Kitchen Adventures: A new way to eat bacon

Yes, you read that right.  I have discovered my new favorite way to eat bacon, or as I like to call it, dinner.

A few months ago, Matt and I ventured out to a $1 tapas place where we first encountered an amazing bacon creation.  For a dollar a pop, these treats were pricey – but oh-so-worth it.  Tonight we embarked on a quest to recreate that dish, and did so super successfully.  I am now pleased to present to you…

Bacon-Wrapped Chili-Almond Stuffed Dates (ta da!)


  • 16 dates (pitted, aka with the pits removed)
  • 16 almonds, roasted with no salt or seasoning
  • 8 pieces of bacon, sliced in half crosswise
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a pan, roast the almonds and chili with a dash of oil until the chili powder sticks to the nut.
  3. Stuff one almond inside each date  (it should be easy to slide it in where the pit used to be, but don’t stress if it’s not – just stuff the almond in somewhere and wrap the date around it).
  4. Wrap 1/2 a piece of bacon around each date and secure with a toothpick.
  5. Place this awesome little bundle on some tinfoil in a baking dish and throw it in the oven until the bacon is browned and crisp, probably 20 minutes.
  6. Serve either warm or at room temperature, and enjoy!

The result was delicious.  The chili really goes well with the saltiness of the bacon and the sweetness of the date.  These would be great at a dinner party or even as an appetizer for a smaller crowd – there’s no limit to how many or how few you can make at a time.

My two biggest tips: DO use tinfoil in the baking dish, even if it’s metal – it really helps contain the fat as things melt.  DO NOT try to skimp on bacon.  I used 1/3  a piece on a few and they came out looking supremely ugly.  The best part?  Ingredients for about 40 of these were less than $13, making them far cheaper than anything you could get at a restaurant.  If that’s not baconey goodness, I don’t know what is.

Summer fun for penny-pinchers

It’s going to hit 90-degrees today.  I ate ice cream for lunch yesterday.  Yep, summer has definitely arrived.

My summer plans involve sun (and sunscreen!), good food and drinks, and as much free fun (and air conditioning) I can manage.  Here are my top recommendations for free fun in Beantown:

  • Scooper Bowl – Happening right now at Boston’s City Hall, the Scooper Bowl is a chance to support the Jimmy Fund and cancer patients while trying a bajillion kinds of ice cream, just $8 for all you can eat.  If you go, try the key lime sorbet – it’s ridiculously good.  (Ends tomorrow, don’t miss it!)
  • Free Fun Fridays – all around the state, museums, gardens, and zoos are opening their doors for free admission on Fridays.  Check out the full schedule here – highlights for me include the Museum of Science and the JFK Library and Museum.
  • Author readings at Porter Square books – cool authors, a neat local bookstore, and free A/C.  The Fonz was there this past weekend – proof that the owners have good taste.
  • Classic movies at the Somerville Theater – this is two inches from my house, and I am excited about all these films (though I probably need someone to hold my hand during “JAWS”).  If you go for a daytime matinée to beat the heat, it’s only set you back $7.
  • Shakespeare on the Common – This year’s play is “All’s Well that Ends Well” and if last year is any indication, it should be spectacular.  (My Yelp! review of last year’s production was just highlighted in the latest Yelp! newsletter – check it out!)
  • Book sales at the Boston Public Library – I love these things, and haven’t missed one yet this year.  More on this month’s treasures soon…
  • Concerts at the Hatch Shell – the Landmark Orchestra, KC and the Sunshine Band, and more, all for free and within walking distance of the T. (Thanks, Jess, for telling me about this!)
  • Free evenings at the ICA – Check out the latest contemporary art exhibits for free from 5-9 every Thursday night.
Did I leave off any Boston summer treasures?  What awesome things are you doing this summer?

Awesome people hanging out together

After a great weekend of fun times with my friends, I stumbled across this awesome blog.  Even though these people were all already famous when they met (Mr. T with Nancy Reagan on his lap?  Paul Newman and Robert Redford playing ping pong?) it makes me wonder what people will say of the pictures I’ve taken over the years.  Will they say “Wow, who knew that the future President and the latest Grammy winner were at the same Oscar party in 2011?  Did you know that the gal who won the Nobel prize in literature went on a road trip with that all-star chef back in the day?”

So, when I try to take your picture, even when you’re washing dishes, take a cue from Michael and Paul and smile!

Lessons learned from Oprah

Over the year, I’ve watched, read, and ignored Oprah.  Here’s what I’ve learned from her:

  1. It’s ok to make yourself the center of attention.  If the magazine is named after you, take that chance to put yourself on every cover!  Seriously!  If you don’t grab it, someone else will take your spotlight.
  2. Leverage your job to help your friends.  Of Oprah’s friends, I love Rachael Ray the most.  But I also just appreciate the idea of helping your pals achieve their goals, even if it means you have to find a new host for that segment.  (Or a new Senator for Illinois…)
  3. Use your power to make good changes.  In this case, I care about the way Oprah brought new voters to the polls in 2008 and made reading cool with her book club.  Speaking of which…
  4. Hold people accountable.  I just finished reading A Million Little Pieces to see what all the controversy was about, and WOW that book should not have been marketed as a memoir.
  5. It is better to give than to receive.  Let me just say, no one likes giving things away as much as this chick does.  I’ve never seen someone so excited about getting a car, nevermind giving one.  And I watch a lot of “The Price is Right” so that’s saying something.
So long, Oprah, and thanks for the memories.