Monthly Archives: September 2013

Billionaire’s Bacon Blue Cheese Dates

We thought about naming this recipe Blue Cheese Stuffed And Bacon Wrapped Dates, but Billionaire’s Bacon Blue Cheese Dates is more alliterative.  Plus, it makes use of our famous billionaire’s bacon.  These bite-size wonders achieve the ever-pleasing combination of salty and sweet, along with a bit of smoky and a smattering of spicy.  They are so easy to put together, it’s a task you can give the kids to contribute to a pot luck or upcoming dinner party.

billionaire's bacon blue cheese dates

billionaire’s bacon blue cheese dates

Makes enough for 4-8 people, depending on how many other appetizers are served

20 Medjool dates

10 pieces of bacon

1/2 cup of blue cheese crumbles

1/4 cup of Inna Jam pretty spicy Fresno chili jam

3 tbs. of brown sugar

1 tbs. of water

sliced and seeded

sliced and seeded

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.  Slice the dates in half lengthwise and remove the seeds.

Open up the dates just a little bit, enough to stuff with blue cheese crumbles.

secured

secured

Slice the strips of bacon in half.  Wrap a half-strip around each stuffed date, and secure with a wooden toothpick to make sure the bacon doesn’t unfurl.

painted

painted

Combine the jam, brown sugar, and water in a small bowl, and paint on the exterior of the bacon; use the toothpick to hold a date, paint the bacon, and then transfer to a rack placed in a sheet pan.

Bake for 2 hours at 275 degrees F, but you can crisp them up slightly by increasing the temperature to 375 degrees F and baking another 8-10 minutes

Coolhaus Ice Cream Sandwiches

coolhaus

coolhaus

Coolhaus started as a little ice cream truck in Los Angeles toting sandwiches inspired by architecture.  Thankfully for those outside of L.A., Coolhaus now commands a fleet of trucks posted in several states, plus it has made its way into Whole Foods.  Of all grocery chains, that would be the most suitable and aligned with Coolhaus’s philosophy, as the masterminds are committed to using all-natural, handmade, and organic ingredients and products when possible.  Like the extreme attention to quality, the flavor combinations are extremely striking.  Each creation intends to satisfy sweet and savory cravings; to reflect that sense of polarity, we picked up two sandwiches to sample, one bacon and one vegan.

"louis ba-kahn"

“louis ba-kahn”

Louis Kahn, one of the most famous architects of the 20th century, was inspired by ancient ruins.  For this little structure, the roof and floor are made of chocolate chip cookies (not ancient at all).  Soft but firm enough to hold the ice cream, these cookies would easily disappear quickly into the mouths of chocolate chip lovers of any age.  The rich and creamy ice cream, though, is what made this sing, with brown butter and candied bacon.  The bacon, more than candied, was vibrantly smoky but not overwhelmingly so.  It balanced just fine throughout the sandwich, since there was enough sweet to go around from the vanilla undertones of the ice cream and the chocolate chip cookies.

"thomas mayne-go"

“thomas mayne-go”

Considering vegans don’t consume chocolate, this is one heckuva decadent dessert alternative.  Providing this vegan option is right along the lines of Thomas Mayne and his pursuit of architecture with a focus on social agenda and urban planning – all those within the population must be considered in urban planning and development, just like all those within the population must be offered a delicious ice cream sandwich that suits their diet.  The mango sorbet was sweet, tart, and tangy like true mango, and for how creamy it was without any actual cream, the texture was excellent.  By missing the egg to help bind the cookies, there was a little bit of crumbliness, but vegans are likely accustomed to texture differences.  Moving past the texture, the taste of the molasses cookies was spiced like the holidays, which accented the mango very nicely.

Making appearances and garnering fans from the audiences of Good Morning America and Coachella, Coolhaus has a following as eclectic as its selection.  Figures, since it would seem that there is a flavor for everyone.  When you find yours, your palate will be ecstatic.

Hoppy Brewing Co. Total Eclipse Black Ale

(Always drink responsibly.  Seek help when alcohol affects your life and the lives of those around you.  For readers of a legal drinking age.)

total eclipse black ale

total eclipse black ale

Such mystery.  Such perplexity.  Eclipses have been a source of somber inspiration for religion, poetry, and song for millennia, while Hoppy Brewing Company of Sacramento puts on a happy face to embrace the darkness.  Since 1994 Hoppy has commercially produced and distributed craft ales with no artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors – so yes, this Total Eclipse Black Ale is true to its label and is naturally black.  With 5.6% ABV and 48 IBU, it is robust with mild notes suggestive of freshly roasted coffee beans.  Although there is no flattering way to describe the slightly metallic aftertaste, it’s not the worst I’ve had nor does it make me want to stop sipping.  In fact, if Hoppy’s other ales are like this one, I feel inspired by the ale inspired by a beautiful celestial phenomenon to visit the Hoppy Brewpub for sampling the taps and the food menu.