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Monday, February 25, 2013

Lower Fat Scalloped Potatoes

I experimented and came up with a lower fat recipe for scalloped potatoes.  I used a blend of Jarlsberg Lite Reduced Fat Swiss cheese and sharp cheddar cheese with fat free Half & Half.  I was pleased with the results.  This recipe yields 6 servings at approximately 270 calories/serving. 
Lower Fat Scalloped Potatoes  
4 cups thinly slice potatoes (approx. 4 Russet potatoes)
2 Tablespoons olive oil (I used Berio olive oil for Sauteing & Grilling)
1 Tablespoon Olivio buttery spread
1/4 medium onion, sliced thin
3 Tablespoons whole wheat flour (or white flour if preferred)
1 1/2 cups fat free Half & Half
1 teaspoon salt
1 dash cayenne pepper
3/4 cups Jarlsberg Lite Reduced fat swiss cheese, shredded
3/4 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a small pan, combine the olive oil and olivio spread.  Cook at a low temperature until warm.  Add sliced onions and saute until tender.

Add flour and stir until combined. Let blend for approximately one minute.  Add Half & Half and stir mixture using a whisk.  Add salt and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper.  Cook at a low temperature until mixture begins to boil.  Add 1 cup of the cheese mixture reserving 1/2 cup of cheese to sprinkle on the top layer.

Place 1/2 of the sliced potatoes in a one quart casserole dish.   I sprayed the surface of the pan with Pam spray to prevent sticking.  Pour 1/2 of the melted cheese mixture over the layer of potatoes.

Repeat with second layer of potatoes and cheese sauce.  Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the reserved shredded cheese mixture on top.  Sprinkle with paprika for some color.

Bake uncovered for about 1 hour.  Remove from oven.

Makes 6 servings at approximately 270 calories per serving.  Enjoy!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Financial fitness

This is not a typical subject which I have posted about in this blog.  However, lately I have been giving a lot of thought to "financial fitness".  One of my goals for the upcoming year is to practice more self-control when it comes to finances.  Although I do not think of myself as a big spender, I need to work on limiting my day to day spontaneous purchases. 

I must confess, I love coffee.  When I am running around town and drive past a Dunkin Donuts, I cannot resist the urge to pull up to the drive through to get a coffee to go.  And while it is okay to treat myself once in awhile, this should not be a daily event.  I have stocked up on my favorite Dunkin Donuts coffee and I will bring a refillable mug with me when I leave the house.  If I start to save all the money I could have spent on "convenience coffee", I could start planning my next cruise.   Yes, I am proud of myself, I have gone almost a week without giving into the temptation.

I also love keeping up with the latest fashions and going window shopping. But from now on, I will limit my visits to the mall to when I actually need, and not just want, something.  The next time I have the urge, instead I will go to the gym and burn off the excess energy taking exercise classes!

My goal for the year ahead is to practice more self control so that I can save more for the things that my family and I really want.  A little bit of planning can go a long way.