Alecia Aichelle~ Perogie Casserole (Recipe)

I love to bake and love to cook! I’m going to share one of my favorite comfort food recipes with you because it is winter and currently darn cold up here in Canada!! Here’s my recipe for Perogie Casserole!!~ Alecia Aichelle

Perogie Casserole

16-24 perogies (depending how big of a casserole you want)
1/4 cup milk
1 chopped onion
1 chopped green pepper
chopped celeri
sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup grated cheese
1-2 cans mushroom soup (depending how many perogies you use)

Optional- cooked ham, cubed. 

Melt butter, saute onion, green pepper, celeri and mushrooms. Put frozen perogies, milk, soup, and sauteed mixture into a large casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove, top with grated cheese and place back into oven for approx 10 mins or until cheese is melted. Enjoy!!

Alecia Aichelle~ Q&A

1.    Hello, Alecia, can you tell me a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician? 

Thanks so much for taking the time to interview me! I was born and raised in Kelowna, BC, Canada and my love for music and performance began at a young age. I grew up singing in church and began classical piano lessons at age 8. I was also very involved in musical theatre and have always had a passion for animals as well.(I currently have many pets!!) After graduation, I moved to Alberta to attend the Red Deer College Music Program and Alberta quickly became home. 

2.    How did you become a fan of country music and when did you know you wanted a career in it?

My parents introduced me to country music at a young age and I immediately fell in love with the genre and the story songs that are country music. Growing up in Kelowna, country music was not cool at all and I often got teased by other kids. I didn’t let that bother me too much and I continued to be myself. I had a passion for country music and dreamed of being a country singer when I grew up. With enough hard work and determination, dreams can come true! 

3.    Who are some of your musical icons?

I have many musical icons who have helped shape who I am as a country artist, including Dolly Parton, Martina McBride, Faith Hill, and Canadian’s Shania Twain and Carolyn Dawn Johnson.

4.    What is the background story behind your newest single “Doin’ Here?”

I co-wrote Doin’  Here with Joe Forte in Nashville, TN and the song was actually his idea and he brought me in as a co-writer. At first I wasn’t sure if it was a song that I would record, however we took the song in a little different direction than originally planned and I loved how the song turned out and knew immediately that I wanted to record and release Doin’ Here. I often have people ask me if I’m the feisty female in the song, and I am not haha! Sometimes as songwriters the songs are not always about us, but I can definitely relate to certain aspects of this song and it’s a fun song to perform live with my band!

5.    Where do you see your music career in the next 5 to 10 years?

In the next 5 to 10 years I hope to be performing on bigger stages, touring more throughout North America, opening up for larger acts, or possibly headlining my own larger shows! That is my ultimate goal and dream.

6.    Is there anything new coming up with your music in 2019?

Yes there is! I have another new single ready for release for spring of 2019 and then I’ll be heading back to Nashville for more songwriting and recording new music to release summer and fall of 2019, I’m also currently booking shows with my band for the spring/summer and can’t wait for festival season and rodeo season to begin!

7.    If you could sing a duet with a famous singer or group who would it be and why?

I would love to sing a duet with Dolly Parton or Shania Twain. Both ladies have been huge inspirations to me both as singers, songwriters, and who they are as people. 

8.    What is one of your favorite quotes?

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” ~Eleanor Roosevelt~

9.    Is there anything else you would like to share?

Yes, I would like to share my story because I feel it can encourage others! Just before starting college as a Voice Major in a Music Program, a tumour was found on my thyroid gland and had to be removed. Long story short, I woke up with no voice and was told that the recurrent laryngeal nerve that makes the vocal cords move was severed during the surgery and I was told I would never talk normally again or sing again. I have a very strong faith, but I was very angry with God at first as to why He would give me this gift of music and the passion, only to take it away. I decided shortly after the diagnosis that I was going to have faith and hope and believe in a miracle. I went 3 months without talking and 6 months unable to sing. When my voice started slowly returning, the doctors and specialists were shocked as it could not be explained medically or scientifically. I told them that I have a strong faith and believed in a miracle. I had asked God if He wasn’t going to heal me to please take my passion for music away, but it only grew stronger. I knew I was going to be healed. After 6 months I was able to begin singing again. That experience was extremely tough, but it taught me patience, trust, perseverance, and it strengthened my faith. It made my faith real to me. Going through that was confirmation that this is what I’m meant to be doing and definitely what drives my passion as a country artist. I hope that my story will provide hope to others going through tough times. Sometimes we don’t get to see the bigger picture while we are walking through what feels like hell, but God always has a plan and that is one thing we can hold onto during the tough times. 

Alecia Aichelle~ “Artist Spotlight!!”

ACMA nominated country singer, Alecia Aichelle, has always been known that country music was her directed path. Notified she would sing again after problems with throat surgery, Aichelle showed true spirit and fought all chances for an unbelievable recovery. Her determination, mixed with a strong love for music, is what fuels Aichelle’s desire as an artist. Her great work and willpower are obvious as she continues to showcase her skills as a songwriter and performer both with a whole band and solo shows.

