Bacon wrapped dates

Bacon-wrapped dates with goat  cheese

Even if you love to cook, it’s nice to make something for the holidays that’s so easy you don’t even need a recipe.

Maybe it’s your family’s favorite corn casserole, roasted Brussels sprouts with sweet potatoes, or a cake that starts with a mix. Cheater recipes or quick and easy recipes aren’t the kinds we usually brag about. But they’re good to have around when the going gets tough.

So we’ve pulled together three of our favorite three-ingredient recipes. These are ones you’re going to want to keep around from now through Christmas.

Bacon-Wrapped Dates with Goat Cheese 

Put someone who likes to be busy to work making these while you pour the wine and make the gravy. Everyone will love this one.

  • 16 dates, pits removed
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
  • 8 slices bacon 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Slice dates lengthwise, not cutting all the way through, to create an opening for stuffing.

Place a small bit of goat cheese into each date until all the goat cheese has been used. Slightly pinch together to close each one.

Cut each slice of bacon in half. Wrap each date with bacon, and close up with a toothpick.

Place on a baking sheet, and bake 10 minutes. Turn over and bake another 5 minutes. At this point, check the dates to see if they’re evenly browned and if the bacon is done. You may want to cook another 5-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of your bacon and dates. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving.


Cranberry Orange Relish

Makes 1 quart

Add chopped pecans, if that’s your thing. This super-simple recipe is one you can be proud to serve to guests. Start with half the amount of sugar, and then add more to taste, depending on how sweet you like it.

  • 1 pound (4 cups) fresh cranberries
  • 2 oranges, peeled and seeded
  • 1 cup granulated sugar

In a food processor, chop the cranberries and oranges. Add the sugar, pulsing until blended. Refrigerate for several hours before serving.


Easy Pumpkin Cake

Serves 6 to 8 

This pudding-like cake won’t win any awards for presentation. But it’s easy and delicious, so it wins in two of three categories. Serve it with vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream.

  • 2 (15-ounce) cans pumpkin puree
  • 1 package spice cake mix
  • 1 cup butter, sliced into 1 tablespoon pieces

In a slow cooker, layer pumpkin first, then the spice cake mix and last the butter. Do not mix. Cook on high for 2 hours. After 2 hours, stir ingredients together, put the lid back on and cook another hour.

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