Summer Skewers

Summer Skewers.jpg
  • 2 ounces (60 grams) bacon
  • 4 ounces (125 grams) angel hair pasta
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 8 small cherry tomatoes

Cook bacon in a frying pan over medium heat for 8 minutes or until crisp. Finely dice and reserve along with any rendered fat.

Cook angel hair pasta in boiling salted water over high heat for 2 minutes or until al dente. Drain, reserving a little pasta cooking water.

Beat together egg and Parmesan in a bowl. Add a little pasta cooking water to temper slightly, then add pasta and toss to coat. Add reserved bacon bits and fat and season well with salt and pepper to taste.

Place one cherry tomato on a skewer, then twirl a bit-sized portion of pasta around skewer and place on a parchment lined baking sheet until ready to serve. Repeat with remaining skewers. Makes 8



These are very beautiful but are also quite fragile so handle with care.


Prep time: 1 minute

Cooking Time: 8 minutes

Ready in: 15 minutes including cooling time


  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 350 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Sprinkle 1 tablespoon Parmesan per pop onto prepared baking sheet and gently spread into a circle. Place end of skewer in centre of each cheese circle and cover stick with another sprinkling of cheese.

Bake for about 7 to 8 minutes or until cheese is melted and pale gold. Let cool on paper until cold and solidified, about 5 minutes. Serve upright in bottles or other tall vessels. Makes 12



Usually served on full skewers as a main course, we've condensed these traditional Russian kebabs down to one piece of chicken each to made tasty hors d'oeuvres.


Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 6 minutes

Ready in: 1 hour 16 minutes


  • 1 pound (500 grams) boneless chicken breast, cut in 1 ½-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 2 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • ½ teaspoon chilli flakes (or more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt to taste
  • Half onion, cut into 1½ inch pieces

Toss together chicken, lemon juice, oil, wine, garlic, oregano, chilli flakes and cumin and let marinate for about 1 hour.

Preheat grill to high.

Season chicken with salt. Place a piece of onion on each skewer, then a piece of chicken and finish with another piece of onion. Place skewers on grill and grill for 3 minutes per side (about 6 minutes total) or until juices run clear. Makes 16



Use any baby vegetables you like, just make sure they will all cook at the same rate.


Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 4 minutes

Ready in: 9 minutes


  • 8 baby patty pan squashes
  • 8 baby zucchini
  • 8 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat grill to high.

Toss vegetables with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Divide between skewers and grill for 1 to 2 minutes a side or until grill marked and tender. Makes 8



It's best if you can buy hearts of romaine.


Prep time: 5 minutes

Ready in: 5 minutes


  • 8 small romaine leaves
  • 8 croutons
  • 8 ½-inch chunks Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup Caesar dressing (homemade or store-bought)

Place a crouton onto one skewer, then a romaine leaf and top with a chunk or parmesan to make one skewer and repeat with remaining ingredients. Brush or drizzle with Caesar dressing just before serving. Makes 8



Crunchy bacon.  Add an oyster and twist bacon around it if you wish.


Prep time: 2 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Ready in: 22 minutes


  • 8 slices thickly sliced bacon
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • Coarsely ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Lay bacon on a rack over a parchment-lined baking sheet with sides and brush with 1 tablespoon maple syrup. Dust with pepper. Thread one piece of bacon on each skewer. Place on rack and bake for 10 minutes or until fat has rendered. Brush with remaining 1 tablespoon maple syrup and bake another 10 to 12 minutes or until bacon is crisp and slightly caramelized. Makes 8



Buy frozen dumplings and gussy them up.


Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time:10 minutes

Ready in: 15 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • One 380-gram package frozen Chinese dumplings
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon Asian chilli sauce
  • 1 slice ginger
  • ¼ cup finely chopped green onions
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Heat oil in a frying pan over medium high heat. Add frozen dumplings and fry, turning, for 2 to 4 minutes or until beginning to brown. Add water, soy sauce, balsamic, chilli sauce and ginger, then cover, turn heat to medium and cook, shaking pan occasionally, for 6 minutes or until dumplings are tender and glazed with sauce (cook a little longer uncovered if necessary). Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Skewer dumplings lengthwise and sprinkle with green onions and sesame seeds. Makes about 20



A traditional stick food.


Prep time: 8 minutes

Cooking Time: 4 minutes

Ready in: 30 minutes including chilling time


  • 8 large marshmallows
  • 4 ounces (125 grams) dark chocolate, melted
  • 1 cup chopped roasted salted peanuts or pistachios or other nuts

Skewer marshmallows and dip in melted chocolate to coat. Immediately crust with nuts. Chill until chocolate is set. Makes 8



Cake pops are often too-sweet mixes of icing mixed with some cake. Here is one that tastes as good as it looks.


Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 5 minutes

Ready in: 2 hours 15 minutes including chilling time


  • 3 ounces (90 grams) chopped white chocolate (about 1/2 cup)
  • ¼ cup mascarpone
  • 1 cup brownie crumbs
  • 6 ounces (175 grams) chopped white chocolate (about 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons sprinkles

Heat white chocolate in a small heavy pot over low heat until melted. Remove from heat, then add mascarpone and brownie crumbs and stir together. Transfer mixture to a bowl and chill for 1 hour or until firm enough to roll into balls.

Roll batter into 1-inch balls and push a skewer into each ball. Refrigerate for another 1 hour.

Heat white chocolate in a small heavy pot over low heat until melted. Dip each cake pop into melted white chocolate and swirl until coated. Garnish with sprinkles. Place skewer in a glass tumbler standing up in the fridge. Refrigerate until needed. Makes about 8



These delicious popsicles need to be served and eaten right away as the alcohol makes them melt considerably faster than normal.


Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 3 minutes

Ready in: 5 hours including chilling time


  • 1 cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup rum
  • Dash Angostura bitters

Combine all ingredients in a small pot over low heat and heat gently for 3 minutes, stirring, or until sugar has dissolved. Pour into popsicle makers and freeze until solid. Makes 10 to 12 depending on size