Tag Archives: Bacon

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.

Brunch Eggs Ranchero

Okay, so my dog Barclay jumped off my second story balcony while I was making dinner tonight.  He is okay, but the fall definitely upstaged the excitement of making Brunch Eggs Ranchero from my 1960s cookbook.  I did manage to take some pictures, which I will upload later when I feel less lazy.  Thus begins my first night of Mad-Men-inspired-retro-cookery.

All in all this was a good meal, and very cheap.  I had eggs and bacon on hand (bacon freezes well) and the can of Rotel tomatoes was only $1 at the store.  Betty Draper would disapprove of the convenience of canned tomatoes, but as a working woman I have to cut corners where I can.  I am sure Peggy Olson could relate.

Here’s the recipe, serves one:

3 slices bacon, cut into fourths
10 oz. can diced tomatoes with chiles & mexican spices
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 325.  Cook the bacon in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Drain fat and blot cooked bacon on a paper towel.  Drain the can of tomatoes, then pour tomatoes  into the skillet to heat through.  Add bacon to tomatoes. Once everything’s hot, spoon the mixture into individual-sized casserole dishes or oven-proof bowls.  Gently slip one egg on top of each dish, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then bake for 15-20 minutes.  I like my eggs runny, and 2o minutes was too long.  Serve immediately with toast or tortillas.

Drink suggestion: bloody mary, screwdriver, greyhound.

Bacon. Wrapped. Dates.

Today my mom’s going to teach us to make bacon wrapped dates! This recipe makes a dinner portion for four very naughty football fans, but it could feed eight to twelve guests at a cocktail party if it were paired with other hors d’ouevres and booze.

First, gather the ingredients you need:

  • 24 pitted dried dates, medjool if you’re feeling fancy
  • 12 slices of bacon, applewood smoked if you’re feeling fancy
  • stinky cheese crumbles. We used feta, but bleu cheese is good, too
  • toothpicks. Don’t use cheap, splintery ones!
  • salt & pepper

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Next, use a knife to cut your bacon slices in half. If you’re on a budget, you can get more bang for your buck by slicing the bacon slices in thirds and increasing the number of dates accordingly. We were feeling indulgent, so halves it is.

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After this, preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil.  Mom couldn’t find a cookie sheet with sides in this kitchen, so she chose to use a pyrex casserole instead. I wasn’t going to argue with her, she’s my momma.

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Once your bacon’s cut, your oven’s hot, and you’re pan’s foiled, you’re ready to stuff the dates with cheese and wrap them up in the bacon.  They’re like little, delicious gifts, when you finish with this step.

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Since your dates are pitted, there’s already a convenient little hole where you should stuff the cheese.  Just make a slit in the date with the knife, smush in a stinky cheese crumble or two, and close up the slit.

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Dried dates are pretty soft and sticky, so you’ll be able to smooth the slit shut with your fingers. It’s like mother nature wants us to stuff stinky cheese in our dates.

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Now for the fun part.  Grab yer stuffed date and yer bacon slice, then wrap yer bacon around yer date.

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Then you stick yer toothpick through the whole thing. Make life easy by pushing the toothpick completely through the bacon wrapped date but no further.  That way there will be one long toothpick end attached to the date, which you can use as a convenient handle to place the date in your foiled pan.

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Once all your dates are stuffed, wrapped, and speared, you should arrange them so they are evenly distributed throughout the pan.  Ideally, none of them will touch too much.  Finally, sprinkle the dates liberally with salt and pepper.  You won’t regret it.

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Now it’s time to bake the dates.  Put them in your preheated oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the bacon has browned and appears crispy.  Whatever you do, don’t neglect your dates! Keep an eye on ’em and turn them every 15 minutes or so.

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To turn the dates, take the pan out of the oven and use the toothpicks to rearrange them and rotate them in the pan.  It’s easier to do this if the toothpick handle is long, as Mom instructed earlier in the recipe.  Heads up: These dates burn easily if forget to turn them or leave them in the oven too long.  Don’t do that!  If you used thin cut bacon or 1/3 slices, your dates might be cooked sooner than 30 minutes.  Thick cut bacon takes longer.

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Once the bacon’s brown and crispy looking, plate your dates. Mom recommends letting them cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before taking this final step. Enjoy!