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This Happened.. with a Tomato.

TOMATO PATTIES
(pictures below)

“Tooooo many tomatoes!!!!!!!”,  said you.

Is that what you’ve been saying lately as you survey your garden? A little over zealous when you planted your little starlet seedlings, hmm? I can hear it now ” Ooohh, I’m going to can/freeze/dehydrate tons of tomatoes, and I’m gonna make stewed tomatoes, salsa, and TONS of healthy sauce!”.

I know, because I said the same thing.

While the tomato plants on my side of the world aren’t quite ruby-red globes yet, (and I can see I have a shitload coming), I know in other spots of the world they are screaming to come off the vine. What do to with all of them is what’s playing on every well-intentioned gardeners mind.

So when you’re all salsa’d out,  you can’t stand the thought of ANOTHER can of tomato sauce, and every neighbor in a mile radius of you pretends not to see you when you offer them a basket like a Price is Right model,…….. try this recipe.

Oooh I’m telling you, this recipe is fanfreakintastic! If you like the combination of bacon and tomato………. wait… what am  I saying.. “IF”???? EVERYONE likes that combo and if you don’t, well, I’m breaking up with you, because I can’t be friends with people who don’t like a bacon tomato combo, I mean come on!!!

In an effort to eat less carbs lately, (namely anything starchy and white) I skipped the BLT sandwich idea. Here’s the better plan:

A good size tomato.

Slice thickly (3 slices).

Dredge the slices first in coconut flour, then egg, then in seasoned almond flour mixed with shredded parmesan cheese. You can choose any seasoning your beautiful heart desires. I chose a bit of seasoning salt, rosemary, lemon pepper seasoning and some garlic powder.

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Fry till golden on each side.

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Plate.

Dollop on a bit of sour cream, bacon and then finish with chopped chives (I used dill, because I didn’t have any chives).

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Oh sweet momma. The rich, tomato-y freshness that contrasts off the salty bite of the bacon, mixed with the creaminess of the sour cream, is a combination that could make the heavens open  and harps play Queen’s “We are the champions”. … Ok, maybe not THAT song, but something just as triumphant. Seriously my lovies, this recipe is amazing.

I’ve seen a different version of this miracleness made by what has to be one of the hottest chefs in Canada. Like.. SUPER hot. If you’re thinking Chef Chuck Hughes, you’d be right. Clean the drool off your lip, I know.. I know….. he’s so sexy right?  His version was to dredge the tomato in your standard flour egg and panko mix, and instead of bacon, he used pancetta.  So yeah… pancetta, shmancetta!!! Bacon works just as well if you’re not feeling fancy.

You could serve these as the headliner on your plate with a side salad, or they can easily play co-star as the side dish. This is a fresh, cheap, SUPER TASTY way to enjoy your summer bounty.  If you brought these to a barbecue in the neighborhood, I’m pretty sure you’d be the one most talked about…………………………………….. in a good way.

What are some of the ways you’re going to use your summer tomatoes? Leave a comment below and let us know!

Clarks is kinda Super, man..Hehe, I kill me.

Clarks Restaurant
Suite 170-130 Broadway Blvd,
Sherwood Park, AB

So you should know by now, my illustrious readers, that I like cheap. Not cheap quality mind you, but cheap price tags. I can appreciate quality in things and will happily pay for it. However, I can’t help but get all giddy and flushed when I find quality AND a cheap price in once spot.

I’ve been to this little gem called Clarks twice now in the last two weeks. Once for breakfast to meet a super cool friend of mine who sells sex toys for a living, (told you she was cool), and another time for lunch with my Mom. ( My mom doesn’t sell sex toys for a living, and while I thank God for that, she’s still cool.)

So I’m only going to review the lunch with Mom for this post because I wasn’t thinking to take photos of the breakfast I had with my cool friend, plus my Mom said “Hey, you should review this place”.

Smartypants.

Easy to find, this little spot has maybe 10 tables in the whole place, I think. Surprisingly, it was about half full at 12:30 in the afternoon, (thought it might be busier), but our server greeted us immediately when we walked in the door and brought us to a table. Taking our drink order and giving us menu’s she left us to decide.

