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Bacon Pierogi Bake

This morning, I drove past a tiny little coffee shop on the way to drop off my son at the sitter. Normally, I let out a cuss word or two because all of the patrons in their little fancy cars nearly cause accidents more times than I can count. Today was different though. I saw a nicely dressed man standing on the sidewalk, waiting for the traffic to clear so that he could open his car door without it being taken off at the hinges. It reminded me of my ever-present fascination with the “businessman” image. From the time I was allowed to date, which was very late by today’s standards (senior in high school), I always was interested in the businessman type of guy. Nothing against blue collar guys, but there’s something about businessmen that seems so put together and…well, clean and shiny. Now that I am happily married to a blue collar worker, I see the same thought tendencies towards food. There are somedays where I want something dressed up and fancy. However, last night was just not one of those nights. I love pierogi. I see it as being a type of quick and dirty food – take out box, cook, eat. Being that I am Polish and Slovak, I’d love to learn how to make them. However, in the interest of time for this recipe, I chose to use the boxed version. I love fancy meals, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes you want something with no frills that gets the job done. This recipe was also a keeper as my husband and son actually enjoyed it more than I did.

Here’s the recipe:
Ingredients
1 (16-ounce) package frozen potato and onion pierogies (such as Mrs. T’s)
Cooking spray
2 center-cut bacon slices, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup (3 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1/2 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup thinly diagonally sliced green onions
1/4 cup chopped seeded plum tomato
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preparation
1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Arrange the pierogies in an 11 x 7-inch glass baking dish coated with cooking spray. Cook bacon in a saucepan over medium heat until crisp; remove from pan. Set aside.
3. Add garlic to drippings in pan, and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add 1/3 cup cream cheese to pan, and cook for 1 minute or until cream cheese begins to melt, stirring frequently. Gradually add chicken broth to pan, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Pour the cream cheese mixture evenly over pierogies. Top evenly with 1/2 cup cheddar cheese. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until bubbly and thoroughly heated. Remove from oven, and sprinkle with bacon, green onions, tomato, and pepper.

Source: Cooking Light

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