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With the passing of my Grandmother came the gifts. Most of them were flowers, some of them were dried fruit. I was grateful for all of them, however you can only put so many lilies in a house before the air becomes so dense you can barely breathe. Naturally I was especially pleased by the gift of dried fruit and nuts. I love food gifts. Something so necessary and useful, occasionally beautiful, really does make the perfect gift. Particularly when someone is grieving and less inclined to shop or cook for themselves. Make note here, one of the kindest things you can do for someone who is grieving is offer to come over and cook dinner or ask if they need some help with minor housework. It makes all the difference in the world. My mother in law knew this, and sent me more dried fruit and nuts than I knew what to do with. It sustained me when I couldn’t bring myself to do anything other than take care of the baby, and now its influencing my day to day cooking and baking. Enter, bacon wrapped dates stuffed with asiago cheese.
These are truly wonderful. Simple enough to make but with big flavor pay off. All you need are dried, pitted dates (if you can’t find them pitted its easy enough to do yourself), shredded asiago cheese, and bacon. My mom and I made these yesterday for some New Years snacking. We had about two dozen dried dates that were not pitted. To pit the dates you simply slice them open length wise and slide the pit out. Once your dates have been prepared you stuff them with the cheese. You can add as much or as little as you like. I added a lot of cheese, asiago is one of my favorites. After they have been stuffed you wrap them in bacon. I cut each slice of bacon in half and wrapped them around. After they were all wrapped I did little “patch” jobs on areas where they bacon looked a little thin. Arrange them on a foil lined baking sheet and pop them under the broiler for about 5-6 minutes or until the bacon is done to your liking. Pull them out and let them cool slightly, add a toothpick for easy retrieval, and you’re done. You have a delicious snack that everyone will love. Half will love them for their slightly sweet, smokey, salty, cheesey goodness. Everyone else will love them because they’re wrapped in bacon. You can’t go wrong, and its pretty inexpensive to make.
Over the next week or so I’m going to be doing a lot of baking and cooking with dried fruit to see what goodies I can come up with. After all, one can only eat so many dried prunes and apricots before you start to crave something a little more complex.
If you make these leave me some feedback. Let me know what you think, if you did something different, if you added another ingredient to make them pop, keep me in the loop guys! I love seeing and hearing about variations to give them a try myself!