When I do entertain it tends to be last minute (a little take out here and a little homemade there); I am often aiming for minimal effort/maximal quality—something I think I learned from my mom. So, when I saw these whimsical ceramic take out containers from Clio, one of New York's coolest tabletop stores, I instantly thought that this piece embodies preciecly my style of entertaining. Get one or two right here for $90. I think they would be great for some hors d'oeuvres. Which reminds me, my friend Heather served possibly the best winter appetizer at her holiday party this year: Bacon-Wrapped Dates, which are also served at one of my favorite L.A. restaurants: A.O.C.. These little bombs of flavor are super easy to make and boast a little sweet, a little smoke, a little salt...yum.
Here's the recipe to try for yourself:
Block of Parmigiano-Reggiano cut into 18 (1 x 1/4-inch) sticks
18 dates (preferably Medjool, preferably pitted)
6 bacon slices, cut crosswise into thirds
18 wooden toothpicks
Preheat oven to 450°F. Stuff 1 piece of cheese into each date (if they're not pitted, they can be pitted easily by slicing with knife), then wrap 1 piece of bacon around each date, securing it with toothpick. Arrange dates in a baking pan. Bake 5 minutes, then turn dates over and bake until bacon is crisp, 5 to 6 minutes more.