Prosciutto Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Smokey Cheese

There are two people in the world who I think appreciate wine and cheese as much as I do: my sister and my friend Sara.

This past week, I was visiting my sister before I start a new job tomorrow (wish me luck!).  We did wedding things and of course there was wine and cheese.  One night, while enjoying some wine with cheese and prosciutto, we had a great idea.

Let’s put it all together with dates, because dates are always a good idea (and Jesse’s mom loves to give us boxes of dates and we love it).

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Smoked cheddar. Dates. Prosciutto. 

Awesome flavor combos.

Normally, I’m all for bacon wrapped dates, but I think I actually prefer prosciutto for a few reason:

  1. It’s thinner.  Someones I feel like the bacon can be so thick that you have to bake it forever and your risk the date getting charred.  Sometimes the bacon also overpowers the dates and filling.  This is the perfect balance.
  2. Less baking time.  Prosciutto doesn’t need to be cooked.  So you put it in the oven long enough for the cheese to melt and the prosciutto to get a little bit crispy (about 10 minutes).

This is really a non-recipe.  I can’t tell you exactly how much cheese I put in each date, because each date is different but here’s roughly what you’ll need.

Trust me, you’ll want to make these for your next wine and cheese party.

Prosciutto Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Smokey Cheese

Medjool dates, washed and pitted
Smoked Cheese (such as smoked cheddar, smoked gouda, this time I used smoked cheddar with caramelized onion from Trader Joe’s)
Prosciutto or Jamon Serrano (I tried with both and both were great)

Pre-heat oven to 400F.  Pit your dates by cutting a small slit down the side, then pulling out the pit.  Where the pit was, slide in little chunks of cheese then pinch the date back together.  Next take some prosciutto and wrap it around each date.  I used about half a slice for each date.

Lay on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and prosciutto is crispy.

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Serve with wine and enjoy!

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Chocolate Dipped Dates with Pistachios and Sea Salt

Happy New Year!

The new year is upon us and like everyone else, I’m wondering what happened to 2014.  It flew by, but it was a great year.

 

I’m grateful for 2014 and excited for 2015.  This year was full of great things…

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Like pie of course and healthy things like Avocado Pesto Hummus

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and my new obsession with zucchini noodles:

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I also did a lot of things I didn’t document on the blog, like when I went to Philadelphia and ran a half marathon

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That was tons of fun.

I also went to weddings, hung out with friends, went wine tasting, got better at crossfit, got better at my job.  So many wonderful things, all that weren’t documented anywhere.  I’m ok with that.  I took a step back from blogging this year, and I’m happy with that decision.

This isn’t the end of Foodologie.  No, no.  Foodologie is alive and well, but I’m hoping Foodologie will change in 2015.

After all, change is good.

So let’s celebrate change and the coming of a new year with a treat, something simple and sweet:

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Dates.

Delicious and naturally sweet, dipped in dark chocolate then sprinkled with chopped pistachio and sea salt.  It’s decadent and delicious, as the New Year should be.

 

Dates Dipped in Chocolate with Pistachios and Sea Salt

24 dates
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (I used 60% cacao)
1 tsp coconut oil
1/4 cup pistachios, finely chopped
1 tsp coarse sea salt

Place your dates on a parchment paper lined dish.

In a bowl, melt together chocolate and coconut oil in the microwave.  Put it in for 20 seconds, then stir. Repeat until melted and smooth.

Dip dates into chocolate, then place on parchment paper.  Sprinkle with pistachios and sea salt.  Chill for a few hours, then serve!

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I haven’t had them yet but I bet they’ll go perfect with champagne.

I hope this recipe is indicative of what Foodologie will be in 2015: fun, simple and delicious.

Happy New Year!  I wish you the very best in 2015 and thanks so much for reading!

 

Date Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’m nearly fully convinced that peanut butter is the most amazing thing there is.  It goes with pretty much anything.

Peanut butter and jelly. A classic.

Peanut butter on celery, pretty much the only thing that makes celery palatable.

Peanut butter and chocolate.  Divine.

Peanut butter and banana. Mouth-watering.

These are pretty much the basics.  But my newest obsession: peanut butter and dates. Words can’t even describe…

Even better, peanut butter + dates + chocolate.  A guaranteed winning combo.

Give it a try, in cookie form that is.

Date Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
1/2 cup chopped dates

Preheat oven to 350F.  Cream together butter, peanut butter, sugar.  Beat in egg.  Add flours, baking soda and salt and mix until almost combined.  Fold in chocolate chips, peanuts and dates, careful to not overmix.

