Lazy Pirogies with Crispy Prosciutto

This is one of the easiest ways to get the wonderful flavours of pirogies without all of the work. This goes perfectly with a light and fresh salad to balance out the richness of this potato and cheese filled dish!

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So here is the deal, at least a quarter of me is Ukrainian, which means all of that good Ukrainian food always shows up at every big family function! Now, if you don’t love pirogies and cabbage rolls, you really can’t be welcomed into our family wholeheartedly (kidding, sort of).

So while you really can’t beat homemade pirogies, sometimes you just want all of those good flavours without all of the work. In walks this dish, which, while it may be slightly less work than rolling out the dough and stuffing with your filling, it is still a bit of work. Now, if you have leftover mashed potatoes that you are needing to use up you are literally golden and have just saved yourself a ton of time.

Now when I was a kid we use to make something very similar to this which was also super yummy, but I felt like it could use a little bit of an upgrade so my own version was born. The addition of the crispy prosciutto on top gives that hit of saltiness and crunch which I think is exactly what the dish was missing before. Now, if you’re not a meat eater you could certainly omit that part.

Lastly, this dish is quite rich so I would highly recommend serving this with a big salad to add an element of freshness to your meal!

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prep time 60 minutes

cook time 45 minutes

total time 1 hour 45 minutes

servings 6

Ingredients

4 large potatoes

2 shallots finely chopped

4 cloves garlic minced

4 tbsp butter

2 tbsp flour

2 1/2 cups milk

3 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

2 cups cottage cheese

6 lasagna noodles

8 pieces prosciutto

salt + pepper to taste

Instructions

Fill a medium sized saucepan halfway with cold water and add in potatoes that have been chopped into 1.5 inch pieces. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer on low until potatoes are fork tender. Drain potatoes and add in 2 tbsp of the butter and 1/2 cup of milk. Season with salt + pepper and mash until smooth and no lumps remain.

Meanwhile cook your lasagna noodles according to the package (I recommend using lasagna noodles your need to boil rather than no boil as your do not have enough liquid to cook the no-boil noodles directly in the dish). Once cooked set aside.

In a medium saucepan melt butter and add in shallots, cooking for 2-3 minutes or until shallots are translucent. Add in 4 cloves or garlic and cook another 2 minutes. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute then slowly add in remaining milk whisking frequently to avoid lumps. Once sauce begins to thicken add in 1 cup of your mozzarella cheese then season with salt + pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 350. While oven is preheating assemble your pirogies.

In the bottom of a 9x13 square pan add a small amount of your cheese sauce, a layer of noodles, mashed potatoes then 1 cup of cottage cheese. Repeat layers then top with remaining mozzarella. To finish top with small “piles” of prosciutto. Bake for 45 minutes then broil for 3 minutes. Serve immediately.

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Loaded Tater Tots

A fun take on traditional nachos. Switch things up with this crowd pleaser that is perfect for your Super Bowl Party!

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Ok, so as much as I love nachos I really love tater tot nachos! Now, of course, you can always cheat and use that lovely cheese that comes in a jar, but let’s be honest, nothing beat homemade cheese sauce with real cheese, none of that fake stuff.

So there are a couple of key things that you need to make sure of a couple of things.

1 - Make sure you have very crispy tots

2 - Serve immediately, tots sitting in cheese sauce, while still delicious, no longer crispy:)

So basically there you go, just keep your tots crispy and your good to go! So go ahead and switch things up this weekend, no one will even miss the nachos.

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prep time 15 minutes

cook time 40 hour

total time 55 minutes

servings 4 - 6


Ingredients

1 bag of tater tots (800 grams)

1/2 pkg ground beef

1/2 pkg taco seasoning

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

1/2 jalapeno

2 tbsp butter

3 cloves garlic

1.5 tbsp flour

1 cup half & half

1/4 cup salsa

1 cup Mexican blend cheese

1/4 cup cilantro + more to garnish

1/8 tsp chili powder

juice of 1/2 a lemon

salt to taste

2 tomatos

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400. Lay tater tots on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 20-25 minutes flipping halfway so that all sides are crispy.

While tots are cooking in a frying pan cook ground beef until browned and slightly crispy. Add taco seasoning and 1/2 cup of water. Stir until well combined the cook until all of your water is evaporated. Set aside.

In a medium-sized saucepan melt butter and add in finely chopped onion and cook until translucent. Add in minced garlic and finely chopped jalapeño. Cook for 1 minute. Add in flour and using a whisk ensure butter and flour are fully combined. Slowly add in half + half whisking so that you have no lumps. Add in cheese and allow to fully melt. Add your salsa, cilantro, juice of 1/2 a lemon, chili powder and season with salt.

In a baking dish assemble your loaded tots. Start with your tater tots, drizzle with cheese sauce then top with taco beef, chopped tomatoes and cilantro. Serve immediately.

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Sweet + Salty Cheese Straws

Sweet and Salty Cheese straws are a great party appetizer that feed a crowd. Make a big batch and keep them on hand in the freezer for any time you need a quick snack or unexpected guests stop by!

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Ok, so I think we all know what this Sunday is - Super Bowl! Now I don’t know about you but when I think about the Super Bowl all I really care about is the half time show and the snacks. Growing up we always had Super Bowl parties or Grey Cup parties since we're Canadian. It was always so much fun to have a big group over and watch the game, even if you have no idea what's happening half the time.

So since Sunday will be here before we know it this week is totally dedicated to snack food. These wonderful cheese straws are a great combination of salty and sweet with the mix of marmalade and mozzarella, plus since we're using store-bought puffed pastry they are really easy to throw together. The addition of the everything bagel spice is the perfect complement with these flavours, but if you haven’t made it to Trader Joe’s lately no fear, just use your favourite spice blend and i’m sure it will be just as great!

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prep time 40 minutes

cook time 17 minutes

total time 57 minutes

servings approx. 48 straws

Ingredients

2 sheets puffed pastry thawed

2/3 cup marmalade

2 cup mozzarella cheese

everything bagel spice

1 egg

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375. Roll out 1 sheet of the puffed pastry until it forms a 24x12 inch rectangle. Spread half of the marmalade over bottom half of the pastry then cover with half of the cheese and sprinkle with everything bagel spice. Fold the top half of the pastry down over the bottom and gently press the dough together. Slice into 1-inch strips, gently twist then place on a parchment lined baking pan - continue until all of the dough has been twisted. Place in the fridge for 20 minutes.

While the first batch is chilling repeat with the second sheet of puffed pastry.

In a small bowl whisk your egg then using a pastry brush, brush egg wash over your chilled twists. Sprinkle again with everything babel spice then bake for 17 minutes or until golden brown.

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