I didn’t make it to the next round of Project Food Blog. Bummer. I actually had mixed feelings about advancing to the next round because of what the next challenge involved: hosting a dinner party for at least four guests. Typically I would have been pumped to have a reason to get together a group of friends and cook dinner for them, except right now I’m living in Seattle. I don’t exactly know a lot of people out here, and definitely not four people that all know each other. Even more stressful was that we found out the results of the second round on Friday and the dinner party challenge post was due on Sunday. Not a lot of time to plan, which meant planning in advance unknowing if I was going to make it through or not. So needless to say, at the beginning of the week I was seriously dreading the possibility of having to throw a dinner party.
As the days passed by and Friday got closer, I was still unsure of who was going to come to my dinner party. For some reason, my mind kept coming back to Liz. I have only met Liz once and she is obviously not four people, but I thought I’d take a shot and see if she could help. My email to her went something like this: “Hi Liz! Remember me? We went to yoga that one time…. So I have an awkward/weird question for you…would you be interested in coming over for a dinner party? And maybe invite some of your friends along?” Her response to my awkward email: “Oh my gosh Taylor I would LOVE THIS!!! And I have tons of friends who would love it too!!!! Count me IN!!!” Seriously, how awesome is she?? All of a sudden I went from getting that sick-to-my-stomach feeling every time I thought about the dinner party to super excited to cook for some new friends.
Even though I didn’t advance to the next round, I still had my dinner party (the party must go on!) and I’m going to be blogging about it all week long. The theme for the dinner was “Simple Elegance,” as I tried to keep the menu as simple as possible, with as little work during the party as possible. I’ll be sharing my tips for a simple, yet elegant dinner party along with the recipes.
First up: the hors d’oeuvres. I made bacon wrapped dates which are as simple as they sound. Just make sure you buy pitted dates or else you might end up wrapping three quarters of them before realizing they’re not pitted and then have to unwrap them all, pit them, and wrap them back up. That situation turns an easy appetizer into a not-so-easy appetizer. Not that I would know. Okay, yeah I did that.
These were a big hit and will definitely be my go-to appetizer for the upcoming holidays. One guest mentioned that she loved the sweet and savory combination the date and bacon. Another one of my dinner party guests suggested that they would be even better with some sort of cheese stuffed in the date…maybe goat cheese or blue cheese. I like the way she thinks.
Bacon Wrapped Dates
2 lb medjool dates, pitted
1 package bacon
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Cut each slice of bacon in half. Wrap each date in a half slice of bacon, and secure with a toothpick.
Place on rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. The bacon will release oil while being baked, so make sure the baking sheet is rimmed.
Bake in oven 20-25 minutes. Serve on platter, and devour!