Today was beautiful – the warm, blue cloudless skies of summer paired up with the rustling leafy breeze and calm golden light of fall. It was, I’m sure, the last barbeque-worthy weekend of the season.

Sure, we’re city people now, without a backyard, let alone a patio, porch or grill, but it didn’t mean we couldn’t make our favorite barbeque foods on our little George Foreman grill and sit on the front stoop for a few minutes in the late afternoon and think about theoretical screen porches, mutts, and lawn mower sounds that might wait for us in the future.

While Ben marinates our steaks in some secret and wonderful Ben way and while the squash is simply steamed and tossed with salt, pepper, and olive oil, you might need some help creating my cheesy potatoes. I’ve been fooling around with this dish for about a year, after guessing at how to make my mom’s au gratin potatoes. I really like bringing them to barbeque potlucks – it stands out among the usual glut of potato and pasta salads.

Cheesy Potatoes

2-3 pounds of potatoes
1 small block sharp cheddar cheese (I use 1% low-fat cheese and you can’t tell the difference)
1 small white onion, finely chopped
1 cup milk (I’m sure it would be even awesomer if you used heavy cream)
Salt and pepper
Garlic, to your liking

Preheat over at 375 degrees. Slice potatoes into very thin disks – the thinner, the better (you can peel the potatoes but I don’t). Grate cheese, dice onion. In a large glass bowl or casserole dish, layer potatoes, cheese, onions, salt, pepper, garlic and a splash of milk. You should be able to fit 2-4 layers in the bowl or dish. Place in oven, covered, for an hour. For a browned, crispy top, uncover after 45 minutes.

To check and see if it’s done, stick a knife in it — if it easily reaches the bottom, you’re all set.

Go to last week’s Sunday night dinner. 

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