The prices on this menu are amazing people! Mom ordered liver and onions (she could have ordered the senior’s size for $6.50 – one scoop of mashed potatoes with gravy, two pieces of liver, and vegetables – but she’s in denial about the senior thing I think – so she ordered the normal portion). She went on about how she hasn’t eaten liver for almost a year, and I reminded her that it’s been about 25 years since I’ve eaten it. I’d rather run naked through a cactus patch and bathe in a tub of vinegar than eat liver.

Ok, not quite, ….. but well, honestly?…… Maybe.

I ordered their house burger (can’t remember the name of it dammit!), but it had cheese, bacon and mushrooms on it with all the other burger paraphernalia, and fries. The price for that burger rang in at $8.99.

When the dishes came to the table, my mom seemed super pleased with her decision. She tried her first bite of the liver and looked up to the ceiling and said ” OH MY GOD” (all dramatic like),  with an added “this is the best liver I”ve had in a very long time!!”. The waitress came along and Mom repeated what she expressed loud enough for all the other tables sitting around us to hear, and then the waitress went straight away into the kitchen and you could her yell… “JUAN!! Hey JUUAAAAN!!! -The liver and onions are excellent she said!”.

She had started eating it by the time I took the photo.. sorry peeps, but here it is! :

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Mom figured the liver was slightly coated in a panko type coating and fried slightly crispy, but not like “shoe leather”. The gravy tasted home-style, the mash was smooth and creamy and she said the veggies were very good – fresh, not from frozen and  not overcooked. All this stupid excitement over the liver made me think I had to try it.

So I cut a very small piece and kinda dipped in some gravy.

It was crispy on the outside, tender, and still tasted disgustingly like liver to me. But I will admit, it was the very best of all the gross tasting liver I’ve ever had in my life.

For real – If you love liver,  you will love Clarks’ liver.

(Somehow that sounded weird, but you get what I’m saying)

My burger was pretty good. The patty was house made and slightly dense, almost overworked, but very tasty. The cheese and bacon were nice but it could have used a few more mushrooms. All in all, the portion size was more than worth that price tag. Hell, you’re gonna pay that same price pretty much at MacDonald’s and the patties there are like shingles.

Ma burgah pic:

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Our server was VERY attentive and incidentally, an older lady who’s been with the company for 22 years. This lady worked her ass off, was super friendly and made sure we were looked after. She was worth the generous tip, without question!

On a side note, their breakfasts are super decent (EG: 2 eggs, 2 pancakes, 2 sausage, 2 bacon for $5.35.) and they have a huge variety of different Eggs Benedict if you’re looking for something other than the original.

I will definitely be going back to Clarks for breakfast or lunch. Apparently for dinner, it becomes a chinese food place, which is great, but I can’t comment right now because I’ve not tried it…………………………..

Yet.

Nothing Rhymes with Tutti Frutti for Breakfast.

My BFF and I had tons of catching up to do after my fabuloso trip to AZ, so we thought we’d do that over breakfast. Wanting to try a new spot, she suggested Tutti Frutti.  Hey, I didn’t name it folks and for some reason, it reminds me of a cooler, cuter sister to Cora’s.

Relatively easy to find in a new area of the Park and it wasn’t busy considering it was a sunday morning. Decor is nice, a mixture of booths and tables and we were seated almost immediately upon walking in. The menu is already at  your table, so we could get right to work on ordering our grub. Our waitress was friendly and new, and every question she didn’t know, she went to find out and came back with answers pretty damn quick. This impressed me.

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I ordered the Raspberry Crisp : crunchy french toast topped with english cream & raspberry coulis and Kim ordered “Entre les deux” : french toast sandwich with egg, ham & swiss cheese plus lots of fresh fruit.

So first up, my Raspberry Crisp (and a side of bacon, cuz breakfast is a waste of time without bacon).

Here’s the Raspberry Crisp French Toast pic:

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So at first peep it looks pretty awesome, right? Yeah!….. well, kinda yeah.

One small problemo.

See, Kim and I were sharing our breakfasts so we could both taste what each other ordered. So I gave Kim the first two pieces of toast. Look at the picture again, and imagine it for a second folks with the top two piece of toast missing off the plate. What am I left with? Two pieces of french toast with NO topping… ok, very little topping. The cream and raspberry coulis were decorating only the very top quarter of the toast that was underneath the first layer.

