Posts made in February 6th, 2013

turnip and sweet potato gratin


Posted on Feb 6, 2013 in Food


Alright, I have to be honest about this dish—I didn’t like it.

I know what you’re thinking. If I didn’t like it, what the heck am I doing posting it? Well, it’s a good recipe, an amazing recipe even, but it’s pretty…uh…turnip-y. And I’m just not a turnip fan.


Have you ever been able to appreciate a delicious recipe without actually liking it? That’s how I feel about this gratin. At first bite, I thought, “Wow, this is really incredible! The sweetness of the sweet potatoes balances out the tang of the turnips. Awesome!” But by bite three, I was like, “Okay. Whoa. Step back turnip. You and I aren’t that close.”


I’ve been trying to change my turnip-hating ways with a variety of methods, but still no luck. And if this beautiful, creamy, cheesy gratin with turnips didn’t turn me into a turnip fan, I’m not sure anything will. Which is a total bummer because turnips are easy to grow and store well. But there’s no point in growing a veggie that you don’t like. Womp. Womp.

I try not to hate on any food, but sometimes, you just have to accept that you just aren’t meant to be in love with something. And turnips and I, we aren’t in love.

But if you like turnips, this gratin will make you flip your lid.


I actually can’t wait to make this exact dish, but swap out the turnips for Yukon Gold potatoes. The sauce was so flavorful and the cheese combo was absolutely perfect. And I have a soft spot in my heart for the potato and sweet potato combo. You turnip fans out there, you enjoy this one.

Turnip and Sweet Potato Gratin

by Cassie Johnston

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Makes: 8 servings


  • Cooking spray
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups low-fat milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Pinch ground nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 medium turnips, peeled and sliced thinly (about 1-1/2 pounds)
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced thinly (about 1-1/2 pounds)
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 9 x 11 casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add in garlic and cook until fragrant and softened, about 4 minutes. Whisk in flour and cook for 2 minutes. Then whisk in milk. Add in sage, thyme, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Bring sauce to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat. Set aside.
  3. In the prepared casserole dish, arrange half of the sweet potato slices into one layer, followed by half of the turnip slices. Dot top with half the remaining butter, season with salt and pepper. Repeat with remaining sweet potato and turnip slices. Finishing with the remaining butter and seasoning with salt and pepper.
  4. Pour the prepared sauce over the turnips and sweet potatoes. Sprinkle top with cheeses. Cover casserole with foil and baked covered for 45-50 minutes or until the veggies are tender. Increase oven to 425°, remove foil and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is browned and bubbly. Remove from oven and let rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Information

Serving size: about 1/2 cup. Servings per recipe: 8.


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Are there any foods out there that you just aren’t a fan of? Regardless of how many times and ways you try it?

what i ate wednesday: travel day


Posted on Feb 6, 2013 in Food

I thought you guys might be interested to see a WIAW for something a little different—a travel day. Last Friday, we were traveling from 5am to 8pm, so there was a lot of eating on the go. I’m pretty guilty of being a bored snacker, which is dangerous when you consider hours worth of layovers sitting in an airport. Even with all my usual snacking, I did pretty good during this trip. Because I’m so snacky during travel, I have a ton of photos for you. So instead of my usual WIAW format, I’m gonna go ahead and narrate my day of eats to explain what everything is.

plane view

Our travel day started with a five-hour drive to the airport. Which sounds insane, but flying out of Chicago is so much cheaper for us (as in, save $1000 cheaper). Plus, we don’t mind the driving—usually. We had a bit of a snow storm the night before we left, so the roads were pretty tricky during the first two hours of the drive. To keep on keepin’ on, I sipped on some green tea with honey.

me tea

Once we were closing in on the airport, I dug into a Larabar and a clementine.

larabar clementine

Thanks to the tricky roads, we were actually cutting it really close for our flight—which I cannot stand. Like I mentioned in this post, I’m the kinda girl who likes to get to the gate two hours before take off, but we didn’t even get to the airport parking lot until about an hour before our flight. Yeesh.

Thankfully, all the TSA agents were super nice and let us scurry through the priority line at security. Our plan was to eat breakfast at the gate, but we barely had time to go to the bathroom before boarding. So we skipped breakfast and just planned on eating lunch on the plane.

Once on board, the free beer on the flight helped calm our shot nerves from the drive. As much as I love free beer, I only drank a few sips of this one before handing it off to Babyface. It just wasn’t good enough to justify the calories/dehydration. I stuck with the water.

beer water

But I did chow down on lunch. I packed us a whole spread.

airplane lunch

To satisfy the veggie component, we ate some celery and carrot sticks with hummus (all of this was split between the two of us).

carrots celery hummus

And then, for a main dish, I packed us turkey, cheese and crackers. I’ve done sandwiches before for flights, and they just end up getting smooshed and soggy, but cheese and crackers work perfectly! Yum!

turkey cheese crackers

And then, because I can’t go a meal without chocolate, we split this little dark chocolate bar.

chocolate bar

Our first flight was pretty quick—from Chicago to Toronto—but then we had a mighty chunky layover in Toronto. Which normally is yucky, but the Porter Airlines (highly recommended) lounge at the Toronto airport is amazing. Free wi-fi. Super comfy chairs. Beautiful views.


And my favorite part—free food and drinks. I started our three-hour layover with a mug of green tea and a few leftover pieces of cheese from our lunch.

green tea


After an hour or so (and countless rounds of Candy Cane Saga and Song Pop), I decided to hit up the fancy free coffee drinks. This decaf cappuccino was awesome.


Our plane was boarding right around dinner time, so I did a little more nibbling before we boarded. Another clementine (which, I guess, technically, was contraband American produce…shhhhh!), a piece of turkey jerky and a handful of yogurt covered almonds.


Once we were in the air, I took advantage of the free booze on Porter flights (seriously, Porter rocks) and got myself a glass of red wine.


Along with my wine, I snacked on a few more yogurt covered almonds plus some cheese cubes I packed. Can you tell it got dark on this flight? My photo quality is quickly deteriorating.



Other than a short delay, our flight into Thunder Bay was pretty uneventful. We landed, gave lots of hugs to Craig’s family and then headed over to his brother and sister-in-law’s house for some “real” dinner. I was handed a beer. And I drank it. Happily.


And partook in some pizza. I had two small slices. Since I was so snacky on the flight, I wasn’t all that hungry, but I’ll never say “no” to pizza.


Then we all gathered around to watch some hockey, as any good Canadian family does, right? I was totally worn out though and barely made it through the first period.

It should be noted, I also drank an obscene amount of water, too. I didn’t track it, but I’d say I drank at least 120 ounces throughout the day. I think all that water helped balance out the beer, wine and pizza. And, I woke up the next morning and hit the treadmill. Woohoo!

me gym treadmill

Not a terrible food day considering we were traveling. I’m pretty proud of myself! Small victories, right?


Do you tend to eat well while you’re traveling? Or do you struggle like I do?