Tag Archives: Appetizer

Bacon Wrapped Dates, Amelia Bedelia

Bacon wrapped anything is guaranteed to be a big hit at parties, and these delicious dates are no exception.  In this easy recipe, sweet dates are wrapped with Richardson Farms pastured bacon and baked until the bacon is crispy.  The basic recipe is

  • Package whole, pitted dates, about 30 pieces total
  • 1/3 slice bacon per date, about 10 slices total
  • blue cheese crumbles, goat cheese or almonds to stuff the dates, if desired

To make the dates, first stuff each date with a bit of cheese or almond, if desired. Then wrap each piece of dried fruit with 1/3 slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick. Place wrapped dates on a foil lined baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. (If you’re stuffing them with sweet goat cheese, a little brown sugar sprinkle is nice, too.) Cook in a preheated oven at 350 degrees until the bacon is brown and crispy, about 30 minutes. Turn the dates a few times during cooking to help them brown evenly.  Serve hot or at room temperature. Here are the step by step instructions with pictures (and my mom!) in a vintage post.

For my sister Beth’s baby shower, we taped paper due dates to the toothpicks of the finished appetizers.  I simply typed several January dates on a piece of paper, cut the separate dates into flags, and used a small piece of scotch tape to secure a flag to each toothpick. This tied in nicely to the children’s book, Merry Christmas, Amelia Bedelia, in which the ever-helpful Amelia Bedelia tries to make a date cake, using actual paper dates from the calendar instead of fruit in her cake!  It made for fun party conversation to discuss the literal-minded Amelia Bedelia, and to speculate on Beth’s actual due date.

Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

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Green Eggs & Ham / Spinach Deviled Eggs & Bacon

Deviled eggs are popular party food for good reason: they’re inexpensive and really easy to make ahead of time, plus they look great on a buffet. I developed this deviled egg recipe for my sister Beth’s book-themed baby shower, adapting the classic recipe in homage to Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham.

In developing the recipe, I drew heavily from Rachel Ray’s Green Eggs and Ham scrambled eggs, and Martha Stewart’s Spinach Deviled Eggs. In my recipe, sauteed, pureed spinach gives the yolk filling a greenish hue, and bits of bacon add flavor and garnish the dish. I also took care to use gluten free condiments and bacon so that the dish would be safe for all of our guests to eat.

Spinach Deviled Eggs with Bacon
12 eggs
4 slices gluten-free bacon
1 bunch regular spinach or 6 oz. bag baby spinach
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2/3 cup gluten-free mayonnaise
1 tablespoon gluten-free Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika

A day ahead of the rest of the prep, hard cook the eggs. Place 12 eggs in a single layer in large saucepan and cover with two inches of tap water. Cook over medium high heat until the water comes to a boil.  Once the water boils, remove pan from heat, cover, and let sit covered for 12 minutes.  After 12 minutes, gently add a few cups of ice to the pan, repeating as necessary until the water is cold. Remove cooled eggs from the pan and pat dry. Store in a closed container in the fridge for up to a week.

Peel the eggs. Slice them in half lengthwise, then remove the yolks and set them aside in a small mixing bowl.

Wash and dry the spinach. Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the spinach and cook, tossing occasionally, until the greens are completely wilted and start to look a bit dry.  Transfer cooked greens to paper towels and squeeze out any extra moisture.

Next, cook the bacon in the saute pan.  Drain crispy cooked bacon on paper towels to remove any extra grease. Once bacon cools, crumble/chop it into fine pieces. Set aside.

Combine cooked, drained spinach with mayonnaise and mustard in a food processor.  Puree until mixture is well combined and tinted green.  Add egg yolks and pulse until yolk mixture is smooth.  Add salt, pepper, and paprika to taste, pulsing until well combined. Pulse in half the crumbled bacon to the yolk mixture.  Transfer filling to a heavy-duty plastic sandwich bag.

Arrange egg white halves on a serving platter.  Snip off one bottom corner of the sandwich bag and pipe filling into each egg-half. Garnish finished eggs with remaining crumbled bacon.

Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

*Hint: if you’re preparing the deviled eggs to take to a party at someone else’s home, you’ll need an egg plate to transport the finished eggs safely. I don’t have –or want– an egg plate, so I just used ziploc bags to transport the component parts of this recipe to the party and assembled them on-site on a regular serving plate.  This is a great way to store the eggs, too, since the separate parts will stay fresher longer than the assembled eggs. A gallon-sized bag will hold the peeled, halved egg whites.  A snack-sized bag will hold the crumbled bacon garnish.  And a sandwich-sized bag will hold the filling. Obviously, you should wait to snip the corner of the filling bag to pipe the filling until you arrive at the destination and are ready to set up the eggs for service.