Birthdays are like Potatoes

Potato Gratin

So yesterday was another birthday. When you get to the point like I have and your birthday means being over the hump of mid-thirties and on your way to 40 celebrating is a lot less of a fuss. So I spent the day with my two boys (grown and not), went to lunch and did some shopping.

As I oohed and aahed in Sur La Table, I thought what a difference this is from turning 21 when all you could wait to do is run to the nearest convenient store at midnight and buy beer – all I wanted at 36 was to indulge in a Le Creuset! And then I thought potatoes – they’re a lot like birthdays. You can jazz them up or make them simple. Have a low fat version or go over the top and indulge…the possibilities are endless.

So in the end I choose a lovely baking dish and came home on mission to create a low fat, easy and a little bit exciting birthday, oh I mean potatoes!


1 1/2 lbs yukon gold potatoes

3/4 c fat-free evaporated milk

3/4 c low sodium chicken broth

1 tbsp all-purpose flour

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 tbsp fresh parsley, minced

3 tbsp parmesan reggiano, shredded

salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Wash and dry potatoes and then thinly slice, preferably with a mandoline.

In a small saucepan, add evaporated milk, chicken stock and minced garlic then whisk in flour. Heat slowly over medium-low heat until it is just warm.

Spray a baking dish with canola oil spray. Take 1/3 of the potatoes and layer, overlapping in the bottom of the dish. Season the potatoes generously with salt and pepper, then sprinkle 1 tbsp each of parmesan cheese and parsley. Pour 1/3 of the milk mixture over the potato layer and then repeat this process two more times.

Cover baking dish with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil after 35 minutes and continue baking for 35 more minutes. Top should be golden brown. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes before cutting.

This is not your typical potato gratin. It is not bathed in cheese and butter like traditional recipes. This dish is more a take on a Potatoes Savoyard which uses chicken broth and no cream.

Great Finds at Sur La Table


Oil Mister – just add you own oil, give a few pumps and say goodbye aerosol cans.






Probably the best $20 I’ll ever spend on a kitchen gadget. I had a mandoline but this sleekslice mandoline is compact, folds up and has a finger guard!

3 thoughts on “Birthdays are like Potatoes

  1. luscie

    You are right, birthdays are like potatoes! I think I will do the smashed version when I turn 60 this year. It might not hurt as bad……ha!

  2. Susan Ray

    My next birthday will be a loaded potato. When you get to my age, you celebrate over the top with real sour cream and butter! Did Luscie say ‘turn 60′ this year? Let’s have a big potato party for her!


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