            This past summer was exciting for Aichelle with her Hooked On Us radio tour, which involved visiting over 40 stations in Western Canada in her sponsored car from Scott Subaru of Red Deer. The highlight of her summer shows was playing a show with Aaron Goodvin and Aaron Pritchett on the Westerner Days Mainstage at the Enmax Centrium in Red Deer. Aichelle’s drive has continued into the fall with more big shows and a trip back to Nashville to write and record new music.

            Following a long week playing two dates with her band on the Canadian Finals Rodeo Mainstage in Red Deer, including being one of the opening acts for Lindsay Ell, Aichelle released her newest single “Doin’ Here” on November 7, 2018. “Doin Here,” takes on an adventure to an old bar, a dance floor and a few beers and an energetic female who is not scared to make the first move. This song was co-written by Joe Forte and recorded in Nashville with Daniel Dennis at Prime Cut Studio, Aichelle is happy about the new sound of “Doin’ Here,” and looks forward to playing it live with her band. She will be visiting some radio stations in Alberta on her “Doin’ Here radio tour this fall/winter and has more thrilling shows coming up with her band. 

            Aichelle has previously put out her debut album, “Golden,” in 2016 and 5 other singles to Canadian Country Radio including “Hooked On Us,” which was released on June 18, 2018 National Go Fishing Day to kick off the summer fishing season. Aichelle was so happy and honored to be sponsored by Scott Subaru of Red Deer with a 2018 Impreza Hatchback for her Hooked on Us summer radio tour throughout Western Canada. Her best friend and dog, Hank her French bulldog, was supposed to join her on tour but unfortunately he became sick with a rare illness. After fighting for his life in animal hospital for almost 3 weeks with Aichelle by his side, she had to say farewell. Aichelle dedicated Hooked On Us and her summer tour to Hank.

            In Fall 2017, she was back in Nashville writing and recording new music. She put out her 4thsingle to radio, “Get Some.” In the early part of 2017 she put out her 3rdsingle, “What It Wasn’t,” to Canadian Country Radio. This song was off her debut album “Golden.” “What It Wasn’t,” comes from a real and truthful place for Aichelle. Also she released two singles to Canadian Country Radio in 2016 “Without June, a Nashville co-write and “Country Life,” which was written mostly by Aichelle.

            Aichelle’s debut album “Golden,” was released in Spring 2016, and it was nominated for Album of Year at the 2016 ACMA’s. This album covers co-writes as wells as tunes written mostly by Aichelle. She has had the honor of writing with many songwriters in Nashville including Joe Forte, Greg Friia (Bonne Tyler, Richie McDonald, Eric Paslay), Emilee Allan, Mary Danna (Trisha Yearwood, Trace Adkins, Carolyn Dawn Johnson), and Forest Miller (Chasin’ Crazy). The talented Daniel Dennis at Prime Cut Studio in Nashville produced the bulk of the album.

            Aichelle was born and raised in Kelowna, BC. Her love for music and performing started early on as she grew up singing in her church and shined in at Royal Conservatory classical piano. She also enjoyed acting and spent a lot of time being a part of school musicals and community performances. Aichelle was introduced to country music as a child by her parents, who been dedicated fans of Aichelle’s musical dreams. Some of her first musical icons include Martina McBride, Faith Hill, Shania Twain, Dolly, Paul Brandt and CCR. 

            Aichelle now calls Red Deer County, Alberta home since moving to attend the Red Deer College Music Program where she attained a Music Diploma in Voice and Piano Performance. A little bit before attending college a big tumor was found on her thyroid gland and a needed surgery was performed. This caused a, what the expert said, “permanent paralysis of Aichelle’s right vocal cord due to complications in surgery.” Informed she would never sing again, Aichelle’s robust confidence and belief for a miracle carried her through. After 6 months, Aichelle’s voice was completely reinstated nothing little of a miracle. Aichelle hopes to inspire others with her story of hope and faith. 

            She is currently performing all over Alberta both with her band and as a solo artist, as well as spending some time in Nashville writing songs and performing live. One of Aichelle’s dreams came true when she was asked to lay a Writer’s in The Round,” with three other songwriters at the famous Bluebird Café Nashville in November 2014. She has since visited Nashville many times to record her first full-length album “Golden.” 

            Aichelle is also a long time supporter for her local SPCA, extended care facilities, and many different fundraising events. Aichelle thinks and feels her purpose is to use her gift of music to make an encouraging difference in the world and help make everybody smile. 

Social Media Accounts:

Ches Anthony’s~ Smoke Brisket (Recipe)!!!

Smoked Brisket 
13Lb Brisket Marinated in a home sauce garlic butter/bbq over night. 6am start charcoal smoker with apple wood and mystique bbq wood chips at 225F. Add a Hickory Saskatchewan Dry Rub to the brisket and then Smoke brisket for 3-4 hour. Next tent with butcher peach paper for the remaining 7-8 hours  maintaining temperature and adding water to the steam bowl. Once done, let sit for 15 min and then carve into inch thick slices and serve with cheese platter, bread, and various dipping sauces. And a beer fridge stalked up outside of course! 👌🏻

Ches Anthony~ “Q&A”!!!

