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{the mini-feast}



ust Mr. Farmer Jones and I were on the farm for Valentine’s Day, leaving us to a quiet mini-feast in the Cottage.  As I mentioned last week in the update post, I wanted to share the menu and recipes I created for us.  Being we had appetizers, a special cocktail, dinner, and dessert, I’ll split up the recipes over a few posts so as to not make you too hungry while reading. The menu was as follows:

Today, I’ll share about the appetizers and beverages.

What you need {appetizers}:

Gorgonzola stuffed dates wrapped in bacon with balsamic vinegar honey drizzle:

{Time: approximately 15-20 minutes, including prep}

Gorgonzola cheese

Dates, pitted {quantity depends on how many guests you are serving or how many you wish to eat yourself}

1 pound Afton Field Farm Bacon

1 cup Balsamic vinegar

1 Tablespoon Afton Field Farm Honey


Raspberry Chipotle sauce:

{Time: 40 minutes, including prep}

1 Tablespoon olive oil

½ cup onions, diced

2 teaspoons minced garlic {I always use more garlic than it calls for, go to your taste}

2 teaspoons chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, chopped {you can purchase the adobo sauce in the Mexican food section of most grocery stores}

2 pints fresh raspberries {I used thawed frozen berries and it turned out fine}

½ cup raspberry vinegar {I didn’t have raspberry vinegar so I substituted part homemade raspberry liqueur and part red wine vinegar}

3/4 cup sugar {I used honey- it does have stronger flavor, so start with a smaller amount and add to taste}

½ teaspoon salt

I tasted the sauce along the way and added more of each ingredient until I got just the flavor I was looking for.  I also added red chili pepper flakes because the peppers I used weren’t very hot.

Cream cheese


What you do:

Gorgonzola stuffed dates wrapped in bacon with balsamic vinegar honey drizzle:

– Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

– Slice half way through each date.  Cut enough to create a pocket, but not all the way through to make two halves.

– Stuff dates with Gorgonzola cheese.

– Put bacon wrapped dates on a cookie sheet and put in oven.  You will need approximately one 1/2 strip of bacon per date, depending on how large the bacon pieces and dates are.

– While dates cook, prepare the vinegar-honey glaze.  Put balsamic vinegar and honey into a small sauce pan over medium-high heat.  Stir frequently until liquid starts to thicken slightly. {The glaze is thicker the next day, so you could prepare this ahead of time}

– Take dates out of oven once cheese looks slightly melted and bacon looks not quite done.  The bacon will continue to cook after you remove it from the oven.  They are easier to eat if the bacon is not too crispy.  See above photo as a reference- I cooked them perfectly of course; because I never over-cook anything ;)

– Place dates on serving plate and drizzle with the glaze.

Raspberry Chipotle sauce:

– In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat.

– Add onions and cook, stirring, until soft and slightly caramelized {approx. 4 minutes}

– Add the garlic to the pan and saute for 1 minute.

– Add the chipotle chiles and adobo sauce and cook, stirring continuously, for 1 minute.

– Add the raspberries and cook until soft, 2-3 minutes.

– Add the vinegar and stir to deglaze the pan.

– Add the sugar {or honey} and salt, bring to a boil.

– Reduce heat to medium and simmer until thickened and reduced by half, 8-10 minutes.

– Remove from the heat and cool before using.  Put cream cheese on serving plate and place sauce over it.  Dip with crackers.

{For a clear glaze, strain through a fine mesh strainer, pressing on the solids with the back of a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible.}

What you need {drinks}:

Green Acres Martini- courtesy of Del Alma Restaurant in Corvallis.

Hendricks Gin

St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur


1 Cucumber

1 Lime, fresh

Martini glass(es)

1 cocktail shaker

What you do:

– I didn’t have an exact recipe, so we just made it up as we went along.  Here is what we did:

– Fill cocktail shaker with ice and some mint.  Crush ice and muddle mint with the end of a wooden spoon or an actual muddler.

– Pour in 2 parts gin, 1 part St. Germain,  and squeeze 1/4 of a lime into the cocktail shaker.

– shake

– Pour into 2 martini glasses and garnish with a cucumber slice.

We didn’t strain the mint very well, so it was a little ‘chunky’, but still very delish!

Stay tuned for the main course and dessert!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. 03.01.12 6:33 PM

    Your Gorgonzola stuffed dates wrapped in bacon with balsamic vinegar honey drizzle looks delicious. Actually I am sure it is delicious – I love that combination. You should try grilled fresh figs stuffed with goat cheese wrapped in prosciutto


  1. {the main course} «
  2. {dessert} «

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