Category: Dates

Cheese and Date Night

If we are at home on a Friday, we don’t usually eat a big meal, just usually have a couple of snacky things here and there. 

Friday Night Snack Plate 1Tonight’s snack plate had a distinctly retro feel so I thought I would share it with you!

Cheese and Date Bread

First up, we have some Cheese and Date Bread, courtesy of The A-Z of Cooking.  We have jumped somewhat forward here in that this recipe appears under G – Good Health, when technically we are only up to D – Drinks and Dips. And whilst Drinks and Dips are usually  good Friday fare, tonight it was something different.

Cheese and Date BreadI was intrigued by the idea of Cheese and Date Bread.  I really wasn’t sure how the sweetness of the dates would go with the rest of the ingredients.  These fears were completely unfounded.  And my bread looked just like real proper bread!

Cheese and Date Bread2
Cheese and Date Bread2

 If somewhat lopsided…

Cheese and Date Bread3
Cheese and Date Bread3

The bread is pretty good plain but if you want to take it to a whole new level?  Toast it up. 

Cheese and Date Bread4
Cheese and Date Bread4

 Cheese and Date Balls

Like I said, initially I was hesitant to make the Cheese and Date Bread.  What changed my mind was finding this  recipe for Cheese and Date Balls:

Epicurious – Cheese and Date Balls

Of course I made mini balls – because that’s how I roll. Also, I swapped out the lemon in the recipe above for a teeny splash of vermouth. 

Cheese and Date BallsMmmmm…blue cheese, walnuts and dates spread on toasted Date and Cheese Bread.  Life is good!

Cheese and Date Balls2
Cheese and Date Balls2

 But wait…there’s more. 

But first a little bit of disclosure.  I am actually trying something new tonight which is to cook (ok, assemble, I had actually cooked everything beforehand), photo, write, review and post all in the one night.  Normally this process can take WEEKS. I am also doing it whilst drinking a rather large martini which we will get to in due course.  So, if the end of this devolves into absolute gibberish, you know why and apologies in advance. 

Those olives you see on the plate?  Aren’t just any olives.  They are:

Martini Drenched Olives

Normally, you put your olive into a martini.  In this recipe, you put some martini into your olives!  This is so simple and really adds a new and different flavour to some otherwise ordinary olives. 

Martini Drenched Olives
Usually, you put a olive in your martini. This recipe adds a little martini into your olives!
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  1. 2 cups green olives (I used stuffed olives because I had them)
  2. 3 tbsp vodka
  3. 1 1/2 tbsp dry vermouth
  4. 1 tbsp lemon juice
  5. 1 tsp shredded lemon zest
  6. 8-10 cracked peppercorns
  1. Rinse the olives under cold water and drain.
  2. Combine all the other ingredients.
  3. Place the olives in a bowl.
  4. Pour the other ingredients over.
  5. Refrigerate for at least an hour. (I kept mine in the fridge for nearly a week).
Adapted from Donna Hay
Adapted from Donna Hay
Retro Food For Modern Times
 But you know what?  If your going to have some martini drenched olives, why not make also make a Drenched Dirty Martini.  It is Friday after all!

Drenched Dirty Martini2
Drenched Dirty Martini2

 The Drenched Dirty Martini is a dirty martini made with Drenched Martini Olives. 

Drenched Dirty Martini
A dirty martini with a twist!
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  1. Splash dry vermouth
  2. 90ml vodka
  3. 1 tbsp liquid from Martini Drenched Olives
  4. 2 Martini Drenched Olives
  5. Ice cubes
  6. Martini Glass
  1. Swirl the vermouth in the glass and discard.
  2. Add the ice cubes.
  3. Combine the vodka and olive liquid. Add to glass.
  4. Add the Martini Drenched Olives
  5. Enjoy!
Retro Food For Modern Times
Drenched Dirty Martini
Drenched Dirty Martini

 Have a great weekend!

Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2      PS – Love to hear your thoughts on the quick and dirty post.  I live in awe of the bloggers who manage to do something daily and would love to be able to increase my output.  Your feedback on me just banging something out like tonight v agonising over every comma is most appreciated! Thanks as always. xx

After School Snacks – Date Crunchies

Part Two of A in The A-Z of Cooking concerns itself with one of the best meals of the day, the after school snack.

I chose to make the Date Crunchies purely on the basis that I had every single ingredient already in my pantry.

That never happens! 

Date Crunchies2
Date Crunchies2

But first, two intros to After School Snacks.  The original from The A-Z of Cooking

 “Welcome home your hungry young scholars with something nourishing to tide them over until suppertime”

May have pleased mothers but set children all over the world weeping. They didn’t want something nourishing, they wanted something chockful of sugar with maybe a bit of artificial colouring thrown in. 

Not so my After School Snacks Haiku:

Hungry After School?

Dates and Oats Make Good Crunchies

Yummy for your tum.

Did I miss a career in marketing or what?

And…we’re done with the poetry.  Trust me.  There will be no sonnets to breakfast food, no odes to the buffet.  Unless you really like them.  In which case get ready for a whole heap of limericks and haikus because that’s about my limit. 

Date Crunchies1

Date Crunchies – The Good

  • These are kinda sorta almost healthy with the sweetness coming from dates and honey instead of sugar, and the use of oats and wholemeal flour. 
  • Dates, honey and cinnamon are a combination that works amazingly well together. And the little bit of lemon made the it even better!
  • I think I probably like them more now than I would have as a child when I would have wanted something sweeter. 
  • Apparently they worked well with a glass of milk.  This is on hearsay only.  I have never liked milk and even the thought of drinking a full glass of it makes me want to gag.
  • Working the dough was the best arm workout I have had in a long time.  I’m pretty sure I’ve staved off bingo wings for at least another year just by that alone. 
Date Crunchies 4
Date Crunchies 4

 Date Crunchies – The Bad

  • The the quantities in the recipe seemed wrong. I needed a lot more water to soften the dates and a pinch of cinnamon is no good to anyone.  You need at least 1/4 teaspoon. 
  • More than this though that pasty was way too short.  I was lovely and light but you just had to look at it the wrong way and it crumbled. It needed an egg or something else to bind it together a bit more.
Date Crunchie
Date Crunchie

 Date Crunchies – The Ugly

 Let’s also address the other elephant in the room when in comes to this recipe. In some places in Australia, “date” is a colloquial expression for one’s…well…anus.  So a date crunchie is probably not something that should be even remotely appetizing.   As for these?  They were better than that.  Just not by much

In all honesty, they were perfectly acceptable.  They were average.  There was nothing fundamentally hideous about them.  Truth be told, it’s taken me ages to write this post simply because I find it really hard to describe food that’s just….meh….

 WouId I have wanted these as an afternoon snack when I was a child? 

Hell no. 

But  I was a weird  only child with a working mother.  She didn’t have time to bake and I had an idea that anything homemade was bound to be inferior to something that could be bought from a shop.  I was far happier with a perfectly formed store-bought Tim Tam than anything homemade and vaguely hippyish.   

Now?  That date filling was rather nice…but you know what?  I think I’d still prefer a TimTam.  I may make the Date Crunchie dough again just so I never have to do another tricep dip in my life. 

Date Crunchies – not an epic fail, not even a fail, just not much of a pass… And with that, we’re done with the A’s.

Next time we venture into The A-Z of Cooking we’re heading to Canada for B..B..Breakfast. 

Have a great week!  Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2  




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