1.    Hi Ches, can you tell me a little bit about yourself before becoming a country musician? Before Pursuing a career in country music, I spent most my time racing motocross and working as a session musician in various studios playing anything from blues to hard rock as a guitar player. 

2.    When did you start listening to country music? As far back as I can remember I grew up always hearing artists like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Jimmie Rodgers playing in the house. As a family we would spend our time practicing harmonies and soulful blues songs at the dinner table

3.    When did you know you wanted a career in country music? I knew I wanted a career in country music when I had the opportunity to share the stage with the Hunter Brothers at Frenchman Valley Jamboree at the age of 7. We spent most of our time as a family on the road with my fathers blues band The Good News Blues. After experiencing the excitement of a festival crowd I needed more. 

4.    What is your musical process when recording a new song?  Writing is where is starts for me. Telling a storey through my music is what I love to do the most, from there once I hit the studio I usually start with a scratch track guitar, then add in drums, Rhythms, bass, vocals and see where the song wants to go, what kind of feeling and emotion is behind the lyrics will usually determine what production will go behind the song in the studio. 

5.    Who are some of your musical icons? Joe Bonamassa, Hank Williams, Howlin Wolf, Stevie Ray Vaughn, The Steel Drivers, Breaking Benjamin, Travis Tritt. A lot of music out there anything from old Blues to new country to heavy rock will inspire me. A good song is a good song. 

6.    Is there anything new coming up with your music in 2019? Yes! I have been working in the studio everyday writing for the past year. I am very excited to get my storey out there through my music! There will be an Album release coming very soon! 

7.    What is the background story behind your latest single “Written in Stone?”  Sometimes we tend to feel like we have to change because of someone or what social media is saying, or we don’t feel like we’re good enough. Written In Stone is about sticking to your roots, standing your ground, not letting anyone change who you are. It’s about being you and loving yourself.

8.    What are few of your favorite music venues to play at? Anything from festivals like Boots and Hearts, Country Thunder, Dauphins Country Fest, Stars and Thunder to bars like The Capitol, Winners and Losers are a some of my best memories! The thrill of playing a big festival can be breath taking, also playing a bar with 200 people that know your songs and support and love the music is also an amazing feeling! 

9.    What is one of your favorite quotes? . “Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.” And “life’s a garden, dig it.” Because who doesn’t like David Spade hah. 

Ches Anthony~ “Artist Spotlight!!”

            Country musician Ches Anthony is from a tiny town in Saskatchewan, and it is walled by music and motocross. Anthony learned to play the harmonica, guitar and piano as a child. His dad would bring him up on stage with his blues band where he played for their fans. 

            One of Anthony’s fondest memories was when his dad’s band played at a gospel country music festival. The power went out due to a harsh thunderstorm and everybody ran into a hall. They kept the concert going and had a huge jam session by playing on anything from pots and pans to make music. After seeing that Anthony was addicted and needed more.

            When he was a teenager Anthony started a heavy rock band and wrote tunes that would aid him and others could relate to the fights of childhood. While improving his guitar skills playing in a blue band for many years, he started to listen to the sadness and feeling in old blue singers like Howlin Wolf and Elmore James and the old country gravel of Johnny Cash and Hank Williams he began his own writing and singing method. 

            On December 14, 2018 Anthony put out his debut single “Written in Stone,” and it is available Spotify and iTunes. If you would like to find out more about Ches Anthony then check out his website at (http://chesanthonyofficial.com).

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Alex Masters~ Roasted Lemon Chicken with Potatoes and Rosemary (Recipe from Laughing Spatula)!!!

Recipe Website: https://laughingspatula.com/roasted-lemon-chicken-with-potatoes-and-rosemary/P

Prep Time

15 mins

Cook Time

1 hr

Total Time

1 hr 15 mins

A simple marinade tossed with chicken and potatoes, then baked up in the oven.  A delicious one pan meal your whole family will love!

Course: Dinner, Main Course

Cuisine: American

Servings: 5

: 192 kcal

: LaughingSpatula.com

Ingredients:

8-10 pieces of your favorite cut of chicken – skin on bone in

1 lb . baby red potatoes

1/2 in onion – cut large pieces

2 lemons 1 sliced and 1 juiced

1/3 cup olive oil

2 cloves garlic minced

1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary plus sprigs for garnish or 2 teaspoons dry

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Spray a glass 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange chicken pieces (skin side up), potatoes, sliced onion and lemon slices evenly in pan.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, rosemary, crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
  4. Pour mixture over chicken, making sure all the chicken is covered. Toss a bit if necessary.
  5. Sprinkle generously with additional salt and pepper.
  6. Bake uncovered for about 1 hour, or until chicken and potatoes are fully cooked.

*When making this Alex likes to use a chicken breast and add asparagus with it.