Pas bonne people, pas bonne.

I asked for extra coulis and cream so I could actually get a proper idea of what the breakfast should be like. The toast had a really nice crunch to it (dipped in panko maybe?) and the raspberry coulis was SUPER fresh tasting. The cream added an extra rich touch to it. My biggest complaint about the dish is that the portion size was geared for Godzilla. Honest to God folks, who eats FOUR pieces of TEXAS TOAST for breakfast??????? So, a heads up to you, my dear reader – This dish is EASILY shared between two people.

I asked for crispy bacon on the side:

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It was waaay crispy. Like, crumble apart crispy.

Too crispy for me, but if you think I waved a dismissive hand to it, you’d be wrong. I ate that too crispy bacon because the bacon bible says it would be a sin to leave it uneaten.

Kim’s French Toast Sandwich (with a side of fried bologna):

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If you’re thinking that the “french toast” part of the sandwich doesn’t look very french toasty, you would win the prize. This apparent french toast was not eggy like the french invented it to be. It was like toasted bread with ham and swiss on it.

Oh..Ummm, I think they call that  A TOASTED SANDWICH???

Not impressive.

The fruit on the side was fresh and plentiful and the fried bologna was good as well, according to Kim. Who doesn’t like fried bologna? If you don’t, you should. You really really should.

All in all, the service was great but I found the prices were expensive for the quality of the food, to be honest. I’m cheap, but my breakfast with coffee, tax and tip was almost $21.00. For that money, I expect better quality for BREAKFAST food, folks.

Would we come back? We both agreed that we would, but we wouldn’t stand in line if it was busy and we would definitely share a main breakfast dish with a side order of something to supplement.

Tutti Frutti Breakfast and Lunch on Urbanspoon

Phood at The Phork

The Phork
9710 110 Street Capital Place Building
Edmonton, Alberta

Phunny how things are spelled sometimes.

I owed my incredibly handsome nephew a meal and I had recently came across a Groupon deal for a new restaurant called “The Phork”. Usually, restaurants with spellings like this, or with kitchy names like The Crazy Giraffe or The Pink Zebra, usually make me roll my eyes. I just don’t understand that type of restaurant naming.

The Phork is a new restaurant that’s been open for 3 weeks or so, and had a Groupon “coupon” for $50.00 value if you spent $25.00.  If you’ve been reading my incredibly interesting blog at all, you’d be getting to know that my cheap ass can’t pass up a good deal, regardless of the name of the joint.

They’re located on the main floor of the Capital Place Building and parking is available underground. HOWEVER. Be warned.  If you have a somewhat tallish SUV, the clearance is only 6’1 and unless you want to cause by-standards to run to your vehicle door, flailing arms, mouthing STOP, STOP, and generally making a scene so you don’t slowly and painfully scrape the roof racks off the top of your ride,…. you’ll want to park on the street. Just thought,.. you know.. that I’d mention that.

Ahem.

Moving on, let’s chat briefly about the decor. Let’s just say, I loved it. They seated us by the window  with a nice view that sort of overlooks the river valley and the high level bridge with peeks of the skyline. Rich dark woods, a contemporary decor that’s comfortable and impressive at the same time.

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We were seated to the table, and our drink order was taken immediately. Our server came and gave us the info on the specials and what dishes have been popular, which is a nice tip for those who aren’t sure what to order.

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We decided to share a half order of their Crisp Ambrosia Apple and Red Anjou Pear Slaw Salad (gathered greens, Canadian oka, orange and grapefruit & maple citrus vinaigrette) to start, and for our main lunch, I ordered the The Boar Belly Chicken Club (crisp greens, tomato, aged cheddar, bacon mayo) and my nephew ordered The Hand Formed Alberta Bison Burger (Caramelized red onion jam, chiffonade romaine, oven dried tomato, wild mushroom and truffle aioli, water chiabatta bun).

The salad:

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It was crispy and sweet from the apples and pears, and the tartness was nice from the citrus fruit segments. The way they cut the apple and pear in match sticks made it a bit awkward to eat as there’s no way to eat them and still look pretty. Thank God I wasn’t on a date and my nephew thinks I’m awesome regardless of how stupid I look when I eat.

