Thursday thoughts – Bacon + Bourbon + Festival = Fun!

Hello, hello!

So, this past Saturday, we went to an inaugural Bacon, Bourbon, and Beach Music Fest.

Seriously. Bacon AND bourbon. Count us in!

The tickets weren’t exactly cheap – $50/each with bourbon tastings – but you got 10 1/2-ounce tastings of bourbon plus a half-pound of bacon and access to the bacon condiment bar where you could dress it up, if you wanted.

That’s actually a lot of bourbon.

Tickets were $35/each without the bourbon and with those, you could head over to the beer village and do some beer tasting over there. I think they got 10 tastings, too.



inside the bourbon tasting tent

There were quite a few bourbons represented.  I think they had 26 different kinds!

The bourbon stations were in the middle of the tent and we just circled around decided what we wanted to taste.


Sorry about the blurry shot. I was trying to snap pictures before people walked in the way all the while holding our quilt, my water bottle, and my bourbon glass.


Some of the bourbons poured included: Bulleit, Bowman Brothers (a Virginia distillery), Buffalo Trace (not my favorite – I thought it was a little boring), Jack Daniels (of course), Woodford Reserve, and Jefferson’s.

I also tasted the Bird Dog Peach bourbon and man, was that surprisingly good! Not overwhelming at all and not at all like cough syrup (looking at you, Bird Dog Blackberry).


You could also do wine tastings or even get wine by the glass or bottle but they only had Rex Goliath.

I was actually surprised that they didn’t have any Virginia wine.  I mean, it IS Virginia. But, I wasn’t on the wine selection committee.

We got our bacon tickets when we entered the park and they promised us they weren’t going to run out of bacon so we didn’t have to run right over to the bacon tent.

We did some bourbon tastings, wandered around a bit, checked out the brew village, drank some water, tasted some more bourbon, and then we went for the bacon.


The lines looked long but they were actually moving pretty quickly.


the bacon master!

We could actually chose crispy or not so crispy!  I was pleased that they covered all the bacon bases. 🙂


In the bacon condiment bar, the longest line was for the bacon taco/nacho fixins’ but neither of us wanted that. My sailor headed for the seasonings and I went straight for the dessert bar. 🙂 #sorrynotsorry


They had chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, cinnamon sugar, oreos, and graham crackers.


In my opinion, hot fudge sauce would have been better but I can understand why they didn’t have it.

And, I honestly can’t remember the last time I ate an Oreo. Probably why I thought it was delicious. Or maybe I was swayed by the bourbon? Nah.

It was a Beach Music fest so of course there was live music!

They had 2 stages, one by the river and one in the brew village.


Of course, we headed down to the one by the river, found ourselves a spot in the shade, and sat down and enjoyed our bacon and listened to some pretty cool music.

Not beach music, which to me means Beach Boys, etc but we were cool with that.  One of the bands was playing old school R&B and soul – Stevie Wonder, Etta James, etc. Our kind of music!


We really had a great time and I learned that I’m kind of picky about my bourbons. Who knew?!

We’ll definitely be adding this to our “social calendar” for next year. 🙂

We played it safe and had Thing 2 drive us to the Fest and then, she came and picked us up when we were done. #designateddriver

Hopefully, this lady had a ride, too.


clearly, she’s exempt from the “no sitting” request

Talk to me: Do you enjoy food and drink festivals? What’s the best one you’ve ever been to?

Before this one, I would have had to say either the Gilroy Garlic Festival (Gilroy, CA) or the Artichoke Festival in Castroville, CA for food. We’ve been to a couple of wine festivals and those were all fun. Because there’s wine. Duh. 🙂

– jennifer

Grilled bacon-wrapped salmon fillets

Hi there!

It’s Tuesday and I’m back with another food related post! Hooray!

As I mentioned last week, my friend Lena hosts Tasty Tuesday over at her blog ( and I’ve decided that I’m going to join in – every week.



What that means is every Tuesday, you’re guaranteed to get something food related from me.

It may be a recipe like today or I may highlight some other bloggers’ recipes that I want to make (like I did last week) or it may even be about a food product/fresh veggie/piece of fruit I’ve recently discovered and decided I can’t live without.

I actually really like the idea because it gives me a schedule (I’m ALL about a schedule) and it guarantees you’ll at least get one food related post each week (talking to you, Mom). Plus, it’ll get me in the kitchen creating a little more. 🙂

So, I snagged up some frozen, wild-caught salmon fillets at Harris Teeter last week – on sale, thankyouverymuch.

I really prefer to buy the fresh but that stuff isn’t always in the budget. The frozen is still a little expensive but it’s worth a grab when it goes on sale. Especially since it’s wild-caught.

Anywho, I had some and decided it was time too grill it up!


Now, that being said, salmon is not my sailor’s favorite.

He finds out it’s on my menu and suddenly he’s working late, has a tummy ache, needs to deploy, etc.

