Easy Bacon and Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

I whipped these up on the spot for Easter dinner when I remembered I hadn’t prepared a potato dish yet (whoops). They were SO GOOD and disappeared instantly from the table. A couple days after Easter when we had all that leftover ham I made this again and layered in pieces of meat for a more filling version that we ate for our main course! I will definitely be making this again!

Potatoes before they disappeared :P

Potatoes before they disappeared 😛

Bacon and Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

  • 2-3 medium potatoes cut into thin discs
  • 1 medium to large onion cut into thin discs
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese
  • 4-6 pieces chicken bacon, chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons butter
  • 3-4 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • Salt, pepper garlic powder and oregano to taste
  1. Cook bacon whichever way you prefer best. Pat dry and chop into small pieces.
  2. Grease a 9X9 inch glass baking dish and preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line the bottom of the dish with potatoes slices and top with onion slices, sprinkle with a bit of the shredded cheese (If using meat layer in after the potatoes). Repeat layers until you are out of potatoes, onions and cheese.
  3. In a frying pan melt butter. Add spices and flour and mix until smooth. Add half and half and increase heat until mixture is thick. Remove from heat and spread mixture over potatoes, onions and cheese. Pour skim milk evenly over potatoes and top with crumbled bacon.
  4. Cook in preheated oven for 50-60 minutes and enjoy!
Advertisements

Oven baked Bagel Chips

I hate to see anything go to waste so I was quick to act with the last almost-hard-as-rock everything bagel we had lingering in the fridge!

These bagel chips are so easy to make and very similar to something you would pay $3 or $4 dollars a bag for at the grocery store! And the beauty of making them at home is that you have a variety of flavors at your fingertips! Plus, you can control the amount of oil that goes into them if you make them yourself which is really important to me 🙂

You can either cut them from top to bottom to produce about 15-20 smaller chips per bagel, or from side to produce 7-10 larger chips.

Oven baked bagel chips

Oven baked bagel chips

Bagel Chips

  • Bagels, whatever flavour you want
  • EV Olive Oil, butter (I used leftover garlic oil from when I roasted garlic YUMM!)
  • Flavours if you want them: dill, garlic, rosemary, Parmesan cheese, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, cinnamon and brown sugar or whatever you like best 🙂
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cut bagels to produce small or large chips and lightly coat with oil, butter.
  3. Add flavours of your choice and place on baking sheet in a single layer. Prepare in batches if necessary!
  4. Cook for 7-8 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. They are a nice solid chip so enjoy with hummus or another thick dip!
Oven baked bagel chips

Oven baked bagel chips

Phyllo Eclairs

Came across this lovely recipe completely by accident and so very happy that I did! I’ve never used a recipe from this site before but this turned out really, really well!!!

Not only did I get to use the two egg yolks that I had left over from a previous recipe, but I made one of the yummiest treats I’ve had in a while! This totally seams like something that you would pay an arm and a leg for at a fancy bakery, but it was so easy to make and the ingredients weren’t expensive either! AND Chris could NOT stop raving about them. I like that. I like that a lot.

Delicious Phyllo Eclairs

Delicious Phyllo Eclairs

Phyllo Eclairs

For 3 eclairs…

SHELLS

  • 2 sheets phyllo dough at around room temp.
  • 1-2 tablespoons white sugar
  • melted butter or cooking spray

VANILLA CREAM

  • 4 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/8 cup cornstarch
  • Dash of salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup half-and-half
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

OPTIONALS

  • 1/8 cup melted milk chocolate for drizzling
  • Powdered sugar for sprinkling

To Make Shells

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut out 3 (12 x 6-inch) pieces of aluminum foil. Using index fingers as a guide, loosely roll up each foil piece jelly-roll fashion to form a cylinder with a 1-inch opening. Lightly coat outside of each cylinder with melted butter or cooking spray.
  2. Place 1 phyllo sheet on a large cutting board or work surface and be sure to cover your remaining dough to prevent drying!!! Lightly coat with butter or cooking spray. Sprinkle evenly with granulated sugar. Repeat layers once. Cut phyllo stack lengthwise into 3 equal strips.
  3. Place foil tube at bottom of each strip of phyllo and roll up jelly roll style and place on parchment lined baking sheet.
  4. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on wire rack and store (if not using right away) in an airtight container.
Rolling up the phyllo sheets

Rolling up the phyllo sheets

Shells before they hit the oven

Shells before they hit the oven

Shells fresh out of the oven

Shells fresh out of the oven

TO MAKE VANILLA CREAM

  1. Combine first 4 ingredients in a small saucepan, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Gradually add milk and half-and-half, continuing to stir with a whisk. Cook over medium heat until mixtures comes to a boil, still stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and cook for 1 minute, STIRRING CONSTANTLY.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
  3. If not using right away transfer to a ziploc bag and refrigerate.
  4. To pipe mixture into shells cut edge of ziploc bag and squeeze mixture into phyllo shells. If desired, drizzle with melted milk chocolate chips and sprinkle with powdered sugar!

