1.  You guys ever had one of those perfect dinners? The kind where everything tastes amazing and you spend the whole meal oohing and aahing over the deliciousness? We had one of those on Saturday and it was fantastic.

2.  I made steak bites that were melt in your mouth with each delectable nibble. BrightSide’s parents gave us green beans from their garden that I made in the instant pot. So very, very yum.

3.  But then – and this is the part that really made the meal transcendent – there were the au gratin potatoes.

4.  I should lead with the fact that I haven’t had this sort of cheesy potato dish in about three years. Except for that one time I ordered it by mistake, not realizing it had flour in it, and earned myself three hours of an excruciating stomachache for my trouble.

5.  To say I was gun shy around saucy dishes for a while is an understatement. So when I spotted this recipe I was super excited to try making cheesy potatoes because, again, YUM.

6.  I’m thrilled to say it was a success. More than a success, really, since we gathered around the kitchen table drooling over a side dish.

7.  Side note: I took the comments about adaptations to heart and made this using 2 teaspoons kosher salt, 3/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar. Perfection. But you do you.

8.  Other simple pleasures from the weekend: sunny days with cooler weather, skillet nachos, snuggle time with Phoebe, and hanging out on the huge beanbag with Bear and the kitty.

9.  Early voting started here last week and it’s been an adventure. I’ve heard everything from people making it through in under an hour to a four and a half hour (plus counting) wait at the polling site. People are showing up, though, and they’re showing up ready to wait until they can vote.

10.  Has early voting started yet in your state? How are things going? Have your counties struggled with long wait times, too? For those of you counting it’s fourteen days until the polls close on November 3rd.