Starters to get your Summer Started!

Julie Miguel is a digital content producer with a specialization in food media as well as an active food blogger located in Toronto, Canada. The focus of her blog, Daily Tiramisu, is to empower home cooks to be fearless in the kitchen and she does this by taking traditionally difficult recipes and making them easier to execute.

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Summer is in full swing and to keep the momentum going, I want to share two great summer starter recipes that you can make for your family.  These recipes are ridiculously simple to prepare and you can make them ahead of time too.  These starters include Maple Leaf Original Top Dogs BBQ Size and Maple Leaf Natural Bacon.

Real, Simple, Natural Ingredients

I mentioned in a past post that I am the new Culinary Expert for Maple Leaf.  I wanted to tell you all a little bit more about what Maple Leaf  has done with their products.  Maple Leaf has made a promise  to only use real, simple and natural ingredients.  That also means no artificial flavours, colours, sweeteners or flavours in their products.

Basically, ingredients you can recognize and even find in your own pantries at home so you’re never left reading the ingredient list and wondering what that ingredient is.  On their website, you can see their lists of ingredients that are on their approved list and a list that they promise to never use.  You can see that list HERE.

I’m starting things off with a fun, kid-friendly recipe that you can get the kids to help you with.

Hawaiian Top Dog Kebabs

First up, Hawaiian Top Dog Kebabs where I used Maple Leaf Top Dogs BBQ Size.  The BBQ Size are thicker than Original Top Dogs which works great for these because they are grilled so they can stay longer on the grill without drying out.   This starter is served on a stick with juicy pineapple and savoury red onion.  They are painted with sweet chili sauce and then grilled.  Kids love these skewers, you may have to help your younger child eat them because of the sharper edge of the skewer.  Watch the Video Recipe for Hawaiian Top Dog Kebabs:

1200x628 HawaiianTopDogKebobs bacon Starters to get your Summer Started!

If you’re thinking of using these for entertaining, these skewers look great served inside a hollowed out pineapple or skewered into a whole pineapple.

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Hawaiian Top Dog Kebabs

  • Author: Julie
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 8 1x


Yields: 16-18 6” Skewers Prep Time: 20 Minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes Easy and Kid-Friendly!


  • 1 pack Maple Leaf Top Dogs BBQ Size, cut into 1-1/2″ segments (Equivalent to 2 cups)
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple, cored, skin removed and cut into 11/2” chunks
  • 1/2 red onion, cut into 11/2” chunks
  • 1 cup sweet chili sauce
  • 18 Grill safe skewers


  1. Set up your station to assemble the skewers. Put each ingredient in its own bowl and have a casserole dish ready to set the assembled skewers.
  2. Begin by skewering pineapple, onion, and hot dogs on grill-safe skewers and repeating the pattern until you reach the end of your skewer. Put the assembled kebobs into a casserole dish and continue to create your skewers until all of the ingredients are used up. Baste all sides of the skewers with sweet chili sauce using a cooking brush.
  3. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Carefully place skewers on hot grill. Barbecue for about 10 minutes, flipping every few minutes to cook all sides. Remove the skewers from the grill and place on a clean plate. You may baste the hot kebabs with additional sweet chili sauce if desired.
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins

Grilled Peach & Bacon Summer Rolls

 Next, this recipe is something I dreamt of while thinking of my favourite summer flavours.  I piled them all into these Grilled Peach and Bacon Summer Rolls!

Julie Candids033 bacon Starters to get your Summer Started!

The fillings for these rolls are not traditional but this recipe shows a fun way to use bacon and seasonal fruit, peaches!  These are fun to make and I added Maple Leaf Natural Bacon which totally balances out the sweet grilled peaches.  If you’ve never tried grilling fruit, now is the time to try!

1080x1080 GrilledPeach 1 bacon Starters to get your Summer Started!

I have a dipping sauce recipes here but honestly these rolls do not need it.  The peaches are juicy, the avocados are creamy and the bacon is salty – a perfect balance of flavours.  These rolls can be used as an Appetizer, main or side dish.

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Grilled Peach and Bacon Summer Rolls

  • Author: Julie
  • Total Time: 25 mins
  • Yield: 10 1x


Makes 10-12 Rolls Prep Time: 10 mins Cook Time: 15 mins Total Time: 25 mins


  • 12 peaches, sliced into ¼ inch slices
  • 1 large avocado, pit and skin removed and sliced into ¼ inch slices
  • ¼ red onion, sliced very thin
  • 1012 slices Maple Leaf Natural Bacon, cooked
  • 2 cups arugula, washed and dried
  • Fresh basil or mint or cilantro leaves
  • 1012 Rice paper wrappers
    Dipping sauces, optional:
  • Peanut Sauce (2 servings)
  • 3 heaping tablespoons peanut or almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoon warm water
  • 12 tablespoon rice vinegar, optional
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
  • Sweet Chili Sauce (2 servings)
  • 1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • juice of 1 lime


  1. Grill your peaches and avocado on a hot-oiled grill or grill-pan until slightly softened with nice grill lines on both sides (about 1 minute per side). Set aside to let cool.
  2. Prepare your peaches, avocado, cooked bacon, arugula, onion, herb leaves, and prepare to roll.
  3. Fill a large bowl or casserole dish with warm water. Gently dip each rice paper wrapper in the water for a few seconds, just until damp but don’t oversoak or they will be very tricky to roll. Place the soaked wrapper on a plate or wooden board (a wooden board works really well). The wrapper will begin to absorb the water and become soft and pliable. This takes about 10 to 30 seconds and depends on the thickness of the wrappers you are using and the water temperature.
  4. Add the fillings. On the one-third of the wrapper closest to you, place a layer of each filling (peaches, avocado, bacon, arugula, onions, herb leaves).
  5. Start rolling the wrapper over the fillings, away from you, tucking and rolling the wrapper with your fingers. Make sure all the fillings remain within the wrapper and tuck in the sides as you roll and try to roll as tightly as possible.
  6. Continue with remaining rice paper and fillings.
  7. Serve immediately (with dipping sauce, if using), or make a few hours ahead and cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins


I know your family will love these summer starters and I hope you’re all enjoying your summer thus far!

With Love,


* This post was created as part of a paid partnership between myself and Maple Leaf Foods.  However, and as always, all opinions are my own.

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