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!
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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

Oven Baked Cheese and Bacon or Veggie Potato Skins

This recipe originally called for about 2 cups of oil to fry the potato skins in. I modified it and by cooking the potato skins in the oven coated in oil I was able to reduce the amount down to around one teaspoon!!! Much healthier if you stick with the veggie skins and SOOO delicious. We went out to a Restaurant last week and ordered Potato skins to compare and the ones that I made were soooooo much better!

Restaurant quality potato skins in your own home!

This recipe is enough for an appetizer for two. Double up as needed, they go fast!!!

Cheese and Bacon Potato Skins

Cheese and Bacon Potato Skins

Potato Skins

6 Small, Round, New Potatoes WASHED

Cheese shredded, your choice to taste

OPTIONAL

Bacon or Ham cooked and diced, to taste

Green Onions diced, to taste

Broccoli diced, to taste

Sour Cream to dip

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Wrap pricked and washed potatoes in tinfoil and place in preheated oven for about 45 minutes. WHY PRICK POTATOES? http://food.ivillage.com/cooking/0,,33n,00.html
  3. After 45 minutes removed potatoes from oven and remove tinfoil. Let cool briefly.
  4. Cut each potato in half and scoop out inside leaving a thin edge of potato. [This is best done when potatoes are still slightly warm as they are easier to scoop! I use a rounded metal measuring Tsp. Cuts through the potato really easily and the extra potato can be saved for potato pancakes :0 ]
  5. After you have scooped each potato place flat side down on tinfoil lined cookie sheet. Rub each potato skin with a small amount of oil until all are completely covered.
  6. Place back in oven for 10-15 minutes until they begin to crisp up.
  7. Remove skins from oven again and fill with different mixtures of Cheese, Bacon, Green Onions and Broccoli, or whatever you like. Leftover Chili makes a great potato skin!!!
  8. Stick back in oven until cheese melts, approximately 4-5 minutes.
  9. Let cool slightly and serve with sour cream or your choice of dip.

Scoop out inside leaving a 1/4 inch layer of potato. Lay down on covered cookie sheet and cover with a tiny amount of oil

Scoop out inside leaving a 1/4 inch layer of potato. Lay down on covered cookie sheet and cover with a tiny amount of oil

Cook oil covered potato skins in oven about 10-15 minutes until desired crispiness is reached

Cook oil covered potato skins in oven about 10-15 minutes until desired crispiness is reached

Potato skins stuffed with yummy cheese and bacon. Mmmm

Potato skins stuffed with yummy cheese and bacon. Mmmm

Finished Potato skins. ENJOY!

Finished Potato skins. ENJOY!

Fresh Basil Pesto Chicken Pasta Recipe

Baked, Fresh Basil, Pesto, Chicken Pasta Recipe

Baked Fresh Basil Pesto Chicken Pasta with Arugula [hehe]

You will need a Basil Pesto for this recipe so I have provided one below. Or you can pick some up at your local supermarket.

Pesto Recipe

1 cups fresh basil leaves, stemmed [Keep a bunch of different herbs in the freezer for easy access]

1 cups fresh spinach leaves, stemmed [We keep a bag of spinach in the freezer for this reason alone]

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup Olive oil

1 Tbsp Dried Basil

3 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts [I picked up a small amount of Pine Nuts at Bulk Barn and they were $4!!! Walnuts will do just fine, but if you want that truly authentic flavour, treat yourself to the Pine Nuts]

3 garlic cloves, finely minced

salt and pepper to taste

  1. Place basil leaves in small batches in food processor or magic bullet and whip until well chopped.

  2. Add about 1/3 the nuts and garlic, blend again.

  3. Add about 1/3 of the Parmesan cheese; blend while slowly adding about 1/3 of the olive oil, stopping to scrape down sides of container.

  4. Process basil pesto it forms a thick smooth paste.

  5. Repeat until all ingredients are used, mix all batches together well.

  6. Serve with pasta or alternate. Like chicken! OR BOTH.

Basil pesto keeps in refrigerator up to one week, or freeze for a few months.