He cray. Salmon is YUM!

So, I decided I would wrap it in bacon for him. Because he always says that bacon makes everything better.


Two can play that game, mister! Tee hee! 🙂




So, I rubbed the salmon fillets down with some olive oil and seasoned them up with some salt and pepper. Then, I wrapped each in 3 slices of bacon.

I used the skewers to help hold the bacon strips on so they didn’t fall off when I flipped the fillets.

Yes, I’m aware I only used 2 skewers each and there are 3 slices of bacon. I figured I would be okay as long as I was careful. Once one side cooked, the bacon would be cooked, too, and attach to the salmon. That was my Bill Nye science brain working. 🙂



I also made some foil-wrapped taters (Yukon golds) to go along with the salmon. Om nom nom!

(PS – those are super easy, too. Wash and wedge the taters, divide them among the foil squares, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt, pepper, & fresh garlic (if desired), fold them up and toss them on the grill for 25 minutes-ish.)

I flipped the fillets after about 5-6 minutes (more time for a fatter fillet, less for a thinner) and as you can see, the bacon stuck around. Quite literally. Haha!

Oh, and side note, when you’re flipping the fillets, watch out for those skewers. They get kinda hot. Trust me.



One part of my grill was a little hotter than I had planned so the bacon on one was a little crispy. But that’s okay – crispy bacon is good, too! 🙂

The bacon adds a lot of flavor to the salmon – gives it a nice smokey flavor. And, it kinda acts as a buffer from the heat and helps keep the moisture in the fish so, even though the bacon got crispy, it didn’t get overcooked.

The verdict? YUM!

Talk to me: What’s your favorite way to eat bacon – besides with your hands? 🙂

Bacon Bourbon Blue cheese Bison Burgers….BOOM!


Can you believe it’s already Thursday?!

it's thursday

Can you believe I’m giving you two, count them – TWO!, food posts in one week?!

I know, right?!

It even amazes me. I’m darn near rendered speechless over here.

Well, that would make for an awkward blog post, now wouldn’t it?

Just imagine it.


Anywho, I had a major craving for a burger this weekend but I didn’t want a standard old burger.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I make a pretty mean burger, if I do say so myself!

But, I decided to up my game.

And, be alliterative in the process.

Because alliteration is FUN!

(For those of you that weren’t paying attention or were out sick that day in English class, alliteration is “the use of words that begin with the same sound near one another. But, I’m sure that’s none of you. And yes, I’m a grammar nerd.) 😉

So, I started with the bison that I had and went from there.

Bacon? duh. Blue cheese? Totally awesome on a burger. Bourbon? Why the heck not?!


I threw in some McCormick’s Montreal Steak Seasoning because it’s the bomb. If you don’t have any, you can use your own preferred seasoning. Remember that the blue cheese is already salty so don’t overdo it with that seasoning.

Basically, I mixed the ground bison with about 1/4 cup of Montreal Steak Seasoning, a couple of tablespoons of Bowman Brother’s Bourbon (more alliteration!), and a couple of tablespoons of blue cheese.

I probably could have added more blue cheese but I didn’t want to overdo it. I love blue cheese but I knew I wasn’t going to be the only person eating. If you are making these for blue cheese lovers, add more.

Feel free to add in fresh chopped onion and garlic, if you desire. That would be YUM!


And, out onto the grill they went! I tossed some red onion slices on there, too. And fresh-picked corn on the cob.


Now, depending on how you like your burgers, they’ll be on the grill for anywhere between 9-13 minutes.

You generally want to get a good sear on one side and that will take about 5-6 minutes before you flip.

Once you flip, the rest is up to you. Less time for rare, more time for well-done.

We prefer ours medium.

Now, you’re probably wondering where the bacon is.

I ate it all!

Just kidding. 😉

I debated putting the bacon IN the burger but I think bacon goes best ON a burger.


The combination of the salty, crispy bacon on top of a burger made with salty blue cheese and sweet bourbon was just amaze-balls. The red onion added a nice smokey sweetness to it, too.

Have you ever grilled a red onion? So good!

Bacon Bourbon Blue cheese Bison Burgers
makes 4 burgers

1 pound ground bison (will work with ground beef, too)
1/4 cup Montreal Steak Seasoning or burger seasoning of choice
2 tablespoons bourbon
2 tablespoons blue cheese (or more, if desired)
8 slices bacon (I prefer Smithfield All Natural)

Mix bison, seasoning, bourbon, and blue cheese with hands. Form into four patties. Grill according to preferred doneness. Place burger on bun, top with bacon and additional condiments as desired. EAT!

Talk to me: Do you have a favorite burger joint? What’s the most unusual burger you’ve ever eaten?

When we lived in Florida, this bar and grill we liked to go to made a burger with Jamaican Jerk BBQ sauce, jerk seasoning, and grilled pineapple. Oh my goodness, it was SO good!!

– jennifer