cocktail party wrap-up & chorizo-stuffed dates wrapped in bacon

Last weekend, thanks to my wonderful parents (and the frequent babysitters of Maddie and Oliver), my husband and I had a lovely two nights of being child-free. Sam and I had a busy couple of evenings planned, plus we just really needed a break. I used to hate to admit that we needed time away from the kids – because that sounds awful, right? – but it’s true. Every now and then we just need time to ourselves. Last weekend was one of those times.

One of the items on our agenda was a cocktail party. And, after weeks of planning, Saturday night was the big night.ย  I had an entire child-free day to prepare. It was fabulous. And the party was pretty good, too.

$2 martini glasses from Crate & Barrel. LOVE them.

After much deliberation, I made the Pamplemousse Cocktail to serve as our signature cocktail. With help from Michael of A Dash of Bitters, I learned how to prepare cocktails in advance. I love learning new things, especially when it involves tasty beverages.

Made with pomegranate juice, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and vodka.

We had lots and lots of wine. In fact, we had so much wine that three or four bottles had been opened but were still nearly full, and another three or four had a glass or two left in them. We have some neighbors whom we can usually share leftover wine with — living next to us has its perks, you know — but they weren’t home. I ended up having to pour out the leftovers. Horrible, right?

The food was done potluck style – a great way to get guests involved, and also a great way to ensure there is plenty of food for everyone. I made a few dishes, and the guests brought the rest. To reward everyone for their hard work – and as bribery so they’ll show up to our next event – we gave our friends a treat to take home.

Adorable, right?

Those fabulous champagne bottle cookies were made by a new friend, Gail of One Tough Cookie. She is pretty darn amazing. The cookies were almost too cute to eat. But not quite.

Organic Medjool dates - stuffed with pork, wrapped with pork.

One of the appetizers I made for the party is one that I’ve done before, and it’s always a hit with the menfolk. Probably because it’s stuffed with pork and wrapped with pork. Very manly. Chorizo-stuffed dates wrapped with bacon is a recipe I found in Food & Wine magazine many months ago, and it’s such a simple but oh-so-tasty recipe. It’s perfect for people who don’t eat dairy products, and it’s definitely gluten-free, so you’re guaranteed to make most people happy with it. Except those who don’t eat pork, of course. This is not for them.

Yield: Makes 24

Chorizo-Stuffed Dates Wrapped in Bacon

Adapted from this recipe from Food & Wine. I followed their recipe up until the end, and then I do something different. Instead of browning them in a skillet, I use the oven. I used organic Medjool dates that I found at my local Fresh Market store. I had to pit them myself, but it's so simple to do. Simply make a slice down the length of the date with a sharp paring knife, and then pop out the pit with the tip of the knife.


24 Medjool dates, pitted
1 small cooked Spanish chorizo sausage (about 2 ounces), casings removed
12 slices bacon, halved crosswise


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Find 24 toothpicks and have them ready.
Slice the chorizo crosswise into thirds. Halve each piece lengthwise, then cut each half into 4 lengthwise strips to make a total of 24 small sticks.
Tuck a chorizo stick into each date and pinch the dates closed. Wrap a strip of bacon around each date and secure with a toothpick.
Place each date on a broiler pan (or a cooling sheet set over a half sheet pan), spacing them so that none of the dates are touching. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the bacon is cooked through. Remove from the oven and serve.

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22 Responses to “cocktail party wrap-up & chorizo-stuffed dates wrapped in bacon”

  1. 1
    Jennifer Hess — May 27, 2010 @ 8:41 pm

    Wow, this looks and sounds like a wonderful party! I’m inspired now, for our own party-in-the-works. Cheers!

  2. 2
    Leigh — May 27, 2010 @ 8:53 pm

    I am SO SORRY I missed this! It looked like it was fab. I’m still kicking myself for living in a bubble of plague-type illnesses. Promise you’ll recreate at least some of this for us in the future?

  3. 3
    Brian — May 27, 2010 @ 9:30 pm

    My husband is fond of anything wrapped in bacon. His birthday is coming up, so maybe I’ll make these for him. Thanks for a great post! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. 4

    These look absolutely amazing!! So many of my favourite flavours right there in one little bite ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. 5
    Jean — May 27, 2010 @ 11:29 pm

    Wow! These are gorgeous! I’ve had a variation of this appetizer before but I think yours takes the cake! Bookmarked! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. 6
    The Housewife — May 28, 2010 @ 12:15 am

    This is a great appetizer for a crowd with minimal effort! Love it and bookmarked!

  7. 7

    Bacon wrapped dates – one of my favorite appetizers. I fondly call it bacon candy! The addition of chorizo – how you have gone to nirvana in the appetizer world. Thanks for sharing!

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  9. 8
    Barbara @ VinoLuciStyle — May 28, 2010 @ 11:51 am

    Just one question. Why wasn’t I invited? That I live in CO should not have been a deterrent!

    Love the cocktail, the glasses, the dates (make something similar but with just a pecan in the center) and those adorable cookies…way to go on those Gail!

    Lovely post!

  10. 9
    Jennie — May 28, 2010 @ 4:16 pm

    Well, I agree with Barbara. Not fair that all of us didn’t get an invite ๐Ÿ™‚ Anything wrapped in bacon sounds good to me too.

    p.s. Those cookies are so adorable. Gail is an amazing pastry chef and gal.

  11. 10
    Mike — May 28, 2010 @ 8:06 pm

    These look amazing. I am craving them now. I can already taste their sweet, salty, smoky flavor. Gotta try making these.

  12. 11
    Jason Phelps — May 28, 2010 @ 9:18 pm

    I am so glad this worked out for you guys. I am always nervous when I entertain and am so excited when things go smoothly. The food sounds aweseme, how hard is it to get an invite?


  13. 12
    merrygourmet — May 28, 2010 @ 9:40 pm

    Barbara, Jennie, & Jason – Okay, next time you’re ALL invited!

  14. 13
    Magic of Spice — May 28, 2010 @ 9:52 pm

    What a way to get your daily serving of fruit:)

  15. 14
    Kath — May 31, 2010 @ 7:02 pm

    What a great idea for an appetizer! I love the fact that it’s dairy and gluten free. I will definitely be trying this one. Thanks for the idea.

  16. 15
    Oriana — June 1, 2010 @ 7:07 am

    I posted the tuscan version of those wrapped dates! incredible – I use lard – i think i even made this recipe up but I used lard from colonnata!

  17. 16
    alexandria — July 28, 2010 @ 7:59 pm

    oh my god! don’t you love those martini glasses? i’ve had them since january and LOVE LOVE LOVE them. too bad i’ve had them shelved away for some time (need to get my summery drinks going already). i’m going to try your bacon-date wrap. looks delicious– sweet, salty– what else could anyone ask for?

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  20. 17
    sweetsugarbelle — June 8, 2011 @ 7:01 am

    Looks perfect!!!

  21. 18
    sweetsugarbelle — June 8, 2011 @ 7:02 am

    Ps….just saw the cookies….right up my alley. Gail is one of my heroes too!!!

  22. 19
    Miri — September 9, 2011 @ 2:00 pm

    The party looks great! Such a shame you had to throw your wine away. That would not be necessary if you had a vacuum wine saver. Something like this:
    Iยดve got one (along with some additional stops) and it keeps open bottles of wine well for a couple of weeks.

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