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Dates Stuffed with Rosewater-Almond Paste: 10 Things to Look Forward To in 2012

I don’t know about you, but I feel like with each passing year, the seasons fly by faster than they did the previous year. I hardly blinked and summer was over. Then the fall figs were all gone from the market. And then, suddenly, I was pulling out my thick wool sweaters and getting ready for yet another holiday party. The last few weeks leading up to the holidays, especially, always feel like a blur. Parties and dresses, cookies and wrapping paper, work and more work, wine and more wine. I love this blur, but I always want it to last just a little bit longer. When it’s all over, I think we all feel like deflated balloons (for more reasons than one).

Lisa recently posted a really beautiful reminder that she called ‘Make Sundays Count.’ As much as I love Sunday, I also hate Sunday. It’s the day before Monday, after all, and who really looks forward to Monday? Thing is, Sunday is HALF of your weekend, meaning you should live it up on Sunday just as much as you do on Saturday and Friday night. But here’s what I’ve been thinking about β€” how do you look forward to the day you go back to your routine after the holidays?

If you’re like me, your holidays will probably look a little something like this: eat too many sweets, drink a few too many cocktails, spend a ridiculously awesome amount of time with your friends and family, maybe go somewhere, revert back to childhood (even just a little bit), and come home to a chilly house and an empty refrigerator, knowing that it’ll be a whole other year before you get to do this again. I’ve started to pull together a list of things I’m looking forward to in 2012, and would love it if you shared yours!

While we’re sharing lists and all, I suggest you add these Almond and Rosewater- Stuffed Dates to your ‘to-make’ list. The recipe comes from Nigel Slater and is super simple, yet absolutely stunning. We served these at our annual holiday party and people went bonkers for them. Everyone wanted to know what they were (you can’t really tell just by looking at them), then they wanted to know if they were sweet or savory, and when they bit in, they were fascinated by that unidentified flavor (rosewater!). In any case, if you don’t have rosewater on hand, I’m sure these would be just as delicious, though you can play around with flavors (try orange water, or maybe even a little vanilla?)

Things to Look forward to in 2012

1. Alt Summit in Salt Lake City. I’m really excited to meet and hang out with fellow bloggers at this conference.

2. Planning a ‘big’ trip somewhere. Our last ‘big’ trip was to Colombia and I’m ready for another. Where should we go? New Zealand? Bali? Thailand? Morocco? Turkey? Denmark? Sweden?

3. Planning a ‘small’ trip. We’re attending a lot of weddings this year that will take us all around the country (and maybe even possibly to ITALY..eek!!!) but I’d like to sneak away with Matt on one or two nice long weekend getaways Stateside. Where shall we go?

4. Creating the February Pairings Box. It’s gonna be a really fun one (with a really sweet, Valentine’s Day appropriate, surprise).

5. Meeting my friend’s new baby when she comes to visit with her husband.

6. Trying my hand at a few crafty projects, thanks to inspiration from places around the web like Pinterest, Oh Happy Day!, SF Girl by Bay, Design Love Fest, and Camille Styles.

7. Getting a rad new haircut. Urgh, my split ends need it.

8. Officially turning our guest bedroom into an ‘office.’ Err….stockroom for Pairings Box supplies.

9. Hanging out with my extended family, that’s visiting us from Russia.

10. Transitioning from my Android BACK to an iPhone. Hello, new Kate Spade iPhone case.

So, tell me, what are you looking forward to in 2012? Let’s get excited for life AFTER the holidays, too. xo

Dates Stuffed with Rosewater-Almond Paste
adapted from Nigel Slater

16-20 Medjool dates
3 1/2 ounces of almonds (not salted or roasted)
3 1/2 ounces of powdered sugar + more for dusting
handful of pistachios, roughly chopped or roughly ground in a food processor

1. Cut a long slit along the length of each date and pick out and discard the stone.
2. Combine the powdered sugar and almonds in a food processor. Add about a teaspoon of rosewater and process until the almonds are finely ground and the mixture begins to form a paste. Add more rosewater (a teaspoon at a time, as needed) and continue to process the mixture until it forms a paste. Be careful to not add too much rosewater all at once as it will make the dough too sticky.
3. Fill each date with almond paste (it should bulge over the top of the slit).
4. Place the filled dates on a platter and dust with powdered sugar. Finish with a sprinkling of ground pistachios and serve.*

We served these as nibbles alongside this super tasty Spiced White Wine Sangria.

Musical Pairings: Spoon – Kill The Moonlight + Dates Stuffed with Rosewater-Almond Paste

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Posted by Kasey

Kasey is the food editor and co-founder of Turntable Kitchen. She loves dark chocolate, warm crusty bread, and traveling to new places. She speaks Russian, but does not like vodka.

