Holiday Dating

"holiday dating"Tis the Season and all that, and you might be contemplating attending or giving potlucks specifying ‘finger food.’ (There seems to be an anti-fork movement afoot, even among serious foodies.)

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

Cheeses

Cream Cheese or Neuchatel

Blue or Cambazola,

Brie

Goat

 Nuts (either chopped or whole)

Pecans

Walnuts

Almonds

Pine nuts

 

Other (chop coarsely)

Candied ginger

Dried cranberries

Dried apricots

Dried apples

 

Choose a Wrapping

Smoked or other sliced Ham

Prosciutto

Smoked Turkey

Bacon – (for baking)

 

Basic Directions:

  • 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:

Pickled Dates

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

 

 

 

Author: Rebecca Crichton

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2 Comments

  1. LOVE the date ideas! I could eat dates all day like candy. I’ll try the pickled dates this holiday season. Thanks! And keep dating!

    Post a Reply
    • Yes! dates are the “healthy” candy .. great description. Let us know how the pickled dates turned out.

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