Thursday, September 26, 2013

Foodie Friday -- September 27, 2013

 Welcome to Foodie Friday, where great food is always on the menu.
Today, we're on the porch, enjoying pomegranate juice and sausage stuffed dates.


Chorizo-Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates
adapted from a recipe in Taste of the South magazine
Yield: 12
1 T olive oil
4 oz chorizo sausage
1 shallot, chopped** (I added this, along with onion salt, garlic salt, and dash of Tabasco)
4 T cream cheese
1 T chopped parsley
1/4 t. crushed red pepper
6 slices bacon
12 large dates, pitted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Remove casings from chorizo and chop sausage into fine bits. Pour olive oil into a large frying
pan and heat. Add sausage and shallots; cook until browned. This combo cooks fast, so watch it carefully. Drain sausage and set aside. (Reserve pan.)
 Place sausage/shallots in a small bowl. Add cream cheese, parsley, and pepper. Mix well.
Set aside.
Add bacon to the skillet and cook gently--don't brown.
Remove bacon, drain, and cut in half crosswise (I used scissors).
Sort through dates, selecting the softest ones. Don't use any date that's hardened.**
Stuff each date with the sausage mixture, about 1/2 teaspoon.
Wrap bacon strip around the date and spear with toothpick.
Place dates on a Pam-sprayed baking sheet.
Cook 5 minutes. Turn dates. Cook 5 more minutes or until bacon has browned.
Remove pan from oven and place dates on paper towels.
The dates are quite sweet and chewy, so be sure to use the softest ones.
Shallots are highly recommended.
Idea: try sausage in stuffed mushrooms.
I used the leftover chorizo mixture to make terrific meatballs. My family snapped them up before I could get a picture. You can make the meatballs by following the
above recipe, skipping the dates and bacon and adding 1 beaten egg and breadcrumbs.  Roll into balls and bake, turning the balls halfway through the 12 minute cooking period.

The other day, I received a box that was filled with live citronella plants. You can see them in the above photo. I hadn't ordered them, and the sweet person did not put a card or return address.
I removed the plastic casing and planted them right away. Citronella smells so fragrant,
and I haven't seen a single mosquito on my porch.

Whoever you are, thank you for the citronella plants!

I've almost finished decorating the porch for fall. Come take a look. 


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  1. Looks like autumn has arrived in grand splendor at your entryway...very striking with all the orange, yellow and greens!
    Thanks for hosting, ML.

  2. Your anonymous gift of citronella brought a tear to my eye - someone is trying to keep you well.

    Orange is not my favorite color, but you have made it so beautiful I may need to rethink it.

  3. Wow, everything looks terrific. Love all the pumpkins and mums - the table looks wonderful. Food sounds great.
    Hope your feeling better.
    Have a great weekend.

  4. Your porch and entrance look beautiful, I love your color combination for fall. Great appetizers for a fall afternoon enjoying your beautiful surroundings. Have a wonderful weekend and hope you are feeling better, thanks for the party!
    Miz Helen

  5. Yum! I could make a meal on those! Love your Fall decor!!
    What a thoughtful gift someone sent you. Heard something on the news a day or two ago about West Nile and immediately thought of you and wondered how you were doing.
    Take care and get well soon!
    Enjoy your evening.

  6. Lovely table and sorrounded by a magnicent entryway! The food looks amazing too. Thank you for this yummy party! I finally have a récipe, lol! Hugs,

  7. SWOON! What a gorgeous entrance and grand celebrationsof fall! I have to go back and read the recipe now, I was so mesmerized by the flowers & pumpkins :)

  8. Your porch and table are gorgeous! Thank you for hosting!

  9. Hey Michael, your entry and porch look fabulous, I hope this means you're feeling better! Sausage and bacon, wow, I bet those dates are one tasty bite! Thanks for hosting every week, I love an all foodie party~

  10. Thanks for hosting and have a wonderful weekend!

  11. Gotta chuckle at that one funny faced pumpkin with it's tongue sticking out Michael! Have a great weekend:@)

  12. LOVE the pumpkins! In the fall, I always feel very bad for living in the apartment and not being able to decorate outside for fall :(
    Thank you for the delicious party :)

  13. Your fall steps look so wonderful- as for your outdoor tablescape, what a lovely place to be!

    That is neat about citronella - I am quite embarassed to say I had no idea cirtonella was even a plant. (blush.)

    I think EVERYONE needs that in a garden, natural bug repellent? Sign me up!!

    Hope you find who ordered those for you soon. Could it have been Doc or BW and they just forgot to mention it??

    Have a wonderful weekend. Hope you are feeling better,


  14. Wow, fall has arrived at your house in a big way and you have captured its own special playful joy. Chorizo with the dates....yum!

  15. Your porch looks beautiful, Michael, so inviting and beautifully seasonal! Your dates sound like such a flavourful appetizer too. Thank you so much for hosting. This week I've shared a Traditional Marble Cake. Have a lovely weekend.

  16. Your fall decorations are gorgeous. And lucky you that some nice person sent you those citronella plants. I don't think I've ever seen a citronella plant. The chorizo stuffed bacon bites look delicious. Hope you are feeling better this week and that you have a lovely fall weekend.

    Thanks for hosting each week.

  17. Does leaving up the zillions of spider webs that cover our bushes and house count as fall decorating?

  18. Your porch is beautiful and the dates look delicious! Thanks for hosting!

  19. All those photos make me so happy! I LOVE fall! :-) Citronella from a secret admirer, perhaps? Sounds like the beginning of a good mystery novel. ;-) I've been hoping you've been feeling better, too.

    Today I'm linking up my Top 40 Gluten-Free Biscuit and Roll recipe roundup. So much deliciousness there!

    Happy fall weekend!

  20. I've been eating a lot of dates for the first time ever. Can't wait to try your recipe. Thanks for the party. Have a lovely weekend.

  21. A fabulous appetizer! Love your porch for fall!!!!

  22. What a beautiful breakfast setting. Pomegrante juice in wine that!

  23. oh your seting is magically delicious! i love your setting, it could not be any more perfect! the front steps and door, be still my heart, its fall perfection... i am still in the land of blue and green, but now the fog has moved on and i can see to china, ok, i can see the shipping lane 20 aught miles away. fall at the beach is breathtaking, just not in the reds, orgs and golds i yearn for back home, but you have giving me a taste of its glory...

  24. You have captured the beauty of the season PERFECTLY!
    Thanks for hosting. :-)
    ~Stacy @ Stacy Makes Cents

  25. Gosh, your front entry looks soooo beautiful, ML! Very warm & inviting!
    I can imagine exactly how those yummy treats tasted...very creative.

    I didn't send the citronella plants, but I sure wish I would have thought of it...GREAT idea for you!

    Thank you for doing FF again this week.

  26. Wow, your front porch is gorgeous, Michael Lee. The zinnias and other blooming plants really make a statement all grouped together. I need you to come do mine. It needs a refresh!
    What a sweet friend to send citronella plants to you. Wish I had thought of it. Hope you are feeling better these days.
    I wanted to participate in FF this week, but don't think picking up an apple pie from Trader Joe's qualifies. Ha!
    Enjoy the weekend! ~ Sarah

  27. What pretty photos! Thanks for hosting!

  28. Wow, your fall decor is amazing. You've inspired me to get my fall decor out and get it started.

  29. Just found your blog and oh my! Everything is so beautiful!! I'm your newest follower on GFC =)

  30. Your front porch is gorgeous. What a sweet friend to send citronella plants to you. See you Friday for the Mystery Ingredient fun!