Triple Bypass: Bacon, Bacon, Bacon! Part 3: Layered Salad

Layered Salad

Layered salad is all about being able to see the layers in a pretty glass bowl. Before you make this salad, make sure you have a nice big bowl to use for presentation. People oooh and aaah over how pretty this is – they never want to be the first to dig in, so I usually get to take pleasure in that. Make sure to dig down deep to get some of each of the layers.

You’ll need:

6 hard boiled eggs
6 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
1 head of lettuce, chopped
3 carrots, shredded
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 can water chestnuts, chopped
2 C frozen peas, thawed
1 1/2 C shredded cheese
1 C sour cream
1 C mayonnaise
1 Tbsp sugar (optional)

First, make the dressing by mixing the sour cream, mayonnaise, and sugar (if using). Set aside.

Layer the vegetables – lettuce and carrots first, then tomatoes. I layer all of the vegetables to the outside of the bowl first. That way if I need filler, I fill the middle with extras, like more lettuce.

Prepare the rest of the ingredients needed for the salad: chop the water chestnuts, shred the cheese, make sure the peas are thawed, slice the boiled eggs.

Layer, layer, layer. I put the eggs on the outside – they make such a pretty layer, and I fill the inside of the layer with any egg slices I haven’t used yet (I usually chop them up a bit first), and the water chestnuts. Then I layer with peas and cheese.

Now it’s time for the dressing. Spread an even layer of dressing all over the salad, reaching the edges of the bowl. By reaching the edges of the bowl, you seal the freshness of the layers underneath. I actually recommend letting this salad sit for up to a day before you serve it. But make sure you seal those edges!

Here’s where the bacon comes in. Top with crumbled bacon and throw it in the fridge.

Yup, that’s it. Done.

When you serve this salad, be sure to dig all the way to the bottom to make sure you get some of all of the layers. They are just so so good together.

I mean really, who wouldn’t want to eat that salad?

Weekly Grocery Box

It’s July, and that means we’re starting to see all kinds of seasonal produce in our weekly grocery boxes from Real Food Connections. I’ve tried lots of new things already this year, and the season is just beginning.

Today is a fun grocery box, and I’m excited to show it to you.

Let’s not waste any time.

Here’s what we got in this week’s box:

Our usuals:

  • 2L chocolate milk
  • loaf of homemade bread – this week we chose brown bread with raisins
  • a dozen eggs
  • cheese of choice – we chose cheese curds – squeaky, squeaky cheese curds
Also in the box this week (from L-R, top to bottom):
  • a large bag of organic salad greens
  • a bag of sprouts
  • kale
  • chicory
  • fresh green peas
  • a giant zucchini
  • baby salad turnips
  • chunky peanut butter
A note about the baby turnips: they are fantastic! They’re super crunchy like a radish, but a bit sweet like turnip. They are lovely little dippers and I’ve been using them as a vehicle for all kinds of good stuff like tzatziki and hummus. They’re really strong enough to stand up to them.
Not pictured: 
  • 2 pork chops
  • 4 apple cranberry sausages
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 salmon filets

And now for something completely different, tea!

This is an iced tea blend called the Antarctica blend. Very cool. Ha! Get it? Cool.

Yeah, there was a joke in there.

Triple Bypass, Bacon, Bacon, Bacon! Part 2: Devils on Horseback

Devils on Horseback

Devils on horseback are a serious throwback to the 70s. This is just one of the many reasons why I love them, but then again, who wouldn’t love dates, cheese, and bacon in one lovely little package? Add nuts if you want! It really is crazy how much you can stuff into a medjool date. Jalapeno monterey jack and a smoked almond make a very nice stuffing, just so you know.

You will need:

16 medjool dates
16 pieces of cheese (I used goat mozzarella)
16 half-slices of bacon

Preheat oven to 400F. Have some toothpicks soaked in water, ready to go.

Slice your dates open to remove the pit. If you closely at the picture, you’ll see the pit in there.

Pinch the outer ends of the date together to create the pocket to hold the cheesy goodness.


Wrap. (These dates were so full we couldn’t actually fit the bacon all the way around. We kind of made the bacon into a little blanket instead.) Secure with a toothpick.

Bake for about 10 minutes, until the bacon is cooked and the cheese is melty. So easy.

Next up, a layered salad. Another throwback to the 70s, and some veg to go with that bacon.

See you Friday.

Triple Bypass: Bacon, Bacon, Bacon! Part 1: Bacon-Wrapped BBQ Jalapeno Poppers

Three bacon recipes!

We recently attended a backyard party to celebrate our Canada Day long weekend. We all brought some delicious nibblies to eat to keep us satiated while we played washers and had a couple of beers. We had a perfect day – beautiful weather, great company, lots of laughs, and fireworks to cap it all off.

Big thanks to our friend Jeff for hosting. We had a blast.

What better time to make some of my favourite bacon recipes?

Of course I’m going to share them with you. Only one at a time though. I’m going to post all three recipes this week, one today, one on Wednesday, and one on Friday.

Up first, bacon-wrapped bbq jalapeno poppers.

