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!

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.

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 πŸ˜›

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.

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.


Homemade hamburgers

Why go out to McDonalds or Wendys [ick] when you can make even better burgers in your own home?!?!

Be the ‘talk of the grill” this summer with your own homemade onion, cheese and bacon stuffed burgers, or cook then in your kitchen now and perfect your skills before the summer season hits!

Homemade onion, cheese and bacon stuffed burgers

  • 1 pound LEAN ground sirloin, beef, chicken or turkey.
  • Around half an onion finely chopped.
  • Shredded cheese
  • Crumbled bacon.
  • Coriander, paprika and salt&pepper to taste.
  • A dash of Worcestershire sauce.
  • 1 egg lightly beaten.
  1. Mix all ingredients in bowl and using your hands shape mixture into four balls and squish down into patties.
  2. Cook patties over med-high heat on preheated skillet.

OR

  1. Mix together all ingredients except for onion, bacon and cheese.
  2. Using hands shape mixture into four balls, and then separate each of those balls into two.
  3. You will now have 8 smaller patties. Working with two at a time, place first patty down and fill with cheese, bacon and onion mixture making sure not to overload. Place other patty on top and seal all edges so that insides don’t leak. I would freeze these patties for at least an hour to ensure they don’t separate while cooking.
  4. Cook patties over med-high heat on preheated skillet.

Homemade burger and oven baked sweet potato fries

Homemade burger and oven baked sweet potato fries

Cut up fresh lettuce, tomatoes and pickles and serve with some homemade, oven baked fries!

Potato Pizza

Ever have any leftover mashed potatoes that you just DON’T know what to do with [and you’re not a fan of how greasy potato pancakes are?].

Well this is the leftover taters dish for YOU then, and can usually be made with stuff that you’ll already have in your fridge!

This is another recipe where I just eye the ingredients! Your layer of potatoes and toppings of choice can be whatever you like best so have some fun!

I’ve had to recall this recipe from memory, so if you know of any variations, please feel free to let me know πŸ™‚

Potato Pizza

  • Leftover mashed potatoes [try adding one sweet potato with your regular white potatoes for a lil’ something different].
  • Whole wheat pitas.
  • Sour cream.
  • Cheese.
  • Toppings of choice: pepperoni, bacon, any peppers, pineapple, broccoli, tomatoes, onions.
  1. Preheat oven to 375 for a softer crust, and 425 for a crisper crust.
  2. Spread layer of warmed mashed potatoes over your pita bread.
  3. Next spread a thin layer of sour cream as your sauce.
  4. Sprinkle cheese over sour cream and top with ingredients of your choice.
  5. Cook on baking sheet until cheese is melted or until crust reaches desired crispiness.

Leftover mashed potato pizza

Leftover mashed potato pizza

Healthy Homemade Pesto Pizza

Asiago, Chicken and Broccoli Pesto Pizza

Pesto, Asiago, Chicken PIZZA [a mini]

  • One whole Wheat Pizza Dough

  • Fresh Pesto for Sauce

  • Asiago and Mozzarella Cheese – Shredded to taste

  • Cooked, Seasoned, Chicken – In strips, to taste

  • Broccoli, Chopped – To taste

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and Flour Ball of Dough. Let it rise about 20 minutes before rolling and bakingβ€”doing so makes a big difference in the texture.

  2. Stretch out Pizza Dough to desired size on Cookie Sheet or Pizza Pan. Fresh dough sticks to EVERYTHING and flour alone is not enough to keep it from sticking [lesson learned]. A sprinkle of cornmeal on the pan seems to work.

  3. Spread Pesto on first like a sauce and then sprinkle with the Mozzarella Cheese. Then top with with Chicken and Broccoli [we also used Green Onions] and sprinkle with the remaining Asiago Cheese. This holds all the ingredients to the dough better!

  4. Insert Pizza into preheated oven and cook on bottom rack for 8-10 minutes for a crispier crust, or on middle rack for 9-11 minutes for a softer crust.

Remove pizza from oven and let stand 1 minute before cutting.

ENJOY

Last week Chris made up a delicious batch of Fresh Pesto!

We eat PASTA quite often, so this time we decided to try it on something a little different…PIZZA!

And what a great idea! We made a Whole Wheat, Asiago, Chicken and Broccoli Pesto Pizza and it was just DELICIOUS!!!We bought a fresh, Whole Wheat, Pizza dough from the Local Supermarket and split the larger piece into 3 smaller portions so that we could try 3 different, smaller pizzas [I find that we don’t eat A LOT at any one time so it’s best not to make tons of food that sometimes sits in the fridge for a week, uck].

We did notice that it was a tiny bit sharp for our tastes, so next time I would use Mozzarella cheese for the base and then sprinkle Asiago on top to give it that extra flavour. All in all a great pizza that I would definitely try again ❀

I only usually like to eat out when I know that I can’t make comparable food at home [my ‘eat out’ of choice is fish&chips *melts*] but this Pizza was ten times better than any Asiago, Chicken Pizza I have ever tried and I think that is because we made it very unique by adding the pesto layer! Definitely a great recipe and super easy to “spin up” on a Friday night ❀

Chris is a professional Pizza maker, watch him SPIN THAT SOUGH <3

Chris is a professional Pizza maker, watch him SPIN THAT DOUGH ❀

Pizza Before it hit the oven, I love the colour!

Pizza Before it hit the oven, I love the colour!

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