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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Bacon Wrapped Dates Stuffed With Blue Cheese

Bacon, blue cheese, and dates make the perfect sweet and salty combo. This is my go-to party appetizer, because it is super easy to make and always a crowd pleaser. I discovered it once at a friend's party, and I have been addicted ever since.

You probably recognize this appetizer because I've posted it on my blog before. I wasn't thrilled about how the pictures in the original post turned up, so I decided to do an update post. I love this appetizer so much that I had to do it justice with better pics!

Ingredients:
  • 1 package of dried, pitted dates (about 30 dates)
  • 1 container crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 (12 oz.) package of bacon (cut raw bacon strips in the middle if they are very long strips)
Directions: 
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
  • Slice each date on top, stuff with as much blue cheese as it can hold, wrap in bacon, and secure with a tooth pick. Repeat with the remaining dates. Simple right?
  • Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes, or until bacon is crispy. Usually i also like to turn the dates halfway through so that they crisp up evenly on all sides. 
  • Serve warm.  
Note: If you're taking it to a friend's house, bake the dates for about 10 minutes at your place so you are not traveling with raw bacon. When you arrive at your destination, bake for another 5 minutes or so until bacon is crispy. 


 





Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Avocado Toast

Yesterday we had a SNOW DAY!! I can't believe it's the middle of March and I have 2 feet of snow outside my door. I love being snowed it because I dedicate my time to recipe testing, watching movies, and eating delicious homemade food.

This is a copy cat recipe of one my favorite breakfast spots called Sunset Cafe. I love going to Sunset Cafe but some days it is absolutely impossible to get in. Lines are usually out the door, and during the winter, standing outside is usually not an option. So, I decided to recreate the dish myself. It wasn't hard to make as the ingredients are extremely simple! Not only is this dish flavorful but there are so many beautiful colors on the plate. It definitely brightens your day!!

Note: The onions are pickled overnight so you'll want to prep this ahead of time.

Serving: 4 people
Ingredients:
  • 8 Slices of Toast
  • 2-3 Avocados
  • 1/2 of a Red Onion
  • 2 Limes
  • Goat Cheese, crumbled
  • 1 Jalapeno, sliced
  • 4 Eggs 
Recipe:
  • Overnight, you will want to pickle your red onions. This is what gives the onions a bright pink color. Thinly slice the red onion and squeeze the lime juice of two limes over the onions. Let it sit overnight (or for at least 4-5 hours).
  • Toast your bread and set aside.
  • Mash together the avocados to achieve a smooth consistency. Add a tad of salt and pepper.
  • Cook your eggs to your preference. I love over easy or poached so you can get that glorious runny yolk.
  • Assemble your toast by spreading the avocado onto the toast, then place your egg in the middle. 
  • Finally, add your sliced jalapenos, crumbled goat cheese, and picked red onions.


Sunday, March 12, 2017

Classic Reuben Sandwich with Slow Cooker Corned Beef

A favorite Irish dish of mine is corned beef, mostly because I love reubens. It's the combination of the buttery bread, salty corned beef, crunchy sauerkraut, creamy dressing, and melted swiss cheese that gets me every time. Since I can always get the perfect reuben sandwich at my local irish pub, I've never tried to make it at home before. In honor of Saint Patrick's Day this year though, I decided to give it a try. It turned out even better than I expected. The hardest part about this recipe is waiting all day for it to cook in the crockpot! Patience is certainly not one of my best qualities.
I wish the picture showed a little bit more of the corned beef because it is definitely the star of the sandwich. I decided to cook it in the slow cooker so that the corned beef would be super tender. The recipe below is for a classic reuben sandwich. You'll see pickled onions in the picture too because I LOVE pickled onions and I had some extra in the fridge. If you'd like to add some pickled onions to your reuben as well, squeeze lime juice on top of thinly sliced red onions, and let it sit for a few hours ,or overnight if you can, in the fridge. Add the onions in place of the sauerkraut, or with the sauerkraut like I did!
I love this slow cooker recipe because you can make so many fun dishes with the extra corned beef like irish nachos, a reuben dip, or even reuben potato skins! There are so many options! Below I included the slow cooker corned beef recipe along with how to make the classic reuben sandwich.

Slow Cooker Corned Beef
Ingredients

  • 2 corned beef briskets with spice packets (about 3 pounds each)
  • 1/8 cup of black peppercorns
  • 7 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 beers
  • water
Recipe
  1. Place beef briskets in a slow cooker with one of the spice packets (discard the other one), black peppercorns, garlic cloves, and bay leaves.
  2. Cover brisket with beer. If beer does not fully cover the top of the briskets, then add water until liquid is covering briskets.
  3. Cook on low for 8 hours.
Reuben 
Ingredients
  • corned beef from slow cooker recipe above
  • sauerkraut (I found mine by the pickles in the deli section of my grocery store)
  • sliced swiss cheese
  • sliced marble rye bread
  • thousand island dressing
  • butter
Recipe
  1. Once beef briskets are cooked, take the briskets out of slow cooker and let it rest on a cutting board. 
  2. Discard the liquid in the slow cooker and cut out any excess fat from brisket. 
  3. Slice the corned beef.
  4. Take two slices of bread. On each slice of bread, butter one side.
  5. Place one slice of bread butter side down in a skillet on medium heat.
  6. On top of the slice of bread add one slice of swiss cheese, then sliced corned beef, then sauerkraut, then thousand island dressing.
  7. Top with a second slice of swiss cheese, then the second slice of bread butter side up.
  8. Cook for a couple minutes letting the bread on the bottom to become golden brown, then flip.
  9. Cook for another minute or two until both sides are golden brown and cheese is melted.



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