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 πŸ˜›

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!
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Homemade Potato and Bacon Perogies

I LOVE perogies. I love to sautee onions in butter and fry the perogies in the same pan. DELICIOUS! I usually buy them from the grocery store though and they usually aren’t that great. Chris used to live near a bunch of Polish bakeries and one thing we used to pick up sometimes were freshly made perogies. They are 100% better than anything you can find in a grocery store.

SO after countless bags of half rate perogies I decided to whip up a batch of my own. BEST EVER!!! The dough was AMAZING, and the potato/bacon stuffing was better than any I’ve ever tried because it was FRESH! I started with a recipe I got from AllRecipes.com, my favourite website for recipes. I changed it up a bit to accommodate ingredients I had and they turned out great!

I don’t know if I’ll be able to go back to the ‘other kind’ now πŸ˜› ALSO, this is QUITE the process and if you plan on making a lot I would recommend getting a few people together to produce a perogie making line. It would cut down on time and potential frustration πŸ™‚

Cheese, Potato & Bacon Perogies

  • 2 1/4 cups unbleached flour
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 1.5 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 cup plain yogurt (no fat)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 3-4 pieces chicken bacon, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
  • A splash of skim milk
  • Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder and a lil’ Onion salt to taste. Or whatever spices you like
  1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the butter, yogurt, egg whites and oil. Stir the wet ingredients into the flour until well blended. Cover the bowl with a towel, and let stand for 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Cook bacon using your preferred method and pat dry. Cut into very small pieces.
  3. Place potatoes into a pot, and fill with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain, and mash with shredded cheese and Parmesan cheese with a little milk while still hot. Season with onion salt, salt and pepper and garlic powder. Set aside to cool.
  4. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface until it is thin enough to work with, but not too thin so that it tears. Cut into circles using a cookie cutter, perogie cutter, or a glass. Brush a little water around the edges of the circles, and spoon some filling into the center. Fold the circles over into half-circles, and press to seal the edges. Place perogies on a parchment lined cookie sheet, and freeze. Once frozen, transfer to freezer storage bags or containers.
  5. To cook perogies: Remove desired amount of perogies into a highsided bowl. Fill with HOT tap water. In a frying pan heat butter or oil and sautee onions. When onions are half done use a slotted spoon and remove perogies from water and insert into hot pan with onions. Cook until golden brown on first side, flip and continue to cook until golden brown on second side. Enjoy immdeiately!!
Cheese, Potato and Bacon Mixture

Cheese, Potato and Bacon Mixture

FINISHED PEROGIES!

FINISHED PEROGIES!

Hours later and I have 34 perogies! You can tell the ones Chris did :P

Hours later and I have 34 perogies! You can tell the ones Chris did πŸ˜›

I like my perogies with a Sweet and Spicy sauce that you can pick up at most grocery stores!! They are also good with plain sour cream, yogurt (healthy alternative to sour cream) or some barbecue sauce.

SlowCook (sorta) Chicken Stew

Was feeling VERY lazy Sunday after our Early morning walk with the pup and didn’t feel like cooking dinner at all! I looked in the cupboard and to my great surprise we had a ClubHouse brand Slow Cookers Beef Stew seasoning package… I don’t buy stuff like this ever because I just spice my food according to my own tastes, but this package appealed to my Sunday lazyness, so I grabbed it and went from there. I didn’t know if I would ever feel like using something prepackaged like that again so I took that as a sign that lazy stew was meant to be for that night πŸ˜› . I ended up adding a whole bunch of others spices (as I suggest you do as well) because I didn’t think what came in the package was cutting it.Β  I also needed to add some cornstarch mixed with a little water to thicken it up a little, as I like my stews to be quite thick!

So first off I didn’t have any stewing beef so I used Chicken instead. This is a great healthier alternative and it tasked great too! I cooked it on high in my huge slow cooker for about 3 1/3 hours and just couldn’t wait any longer as it SMELLED SO GOOD!!! So, it was kind of Slow Cooked. Feel free to reduce temp. and cook for longer if you plan on putting it on before work to enjoy for dinner that evening! I fed this to Chris’ brother and girlfriend last night (who are staying at our place for a few days) and they loved it even 3 days after it was made, which to me is a sign of an awesome recipe! if you want leave out the prepackaged ingredients and double up on the spices listed below and add chicken or vegetable broth instead of water.

Sorta SlowCooked Lazy Sunday Chicken Stew

Feeds 6. Great as leftovers!!!