Every bite was different – sweet, tart, and at times you’d get a hit of the Oka cheese, or a salty bite from what I think was finishing salt. All over, the salad was quite nice, but it was BEGGING for some sort of nut. Almonds or walnuts, whatever… please, hear it’s cry and add some nuts!

The Boar Bacon Chicken Club:

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Ok, so first, the crappy news. My sandwich was…….. ho-hum. You know, kinda like when u kiss someone you’re not sure if you’re into. It was nice… but no “wow” factor. The boar bacon was thick and tasty, but when everything was all combined between the bun, it was all one note. Nothing really stood out, the flavors just kinda huddled together and kept to themselves. I’m not saying it was bad, don’t get me wrong. It was nice, juicy, and a popular pick on the menu apparently, but it was kind of the under-achiever of the meal. It should be noted that the fries were damn good, though. Hand cut and not overcooked, sharp, cut-your-mouth-open, little spears – like some places make them.

Ugh.

The Side Ceasar:

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Garrett’s burger came with a side of caesar salad. The romaine was grilled in wedge style and had everything that should be in a caesar salad piled on top of the romaine. He loved it. He said that grilling the romaine added a great flavor and the dressing was rich and flavorful. At one point, he had a larger bite of an anchovy, but it didn’t deter him.

The Bison Burger:

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The burger itself was SUPER moist and juicy, which is impressive being bison – so easy to overcook into a puck. The red onion jam stood up with a nice tarty sweetness against the meatyness of the bison and the bun was soft and chewy. Almost too soft, as both my sandwich and his burger were falling apart as you ate them. No biggie tho. Being as cool as we both are, we rolled with it, and they were thoughtful to toast the bun which ALWAYS makes bread a bit more kick-ass. So honestly saying, with the exception of the fall apart bun, the bison burger was the BEST burger I’ve had in a VERY long time. It’s what burger dreams are made of,  know what I’m sayin’?

It also should be noted that The Phork is open early for us morning lovers (7:30 a.m.) who want breakfast out, and for those who are still awake after 10, they have a late night tapas menu that runs till 2am. Impressive right? Weekends have live music as well.

All in all, I can forgive the kitchy spelling because I REALLY like this place so far. I will definitely be back to check out their dinner menu, see that view at night with all the lights and soft music, and if I drink enough coffee, I might make it to the tapas menu for after ten.

Lastly, this place is perfect for a date night, people. Reasonably priced, great service, good food, and super sexy ambiance. SURELY the recipe to possibly pay off later…. wink wink :)

blueforkinfoodiestamp

The Phork on Urbanspoon

Eet smakelijk at De Dutch!!

De Dutch
10030 Jasper Ave
Edmonton, AB
(587) 520-8841

PANNEKOEKEN.

Go ahead – try to pronounce that and look cool at the same time.

Feeling about as cultured as a bag of Doritos and a hot dog in a bread-bun, my awesome self went for breakfast with my equally awesome friend Brandy, to check out the latest dutch pannekoeken (pancake) house we’d heard so much about. This dutch breakfast joint has over 23 locations and specializes in the big as a beach ball pancake….. with stuff on it. (Think dinner plate size, thicker type crepe). A side note, they do have lunch items should it be minus a zillion celsius outside and nose-cicles first thing in the morning aren’t your thing.

Walking into De Dutch, the decor is SUPER hip. Orange, yellow and creams, a clean, contemporary style. Bright and welcoming with huge canvas maps of different cities in The Netherlands on the walls. However, there was a tv on the wall which was playing the news I think, which seemed a bit out of place, but in hindsight, it’s probably for all those soccer fans (or you know… staff) who want know what’s going on with the game.

It was early and there was only one other table with customers. I’d heard this place lines up past the door, so I was happy to be able to actually choose where we wanted to sit. Our waitress immediately appeared at the table, ready to take drink orders. We ordered coffee, she dropped the menus and left us to it.

Now let me say, if you’ve ever been to Holland, you KNOW about the coffee. Sweet baby Jesus, the coffee. Listen, love me or hate me, I tell the truth when I say, in my opinion, Timmie’s is SWAMP WATER when compared to this coffee.