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese frosting and toasted almonds

I spent a while gathering ideas for Easter dinner dessert and was originally thinking cute lil’ bunny themed cupcakes. But after seeing countless recipes for carrot cake I decided to go for it even though I’ve never made one before. I paired it with the delicious cream cheese frosting I made in an earlier post, but added less powdered sugar so it had more of a cream cheese taste! It was a big hit, everyone loved it, my mum especially took a liking to the cream cheese frosting 😛

You can either bake this in two standard cake tins and layer your cake, or just use a glass pie dish and invert your cake onto your serving platter like I did.

With a few adjustments this was easily made into a much healthier version of the original.

Healthy Carrot Cake with Delicious Cream Cheese frosting and toasted almonds

Healthy Carrot Cake with Delicious Cream Cheese frosting and toasted almonds

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese frosting and toasted almonds

  • 2 cups finely grated carrots
  • 1/2 – 1 cup toasted almond slices
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons fresh grated nutmeg
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 white sugar
  • 3/4 cup apple sauce 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place rack in center of oven. Grease a 9x13x2 pie pan and line bottom with parchment paper.
  2. Toast the almonds for about 8 minutes or until lightly browned and they smell delicious. Let cool.
  3. Peel and finely grate the carrots and set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg and set aside.
  5. With hand mixer beat the eggs until frothy (about 1 minute). Gradually add the sugar and beat until the batter is thick and light coloured (about 3-4 mins). Add apple sauce and oil in a thin steady stream, and then beat in the vanilla extract.
  6. Add the flour mixture and beat until just incorporated. With a large rubber spatula fold in the grated carrots.
  7. Fill pie pan until 3/4 of the way full and bake in preheated oven for around 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.
  9. After completely cooled invert cake onto serving platter and frost with cream cheese frosting. Press toasted almonds around sides of cake, or chop and sprinkle over entire cake. Refrigerate any leftovers!
Healthy Carrot Cake with Delicious Cream Cheese frosting and toasted almonds

Healthy Carrot Cake with Delicious Cream Cheese frosting and toasted almonds

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • one 8 oz. bar cream cheese, cold
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon zest OR extract (optional)
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, measure then sifted
  1. With the mixer on a low speed, beat the cream cheese and butter till blended.
  2. Mix in vanilla and lemon extract.
  3. Slowly add the powdered sugar a cup at a time.
  4. Once all the powdered sugar is added, increase to a higher speed to whip up the frosting till light and fluffy.

Homemade crescent rolls

I wanted to make a few things for Easter dinner as my family was coming here to eat for our family dinner. This was the first time everyone came to our place for a Holiday meal and I LOVED IT! I made a few things like some peppermint patties, recipe posted below, a carrot cake with delicious cream cheese frosting, an old favorite MERINGUE COOKIES, bacon and two cheese scalloped potatoes and these delicious homemade crescent rolls! These were the biggest, fluffiest rolls I have ever seen. Quite frankly I wasn’t even 100% sure that they would turn out properly, as I have never worked with active dry yeast before. They were a HUGE success, literally 😛

I changed up the recipe just a little and used a bit of whole wheat flour, and didn’t coat my dough with the 1/4 cup butter it called for, I just didn’t see the point. They were still absolutely perfect, the outsides golden brown, the insides light, fluffy, delicious.

I halved the original recipe and it still made 16 buns which was still waaaay too many for our table of 6.

