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Chorizo-Filled Dates Wrapped in Bacon

This easy and super pop-pop-popular tapa has only three ingredients and takes only a couple of minutes to throw together.

3 ingredients

Sometimes the Spanish chorizo can be difficult to find. I found it at Cost Plus World Market.

Chorizo Filled Dates  in Bacon

Chorizo-Filled Dates Wrapped in Bacon

Spanish chorizo sausage, casing removed
14 Medjool dates, pitted
7 slices thick-cut bacon, halved crosswise

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.


Make an incision in one side of each date and remove the pit. Discard the pits and set aside the pitted dates.

Cut the chorizo sausage into 14 little sticks about twice the size of the pits you removed.

stuff with chorizo

Tuck a chorizo stick into each date and pinch the dates closed. Wrap a half strip of bacon around each date and secure with a toothpick.




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April 23, 2014   1 Comment

Olympic sliders

A quick note before we get to today’s recipe: If you read yesterday’s post about the amazing cauliflower, you’ll recall that I said my friend, Ronnie had the dish at the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans. Ronnie sent me a fabulous photo of the hotel lobby all decked out for Christmas. It’s a must see, so I’ve added it to the bottom of that post, for all to enjoy. Check it out!

So… I heard about an amazing snack that is served at a bar in Brooklyn. The bar is called Pork Slope and the appetizer  – Chicken & Waffle Sliders. How perfect would that have been for the Super Bowl?!?

pork slope slider


Dang it. Oh well, you know what I did? I served it as our Official Olympics Opening Ceremony Snack. Yeah, take that lopsided 2014 Super Bowl! You were not worthy of these Olympic sliders!

olympic snack

I found a recipe online, changed it just a tad… and …. it was a major hit with my two guys.

waffle grocery

A quick word about the frozen waffles. The recipe I found called for Aunt Jemima frozen square waffles. I could not find Aunt Jemima waffles at my grocery store, nor could I find square waffles. Belgium waffles – that was all they had in any and all brands. The closest thing to square that I was able to find were octagonal waffles.

2 buns

What you want to use for each slider is four squares of a waffle for the top “bun” and another four square piece for the bottom “bun.”  Here is what I did.

stop sign waffle

Take a waffle.

3 buns each

Cut 3 “four square” pieces from each waffle.

6 waffles, 18 pieces, 9 sliders

A package of 6 frozen octagonal waffles yielded 9 sliders. Here’s the math:

6 waffles = 18 “buns” = 9 sliders

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February 12, 2014   5 Comments

Slow Cooker Kalua Pork

The following four ingredients take 5 minutes to assemble…

The resulting meat will be feeding your family and guests for days on end…

And they deliver the most versatile, easy, meal-making thing you’ll have had in your refrigerator in a long time.

Slow Cooker Kalua Pig

Tender, juicy, and tantalizing Kalua Pork is amazing as is. Stuffed into a toasted roll – pretzel rolls being my personal favorite – is a meal in itself.

But there is so much more you can do with it; add to omelets or frittatas. Fill a wrap or toss into a salad. Pile into tortillas or crisp lettuce leaves, garnished with tomatoes, guacamole and salsa, for sumptuous tacos or lettuce wraps.

You get the idea – this stuff is versatile!

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December 24, 2013   2 Comments

chowder time!


I can not begin to tell you how difficult I find it to even think about decorating this house for fall. It is still in the high 90’s during the day. Even attempting to place a real pumpkin outside would be asking for disaster.

At least the mornings and late evenings are finally cooling off to the low 70’s. That helps a little.

Plus, one of my favorite areas to decorate for the season is the front entry.

Last year it looked like this…


Today, it looks like this.

fall 2013 entry

Hmm, at least the “caution” cones are a bright pumpkin orange. That might be all the entry decorating we get this year.

No matter ~ I vow to dig out the fall and Halloween decorations today and then do something with them.

The morning and evening cooler temps did instill in me the urge to make a double batch of yummy fresh corn chowder. A double batch because I wanted to share with my very generous neighbor, Cheryl.

You see…..

A few days ago, Cheryl anonymously dropped off culinary treasures at my front door (yes, she tromped through the dirt to get there). I don’t know for sure if she meant for the gift to be anonymous, but I wasn’t home and she left it with Connor.

Not surprisingly, Connor had no idea who Cheryl was, all he said when I ask who dropped it off was, “I don’t know, she was thin and pretty.”

Oh, thanks Connor, that describes all my neighbors!

After a little detective work on my part, Cheryl fessed up.

Cheryl's crafts

This is Cheryl at the Christmas Crafts Class back in December 2012. On that note – watch for info tomorrow about my upcoming Fall Crafts & Decor Class …

So what was the culinary treasure that Cheryl gifted me with?

Homemade Croissants!

There were three of them!
Connor was home … so coincidentally there were three of us.
I ate one, and immediately hid the other two – eventually eating all three.
Connor did not know what was wrapped in the towel he had accepted.
Dave never knew they even existed.
They were mine. All mine. And they were delicious!
Thank you, Cheryl!

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September 30, 2013   6 Comments

stuffed and wrapped dates

caramelized onion stuffed dates in bacon

One of the things you’ll usually find in my refrigerator is caramelized onions, sometimes called onion jam.

