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February 2011

Gorgonzola Cheese Stuffed Dates Wrapped in Prosciutto

I recently served these gorgonzola cheese stuffed dates wrapped in prosciutto appetizers at a wedding. They were a big hit and several people asked for the recipe. Not only do the dates taste amazing, they are super simple to make and can be served warm or at room temperature; making them a great appetizer for nearly any occasion.

Another great thing about the gorgonzola cheese stuffed dates wrapped in prosciutto is they can be made a day ahead. I stored them in a resealable plastic bag placed in the refrigerator overnight. I wouldn't recommend making them more than 1 day in advance to prevent the prosciutto from drying out.

You could substitute prosciutto with bacon or thin slices of maple-glazed ham. These can be baked in the oven; grilled on a flatop griddle or electric skillet; or an indoor grill. I hope you enjoy this semi-healthy-dessert-appetizers as much as we do!

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GORGONZOLA CHEESE STUFFED DATES WRAPPED IN PROSCIUTTO

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Yield: 24
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 8-10 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

24 whole Medjool Dates, pitted
1/2 cup Gorgonzola Cheese, crumbled
12 slices Prosciutto

DIRECTIONS:

1. Place 24 toothpicks in water and soak for 10 minutes to prevent burning in oven.

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Slice dates in half, being careful not to slice all the way through. Remove pit.

4. Stuff each date with 1 teaspoon Gorgonzola cheese.

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5. Wrap each date with 1/2 slice of Prosciutto and secure with toothpick.

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6. Place dates on baking sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until cheese begins to bubble and prosciutto starts to crisp up.

7. Remove from oven. Transfer to serving plate and serve immediately. Place leftovers in airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 week.


Stuffing Wrapped in Bacon Appetizers

My husband made bacon wrapped stuffing appetizers for our Super Bowl party. They were so yummy that we've added them to our 'Favorites' menu and have indulged twice since Super Bowl Sunday.

Not only do the stuffing wrapped in bacon appetizers taste great, they are super easy to make. We used packaged stuffing mix, but these appetizers could be made using homemade stuffing as well. Additionally, you can substitute bacon with prosciutto or hard meats such as salami or pepperoni. We used one-half round of sandwich pepperoni for one of the stuffing balls and it was quite tasty as well!

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 BACON WRAPPED STUFFING APPETIZERS

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Yield: 12 balls
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 15-18 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

 3 cups homemade stuffing or 1 box stuffing mix
6 slices Bacon, cut in half

DIRECTIONS:

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. If using homemade stuffing proceed to step 3. If using boxed stuffing, cook according to package directions.Remove from stove and let cool for 5 minutes.
3. Use a cookie scoop to create stuffing balls or roll 2 Tablespoons of stuffing mixl into 2-inch balls.


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5. Wrap with 1/2 slice bacon and secure with a toothpick


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6. Place stuffing balls on baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 15-18 minutes or until bacon is crisp and top of stuffing is lightly browned.
7. Transfer to serving platter and enjoy!

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Last Minute Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

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Click here to access Hidden Special Offers Page

Introducing Guylian Artisanal Belgian Chocolates and a Valentine's Day Gift Bag Giveaway!

I recently received a variety of Guylian Artisanal Belgian Chocolates from the manufacturer's marketing company. They asked if I would offer my opinion and in exchange they would provide a Valentine's Day gift bag valued at $14 to one of The Cheap Gourmet readers. That is very generous and I greatly appreciate the opportunity to share these gourmet chocolates with you.

Before I tell you how to submit entries for the Guylian Artisanal Belgian Chocolates gift, I first want to share my product review. I was instantly attracted to Guylian chocolates because of their shape. These delectable gourmet chocolates are presented in the shape of seashells. Since I live near the beach and collect seashells on daily walks, I felt they were made just for me.

Guylian-artisanal-belgian-chocolates-assortment
While I don't proclaim to be a chocolate connoisseur I've tried a lot of gourmet chocolates and even made some of my own. Guylian chocolates rate a 9.9. I'd give them a 10, but afraid you might think I'm biased since I received samples. Seriously, these beautifully crafted chocolates melt in your mouth and coat the back of your throat with this creamy chocolate praline truffle that makes you moan in culinary pleasure.

I received Chocolate Praline Truffles, Extra Dark Truffles, Temptations, and No Sugar Added Chocolate Bars. The Chocolate Praline Truffles are 100% pure, silky smooth milk, dark, and white Belgian chocolate and filled with rich, decadent creamy chocolate praline truffle. Are you drooling yet?

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Guylian's Extra Dark Truffles are 74% dark cocoa shell and filled with extra dark chocolate praline truffle center. These are my favorite because I love dark chocolate, but honestly all of the chocolates are simply to die for.

Guylian's Temptations are individually wrapped seahorse chocolate truffles filled with a rich and creamy chocolate truffle center. Similar to the chocolate praline truffles, Temptations are a mixture of milk, dark, and white chocolate swirled together to create a marbled effect.

Guylian-temptations-original-praline
I really enjoyed the No Sugar Added Chocolate Bars. The serving size is 3 squares, but I was satisfied with 2 dark chocolate pieces. The night I received the chocolates I served one milk chocolate square with a cup of hot cocoa and made gourmet S'mores using dark chocolate squares.

To fully experience the Guylian chocolates follow the directions provided at the Guylian website. These chocolates are meant to be savored; as in slow down and fully escape into the experience. The process evolves from sight to smell to taste to feel, with the final step of sharing the chocolates with others.

I've had the privilege of indulging in these decadent and sensual gourmet chocolates and would love to share them with you. And, I won't make you jump through hoops for a chance to win the Valentine's Day gift bag.

HOW TO ENTER FOR A CHANCE TO WIN GUYLIAN'S ARTISANAL BELGIAN CHOCOLATES VALENTINE'S DAY GIFT BAG

Gift Bag Includes: (1) Guylian Originals Seashells, 4.4 oz and (1) Guylian Praline Original Temptations 4.4 oz. Retail Value: $14 USD.

Guylian-chocolates-valentines-day-giveaway
NOTE: This giveaway is only available to U.S. citizens. For those with nut allergies, Guylian chocolates DO contain hazelnuts.

We are building our Facebook Fan Page and invite you to join us at www.Facebook.com/TheCheapGourmet.

ENTRY METHOD #1: Leave a comment stating what you would like to see more of on this blog. Please leave comments at the Guylian Artisanal Belgian Chocolates post which will remain at the top of The Cheap Gourmet Facebook page until 11:59 pm ET on Sunday, February 13th.

ENTRY METHOD #2: Subscribe to our mailing list by entering your email address in the 'Get the Scoop' subscription box. 

The winner for the Guylian Chocolates Valentine's Day gift will be selected at random from Facebook comments and Get the Scoop subscribers. The winner will be announced on Monday, February 14th via Facebook and on the blog. The winner is responsible for providing their physical mailing address no later than Thursday, February 17th. Otherwise, the gift bag will be forfeited and given to another winner selected at random.

Good luck and Happy Valentine's Day!