Baked Pesto Chicken Pasta

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1/4 c pesto

2 plum or roma, or some grape tomatoes

Shredded cheese to taste, we used Asiago and it was SO! good, Mozzarella works too!

As much or little past as you would like

  1. Preheat oven to 400.

  2. Put pesto and chicken in bowl. Toss until chicken is covered.

  3. Place in baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes on middle rack.

  4. Place slices of tomato on top of chicken and sprinkle with cheese. Bake another 3-5 minutes.

  5. Serve with angel hair pasta [or whatever pasta you have on hand, or prefer] tossed with a small amount of the same pesto.

  6. Serve with a simple salad such as Spinach, Spring Mix, or Arugula. [We chose Arugula and topped with tomatoes, red & green peppers, onions and poppy seeds, with the DELICIOUS Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette that I mentioned in a previous post! https://chefashley.wordpress.com/2009/06/24/a-day-in-the-strawberry-patch-and-strawberry-spinach-salad-recipe/ That dressing kept for over two weeks in the fridge, and we both melted when we tasted it again!!!]

Yummy pesto Chicken pasta dinner <3

Yummy pesto Chicken pasta dinner ❤


I love spending time in the kitchen, that’s a given. But what I love even more than creating solo, is creating in the kitchen with CHRASH. [Chris&Ash]

That’s right ladies, he’s CUTE AND he cooks. In fact, CHRISTOPHER is totally responsible for igniting my flame for all thing culinary.

It was back in his bachelor pad kitchen some two years ago that he first made me a delicious pumpkin soup and I was hooked on spices and herbs.

Now, more than two years later, we have moved into our own little castle [in which we both reign] and have continued to create, copious counts of cool cuisine. [Oh yah baby, alliteration, *swoon*]

We both LOVE sitting down for a meal together and we have a big, beautiful new “adult” dining room table to enjoy our meals on now. [Our round table seems so juvenile by comparison, but still so nice covered in plants & frames].

I usually take cooking most meals upon myself because I genuinely enjoy cooking and spending time in the kitchen [and Chris is a MESSSSSSSSY cook], but two nights ago we turned out this DELICIOUS Fresh Basil Pesto Chicken Pasta and salad together in less than 35 minutes. A BEAUTIFUL and DELICIOUS meal, a perfect combination to Christen our new table ❤ …

Trevor in Toronto 222

This meal was very easy to make and absolutely delicious when paired with a simple salad, we chose arugula [hehehe, that word makes me laugh every time].

We only used one chicken breast, but paired with the pasta and salad this meal filled up our tummies and I still had a little left on my plate!

Hope you ENJOY it as much as we did!!!

Easy to make Oven Baked Pita Chips

If you’re like me and hate to see the last couple pitas or tortillas go stale, or if you just want restaurant quality pita chips in your own home be sure to try this SIMPLE & QUICK recipe.

Easy Baked Pita Chips

Easy Baked Pita Chips

Oven Baked Pita Chips

Sesame & Parmesan

Sesame & Parmesan

As many or as few pitas as you would like [Each pita makes 16 chips]

Melted Butter or Olive Oil

Seasoning of your choice [I used a bit of grated Parmesan, Sesame Seeds and Salt and Pepper with delicious results! You could also use some basil, oregano, garlic, poppy seeds or whatever finely grated cheese you prefer]

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Split each pita bread in half crosswise into two rounds. Brush the inside of each round with enough butter or oil to fully cover and sprinkle with seasoning.

  3. Cut each round into 8 equal wedges, and place, seasoned side up, in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. If all wedges do not fit in a single layer on baking sheet, prepare the chips in batches.

  4. Bake until crisp and golden brown, 10-15 minutes depending on your oven.

  5. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Serve warm, or let cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Crisp and Tasty!

Crisp and Tasty!

These are best enjoyed with a thick dip or soup, although they are delicious to munch on by themselves. ENJOY!

tasty Pita Chips and Broccoli soup

tasty Pita Chips and Broccoli soup