Delicious homemade crescent rolls

Delicious homemade crescent rolls

Crescent Rolls

  • 1/2 cup cooled mashed potatoes
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter or shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 3 cups unbleached flour 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  1. In a large bowl dissolve yeast in warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C) until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. When yeast has been dissolved, mix in potatoes, sugar, butter or shortening, egg, salt and half the flour. Stir in the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time until dough becomes stiff yet still pliable. Turn dough out onto a floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl and insert dough. Cover well with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or up to five days!
  3. After at least 8 hours deflate the dough and turn out again onto a floured work surface. Roll out dough to a 12-14 inch circle and cut (using a pizza cutter) into 16 wedges. Roll wedges up tightly starting from the largest end, down to the point and form into a crescent shape. Cover and let rise for one hour while your oven is preheating.
  4. Bake, on parchment paper in a preheated oven for around 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
Rolls before they hit the oven

Rolls before they hit the oven

Delicious homemade crescent rolls

Delicious homemade crescent rolls

Broccoli, cheese, onion & red pepper whole wheat mini quiche

Yummy whole wheat mini quiche with sauteed onion, cheese, slightly softened broccoli and chunks of red pepper. Very tasty, and not *too* bad for you either 🙂 Makes approximately 16 minis!

Broccoli, cheese, onion & red pepper whole wheat mini quiche

Whole wheat dough

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup unbleached flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, chilled and diced
  • 1/4 cup ice water
  1. In a large bowl, combine flours and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in water, one tablespoon at a time, until mixture forms a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least half an hour or overnight.
  2. On a floured surface and starting with half of refrigerated dough, roll out to around 1/6 inch and using a pastry cutter the same size as your tinfoil cups begin cutting dough. I am without pastry cutting instruments so I used different sized cups to get the perfect size for my tinfoil cups! Once you have cut as many circles as you can from the dough, roll dough into a ball again and repeat process until all cups are filled. Repeat process with remaining dough.
  3. OPTIONAL: I like to use a fork and pattern the edges of my dough. Just press fork around whole diameter of each cup.

WHILE DOUGH IS CHILLING IN THE FRIDGE YOU WILL HAVE PLENTY OF TIME TO PREPARE YOUR EGG MIXTURE.

Egg & Veggie mixture

  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 – 1 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 – 1 cup shredded cheese, your choice
  • 2 tablespoons unbleached flour
  • 1/2 medium onion diced & sauteed
  • When onion is almost done cooking, add 1-2 minced cloves of garlic (squish garlic with flat side of knife and chop very fine)
  • 3/4 – 1 cup broccoli slightly softened broccoli (cook in double boiler 3-4 minutes)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup diced red pepper
  • Salt, pepper and other spices to taste: Oregano, basil, dill etc.
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Saute onions (put butter or oil in a fry pan over low-med heat, once heated add onions until soft and delicious smelling :P)
  3. Soften broccoli (cook in double boiler 3-4 minutes)
  4. Mix together eggs and milk. ADD flour cheese and spices.
  5. In a separate bowl combine sauteed onion, softened broccoli and diced red pepper.
  6. Scoop 1/2 tablespoon vegetable mixture in each cup and then fill until 1/2 – 3/4 full.
  7. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until mixture has set. Test with toothpick or fork.

Delicious mini quiche
Delicious mini quiche

You can freeze these by wrapping in tin foil and then placing into a freezer bag. Re-heat in the oven. If you plan to do this cook quiche until set, but dough is not too brown. It will brown MORE when you re-heat them.


Baked Asparagus with asiago

Chris and I love asparagus, but we don’t always like to just steam it as it gets a little boring! Sometimes we bake it and top with shredded asiago with delicious results!

One time while cooking for Chris’ family we even got his brother to try and LOVE this side dish of ours! One of my most favorite things about creating in the kitchen is that I can get people who wouldn’t otherwise like a certain veggie, or dish, to reach for seconds! Even this past week Chris and I had some friends in visitng from B.C. and I got someone who said they would never try hummus, to love my roasted garlic hummus! It makes me feel so good inside to know that I have helped open someones pallet and introduce them to something new, even if it’s just something small.

Anyways, back to asparagus. This side dish is very easy to prepare and takes only 15-20 minutes in the oven!

Asparagus with asiago

  • One bunch fresh asparagus.
  • A very small amount of Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Shredded asiago to taste.
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Wash well and trim ends off asparagus.
  3. Place in large baking dish and toss with a small amount of olive oil and salt & pepper.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven and top with shredded asiago.
  5. Continue cooking for 5-10 minutes or until asiago is melted.

NOTES: When shopping for asparagus look for bunches that have wet ends. If the bottoms are not wet, this means that the asapagus has probably been sitting around for a while. Look for bright green stalks, a little purple is okay. When storing at home place asparagus upright in a small amount of water until ready to use. The best method to properly trim ends off asparagu for this dish is as follows: hold asparagus spear firmly towards the end and bend it until it breaks naturally. The spear should break at the point where it becomes tough.

Asparagus with shredded asiago

Asparagus with shredded asiago

Previous Older Entries