  • 2 Chicken Breasts cut into 1 inch or so cubes
  • 3 carrots coarsely chopped
  • 3 celery stalks coarsely chopped
  • 1-2 medium onions coarsely diced
  • 2-3 medium potatoes coarsely diced
  • 1/2 fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 package ClubHouse Slow Cooker Beef stew
  • 2 cups water
  • Oregano, Basil, Salt and Pepper, Red Pepper Flakes, Garlic Powder, Rosemary to taste
  • Flour or cornstarch to thicken
  1. Put the first 5 ingredients into your slow cooker. Mix ClubHouse package with water and other spices if using. Pour mixture over Chicken and Veggies.
  2. Cook on high for 3-4 hours, or on low for 7-8 hours.
  3. Add peas during last 30 mins.
  4. If not thick enjoy for your tastes, add flour or cornstarch to water and then mix into hot stew. Stir well (cornstarch has TWICE the thickening capacity of flour so be careful!)
  5. Enjoy immediately or keep refrigerated 5-7 days.
Lazy Sunday SlowCooker Chicken Stew

Lazy Sunday SlowCooker Chicken Stew

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 πŸ˜›

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

Bruschetta for two

Can’t get over how easy and delicious this bruschetta was to make. I roasted the garlic to give it a full, instead of bitter taste, and a splash of balsamic vinegar REALLY brings all the flavours together. Wish I had fresh basil when I was makingΒ  this, but it’s still quite good without! I’ve been tempted to buy a tub of bruschetta at the bulk barn lately and I am really glad that I opted to make my own. I can see this becoming a staple around here come the end of the summer when I am overloaded with tomatoes from mum’s garden πŸ™‚

Bruschetta with a twist

  • 3 plum tomatoes coarsely diced
  • 1/8 cups fresh basil or 1 1/2 tablespoons dried basil
  • 1/8 cups shredded parm. cheese.
  • 2 – 3 cloves garlic, roasted and minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon oil from roasted garlic
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground salt and pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon dill
  • Splash of good balsamic vinegar
  • Loaf french or Italian bread drizzled with garlic oil, broiled and sliced [I made do with less than superior bread. If you only have sliced bread, lay each down on the counter and with a sharp knife slice from top to bottom to produce very thin slices. Cut in half. 4 slices = 12 pieces of bread]
  • OPTIONAL: Shredded cheese
  1. In a bowl mix together tomatoes, basil, cheese and garlic.
  2. Add in the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper and dill.
  3. Serve on toasted bread slices.
  4. If you enjoy your bruschetta warm, simply spoon mixture onto bread slices, sprinkle with cheese and broil for an additional 1-2 mins.
Roastd garlic, balsamic bruschetta

Roastd garlic, balsamic bruschetta

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 πŸ™‚ 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.


Whole wheat tomato rotini with grilled zucchini, tomato and red pepper

Didn’t know what I was going to make for dinner tonight and then remembered that I haven’t had pasta in far too long. And then I remembered the zucchini, tomato and red pepper I had in the fridge and my mind was made. I whipped up this extremely delicious pasta dish in just about half an hour! SO simple to make – AND DELICIOUS!

Whole wheat tomato rotini with grilled zucchini, tomato and red pepper

  • Half a well scrubbed zucchini cut into 1 cm discs
  • Half a red pepper seeded and quartered
  • 1 plum tomato seeded and quartered
  • 1 small onion cut into thick discs
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat rotini
  • 1/2 – 1 cup tomato sauce, to taste
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • Tablespoon of butter
  • Salt, pepper and basil to taste
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil mixed with 2 extra minced cloves garlic and salt and pepper to taste
  1. Fill a large pot with at least 6 cups salted water and bring to a boil.
  2. Preheat grill and arrange zucchini discs, red pepper and tomato quarters. Spread with extra virgin olive oil and minced garlic, and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side. Leave zucchini and red pepper on grill when finished cooking to keep warm!
  3. Meanwhile melt butter in fry pan and saute onions. When onions are almost done add a clove or two of garlic, to taste. Pour in tomato sauce, salt, pepper and basil. Add tomatoes ONLY from grill.
  4. Boil pasta according to directions on box. After 8-9 minutes remove a piece and test how tender it is, this is really the only way to see if it is done! Drain pasta but DO NOT rinse with water. Check out this recipe by Michael Smith as he explains the best way to cook pasta. (Rinsing the pasta removes starch that the tomatoes stick to, doing so will make your sauce slip right off your noodles.)
  5. Toss drained pasta with tomato sauce and put on plate. Cut red pepper into smaller portions and arrange on pasta with zucchini.
Quick & Easy pasta dish

Quick & Easy pasta dish

For this batch of pasta I added the tomato, as well as the red pepper and zucchini to the sauce and tossed with the noodles. Both ways are equally as delicious, it just depends what kind of presentation our are going for!

Another batch of this yummy pasta!

Another batch of this yummy pasta!

I paired this delicious pasta with a few slices of garlic bread. I didn’t have any good french or italian bread so I took a very sharp knife and sliced a couple slices of regular loaf bread top to bottom to produce two very thin slices. I topped these thin slices with garlic butter and cheese and set under a broiler on high for 3-4 minutes (or until cheese is melted).

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