Thursday, November 25, 2010

Hot Dates :)

Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday.  It's a time for fun and friends and family and food!  This year, Curt and I are down in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, taking a nice little vacation.  I must say that it is somewhat weird to have the sliding door open and watching kids swim, yes swim, in the ocean when I'm  used to sweaters and fireplaces!  Anyway, we are just doing a small Thanksgiving dinner with Curt's aunt and uncle, so it didn't make sense to really have a full turkey.  Instead, I made individual beef wellingtons (a posting will follow!).  For an appetizer, we had some goat cheese and crackers.  Since I had a ton of goat cheese, I made these awesome little appetizers: hot dates!  There was no real recipe, I just made stuff up... and I think the name is kinda cute, don't you? My good friend, Pam, had these AWESOME appetizers at her rehearsal dinner.  They were bacon wrapped dates and they were delicious.  I decided copy that idea but throw in some goat cheese!

Hot Dates

Blogspot is being dumb and uploading my pictures sideways... I'll fix them later!

* 12 large dates
* 4 oz goat cheese
* 6 slices of bacon

You can often find these yummy dates stuffed with cream cheese or rolled in coconut... talk about a delcious treat!  If you just roll them in some unsweetened coconut, it makes for a yummy paleo treat!

The dates I bought still had the seeds in them, so of course, no one wants to bite down into a seed. First, I took each date and cut a slit through the length of it. I pried it open and pulled the little seed out. This part got a bit annoying because the dates were sticky and I really am not a fan of sticky things. I went through a bunch of different paper towels wiping my hands clean after removing each seed!

After the seeds were removed, the date has a nice little cavity that you can stuff with the goat cheese. The space was big, but I wanted to stuff a LOT of goat cheese inside, so I kinda squished the sides of the dates open a bit more so that there was more room to add in the stuffing.

Now that there was plenty of room, I scooped out a bit of goat cheese and stuffed it inside the little date. Then, I sort of reformed the date into an oval shape, pinching the top together. The date had the consistency of something like silly putty, so it was really easy to form.
Next, I cut the slices of bacon in half and separated them. I then took one half of a slice and wrapped it around the stuffed date. The bacon was long enough (even though it was cut in half) that it completely wrapped around the whole date. I then placed it seam side down in a baking dish. I finished wrapping them all up and stuck them in the oven.

I let the little suckers bake for about 30 minutes at 350. After 30 minutes, the bacon was cooked, but I like crispy bacon! Sooo, I set the oven on broil for a few minutes and let the bacon crisp up. If you do this, though, make sure you watch it like a hawk, because if you're anything like me, it will burn before you even get a chance to look at it.

I pulled them out of the oven and let them cool.  They smelled delicious, but I didn't feel like burning all of my tastebuds off in one eager bite.  I let them rest, then tried them.  They turned out very well!  I'm definitely going to have to make these again.  I know that Curt liked them because he said, "Honey, I usually don't like weird food but I like these."  By weird food, I'm assuming he meant that dates aren't usually a part of our daily mealplan.  Anyway, these were tasty little bites and abso-freakin-lutely easy!


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