Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Bacon-Filled Medjool Dates

Lottery fever is running rampant across the United States as the Mega Millions winning jackpot is over three hundred million. The big question is: What would you do if you won? Personally I would be in a state of shock. Half of the fun is imagining how you spend the money and dreaming. Not to say that winning would be half bad. Unfortunately the odds stretch the realm of reality almost, but one or two lucky folks could walk away and have their lives changed forever.

Having great friends, whether they are long term or new friends is like winning your own personal lottery. "Friends are the most important ingredient in this recipe of life" is a quote I found and it struck a chord with me. Friends are an important part of my life and I cherish each of them dearly. Everyday life takes over and we get busy with work, activities, daily demands and all of the other items. I have found that scheduling time with friends is the best way to ensure we make the time to get together.

One of my long time friends Denise lives in San Diego and unfortunately we do not see each other often enough with our busy schedules. We did connect early in December and she mentioned she would be here for the holidays. Typically we get the girls together and dine at a restaurant and exchange small gifts each year. It is so much fun just to dine, gab and spend an evening together catching up. This year I thought it would be fun to throw a cocktail party at my house and invite everyone over. Even the husbands were able to join us this year!

I made a large spread of appetizers and everyone brought a favorite bottle of wine. Making appetizers is my favorite way to eat and entertain. All of those small bites of flavors and the variety make entertaining fun along with being easy. Thought I would share the menu with all of you.

The girls enjoyed our annual gift exchange and the stealing of gifts got a bit fierce. All in all, I do think everyone was quite pleased with what gift they ended with. The evening was a smashing success and I believe everyone had a terrific time. It is such a special treat to entertain at home with great friends, especially during the holidays.

{ Betsy, Denise, Jackie, Anna, Helen and Me }

Bacon-Filled Medjool Dates

6 Slices of bacon
½ C. Pecans, chopped and lightly toasted
½ C. Manchego cheese shredded, (2 ounces)
24 whole madjool dates, pits removed
3 T. Honey
1 t. Fresh thyme

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large skillet cook the bacon until crispy. Remove bacon and drain on a paper towel. Crumble bacon. In a small bowl combine the crumbled bacon, manchego cheese and pecans. Mix well together until the cheese combines a bit.

Make a slit down the center of the date, remove the pit and place a tablespoon of the mixture into each date. Press the date to shape around the mixture and the filling will be exposed. Arrange dates on an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until heated through. Arrange on a platter and drizzle with honey and place a thyme leave on top of each date. Serve immediately.

(Recipe from Better Homes and Garden)


  1. Oh, look at that spread! I would have loved to be a guest at this party. I bring great gifts for gift exchanges too ;]

  2. Çok leziz ve iştah açıcı görünüyorlar. Ellerinize, emeğinize sağlık.


  3. Beautiful spread! Nothing better than a gathering with your dear friends~

  4. You are really the best event organizer I've ever known! i told you several times I think but it's so true. One day, I hope I'll have the honor of eating one of your wonderful creations. Have fun with your friends!

  5. OK, so you stuffed dates with bacon. Are you trying to kill all of us on the other side of the screen? It was really hard not to lick the screen.

    The party looks fun and your spread of food looks like a winner!


  6. I totally agree with Sara! These are just perfect, Lisa--all the flavors I adore in one bite and so elegantly presented. You never cease to amaze with your appetizer creations. :-)

    I think the reason you're so blessed to have great friends is because you're one yourself. Just knowing you for a short time, I can tell. Have a great week. :-)

  7. Oh how nice, I live in san diego myself. I loved the crostini!

  8. That table looks fantastic - lucky friends. :)

  9. Bacon and dates!!! I am so there.

  10. You always put out an amazing spread! These bacon filled medjool dates must have the perfect salty sweet combination - I must find some of those dates!

  11. Wow your guests were really lucky. What a wonderful spread of delicious dishes. You definitely have a knack for putting together great flavors, Lisa. I love the dates. You reminded me how much I miss dates, since I've been out of them for a while now. Adding to the grocery list. Thanks for sharing.

  12. wow...I adore the idea using bacon to fill the dates :-)) Just brilliant!
    With 3 hundred million...;-))

  13. This is a recipe I must try for my next get together!! Thanks!

  14. Beautiful friendships deserve beautiful food. GREG

  15. What a beautiful spread, Lisa! And such beautiful company! Medjool dates are one of my favorite things... and with bacon? Irresistible!!


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