Swimming in Potatoes

You can tell a lot about a guy by his taste in food.  During one first date, I could tell there wasn’t going to be a second.

I had met a guy who was a former state-champion swimmer and agreed to go out to dinner.  To start, we went to a Ruby Tuesday.  I’m not saying anything bad about the restaurant, but it’s not exactly what I would picture for first-date material, especially when you take into mind the conversation that follows.

Ordering food was a disaster.  I couldn’t tell you what I ordered for my main dish, but I do remember it came with a side of potatoes.  Now, when it comes to my heritage, I’m a European mutt, which means I love potatoes cooked practically any way (it’s rare for me to meet a potato I don’t like).

Guy: “You’re really going to eat potatoes?”

Me: “Yeah, why?”

Guy: “Potatoes have too many calories.  I can’t keep this swimmer’s body by eating those.  Why don’t you order a salad like me?  It’s better for your waistline.”

Now, there are rules that guys should follow, especially on a first date.  First, never critique my food choices. And second, don’t mention your weight or mine.

Needless to say there was no second date.

Safe for Swimmers Potato Gratin


  • 1lb Yukon Gold potatoes, washed (I’ve also used a mix of regular and sweet potatoes)
  • 6 oz grated cheese (I used a low-fat Irish Cheddar from Trader Joe’s that I grated myself)
  • 1/3 c milk (I used 1/2 %)
  • Salt
  • Garlic powder
  • Pepper
  • Parsley (dried)
  • Cooking spray


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Slice potatoes thinly and shred cheese, if needed.  I tend to leave the skin on because I think it makes for a prettier presentation, but feel free to peel if desired (and definitely peel sweet potatoes if you’re using a mix).
  3. Coat 8×8 in glass baking dish with cooking spray (makes for easier clean-up).
  4. Layer 1/3 potatoes into the dish and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder (think a light sprinkle).  Reserve 1 oz (a small handful) of cheese, then divide in half.  Sprinkle half the cheese onto the first layer of potatoes.
  5. Layer the second third of potatoes into the dish, season again with salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and again top with the cheese.
  6. Layer the final layer of potatoes on top of the dish and pour on the milk.  Top with the reserved small handful of cheese, parsley, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes until the potatoes pierce easily with a fork and the dish is bubbly with golden cheese on top.

8 thoughts on “Swimming in Potatoes

  1. Idunno Megski … I hear dried parsley is more calorie dense than fresh parsley. I wouldn’t keep my hopes up for maintaining a swimmer’s waistline with this recipe.

    JK. Nice blog! Keep up the good work!

  2. Great recipe and story. In the Deep South we call them Gratin Potatoes. One word of caution though, do not try to swim after eating or you will definitely drown!! LOL

  3. mmm I love potatoes! I’m not suprised you didnt meet for a second date! I would have ordered another plate of potatoes and a side order of chips just to prove a point hehe x

  4. Lol. I agree with veghotpot.
    I’m going to try your recipe I love any recipe with cheese and potatoes… Well there goes my waistline…

    1. It’s actually not the unhealthiest dish ever- I used a reduced fat cheddar and some skim milk, as long as you don’t eat the entire dish in one sitting! 🙂

  5. I believe if a man made a comment like that to me, particularly on a first date, but the second wouldn’t look good for him either I’d have ordered a large plate of fries with a side of chili fries. Nice post. recipe looks great. Thanks for checking my site up and signing up.

  6. Interesting material, thanks for sharing them in Swimming in Potatoes | domestic diva, M.D..

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