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!

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 😛 . 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.  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

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!!!

Steak, Grilled Peppers, Mushrooms and Onions


The way the food tastes cooked over a fire makes me long for this time of  year even more.

And whats even better than a bbq, is a camp fire with two pieces of wood holding up a metal grate to cook on. Now THAT’S real cooking!

Unfortunately for us we are not the proud owners of a pretty, glistening, stainless steel grill. We wouldn’t even have a place to stick the darn thing if we were [and I believe that it is frowned upon to start fires in your backyard at home, no?] So when the opportunity arises to bust out some skills on the outdoor grill, you can be sure I am there seizing it.

Since I am currently visitng my family in London and have no idea what supplies they have in the fridge, I immediately buried my nose and began rifling for some veggies [as my Dad had already pulled out steaks earlier in the day, I just had to deal with the veggies].

I managed to pull out a whole bunch of delicious mushrooms, a couple mighty fine looking peppers and an onion! [They also had some delicious looking corn on the cob I would have liked to try again bbq style, but there’s always next time].

I’ve never been the person responsible for any outdoor grilling so I just followed my gut instincts and went for it with fantastic results!

  1. I carefully washed and removed any stickers from the delicious produce.

  2. I started first with the mushrooms and cut them into slices [3-4 slices per shroom]. If you don’t have a grilling dish that comes with most bbqs you can always grab some tinfoil to do the job just as well! Lay your tinfoil down on the counter and spread mushrooms.

  3. Next take your onion and cut off both ends and remove the outer shell. Cut onion into very thick slices [4 slices or so should be good] and separate onion slices with your hands over your mushrooms. Now takes a scoop of butter [tablespoon or so] and distribute it throughout your veggies so that the mushrooms on the bottom don’t dry out! This is where you can add a little salt and pepper or whatever spices your  heart desires. This is the tricky part. You need to close up the tinfoil so it envelopes the veggies and so that the butter when melted, doesn’t drip out onto the grill! This may take some practice,  CHEF’S TIP – but luckily there are many companies out there that sell larger rolls of tinfoil for the exact purpose of grilling. So if you haven’t quite yet mastered turning your tinfoil into a little boat, don’t fret, just pick up some industrial tinfoil and voila! You will want to toss this package of yumminess on the grill around the same time as your meat, and cook on low-med heat [until meat is done, or 10-12 minutes if cooking on their own].

  4. I then took the peppers and chopped the tops off and cleaned out all the guts [or seeds] and gave them a second rinse to ensure no seeds are stuck to the sides! I then cut each pepper into 4-6 hunks.  The peppers went straight on the grill on low heat for about 5-6 minutes before the rest of the meal was ready. [Cook the peppers to taste, if you like more of the black char marks, cook longer and on a slightly higher temperature, if you like them a bit firmer, reduce heat and cooking time].

Mushrooms and onions almost ready for grilling

Mushrooms and onions almost ready for grilling

Steaks for the whole block, veggies and taters!

Steaks for the whole block, veggies and taters!

When cooking vegetables and meat together on the grill it is important to remember that each  item has an extremely different cooking temperature and time. For example, if you were to want a baked potato, medium rare steak and veggies you would want to begin cooking your baked potato well in advance. If you forget to start cooking your taters in advance and still wish to include them in your meal –

CHEF’S TIP – Simply take a fork and stab your potato a bunch of times and pop it into the microwave for a couple of minutes and THEN wrap it in tinfoil and put it on the grill. You will reduce your cook time by 50% without affecting the taste!

Generally poatatos take the longest to cook on the grill, followed by meat and ending with vegetables. Be sure to check the internal temperature of chicken cooked on the grill and be certain that no pink areas remain. Chicken, unlike beef, is unsafe to consume when ANY pink remains in the meat and CAN NOT be served rare!!!!!!!!!!

BBQ dinner a la TOZER's <3

BBQ dinner a la TOZER's ❤