While there are plenty of things you can make or buy that qualify, consider the worthy and versatile date with its many possibilities for holiday dating! There are a variety of dried dates on the market, but you’ll want to use Medjool dates – the largest, sweetest and most attractive variety. Most good grocery stores sell them or you can find them online or at Middle Eastern suppliers.
Why date? Dates can be stuffed or wrapped or both. They can be served hot or at room temperature. They can even be pickled.
Here’s how to start Holiday dating:
Choose a stuffing
Cream Cheese or Neuchatel
Blue or Cambazola,
Nuts (either chopped or whole)
Other (chop coarsely)
Choose a Wrapping
Smoked or other sliced Ham
Bacon – (for baking)
- Cut part way through dates lengthwise and remove pit.
- If stuffing, add a small amount of filling in each date and close gently –
- If wrapping with meat – cut wrapping into 1 inch strips and wrap several times around date. Secure with tooth picks if necessary.
- If baking or broiling, bake wrapped dates until meat is browned and serve immediately
And if you want something you won’t find anyplace else, consider:
½ lb Medjool Dates – pitted
2 T balsamic vinegar
Juice 1 lemon
Juice 1 orange
2 T sherry or Rum
1 teaspoon Pumpkin pie spice (or some combination of sweet spices – cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves)
Heat liquids and spices together. Add dates and simmer gently until dates rehydrate but don’t fall apart. Serve as part of cheese plate.
You might decide to continue dating after the holidays are over!
Guest Blogger, Rebecca Crichton, is Executive Director of Northwest Center for Creative Aging in Seattle. A former caterer, recipe developer, food blogger and serious Foodie, Rebecca promotes healthy aging with courses that include Positive Psychology and creative approaches to food. Check out her website MWCreative Aging. Other food-related blogs can be found at All The Single Girlfriends