revolving doors and stuffed dates

You might as well put a revolving door on our house, because we have been visitor CENTRAL this Spring.

It’s taken us some time to recover and reflect on our social season, but despite our exhaustion, our overall sentiment is: please come back.

We can’t even begin to explain how much it meant to have help in the form of out-of-town family and friends. To have people willing to clean your house, buy you groceries, cook you dinner, get you out of the house, take you to Hamilton, and hold your baby so you can take a friggin’ shower — these are the people who make you love the idea of revolving doors.

Our door first swung open for my oldest and dearest friend in the world, Julianna. She was desperate to meet Lilia, and I was desperate to meet her fiancé David, so her visit was a win-win for both of us.

Being David’s first time to Denver, their stay was filled with some of the city’s most iconic things: tours through the Molly Brown Museum, dinner and cliff divers at Casa Bonita, morning work sessions at Union Station, quiet [read: secret pumping] time in the cooking section of Tattered Cover Bookstore, lunch at The Denver Central Market, and plenty of playtime with the baby.

We packed a lot in just a few short days, but the reprieve from our daily schedules and the fun-filled company at every turn were so very needed and made us even more excited for their pending nuptials in September.

David and Julianna’s time also overlapped with a very special visit from Lilia’s Opa and Lovey. Their stay was defined by all things sacred: Holy Week services, Vietnamese takeout, nightly story time, an outing to the Degas exhibition at the Denver Art Museum, and the ultimate coveted event of them all — a performance of Hamilton.

It cannot be overstated how much each and every one of these activities enriched our daily routine. All three of us felt completely spoiled by their presence and their love.

Finally, it was time for a double dose of grandma. Within just two months, my mom made the flight to Denver twice to take care of us as only a mom [and grandma!] can do. She fed Lilia every single bottle, cooked us every single meal, stocked our fridge with her famous mole enchiladas, cleaned every corner of our house, and calmed us down when life felt like it was getting out of hand. We even managed to fit in some shopping sprees, lunch dates, and movie nights into the mix.

We also can’t forget our epic ski weekend with our favorite Margolis clan, or our delicious okonomiyaki masterclass with repeat visitors, Joe and Lindsay.

Add them all up, and you get one heck of a crowded revolving door.

Let’s be honest though. The truth is we wouldn’t have it any other way. Every prospect of a new visitor and every confirmation of out-of-town company is what we live for.

It’s not easy being separated from family and friends. It’s even harder to know Lilia will grow up seeing her extended family and adopted aunts and uncles only as time, resources, and schedules allow. Any moment with them — any book, bottle, snuggle, song, or smile — is just another indication of how much she is loved beyond anything she could imagine.

So push that revolving door faster — because we are open for visitors!

[Thank goodness, because our first round of Summer guests arrive next week!]


Stuffed Dates

Somewhere in the midst of all of these visitors, we celebrated Easter at The Chenault’s house in Longmont. It was our one chance to turn the tables and be the visitors in someone else’s house for a change. We made enough stuffed dates and mini lemon tarts to serve the crowd of 11 adults and 7 littles, plus enough leftover for my mom to enjoy upon her arrival. We’ve been making these morsels of delight in some variation for years [hello, 30th birthday party] and will probably continue to do so as long as there are gatherings in need of appetizers. The beauty of them is their versatility and ability to be prepared well in advance.

stuffed dates

Ingredients
  • 36 pitted medium dates
  • 1 large log [10.5 oz] goat cheese
  • 8 sprigs of fresh thyme, de-stemmed
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • Juice from 1/4 of a lemon
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 10 slices of prosciutto
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the goat cheese, thyme, shallot, garlic, lemon, salt, and pepper. Place in refrigerator while you prepare the dates. [Can be done a day in advance.]
  2. Prepare the dates by slicing them open longwise, being careful to keep them in tact.
  3. Stuff the dates with about 1 Tbs. of goat cheese mixture. Wrap each one with 1/4 slice of prosciutto. Secure with a toothpick if needed.
  4. Refrigerate until ready to serve [up to 3 days]. Dates may be served hot or cold. To heat, bake covered at 350-degrees for 15 – 20 minutes.
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