and a spoon. I’m not one of them.

Not totally true – I’ve cooked a few meals in ill-equipped kitchens – but I really want the proper tool for the job. It just makes things so much easier.

Case in point: I really ♥ my mandoline. It truly is one of the best kitchen tools around.  They look a bit pricey, but they really do last forever. You buy one once. That’s it. Thin-sliced apples for desserts, strips of zucchini to wrap around scallops… waffle-cut potatoes… the possibilities are endless.

For this, I used it to slice matchstick slices of potatoes and thin slices of carrots for a simple potato and vegetable dish.

Potato Vegetable Gratin

  • 1 large russet potato, matchstick-sliced
  • 3 carrots, thin-sliced
  • 1 small bell pepper, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • small onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 4 tbsp butter

Saute onion, celery, and garlic until limp.  Add to potatoes, carrots, mascarpone, egg, sat and pepper. Mix everything well and place into a buttered pie plate or casserole. Top with panko breadcrumbs mixed with butter.

Bake at 350° until cooked through and top is nicely browned – about 40 minutes.


Crispy-crunchy goodness atop yummy potatoes and vegetables.

Use sour cream in place of the mascarpone, switch out the veggies… It’s actually a good clean-out-the-refrigerator dish. Use up those tupperware containers before they become science projects!

As always, have fun with it!