Sunday, November 21, 2010


Well. Big news in the Wellfed Newlywed camp! We're planning a house renovation and we just hired our architect, Jenny Francis! Hooray!!! It's definitely something I'd like to chronicle online, both for our friends, and for other people thinking about renovating, so I'm in the midst of deciding if I should start up a separate blog or figure out a way to put a renovations page or something on here. I'm an interior designer by trade, so I've been on the flip side of the coin pretty often! I think a lot of homeowners go into a renovation expecting an Extreme Home Makeover or Trading Spaces type of situation where it takes a week, a couple thousand bucks, and WOW a whole new house appears! Nothing could be further from the truth, believe me. The next year of our lives is going to be fun, frustrating, draining financially and emotionally, and ultimately, rewarding. I've heard how the first year of marriage is often the hardest, but I also know doing a house renovation is one of the most stressful things you can put your marriage through, so hopefully by the end of this we won't have killed each other and at the very least still be sleeping in the same bed ;)

Over the past three weeks we've met with about five different architects, each bringing different perspectives and strengths to the project. Ultimately we decided to go with Jenny, who I had met years prior doing an interview for school when she worked at 3rd Uncle, an incredible design firm in Toronto. What struck me about Jenny is that she understood that while the exterior of our home is important, we also have to live here and thus the interior is just as important. I really wanted to create a cohesive project, exterior and interior, so I didn't want an architect who was going to be very hands off about the interiors. Jenny's experience and incredible creativity is going to create a really special home for us, and I think there's a lot I can learn from her during this process. Hopefully the skills both Dan and I bring to the table will help to make this a really successful project and I think we'll all work really well as a team. Our house gets measured up Tuesday morning and our first meeting to begin programming and planning with Jenny is on Wednesday. 

All I can think about is that I have to start packing up the house! This time next year I should be sitting in my new house! Oh my goodness!!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Bacon Jam - Yes you read that right

I've been doing a lot of talking about weddings, and not so much about the food part lately. So, let's try to balance that out by something awesome: Slow cooker bacon jam. Oh my gosh my world just changed!!! I subscribe to the Everyday Food magazine, which is a Martha Stewart subsidiary. It lights up my mailbox regularly, I'm never let down by it. This month had a section on bacon. I am a bacon fanatic. I want to eat bacon wrapped bacon. I have a dream of one day opening a store that only sells bacon. How amazing would that be?! Just different types of bacon. Oh my gosh. I digress. Back to bacon jam. It's dead simple and ridiculously tasty. I'm just waiting for Dan to get home so I can slather it on some cheese!!! Actually I don't think I'll be able to wait that long, who am I kidding?!

Slow Cooker Bacon Jam
(from Everyday Food magazine, Issue 78, Dec 2010)

Makes 3 cups
Active time 30 mins
Total time 4 hrs

  • 1.5 lbs sliced bacon (a package and a half approx), cut cross wise into 1" pieces
  • 2 medium yellow onions, diced small
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled & smashed
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3/4 brewed coffee
1. In a large skillet brown your bacon, stirring occasionally until fat is rendered and bacon is slightly browned, about 20 minutes. 
With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 1 tbsp of fat from skillet; add onions and garlic and cook until onions are translucent, about 6 minutes. Add vinegar, brown sugar, maple syrup and coffee. Bring to a boil, stirring and scraping up any brown bits, about 2 minutes. 
Add bacon and stir to combine.

2. Transfer mixture to a slow cooker and cook on high uncovered until liquid is syrupy*, about 3.5 - 4 hours.
3. Transfer to a food processor; pulse until coarsely chopped. Let cool then refrigerate in air tight containers, up to 4 weeks.

 * My mixture never went "syrupy" per say, but it did reduce down a lot. It turned out fine anyways. Yum!!!