Where did this year go? Nobody seems to have the answer, but it went quickly and New Year’s Eve is here. You still have time to put together a terrific party, featuring snazzy hors d’oeuvres, delectable cheeses, gorgeous desserts and lovely wines from all over the world with the fabulous variety at your neighborhood Trader Joe’s Market. If you have time, try our hot hors d’oeuvre recipe at the end of this writing.
Trader Joe’s started in Pasadena, California, as a specialty wine and cheese shop. It grew and evolved over the years to become a full service market with an abundance of gourmet foods and prices that either meet or beat those of our usual stores. When the first Trader Joe’s opened in Cary a few years ago, there were hundreds of North Carolina transplants literally rejoicing in their parking lot on opening day and now, it has become the go to location for both flavorful delicacies or just a dozen eggs. Check their link for the Trader Joe’s nearest you. All stores will be open until 6:00 pm on December 31st., so you have plenty of time to prepare an abundant table. They will be closed on New Year’s Day.
Trader Joe’s has a wide variety of frozen hors d’oeuvres from all around the world, all easy and quick to prepare for your buffet table or serving trays. They carry Asian potstickers, mini quiches, tamalitos and different sized pizzas, both their own house brands, as well as others that are trried and true. Their large fresh produce department has everything you will need for some delicious salads and their desserts, particularly the Chocolate Ganache Cake, are legendary. They can be found in both the bakery section and the frozen section as well. While you’re there, peruse the extensive wine department and ask any of Trader Joe’s friendly staff for their pairing suggestions. You and your guests will be ringing in 2012 in style!
While you’re finishing your party shopping, pick up the ingredients for our fancy stuffed dates, all of the ingredients available at Trader Joe’s….
Madison’s Stuffed Medjool Dates
- approximately 24 whole large Medjool dates
- approximately 24 large pecan halves
- Trader Joe’s (or your favorite) Applewood smoked bacon
In a non stick pan, lightly brown the pecans, just enough for them to release a little of their natural oil. Set aside. Slice the top of the dates to remove the seeds, but not all the way through. Insert a pecan half in each, wrap with bacon, set on a broiler pan with the seam side down and and broil until the bacon is crisp to your liking. Remove from the broiler, add a toothpick to each and serve. You are going to get rave reviews. This recipe is for 2 dozen – you’re probably going to need more! HAPPY 2012 everyone!