Aside from being able to brew fresh tea and carefully follow each step of extremely simple recipes, I have little to no skills in the kitchen. I’m great at cleaning up after Jeremy cooks for me, but when it comes to cooking, I am his opposite. He can spend hours in the kitchen just daydreaming and playing around with ingredients, only to come up with a fantastic meal as a result. Making it up as I go along never seems to work out for me, which is why I have come up with a few safe guidelines and I stick to them.
Over the years, while making food for others, I’ve found that there are ways to hide the fact that I’m not such a great cook. My advice is to pick a simple dish that’s hard to mess up, and then throw in a fancy ingredient or two. A traditional salsa with diced strawberries and kiwi mixed in. Lobster mac and cheese. I once added two drops of truffle oil to a bowl of honey on a fruit and cheese plate and it was a huge hit.
When cooking to impress I also often include bacon in the dish, even though I haven’t eaten pork in over 18 years. People LOVE bacon, and as long as that’s cooked crispy and perfect, they never seem to care or talk about the rest.
Last week for Thanksgiving I made bacon wrapped dates stuffed with blue cheese for Jeremy’s family. They came out great and they were extremely easy to make.
To get started, here’s what you need:
- A container of dates
- A pack of bacon. I recommend thick, center-cut style.
- Crumbled blue cheese (gorgonzola or goat cheese also works if that’s what you prefer)
- A baking sheet
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Slice the date open a little but don’t cut it in half.
3. Stuff the date with cheese. I use a small spoon or a cheese knife to do this.
4. Close the date and wrap with about 1/3 of a slice of bacon, enough to go around.
5. Secure it with a toothpick.
6. Put in the oven for about 25-35 minutes, or until the bacon is crispy. I recommend turning them over about halfway through.
7. After they’re done baking, put them on some sheets of paper towel – that helps soak up some of the bacon grease.
8. Serve hot and enjoy!