Bacon-Wrapped BBQ Jalapeno Poppers

16 medium sized jalapeno peppers
1 lb bacon, sliced in half crosswise
1 1/2 C cream cheese (use flavoured if you’d like)
1 1/2 C shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp liquid smoke (optional)
1/2 C barbecue sauce (optional, but really tasty)

Preheat oven to 450F. You may also opt to cook these right on a hot grill.

Soak about 40 toothpicks in water. This will ensure they don’t burn up when you cook the poppers. If you’re making the devils on horseback recipe, soak double that amount.

Par-cook the bacon. I cook it over medium low heat for a couple of minutes per side. I then let it drain on a plate lined with paper towels, just for good measure.

Let’s prep the pep. I know, I’m such a corn dog sometimes.

Cut the peppers in half lengthwise. I like to keep a bit of the stem on them. It makes them a bit easier to pick up. Scoop out the insides. A spoon helps.

It’s like a pepper massacre!

Once the peppers are ready to go, I like to bake them just a few minutes (say, 5 minutes) to soften them a bit before stuffing them with the cheese mixture.

Let’s get the stuffing ready, shall we?

Combine cream cheese (I used a combination of roasted garlic and onion and chive cream cheese), shredded cheddar, and liquid smoke (smoked paprika would be good here too) in a bowl and mix well.


Put the cheese filling into a large ziploc bag. Snip off the corner of the bag. Start stuffing.

Wrap each popper with a slice of the cooked bacon, securing with a wet toothpick.

Bake for 10 minutes.

Brush each popper with barbecue sauce. Bake 5 more minutes.

Check those gorgeous beauties out!

Just a side note, if you’re hoping to take many of these to a party, you might want to make them right before you leave. If my husband had had his way, none of them were leaving the house.

On to the next bacon-wrapped morsel!

See you Wednesday for Devils on Horseback.

The Frilly Garden 2012: You Win Some, You Lose Some

This is how humid it was here this afternoon. It felt like the rainforest.

Believe me, there’s a garden behind there. I couldn’t get a picture for a bit since the lens kept fogging up.

On to business. I know it’s been about 3 weeks since I’ve updated you all on the garden’s progress.

What have we been doing for 3 weeks in the time we haven’t updated?


And this:

And this:

I know that an update is overdue, but I really wanted to have something great to talk about before posting an update.

Things with the garden have progressed well in some areas, but not so well in others.

I’ll let you see the progress in pictures. The ‘Before’ pictures were taken June 10th. The second in the set of pictures were taken today, July 7th.

Green Beans:

Brussels Sprouts:


Cherokee Tomatoes:










Green Zebra:


Check this out. Our potatoes. There is no before picture, since they were just seed potatoes buried in the ground. Look at them now:

I know, right? Yowza!

Last, but not least, one of the newest members of our frilly family – jalapenos!

Wow! We’ve had some serious growth! Did you see those tomatillos? Eeee!

We’ve also lost some stuff – the kale, brussels sprouts, and the kohlrabi are toast. Some furry little critter wanted to eat them before they were ready to be eaten. We even went as far as to replace the brussels sprouts, only to realize that we’ve provided a second snack for said furry critter.

Oh well, I love the critters, so it’s OK. We may replace the lost plants with something that will grow really quickly, but we may also just leave those areas empty now.

The good news: our pumpkins, zucchinis, potatoes, corn, and tomatillos are really taking off. I’m excited to watch them from week to week now. You’ll be watching them too. From here on out, I’ll be providing you with weekly progress pictures.

We actually had to cage one of our tomatillos today since it was so heavy it was leaning over. Here’s how I did that:

Slumping tomatillo:

Get yourself a “tomato” cage. You can buy these for about $1.50 at a garden centre:

Place the cage over the tomatillo, inserting it gently into the soil:

Now gently maneuver the tomatillo up and into the centre of the cage, allowing it leaves to reach for the sunlight:


Tomorrow we fertilize! I’ll save those details for then.

Frilly [Restaurant] Review: Wolastoq Wharf

I’ve decided to post reviews of all kinds of things – restaurants, gadgets, products, cookbooks, and any other home/garden stuff I might want to share.

Take them all with a grain of salt, especially if you like things really salty, like my husband.

So here it is – my first restaurant review.

Wolastoq Wharf

Wolastoq Wharf is one of the newest restaurants in Fredericton’s dining scene, located at 527 Union Street, on Fredericton’s north side.

We liked Wolastoq Wharf as soon as we walked in. We were greeted by the smell of seafood wafting out of the kitchen, and a friendly hostess standing in front of a gorgeous water wall. Having made a reservation, which is recommended, we were seated almost immediately at our table for two.

After getting seated, we took a minute to take in the atmosphere. The dining room is bright and clean, decorated with brown and beige tones. The tables were dressed with white linen tablecloths and folded brown linen napkins, and were each set with bread plates, spotless heavy silverware, sparkling wine glasses, and a small soft white lantern. Very nice, we thought.

Our friendly and personable waitress was quick to take our drink order, presenting us with our menus and a description of the daily dinner special – a truffled risotto with mushrooms and leeks. We were off to a great start.

