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Date Night and Moving

Merciful heavens, am I ever tired. 🙂 Between physical therapy, moving and working two jobs, I am tuckered out! Thank goodness I’m not alone in this crazy life of mine or I’d be an absolute wreck. 🙂 Tonight Mums, my pal Deborah and I started moving, getting as many lighter things transferred before the menfolk arrive to haul the big stuff. Phew. It feels so good to get this process started. 🙂

Now I’m resting on the couch, icing my back, letting a glass of Riesling relax my aching self while I nibble on warm banana bread slathered with butter. 🙂 It’s so lovely to be sitting down! 🙂

Monday night I signed my lease papers and arrived at CEC with a shiny new key and a merry heart. 🙂

It was so great to see everyone, and we had a laugh at our crazy menu – the result of half the group thinking it was Soup Night and the other thinking it was Date Night. 🙂 Everything was cockeyed and any hope of proper courses was thrown to the wind. We didn’t mind a bit though, because we got to start with dessert first! 🙂

Selwyn made Chocolate Pecan Date Balls rolled in toasted coconut and we scarfed them down while the rest of the food was prepared.

Next up was my appetizer, Bacon-Wrapped Medjool Dates Stuffed with Blue Cheese. They were great, but next time I don’t care if the recipe calls for only half a slice of bacon per date, I’m going for a WHOLE! 🙂

Darren made crunchy, chewy Gluten-Free Parmesan Bread Sticks to go with the soups that weren’t quite ready, so we ate them with our wine instead and that worked out just dandy.

Mike brewed up creamy Tomato Soup with Colby Cheese – just perfect for dipping the breadsticks in.

Kat made a delicate Wonton Soup topped with sprouts and fresh basil.

Then we dug into Deb’s sprightly Moroccan Carrot Salad with Oranges and Medjool Dates.

We rounded out our feast with Toby’s piping hot Gluten-Free Cornbread Muffins.

Toby’s Cornbread Muffins
(From Recipe Zaar)

Ingredients:

3/4 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup 1% low-fat milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Spray muffin tin with nonstick spray or line with paper muffin cups.
  3. Combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  4. Stir well.
  5. Combine beaten egg, milk and melted butter (if using normal butter add less salt).
  6. Stir into the dry mixture and combine just until blended.
  7. Chopped jalapenos (from a tin) can also be added, as can chopped red pepper and/or tinned corn kernels.
  8. Scoop batter into prepared muffin pans.
  9. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top of muffins before baking if desired.
  10. Bake for 20-25 minutes .

Krista’s Bacon Wrapped Medjool Dates Stuffed with Blue Cheese
(From All Recipes)

Ingredients:

1 pound sliced bacon, cut in half
1 pound pitted dates
4 ounces blue cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. Slice dates in half, and open them up. Pinch off pieces of blue cheese, and place them into the center of the dates. Close the halves of the dates, and wrap a half-slice of bacon around the outside. Secure each one with a toothpick. 
  3. Arrange in a baking dish or on a baking sheet with sides to catch any grease.
  4. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the bacon is crisp. Turn dates over after the first 20 minutes for even cooking.

Deborah’s Moroccan Carrot Salad with Oranges and Medjool Dates
(From Food and Wine)

Ingredients:

4 navel oranges, 1 orange zested and juiced
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt
1 pound carrots, cut into 3-inch matchsticks
1/2 pound Medjool dates, pitted and thinly sliced lengthwise

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk the orange and lemon juice with the zests, sugar, cinnamon, cumin and cayenne. Gradually whisk in the olive oil and season the dressing with salt.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the carrots with all but 2 tablespoons of the dressing and let stand at room temperature for 40 minutes.
  3. Using a very sharp knife, peel the remaining 3 oranges, carefully removing all of the bitter white pith. Cut in between the membranes, releasing the orange sections into the bowl with the remaining dressing. Add the dates and toss. 
  4. Arrange the carrot salad on a platter, spoon the oranges and dates around it and serve.

Selwyn’s Chocolate Pecan Date Balls

Ingredients:

2 cups pecans
1 cup Medjool dates, pitted
6 Tbsp Special Dark Cocoa Powder
1/2 cup to 1 cup toasted coconut

Directions:

  1. Put pecans in a food processor and chop until fine and almost powdery.
  2. Add Medjool Dates and cocoa.
  3. Process until it is well blended in and sticking/clumping.
  4. Form into roughly tsp size balls and then coat in coconut. 

Darren’s Gluten Free Bread Sticks with Parmesan

Make the Boule Recipe for dough, then flatten the bread, bake, top with parmesan and bake until cheese is toasted.

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