3.03.2010

Date Night and Moving

Merciful heavens, am I ever tired. :-) Between physical therapy, moving and working two jobs, I am tuckered out! Thank goodness I'm not alone in this crazy life of mine or I'd be an absolute wreck. :-) Tonight Mums, my pal Deborah and I started moving, getting as many lighter things transferred before the menfolk arrive to haul the big stuff. Phew. It feels so good to get this process started. :-)

Now I'm resting on the couch, icing my back, letting a glass of Riesling relax my aching self while I nibble on warm banana bread slathered with butter. :-) It's so lovely to be sitting down! :-)

Monday night I signed my lease papers and arrived at CEC with a shiny new key and a merry heart. :-)

It was so great to see everyone, and we had a laugh at our crazy menu - the result of half the group thinking it was Soup Night and the other thinking it was Date Night. :-) Everything was cockeyed and any hope of proper courses was thrown to the wind. We didn't mind a bit though, because we got to start with dessert first! :-)

Selwyn made Chocolate Pecan Date Balls rolled in toasted coconut and we scarfed them down while the rest of the food was prepared.



Next up was my appetizer, Bacon-Wrapped Medjool Dates Stuffed with Blue Cheese. They were great, but next time I don't care if the recipe calls for only half a slice of bacon per date, I'm going for a WHOLE! :-)



Darren made crunchy, chewy Gluten-Free Parmesan Bread Sticks to go with the soups that weren't quite ready, so we ate them with our wine instead and that worked out just dandy.



Mike brewed up creamy Tomato Soup with Colby Cheese - just perfect for dipping the breadsticks in.



Kat made a delicate Wonton Soup topped with sprouts and fresh basil.



Then we dug into Deb's sprightly Moroccan Carrot Salad with Oranges and Medjool Dates.


We rounded out our feast with Toby's piping hot Gluten-Free Cornbread Muffins.



Toby's Cornbread Muffins
(From Recipe Zaar)

Ingredients:

3/4 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup 1% low-fat milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Spray muffin tin with nonstick spray or line with paper muffin cups.
  3. Combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  4. Stir well.
  5. Combine beaten egg, milk and melted butter (if using normal butter add less salt).
  6. Stir into the dry mixture and combine just until blended.
  7. Chopped jalapenos (from a tin) can also be added, as can chopped red pepper and/or tinned corn kernels.
  8. Scoop batter into prepared muffin pans.
  9. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top of muffins before baking if desired.
  10. Bake for 20-25 minutes .

Krista's Bacon Wrapped Medjool Dates Stuffed with Blue Cheese
(From All Recipes)

Ingredients:

1 pound sliced bacon, cut in half
1 pound pitted dates
4 ounces blue cheese

Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. Slice dates in half, and open them up. Pinch off pieces of blue cheese, and place them into the center of the dates. Close the halves of the dates, and wrap a half-slice of bacon around the outside. Secure each one with a toothpick. 
  3. Arrange in a baking dish or on a baking sheet with sides to catch any grease.
  4. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the bacon is crisp. Turn dates over after the first 20 minutes for even cooking.
Deborah's Moroccan Carrot Salad with Oranges and Medjool Dates
(From Food and Wine)

Ingredients:

4 navel oranges, 1 orange zested and juiced
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt
1 pound carrots, cut into 3-inch matchsticks
1/2 pound Medjool dates, pitted and thinly sliced lengthwise

Directions:
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk the orange and lemon juice with the zests, sugar, cinnamon, cumin and cayenne. Gradually whisk in the olive oil and season the dressing with salt.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the carrots with all but 2 tablespoons of the dressing and let stand at room temperature for 40 minutes.
  3. Using a very sharp knife, peel the remaining 3 oranges, carefully removing all of the bitter white pith. Cut in between the membranes, releasing the orange sections into the bowl with the remaining dressing. Add the dates and toss. 
  4. Arrange the carrot salad on a platter, spoon the oranges and dates around it and serve.
Selwyn's Chocolate Pecan Date Balls

Ingredients:

2 cups pecans
1 cup Medjool dates, pitted
6 Tbsp Special Dark Cocoa Powder
1/2 cup to 1 cup toasted coconut

Directions:
  1. Put pecans in a food processor and chop until fine and almost powdery.
  2. Add Medjool Dates and cocoa.
  3. Process until it is well blended in and sticking/clumping.
  4. Form into roughly tsp size balls and then coat in coconut. 
Darren's Gluten Free Bread Sticks with Parmesan

Make the Boule Recipe for dough, then flatten the bread, bake, top with parmesan and bake until cheese is toasted.

    20 comments:

    1. That's why we love you Krista-you go for the whole slice of bacon! :D What a fantastic meal all around!

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    2. :-) - yeah, I love bacon dearly. :-) It was a very scrumptious dinner. I'm really craving wonton soup again!

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    3. You should always have dessert first. THat's definitely the way to go. All of these things look absolutely delicious! you guys always have the best dinners.

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    4. Thanks, Joanne. :-) I love hanging out with friends who cook. :-) It's so companionable and lovely.

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    5. OK hungry NOWWWW!!!!!! I ate alot of bacon last week and am waiting for it to show up on my nether regions any minute now!

      But what does it NOT make taste GOOOOOD?

      Happy New Home - Coming!

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    6. Thank you, Paradis!! I'm off to haul more boxes now. Sheesh, I'm pooped! :-)

      Nether regions - I love it! I thought I was the only one who talked crazy like that. :-)

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    7. everything looks tasty! moving is a pain, but i imagine dishes like that help out :) and i agree, always go for the full bacon, no matter what :)

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    8. Oh man, I just love dates! Those date balls looks like heaven! Hope your back feels better soon. Moving is so rough on the body!

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    9. Oh wow! Can I come to the next dinner party? Everything looks too fabulous! Wow! Both the soups look too delicious and with the Parm Bread Sticks and the corn muffins - perfect!

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    10. Ha ha.....i find myself going for dessert first way too often....i tell myself its so muc healthier and then forget about it when i go for dessert again after the main course :-)))))
      Oh ur date nights or soupy night or fun cheery foodieluscious nites....whatever name they go by....they rock....
      Oh i know about moving coz we have been doing a lot of moving and setting too and also managing more than 1 residence and if u dont number a batch of boxes and u happen to open the wrong one back to re-packing ur ...:-))))
      Thanx for these delicious recipes and lettin me droolllll....and getting me hungry....
      And am so glad u find me despite my 3week feeder prob and googles promise to get it work ;-(((((

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    11. It sure does help, Cocina! :-) Nothing like good food to rev you up and help you to press on. :-)

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    12. Thank you, UnGourmet! It's doing better. :-) As long as I ice faithfully and rest in between moving, I do OK. :-)

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    13. Jamie, I would LOVE to have you at our next party! :-) I know we'd get along marvelously and have so much fun tasting everything. :-)

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    14. Oh goodness, Vanilla! TWO residences to keep track of? Mercy - you DO understand the craziness of moving. :-)

      I hope Google gets your issue fixed soon!

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    15. Oh that sounds so much fun and hey food is involved so what's not to love. What a great group of people.
      xxo

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    16. these photos are making me really hungry!!!

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    17. Great spread - though it's the bacon wrapped dates that are calling me loudest!

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    18. They are a lovely bunch, DJ! :-)

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    19. Oh, that makes me happy, Elie! :-)

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    20. I hear ya, Sarah! Bacon-wrapped anything is bliss to me too. :-)

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