happy birthday, chris!

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Last weekend was Chris’s birthday! We invited friends to Ireland’s Four Courts to celebrate. I have become more of a homebody since college, and so staying out until 12:30/12:45am was quite a time! The night was very fun, Four Courts was a great host, and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

Somewhat spontaneously, a couple of friends came over for drinks and snacks before we headed over. I made some of Chris and I’s favorite things: spinach & artichoke dip (recipe here, plus chopped red peppers and cayenne pepper spice), sangria (more my favorite than Chris’s!), and bacon-wrapped dates. Yum.

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Bacon-wrapped dates are so easy. I used Medjool dates from Trader Joe’s, and first cut a slit down the middle to remove the pits. Then, I inserted a tiny piece of feta cheese in each date (blue cheese is even more delicious, in my opinion). I sealed up the gooey dates, and wrapped them in strips of bacon. You can be generous or skimpy on the length of the strip you choose. I find it best to place the wrapped dates on a wire rack over a pan, or on one of those holed pans over a regular pan. That way, the bacon drippings can drain a bit. Bake the dates at 375 degrees F for about 15 minutes on each side. Use your judgement to decide when the bacon has achieved its ideal level of crispness!

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