*gasp*

How dare I say such thing? Listen, I’m not saying anything that a well seasoned coffee aficionado doesn’t already know. While not served in the same fashion as a lot of cool coffee shops would in Holland, the taste was EXACTLY what I remembered. PERFECT for what you want for a cold, just woke up kinda, sunday morning coffee. (Or any other day, really.)

The regular type will wake you up and is super rich and smooth, and the high-test – (regular with a shot of espresso in it) will SLAP you happy. Strong, smooth and full of gloriousness.  People, I would literally drive all the way downtown JUST for a cup of their coffee.

I ADORE these menus!

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We decided to order the same way we did at Canteen; two dishes, two clean plates for sharing. We decided on their popular Hash Pannekoeken, and the Strawberry Cheese Cake Pannekoeken.  From the menu, here’s the description:

The Strawberry Cheesecake:
Sweetened Cream Cheese, Strawberry Topping and Whipped Cream
(pretty straight forward)

The Hash:
Stuffed with Hash Browns, Mushroom, Green Pepper, Onion and Cheddar mixed with your choice of Ham, DeBakon*, Sausage, Turkey Bacon or Vegetarian with Hollandaise Sauce.  I know what your thinking and I already asked for you. DeBakon is bacon that comes from the shoulder of the pig. Leaner, and more like a Canadian Bacon type of thing.

hash

So this hash is served in a boat-type serving dish, ATOP the thin pannekoeken which according to the menu, has a 37″ circumference.  It wasn’t stuffed anywhere, so I’m not sure what they meant when saying it was “stuffed”. I thought it odd that they would serve the plate the hash was in,  on top of something your supposed to eat.  Imagine putting your steak on a plate and then putting that plate on top of your garlic toast. Wierd, and it made me a bit twitchy hoping that the hash dish didn’t see any sketchy kitchen surfaces before it nestled on top my pancake.

I liked the fact that all the items in the hash were cut all pretty much the same size. No big chunks of peppers or potato. The bacon or,.. sorry,…. DeBakon, …… was a nice accompaniment and didn’t take over the dish. The hollandaise …. well…… .  First, we had to ask for extra because it was quickly sort of absorbed by the dish’s ingredients, but the sauce itself was…. different. It didn’t have that traditional ‘tang’ from the lemon that you would normally taste. My friend described it as more buttery, which was a perfect descriptor. It was more of a butter type cream sauce that unfortunately, looked slightly broken. HOWEVER, you will never hear me bitch about anything being buttery, so it went really nicely with the hash when you got enough of it on your fork. All in all though, the dish didn’t blow us away.

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The other dish was served the same way, but with smaller containers on top of the pannekoeken. (That kitchen better SCRUB the bottoms of those dishes!) The small tub of strawberries seemed to be the frozen/thawed type and not fresh strawberries. But I guess that’s why they called it “topping” on the menu. Either way it was good. The sweetened cream cheese was yummy, not too sweet, and the whipped cream was great, but the best of the dish was the pannekoeken. It wasn’t heavy, and the texture was really great. It was perfect because it was not a lead blanket like a pancake can be sometimes, but it was more substantial than a fragile crepe. When all ingredients were put together and you shoved in your mouth – yeah….. how can you go wrong with that combo?

All in all, I definitely will go back to De Dutch. I loved the decor, and the service was friendly, helpful, timely and not annoying. The food, while it had a few tiny issues, was good. Next time I go though, I will ask for the dishes to come on a separate plate, and I’ll bring a thermos to buy extra coffee to bring home.

De Dutch on Urbanspoon

Introducing Sriracha candy canes, just in time for the holiday season

Would you try these spicy candy canes? (J&D Foods)

Sriracha candy canes have just been released for the holiday season by J&D Foods, the Seattle-based company known for baconnaise, sriracha popcorn and bacon soda. And why stop there? The company also just released a new bacon deodorant.

The Canadian-made sriracha candy canes, available here and in the United States, are meant to entice those with a hankering for hot and sweet flavour combinations. While they look like traditional candy canes, they have a fiery kick reminiscent of the Asian chili sauce.

“There’s a reason Santa comes down your chimney – he likes it hot!” reads the J&D Foods website.

The company suggests crushing the candy canes up, then serving them over ice cream or using them as a spicy-sweet holiday cocktail stirrer.