Place golf ball sized amounts of dough on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.  Bake 10-15 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.  Cool on a cooling rack.  Serve and enjoy! Makes about 24 cookies.


Banana-Date Muffins with a Crunchy Oat-Almond Topping, Vegan and Virtually Oil-Free

In an ideal world, when someone gave me an enormous container of dates, I would make date shakes every single day.

But in the real world, I don’t have a blender and I need to fit into a bridesmaid dress for a wedding this week.

So in the real world when someone gives me an enormous container of dates, I try to make healthy things with it.  It’s no secret that I love sweets.  Usually, I’m all for splurging and eating deliciously sinful sweets, but sometimes I try to make healthy versions.

Like this

Oh hey, muffin.

Vegan Banana-Date Muffins with a Crunchy Oat-Almond Topping

1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar, heaping
1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 tbsp cold water
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 ripe bananas, mashed
2 tbsp almond milk (or water)
1/2 cup chopped dates
For Crunchy Oat-Almond Topping:
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp flour
2 tbsp oats
1 tbsp blanched almonds

Pre-heat oven to 350F.  In a small bowl, mix together 1 tbsp ground flaxseed with 3 tbsp water to make your “flax egg”, put in the fridge for 5-10 while you gather your ingredients.

In a bowl, combine applesauce, sugar, “flax egg,” and vanilla.  Add flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Stir until just combined.  Stir in the mashed banana and dates.  If batter is too thick, add 2 tbsp almond milk.  Pour batter into lined muffin pan (12).

Combine ingredients for topping in a small bowl.  Sprinkle on top of unbaked muffins (the topping is optional, it’s tasty but not essential).  Bake for 25 minutes ish, or until it passes the toothpick test (this will vary by oven).

Allow to cool completely then enjoy, without feeling guilty about eating a muffin, because let’s be honest oil-free, whole wheat flour… basically means they’re good for you.

Maybe not quite, but chances are if you have one you’ll still fit into your dress.

I just ate 3, let’s hope I do…

P.S. Tomorrow is National Banana Bread day. Go ahead, jump on the band wagon.  You know you want to make this 🙂

Couscous Salad with Garbanzo Beans and Dates

I’m a fan of picnics.  Food and outdoors.

What’s not to like?

Living in Central NY I forgot how great picnics can be.  Now that I’m back in Southern California, and especially in Orange County, there are parks everywhere.  It’s quickly becoming my favorite pass time.

The beauty of California is that you can go on picnics basically year-round.  It’s February, and I’ve easily gone on at least 3 picnics this year.

You know what that means?  I need to start diversifying my picnic menu.  I started with cheese, crackers, fruit, sliced vegetables and hummus for dipping.  Now I’m getting more intense.  This last picnic involved plates and forks.

Watch out, I’m gettin’ fancy.

So the most recent picnic menu:

  • Couscous Salad with Garbanzo Beans and Dates
  • Lemon-Parmesan Asparagus
  • Fruit Salad

Let me tell you about this couscous salad.  Of course I brought it in a jar, but jars are optional.

The great thing about this salad (if we can really call it a salad) is how easy it is to make.    If picnics aren’t your thing, this is pretty great for a potluck as well.  Give it a try.  It’s mild but slightly exotic tasting.

I say yes.

Couscous Salad with Garbanzo Beans and Dates

adapted from Epicurious

2 cups water
1 tsp salt
10 ounces couscous
1/4 cup olive oil
zest and juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup lemon juice)
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
2/3 cups chopped dates
1/2 cup blanched almonds
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped green onions

Boil water, add salt and stir in couscous.  Cover and turn off the flame, keep covered for 10 minutes.

In the meantime, prep all the ingredients (i.e. chop dates, cilantro, onions, etc.).  Once the couscous is ready, fluff it with a fork and transfer it to a large bowl to cool.

In a small bowl combine lemon zest and juice, olive oil, and cardamom.  Pour over cooled couscous and toss.  Add in the rest of the ingredients, toss and let it sit at room temperature for a few hours.  At this point you can search for the perfect picnic spot.  Once you’re there, serve and enjoy!

Easy, delicious, healthy and completely transportable. Perfect for picnics.

So if you’re in warmer climates, go on a picnic soon and make this.  If you’re in the cold, lay a blanket in your living room and have an indoor picnic, it’s not quite as fun but it’ll hold you over til late spring/summer.

Just saying, it’s worth a try.