Cheese-Stuffed Dates with Prosciutto

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I’m so excited to share this recipe with you today because it’s classified as one of my favorite types of food: cocktail party appetizers. As much as I enjoy a good meal like any other person, I absolutely adore finger foods. I’m the type of person that likes to eat a little bit of everything when it comes to any food spread, and finger foods allow me to do that by being small and bite-sized. Most appetizers also tend to be pretty easy to make, at least compared to the main course. These cheese-stuffed dates with prosciutto are no exception.

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The combination of the sweet date with the salty prosciutto is absolutely marvelous. And of course anything with cheese is just 10x better, right? Well, it is so in my book. The cheese used is a combination of mascarpone, which is a somewhat neutral, slightly sweet Italian cheese, and goat cheese, a somewhat tangy cheese. Both are soft cheeses that make mixing seasoning and herbs into them easy to do. In this case, a pinch of salt, pepper, and chopped basil are all you need to season the cheese. The basil brings an element of freshness to the mix, which balances out the sweetness of the date and saltiness of the prosciutto. 

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To create this tasty appetizer, you’ll need a package of Medjool dates. They’re the the best to use since they’re the perfect size. 

cheese-stuffed dates with prosciutto

You’ll want to make a cut (not all the way through) lengthwise in the date, creating a sort of envelope/pocket.

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You’ll then remove the pits, leaving hollow dates ready to be stuffed.

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Then you’ll want to create your cheese stuffing. To do this, you’ll mix a combination of mascarpone cheese and goat cheese with a pinch of salt and pepper.

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Add in some finely chopped basil, then use a spatula to mix it all together until combined well.

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Set the filling aside for a minute while you prepare a slice of prosciutto. Since prosciutto strips are pretty wide, you’ll want to slice them in half lengthwise.

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Now, use a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon to scoop out the cheese filling into a date. Then place the date on the end of one of the prosciutto strips. 

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Roll the date with the prosciutto towards the empty end of the strip so that you end up with a prosciutto-wrapped date. Secure everything in place with a toothpick inserted diagonally.

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Cheese-Stuffed Dates with Prosciutto
Yields 20
Medjool dates are stuffed with a combination of mascarpone cheese and goat cheese, then wrapped in prosciutto.
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Prep Time
20 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 pkg (14 oz) Medjool dates
  2. 2 pkgs (3 oz each) of prosciutto
  3. 1/4 c mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  4. 1/4 c goat cheese, room temperature
  5. pinch of salt and pepper
  6. 1 handful of fresh basil leaves (about 5 or 6 extra-large basil leaves), chopped finely
Instructions
  1. Make lengthwise cuts into your dates, making sure not to cut all the way through. You want to create a sort of pocket or envelope with the dates. Remove the pits.
  2. In a medium bowl, add your cheeses, a pinch of salt and pepper, and your chopped basil. Mix together until combined using a spatula. Set aside.
  3. Take out a strip of prosciutto and cut it in half, lengthwise to end up with 2 equal size strips. Take one of your dates and fill it with the cheese filling using a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon. Place the date at the end of one of the prosciutto strips and roll the date with the prosciutto towards the empty side of the prosciutto strip. You should end up with a prosciutto-wrapped date. Secure everything in place by diagonally inserting a toothpick into the date. Repeat this step for the rest of the dates.
Notes
  1. You will end up with extra prosciutto.
Adapted from Giada
Adapted from Giada
Mon Petit Four http://monpetitfour.com/

Monday Morning Inspiration

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I always say that if there was a decade I would love to be in, solely for the fashion, it would be the 60s. I love the structured, fitted pieces they all wore back then. They were so elegant and chic, and made all the women look polished and dressed up. Paired with the beauty trend of that time, the cat eye and perfectly pinned up hair, women looked like a million bucks. I’d just need a Don Draper as arm candy and then I’d be fashionably set.

Faye Dunaway for Vogue Italia

Jean Patou

Grace Kelly

Natalie Wood

Givenchy for French Vogue

Actress Marisa Mell

Irene Gindry

Ina Balke

dresses by Pierre Cardin

model Twiggy

Brigitte Bardot

Catherine Deneuve

Sophia Loren

Audrey Hepburn

Potage St. Germain (Fresh Pea Soup)

potage st. germain

Pea soup, or split pea soup, is a soup that’s usually been made with dried peas. Back in the day, it was the “poor man’s” food, a soup enjoyed by peasants and village laborers. When the modern version of using fresh peas was introduced, fresh pea soup became a luxurious innovation that was fit for serving the likes of Louis XIV (whose royal palace Ch√Ęteau de Saint-Germain-en-Laye inspired the name Potage St. Germain). 

