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. 

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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! 👌🏻