March 18, 2011

Date Delicacy

These delicious dates need no introduction, they speak for themselves and are perfect for any and every occasion. Make them and you'll see. Trust me, I'm a foodie. 

What You'll Need: 
  • 20 pitted dates 
  • 4-6 oz of cream cheese (or more depending on the size of your dates)
  • 2o nuts (pecan halves, pine nuts, almonds, and walnuts are all delicious)
  • 7 slices of bacon, cut into thirds
  • 2o toothpicks 
  • 1 plastic zip-lock sandwich bag
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Place cream cheese in zip-lock bag.
  3. Cut a small hole in the bottom corner of the bag. 
  4. Stuff one nut into each date and top with cream cheese until they are full. 
  5. Wrap each date with 1/3 slice of bacon, and secure bacon with a toothpick. 
  6. Place dates 1" apart in a shallow baking dish.
  7. Bake 5 minutes, then turn dates with tongs.
  8. Bake 5 additional minutes, or until bacon is crisp. (Monitor carefully for burning.) 
  9. Remove from pan and drain on paper towel.
  10. Serve immediately.
  11. Develop addiction to bacon wrapped dates. 

March 1, 2011

Fabulously Quirky

I have always had an admiration for those who can compartmentalize everything in life. The ones who know where almost everything is at any moment in time. Every shoe, every purse, every penny, every piece of paper, or shirt has a place where it can always be found. My flighty organizational thought process in life more closely resembles that of Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I can find a clean sweater behind the couch, (yes, I knew it was there, no I didn’t pick it up until I put it on for work) or one shoe placed purposely on my dresser while the other one is in the front hall closet. Sometimes I can go months without finding an entire purse. A purse! I wouldn’t call our home a total disaster, I would however say that my personal belongings are scattered, misplaced, and unorganized. I’m sure this drives my husband crazy, but it’s who I am. Let’s just call it, “quirky.”

I do organize one part of my life. Of course you see where this is going darling reader, my kitchen. I wouldn’t say the items are grouped together by color or size or hell even type, but everything has a place, a drawer, a cabinet… a space of it’s own. The entire shelf of one of our cabinets is dedicated to items only purchased at Chicago Spice House and Old Town Oil.  (I may have a slight “over purchasing” problem in both shops.) Even when my pantry was unorganized up until Saturday afternoon, I knew where everything was. Yes, that 3/4 empty box of Lucky Charms on the top shelf was from my birthday in July but I knew it was there. Those two, one year-old cans of cheese soup were for a cheesy chicken crock-pot recipe  I never made. See, I know what I have and where it is, even if my oatmeal shares a space with dog bones from time to time. Everything has a place.

I also organize my grocery list like it’s going out of style.  (Because it is, didn’t you know? Hurry up, the bandwagon is leaving!) Growing up, my Mom’s grocery list had a menu on the bottom right hand corner. All items to be purchased were listed on the left in the order that they could be found in the store. This, to me, is normal.  Recently I had this conversation with not one or two,  but three different people, who don’t make a grocery list or a weekly menu, that just head to the store! Madness! I can hardly fathom my shopping trips without a list! (I’m certain these same people would think, “But Kayte, how did you find cookie sheets in the backseat of your car and why do you have an empty prescription bottle in your jewelry box?”) Damn it, I just need my list, I can manage the rest.

Everyone has idiosyncrasies that make them tick, mine just happen to be a mess of contradictions, and when combined with a helping of disorganization and a dash of ADHD they really just make me fabulously quirky me.