  • I love your 2012 list. Andrew and I always sit down and discuss goals and ideas for the new year (over a great meal, of course). I’m looking forward to some weddings too, maybe a tropical vacation somewhere, and new ideas I have for both of my websites.

  • Amanda Areias

    Go to Brazil, go to Brazil!!! πŸ™‚
    Hum, dates and almonds together?? It can’t go wrong!! Love the recipe Kasey!!

  • What a good way to end the year (with a great meal and a discussion around goals and ideas). I think we’ll implement that, too! Your sites are both looking awesome! Can’t wait to see what you do in 2012. And, tropical vacations? Yes, please.

  • I would LOVE to, Amanda!! These dates are killer, fyi. Happy holidays!

  • Hannah Simon

    When it comes to planning a β€˜small’ trip… consider New Orleans Jazz Fest (the first weekend) in late April. Feist, Iron & Wine, Al Green, and Bon Iver are all headlining, among MANY other bands! Jeff and I are going!

  • That sounds REALLY fun and tempting, esp. because I love Nola and love hanging out with you and Jeff. But I JUST went there last year…eyeing some more unexplored/undiscovered destinations, I think…Maybe we should coordinate on another ‘small’ trip together???

  • Sounds like you have an eventful year planned. I like your “looking forward to” list much better than a “Resolution” list.
    I’ve always been a fan of stuffed dates and these look over-the-top good!

  • You know my vote – MOROCCO!! I think your subconscious is telling you the same thing as you prepared dates. My friend, you will have no better date than one consumed while in Morocco. πŸ™‚ Also, please take me with you.

  • No kidding! Your posts about it made me totally want to go there! I bet the dates there are out of this world. Come along! Happy holidays to you and your lovely family, Ashley! xo

  • Eh, resolutions always tend to get broken, don’t they? I prefer not to put those kinds of constraints on myself πŸ™‚ I’m hoping 2012 is a an eventful year (in the best way possible, of course). Hope yours is, too! Happy holidays!

  • So unique! Last New Year’s Eve I made bleu cheese stuffed dates wrapped with bacon, but I’d love to try this delicious combo. Have fun and safe travels! I vote Sweden πŸ™‚

  • Last week was dried fruit week at la domestique, and I just love your date dish here! Right now I’m obsessed with Moroccan food and so I vote you go there. In 2012 I look forward to moving to a new place in the same city (hoping to go from apartment to a house), growing/expanding la domestique, traveling more (maybe a visit to Ireland to see my husband’s brothers and sisters), and continuing to watch my first nephew grow. Wishing you a very happy 2012!

  • These look fabulous, and I soooo love Nigel Slater. His recipes always are so very simple but really capture the essential hear of a dish. Enjoy the iphone – ti’s transformative. And I’d suggest a trip to Denmark in the summer, for the jazz festival. It’s a fantastic time to be there.

  • Oops – heart – one letter makes such a difference…

  • Hehehe. I actually had an iPhone for YEARS but it got old and slow so I thought the solution was to switch to Android. But I’ve missed my iPhone nearly every day since. I would love to check out Denmark! Keep the recommendations coming! I’m sure we’d have a great time there over the summer and a jazz festival would definitely be up our ally. Happy holidays!

  • You’re the second person to suggest it! Clearly it sounds like the place to go. Sounds like you have a wonderful year ahead. Good luck with the move, happy holidays and cheers to 2012, Jess! xo

  • Sweden! Have you been? I’d love to hear about it! I hope you have a wonderful holiday season, friend! xoxo

  • Hey, Kasey. How about Berlin for your big trip? And, if I’m not mistaken, you two are due for a few days in Seattle. I love those cities. Ten things I’m looking forward to in 2012: 1. starting a new work project; 2. working hard on things I care about 3. getting to know little Mia more and more; 4. introducing her to more of my friends; 5. refreshing the inspiration board by my desk; 6. trying my hand at some new things in the kitchen; 7. upping my running mileage again; 8. reading some good writing; 9. taking our first trip, the three of us, to visit my family in Ohio; 10. And reading more here, of course!
    Happy 2012. xo.

  • Accidentally signed into Matt’s account and responded to all comments as him. In fact, all of the comments that say they’re from Matt are actually from me πŸ™‚

  • What a great list, Jess! I actually haven’t been to Berlin and have heard great things about it! And I’m certainly waiting for the weather to get a little nicer to rush back up to Seattle for a few days. There are still a lot of places in that great city that I’m excited to explore! We’re just winding down our time in Ohio. I look forward to meeting you at Jeni’s one day. Happy 2012, lady! xo

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