The menu was just the right size – comprised of about a dozen choices each for appetizers, lunch, and dinner courses. There is also a good list of wines that would compliment any of the dishes on the menu. The menu is suited to most any taste, with fish and seafood options, as well as beef and chicken dishes.

Once we had really looked over the menu, which had detailed descriptions for each dish (I LOVE this), we thought we’d each try an appetizer, and an entree. We opted for the salmon 2 ways and local oysters on the half shell as our appetizers, and seafood risotto, and prosciutto wrapped halibut as our entrees.

I was thrilled when our appetizers arrived shortly thereafter, each a perfect size.

The Beau Soleil oysters came served on a bed of sea salt with mignonette. They tasted of the ocean. They were clean and very fresh. The mignonette was a slightly sweet accompaniment and complimented them very well.

The salmon two ways comprised of a maple hot smoked salmon and a tequila beet cured salmon, served with cream cheese, crostini, capers, and one of the most delicious tapenades I’ve ever eaten. I’m going to try my best to make a version here at home with roasted red peppers, kalamata olives, green olives, onions, and parsley.

We weren’t disappointed with our entrees either.

The “risotto” was filled with chunks of lobster, shrimp, and scallops. It was creamy and steaming hot when it arrived. I am calling it “risotto” because it wasn’t a risotto in the true sense, in that it wasn’t made with arborio rice. Regardless, it was creamy, hot, and slightly sweet. It was full of fresh herbs. I didn’t even season it at the table. As a matter of fact, there are no salt nor pepper on the tables – they are offered to you if you’d like them, and you grind them yourself.

The halibut, served on a bed of honey wilted spinach, with herbed smashed potatoes and shallot butter, also arrived steaming hot. It was cooked perfectly, bright white, and moist. The potatoes were nothing short of divine.

When we were offered dessert and our waitress told us that all of the desserts are made in house, we couldn’t resist. We opted for the cheesecake.

I was delighted with the presentation. The edible flowers were a cute accent. The crust was nice and thick and gave just the right amount of resistance to my eager fork. It was smooth and creamy, not grainy or stiff. Simply delicious.

We had a great experience at Wolastoq Wharf. The service was fantastic, the food was fresh and served hot (or cold where appropriate), and the atmosphere was cozy and comfortable. Overall, a really really great eating experience. I hope they continue what they’ve started, changing the menu with the seasons to provide more new dishes.

Other menu highlights:

Appetizers: fish cakes with tzatziki, steamed PEI mussels, Atlantic seafood chowder, fresh catch platter, wharf burger, salads, soup

Lunch: lobster roll, butter poached shrimp farfalle, pulled pork, angel hair jambalaya, crispy shrimp baguette

Dinner: beef tenderloin, pan fried salmon, goat cheese stuffed chicken, fish and chips, tuna steak, scallops, lobster dinner

Dessert: cheesecake, brownie, apple danish, creme brulee

If you’d like to visit Wolastoq Wharf, you can find it at 527 Union Street in Fredericton. When they say reservations are recommended, they mean it. It’s a bustling spot, and several patrons waited for tables while we were there. Appetizers range from $5-$17, lunches range from $10-$14, and dinner entrees range from $14-$30.

Part Coffee Cake, Part Crumble, All Berry: Blueberry Buckle

I grew up surrounded by a bounty of berries. Seems they were everywhere. I remember cruising on my bicycle with my friends, stopping when we saw a patch of blueberries near the side of the road, and having a feed.

I remember picking blueberries with my grandma, ice cream buckets in hand, and getting ants in my pants – literally. My grandma (my dad’s momma) loves to pick berries. I don’t know how many times I’ve led her through the field next to her house in rubber boots to get to her regular raspberry patch – the rubber boots were just in case there were snakes in the grass. You can bet that if we ran into a snake, Grandma’d be gone before I turned around to let her know.

We ate berries any way we could – jammed, in crisps, with dumplings (my mom’s momma’s recipe), or in a bowl with sugar and canned milk on them. And in buckles. Part coffee cake, part crumble, studded with plump blueberries, and usually served with whipped cream or ice cream, blueberry buckle was one of my favourites. My auntie’s buckle is practically famous.

This is my version of blueberry buckle.

Blueberry Buckle

(Recipe adapted from Favourite Recipes from Old New Brunswick Kitchens)


1/4 C butter
1/2 C sugar
1 egg
1 C flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3 C milk

2 C fresh blueberries


1/2 C sugar
1/3 C flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 C butter

Preheat oven to 350F. This is also known as a “moderate” oven.

Cream butter and sugar.

Add an egg, mix well.

Sift flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt. Add to the egg mixture, along with the milk. Mix well.

Spread the batter in a greased 8×8 inch or a 9×9 inch (the size I used) pan.

Sprinkle the blueberries evenly over the batter.

Now to make the crumbly topping.

Cream together the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and butter.

Sprinkle the crumble topping over the blueberries.

Bake in a “moderate” oven for 45 minutes, or until the buckle looks like this:

And this:

And this: