It’s hard to believe that in just over a week Christmas will be here.
Where the heck did the time go?
I’ve accepted the fact that I will never be that ridiculously organized person who has all of her shopping done with days to spare.
Instead, I am the procrastinator that likely will be searching for the perfect gift for each friend and family member until Christmas Eve.
But that’s ok.
Each year I say I’ll take a day out of the week to make a variety of tasty confections and holiday treats.
And yet I end up whipping up Santa, reindeer and snowman sugar cookies with decorative frosting, rather than the lindzer tarts, decadent truffles and almond biscotti I had planned.
But again, it’s ok.
People seem to put themselves under such stress before the big day, myself clearly included.
Whether it be the perfect gift, making sure the wrapping job is stellar, or whipping up a tasty treat, it should be enjoyable, not feel like a chore. This holiday season, I’ve decided to take a breath and a break if for some reason I’m feeling stressed or not as festive.
After all, it’s the season of giving and who says you shouldn’t be making sure you too are feeling jolly?
Over the weekend, I celebrated one of my best friends birthdays, Christine, or as some of us affectionately call her “Teenie.” She is one of the most giving, generous people I’ve ever met, always encouraging you to do your best.
And when you are stressed during any situation, be it even a holiday shopping conundrum, she knows exactly what to say to get you back to ground level.
Teenie was born in Hawaii and thus being the big 3-0 we took the birthday full circle, with a “Christmas in Hawaii” theme, complete with Hawaiian décor, a festive Mai Tai cocktail and a slew of her favorite foods.
One request of the birthday girl, bacon wrapped dates with goat cheese. I had done some research and came across a recipe from Food and Wine magazine that seemed way too simple. Three ingredients, that’s it?
But I kid you not; these things flew off the plate the minute they came out of the oven. The crispy, salty bacon and the sweetness of the dates pair perfectly with the rich flavor of the goat cheese.
Serve at your next holiday gathering for a stress-free appetizer. And make sure to enjoy one yourself. You earned it.
Bacon Wrapped Dates Stuffed With Goat Cheese
(adapted from Food and Wine Magazine)
24 large Medjool dates
12 slices of bacon, halved crosswise
4 ounces of goat cheese
Preheat the oven to 400°. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray.
Using a sharp knife, carefully cute a lengthwise slit in the dates and remove the pits. Equally stuff each date with goat cheese and then pinch the dates closed.
Wrap each date in a piece of bacon and place each wrapped date seem side down on the baking sheet.
Bake the dates for 20 minutes, turning each date over after 10 minutes. Wait a minute or two before serving to guests, as these are very hot right out of the oven.