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Manchego Summer Squash Gratin from "Siriously Delicious" is a wonderful summer side dish. I changed it up a little bit for my family.
Manchego Summer Squash Gratin from "Siriously Delicious" is a wonderful summer side dish. I changed it up a little bit for my family.
Caitlin Bensel | Special to the Times

Quite a few cookbooks have crossed my desk in recent months, fueling my desire to get in the kitchen and try something new!

‘siriously delicious’

I’ve already made one recipe from Siri Daly’s new book, “Siriously Delicious.”

Daly is a blogger and food contributor on “Today.” She is the wife of the show’s co-host, Carson Daly.

Siri Daly says in the book’s introduction that cooking should be as enjoyable as eating. Her recipes were developed with that in mind and include Perfect Banana Minimuffins, Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup, Spaghetti Primavera Pie (the photo makes my mouth water) and S’more Cupcakes.

The book’s recipe are ones that can be made by busy families who want to serve good food.

The recipe I tried first is Manchego Summer Squash Gratin. The name is fancy, but the recipe is basically a layered dish featuring zucchini, yellow squash and cheese. The dish is topped with a cheesy, crunchy topping featuring panko that was especially delicious. We loved the entire dish, but the topping is what I remember.

I basically followed Daly’s recipe, but instead of using Manchego cheese, I used a Colby Jack blend that worked very well.

This delicious gratin is such a nice way to enjoy your vegetables!

“Siriously Delicous,” with 255 pages and 100 recipes, is an Oxmoor House book. List price is $26.99.


I’m sure we all try to save money on groceries, whether it’s by couponing or reading the grocery ads to find the best prices each week.

Julie Grimes, who worked at Southern Living as a food editor for 16 years, wants to help you save money in other ways as well in her new cookbook, “$10 Dinners: Delicious Dinners for a Family of Four that Don’t Break the Bank.”

Grimes features such meals as Old School Chicken and Dumplings, priced at $8.86; Slow-Cooker Mexican Stew at $9.56; Maple-Mustard Chicken Thighs with slaw and potato salad for $9.97; and Winter Veggie Carbonara for $7.22.

She breaks down the cost for individual ingredients as well, including cracker crust pizza dough, which she makes for 39 cents; lemon vinaigrette, priced at $1.37; and 5 1/2 cups of tomato sauce for $2.88.

Planning to cook Thanksgiving dinner? Grimes has a $50 menu planned out starting with Citrus-Pomegranate Sparkle ($7.83) and ending with Red Velvet Cake ($10.07).

In addition to the recipes, Grimes includes an informative guide on how to save money in the kitchen. She suggests, for instance, planting a garden, shopping at local farmers markets and eating fresh foods when they are in season, such as strawberries in spring and clementines and grapefruit in winter.

She also suggests exploring ethnic grocers, experimenting with less-expensive cuts of meat and only splurging on certain food items, such as Dijon mustard, good-quality butter and wood-smoked bacon.

She also includes “tightwad tips” with some of her recipes, offering money-saving ideas. For instance, she suggests making Chunky Homemade Applesauce as a side dish for Honey-Glazed Pork Tenderloin. To cut costs, she recommends avoiding Honeycrisp apples because of the higher cost.

I’ve enjoyed reading Grimes’ book and look forward to trying a few recipes.

“$10 Dinners” is priced at $21.99.

Manchego Summer Squash Gratin

2 medium zucchini

2 edium-sized yellow squash

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 1⁄4 teaspoons kosher salt

3⁄4 teaspoon black pepper

1 1⁄2 cups shredded Manchego cheese*

1 cup panko (Japanese-style breadcrumbs)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees with an oven rack about 8 inches from the heat.*

Using a mandoline or sharp knife, slice the zucchini and the yellow squash thinly on the bias into 1⁄4-inch-thick slices. Toss with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 1 teaspoon of the salt and 1⁄2 teaspoon of the pepper. Spread half of the squash mixture in a lightly greased, 11x7-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with 3/4 cup of the cheese and top with the remaining half of squash. Bake until tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, stir together the panko and remaining 3/4 cup cheese, 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Remove the casserole from the oven and sprinkle with the panko mixture. Return to the oven, and bake for five minutes. Increase the temperature to a high broil (do not remove the dish), and broil until the top is golden brown, three to five minutes.

“Siriously Delicious” by Siri Daly

* I used a Colby Jack cheese blend instead of Manchego cheese. I also didn’t cook 8 inches from the heat source, mostly because I didn’t notice this direction when I was making the dish!