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Queens Eats: Holiday Open House

Make this festive cocktail and appetizer to brighten up your next bash.

This article was written by Erin Walsh.

Happy (almost) New Year.

By most accounts from people that I know, 2013 wasn’t a particularly good year. Now, despite being Irish, I never considered myself that superstitious and even considered 13 to be my lucky number. I now see the error of my ways and am now searching for a more auspicious number.

Here’s hoping that 2014 ushers in an era marked by more benevolence, good fortune and luck.

If you’re planning a holiday open house for family and friends or a New Year’s Eve bash, these figs wrapped with bacon and stuffed with cream cheese and parmesan and cocktails will be sure to brighten up any bash. And hopefully they will bring you good fortune in the coming year. Enjoy and here’s to a bright New Year.

White Christmas (Source: Food Network Magazine)

Directions

Put a few mint leaves in each glass. Add two tablespoons elderflower liqueur (such as St-Germain) and add a few (preferably) pink peppercorns. Top with sparking wine.

Roasted Dates with Parmesan & Bacon (Source: Williams-Sonoma Small Plates)

Ingredients

Parmesan cheese, ¼ lb. coarsely grated
Cream cheese, two tablespoons at room temperature
Pitted dates, preferably Medjool
Lean bacon, 6 slices, each cut crosswise into three pieces

Directions

1. Prepare the filling—Preheat the oven to 400 F and place a baking sheet in the oven to heat. In a small bowl, combine the Parmesan and cream cheese and mix until smooth.

2. Fill the dates—Slice each date along one side to make a pocket and insert one to two tablespoons of the cheese filling. Wrap a piece of bacon around each stuffed date. The bacon should cover the opening in the date and overlap slightly. Secure the dates with small wooden skewers or toothpicks.

3. Cook the dates—Using tongs, place the dates on the hot baking sheet. Roast until the bacon is crisp, 15-20 minutes. Transfer to a platter and serve at once.

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