A box of 12 candy canes costs $8.38 CDN, and at a mere 60 calories per cane, they may be the least fattening holiday treat to reach your lips (err…hips).

But if these unusual candy canes don’t tickle your fancy, you can always consider bacon deodorant as a stocking stuffer.

Too weird on its own? Fear not, for the company has a line of other bacon-scented personal care products, like bacon shaving cream, bacon lip balm, and bacon sunscreen.

Article credit to Shereen Dindar, original post found here:

http://ca.shine.yahoo.com/blogs/shine-on/introducing-sriracha-candy-canes-just-time-holiday-season-205721979.html 

p.s. – If you’re like me, you know, COOL – And like to read food blogs filled with fantastic and awesome, then “click” to follow my blog!

Clickin’ the Heels for a Tart

Seriously now. Who wakes up thinking… ‘I want to make an onion tart.’

Me.

Maybe I was channeling Martha Stewart  or Julia Child (I should be so lucky… about Julia, not Martha. No need for me to be more tight assed than I already am.)

But here I was, waking up to thoughts of caramelized onions in a tart-ish type thing.

Have I ever WANTED an onion tart?

Have I ever REALLY liked puff pastry?

Do I ever REALLY want onions on ANYTHING??

No.

So what’s up with the figurative mornin’ wood for an onion tart?

Regardless, I followed the urge and got my butt to the store, to buy the stuff I needed and went home.

Following Bon’ Appetit’s recipe, I got to work.

Onions. Puff pastry. Bacon. Creme fraiche ( I know…shee shee foo foo, right?).

Here’s the  goods, in picture form.

Roll out the puff pastry in a sheet.

Turn up the edges. (I forgot to take a photo of this. Yes, I know.) Chill. (The pastry, not you……….. Ok, you too.)

Recipe says 3 strips of bacon but COME ON. Don’t you know when it comes to bacon, 5 is the new 3??

Cut them up to make fancy french named bacon-bit type things called LARDONS.  Funny name,… Lardons. Sounds like something that should be stuck to my fat ass… and…actually… um..

nevermind.

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Meanwhile, in a bowl put honey, white wine and bacon drippings and whisk together. Set aside.

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Now for the onions. I used two big ones (as you can see)

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and sliced them using my mandolin. Trust me, I used it for the cheesy potato fiasco here and I used it again. Listen, I implore you… make your life easier and more “cheffy” by getting one. Mine cost a whopping 9.99.

G’head. Make some big ass rings with that bubba.

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Mix the honey mixture with the onions, make sure you coat them well, and spread on a parchment cookie sheet.

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Slide in the oven and go make yourself useful. Crochet a hat. Go river rafting. Cure world hunger.

30 min later, stir the onions. Keep this up till you see them getting toasty and caramelized.

In another bowl, put creme fraiche, salt, pepper and nutmeg together.

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Pour the creme fraiche mixture onto your chilled pastry things evenly. (Yep. Forgot the photo.)

 Place onions on top evenly. (aaand yet again, forgot the photo.)

Get your sprinkle on with the bacon. Evenly.

(finally got my poop in a group. Here’s the photo.)

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In the oven she goes. Recipe says 20 minutes, but I had mine in there a good 30, so keep an eye out so they don’t burn.
Take them out when the pastry looks nice and toasty, and the filling is kinda bubbly. Cool a bit.

Taste.

Oh sweet baby Jesus.

I literally CANNOT remember when I had such a great tasting morsel of food that I actually made. (Ok, except for the toffee thing here, but that’s chocolate and doesn’t count).

The sweetness of the onions, the creaminess of the creme fraiche, accented with the salty/smokiness of the bacon and the buttery, flaky, crispy yet tender bite of the pastry all came together in a way that makes you wanna jump and click your heels in a leprechauny way, and not give one shit how stupid you look doing it.

I actually had to phone people to tell them how good it was. If you’re any self-respecting foodie, you know what I’m talking about.

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I’ll agree, she’s the wallflower of tarts, but she’s the kind you wanna bring home to mom, that’s for damn sure.

And I don’t really like onions… or puff pastry..but this is a whole new ball game.

Trust me on this one.

Bon Appetit!

http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/honey-roasted-onion-tart