I’ve been writing this blog for a few years now and sometimes when I look back on all that I’ve done and all of the people I’ve met because of it… well, I just have to pinch myself. Even more amazing than the fabulous places I’ve been taken to or the restaurants I’ve gotten to eat at, it’s the friendships I’ve made that are what makes all of this so incredibly magical. And, if you haven’t gathered, us bloggers are a tight-knit group… one that’s filled with love and support.
How I got introduced to Lisa and her blog, With Style and Grace, is something I have trouble recalling. She may have left a comment on my blog or maybe I left one on hers. Who knows? All I know is that as soon as we started corresponding, I immediately felt a connection… a kindred spirit who I knew was going to play a part in my life. How, I didn’t know.
As it turns out, Lisa has had a greater impact on me than I could have imagined. A little over a year ago, when we met in person for the first time at Chelsea Market in New York, I told her that I was thinking of doing photography professionally but that I was terrified of failing. She grabbed my hand, looked me straight in the eye, and told me that I not only should do it… but that I could do it. And it was then that I decided to make the leap.
Lisa is one of the most thoughtful people I know and every time we get together, there’s laughter and long conversations ranging in everything from religion to movies to relationships. It’s a special bond that I value with all of my heart.
And now, my dear Lisa is having a baby boy!
Pregnancy has been especially rough for her, but I am pretty certain that it will all be worth it in the end. It brings me great pleasure to be hosting a Virtual Baby Shower for Lisa! I picked out this Scalloped Potato Gratin (which has both russet and sweet potatoes) because Lisa has been on a very odd diet these last nine months which has consisted of a lot of baked potatoes and she loves anything with a lot of cheese on it. Oh, and it’s gluten-free, which is perfect for her!
Let’s get on with the rest of the party! Here’s the list of other bloggers (and their recipes):
Scalloped Potato Gratin
(slightly adapted from the recipe by Tyler Florence)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 sprig fresh thyme
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 lb russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch thick slices
1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch thick slices
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for broiling
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a saucepan, heat up the cream with a sprig of thyme, chopped garlic and nutmeg.
While cream is heating up, butter a casserole dish. Place a layer of potato in an overlapping pattern and season with salt and pepper. Remove cream from heat, then pour a little over the potatoes. Top with some grated Parmesan. Make 2 more layers. Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Sprinkle some more Parmesan and broil until cheese browns, about 5 minutes.