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The soup has the consistency of a creamy tomato soup. Like tomato soup, it’s a blend of broth, pureed vegetable (fresh peas), and a dash of cream. You can easily whip up this soup in 20 to 25 minutes. You’ll simply sautee some onion (or shallots) and butter in a saucepan…IMG_7367

Then add in some chicken broth, fresh peas (or frozen peas that have been thawed out), and a smidgen of sugar. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. 

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Once the peas have become tender, drain them reserving the cooking liquid in a large bowl. 

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Puree the peas in a food processor or using an immersion blender, then return them back to the saucepan.

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Add some of the cooking liquid back into the pan and stir. A little bit of heavy cream and a little more salt should give you a soup that’s creamy and thick enough to lightly coat the back of your spoon.

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Top with croutons and your choice of cheese (I used Gruyere).

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potage st. germain 3

Potage St. Germain
Serves 2
Creamy and delicious fresh pea soup.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/8 c of finely chopped onion (or shallots)
  2. 1.5 tbsp butter
  3. 1 1/2 c of fresh peas (or frozen that have been thawed to room temp.)
  4. 2 c chicken broth
  5. 1/8 tsp sugar
  6. pinch of salt and pepper (to taste)
  7. 1/8 c heavy cream
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan, heat butter until melted. Add in onion and saute until translucent (about 1-2 minutes).
  2. Pour in the chicken broth, peas, and sugar. Add your salt and pepper, then give it a stir. Let mixture come to a boil and cook until peas are tender (about 15 minutes).
  3. Drain the peas, reserving the cooking liquid in a large bowl. Transfer the peas to your food processor to puree, or use an immersion blender. Scoop the puree back into the saucepan and turn on the heat to medium-low.
  4. Add at least 1/2 of the cooking liquid back into the saucepan and stir until you achieve desired consistency, adding more liquid if necessary (usually about 3/4 of the total cooking liquid should do it).
  5. Pour in your heavy cream and stir. Add more salt as needed. Once soup lightly coats the back of your spoon, soup should be ready. Add croutons and cheese to garnish (optional).
Mon Petit Four http://monpetitfour.com/

Buttermilk Biscuits

buttermilk biscuits

I used one of my favorite cookbooks to make these buttermilk biscuits: Cooking at Home  by Chuck Williams (of Williams-Sonoma). It’s the first cookbook I ever bought and, to me, it’s like the bible of cooking and baking. Not only are there over 1,000 recipes, organized and indexed accordingly, but each section (whether it’s pasta or cake), comes with an informative guide of notes and tips to help you succeed in making the included recipes. For example, for these buttermilk biscuits, it was important to know that cold butter is key to making the biscuits flaky. The book also notes that while the author prefers butter, people have claimed shortening creates a flakier biscuit, then proceeds by telling you how to make that substitution should you decide to. It really is an amazing cookbook and I highly recommend it for anyone wanting an all-encompassing resource in their kitchen. 

buttermilk biscuitsI stuck to using butter since I’m not really a fan of shortening, and these biscuits were incredibly flaky and tender at the same time. I used salted butter, but if you only have unsalted on hand, I would simply increase the amount of salt by 1/2 a teaspoon (at most) to obtain the same effect. I also liked that this recipe resulted in biscuits that rose straight up versus sideways. I’ve made biscuits before that turned lopsided as they baked, and it’s just not as pretty or easy to cut into. 

buttermilk biscuits buttermilk biscuits

When I horizontally cut into these, I was greeted with a waft of buttery steam and moist crumbs. The aroma itself was enough to do me in. These biscuits are so fluffy and yummy, especially with some butter or jam spread on them. This is definitely a new staple in my baking arsenal. Watch the video below to learn how to make them!

buttermilk biscuits buttermilk biscuits buttermilk biscuits

Buttermilk Biscuits
Yields 9
A flaky and tender buttermilk biscuit.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 c all-purpose flour
  2. 1/2 tsp salt
  3. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  4. 2 tsp baking powder
  5. 6 tbsp cold, salted butter (cut into cubes)
  6. 3/4 c buttermilk
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silicon mat or parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Add in the cold butter cubes and use a pastry blender (or two knives) cut the butter into the flour. Clumps should be no bigger than the size of a pea.
  3. Pour in the buttermilk and use a fork to gently stir the mixture together, just until a dough forms. Don't overwork the dough.
  4. Dust your hands and a board with flour before transferring the dough to the board. Create a compact ball out of the dough before flattening it out until it's a large circle that's 3/4 inch thick. Flour a 3 inch biscuit cutter before cutting out circles from the dough. Transfer these dough circles to your baking sheet. Clump the dough scraps together and form a ball before flattening out again and cutting out as many circles as you can. Place these circles on the baking sheet as well.
  5. Bake the biscuits for 15-18 minutes, or until all the tops are nice and golden.
Adapted from Cooking at Home by Chuck Williams
Adapted from Cooking at Home by Chuck Williams
Mon Petit Four http://monpetitfour.com/