I use them in roasted meats, savory tarts, gravy, sandwiches, quiche, soups, appetizers, on pizzas, you name it!

caramelized onions

The process of cooking the onions is slow, but crucial to achieve that soft, tender, sweet caramelized taste. On the plus side, they can be made days in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator or even frozen.

Considered the crown jewel of dates, Medjool are prized for their large size, extraordinary sweetness and chewy texture. They were once reserved for Moroccan royalty and their guests.

dates, onion, bacon

Put the sweet onions together with the sweet dates, wrap them in bacon, and you have perfection! Serve these to your family and guests and thank me later.

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May 7, 2013   2 Comments

sitcom or reality

“Here’s a story of a lovely lady, who was …”

No, stop there! Not “bringing up three very lovely girls. All of them had hair of gold, like their mother, the youngest one in curls.”


Let’s try again..

“Here’s a story of a lovely lady, who is all about getting what she wants. She uses trickery and scams plus plans and schemes, and drives her youngest child insane.”

That could be the theme song for my own sitcom or reality show. Honestly, I drive poor Connor crazy with all my ideas. He desperately tries to resist, but somehow he can’t escape when I pull him into these plans, completely against his will and better judgement.


I’m going to give you the recipe today first, and then if you feel like hearing the story behind it, feel free to read all about it, after the recipe.

waffled ingred

This is a fun way to make grilled cheese.

3 cheeses

Use whatever cheese or cheeses you like.

the stufings

Top the cheese with your favorite additional fillings, or no fillings at all.

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April 21, 2013   8 Comments

Tenth Day of Christmas Gift

One word about today’s gift from the kitchen. Bacon!

Almond, Chocolate, and Bacon Toffee to be exact. Yes, BACON in toffee!

It’s not something new. I didn’t dream it up. In fact, I’ve spoken of it before. I even made bacon peanut brittle just over a year ago. This year, I’ve decided to give the toffee a go at it.

You and your very lucky, and soon to be grateful, gift recipients will love it! Just be certain to chop your crispy cooked bacon fine … into little bitty pieces. I left mine a bit to big and although I still love that batch of toffee, it is better chopped more fine, as I discovered on my second batch.

On the tenth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me:

Tins of Bacon Toffee
Rum Glazed Eggnog Bread
Fennel Cured Salmon
Spicy Guinness Mustard
Two Jars of Mustard
Pumpkin Pie Spice
Homemade Kahlua Liqueur
Lemon-Sugar Hand Scrub
Cranberry Citrus Vodka
and a bottle of Tomato Dust

Silvered almonds are used in the recipe. You can find untoasted silvered almond and toasted slivered almonds at Trader Joe’s. You will need toasted almonds.

To toast the untoasted almonds; place nuts on a dry baking sheet and into a 350 degree oven for about 12 to 15 minutes, stirring a couple of times until nicely browned. That’s it, now you have toasted slivered almonds and you are ready to make your delicious toffee.

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December 9, 2012   1 Comment

a quick holiday appetizer

Today, it’s another of the recipes from Saturday’s Christmas Craft Party, stuffed mushrooms. What’s not to like? Bacon. Cheese. Mushrooms. Pepper Jelly. It’s all good! This would be perfect to bring to a holiday party.

But, before I get to it, I have to share with you just how clever my friend, Sheila is and how she “constructed” a second long table for our crowd in her craft room.

See this table? It’s really drywall set atop two sawhorses. Next, she cut up two twin bed-skirts and used them as the table skirt. Finally, Sheila used her Kitchen Papers Flourish Paper Table Wrap to cover the top. So resourceful and so darn pretty!

OK, on to the recipe!

Bacon Wrapped Cheesy Mushrooms

15 to 18 slices bacon, cut in half
12-ounces (1  1/2 packages) cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup diced green onions
3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup pepper jelly
30 to 36 fresh medium to large crimini or white mushrooms, stems removed

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with foil. Place a rack atop one of the baking sheets.

Place the bacon pieces, in a single layer, on the prepared baking sheet without the rack. Partially cook the bacon in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool while you prepare the mushrooms.

In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese, green onions, cheddar cheese, and jelly.

Use a small spoon to stuff the mushroom caps with the cheese mixture, really pack it in there.

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December 7, 2012   1 Comment

pumpkin class nibbles

These bacon and olive based appetizers aren’t the prettiest plate on the table but with their hint of curry, they are sure to be the most popular!

Many thanks to Barbara Fenzl, who demonstrated this recipe in her classes last month at Les Gourmettes. She agreed to let me to share them with you.

Bonus  –  They are so Easy-Breezy!

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November 7, 2012   1 Comment

appetizer for 6 or “dinner” for 2

Not only did Sheila and I enjoy our Vootbeer Cocktails on Friday night, we also scarfed down some salty spicy-sweet little snacks … ummm … as our dinner.  Hey, we’re on a vacation shopping trip – do not judge!

Additionally, this is a “do as I say, not as I do” sort of recipe. We didn’t have any foil, or a rack, so the photos don’t exactly match the instructions. I had to make do with what was available in Sheila’s adorable drool-worthy cottage kitchen.

The kitchen is actually very well equipped, as Sheila is a fabulous cook, but things are sometimes just a bit smaller than I am used to. If you have foil and a rack, which I’m sure you do, then follow the directions and you will be set!

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October 15, 2012   1 Comment