Hello readers,

Need some creative meal ideas for your next meeting or event? Chef Tiffany, of St. Charles’ Pheasant Run Resort, is sharing some of her favorite recipes for summer—though these work just as well all year-round. Here we pick one that we think you’ll enjoy; find her full recipe deck here.

Bacon Wrapped Dates with Apricot Glaze (yield tw0 per person)

Ingredients:

  • 32 -Nature Organic Dates
  • 1/4 C Goat Cheese
  • 8 Slices of Bacon
  • 1 C Unsalted Shelled Pistachios
  • Kosher salt
  • Apricot Glaze
  • 2 Tbsp. Cornstarch
  • 1⁄2 C Sugar
  • 1/3 C Apricot Nectar
  • 1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 tsp. Almond Extract
  • 1/2 C Apricot Halves, drained, chopped

To prepare:

1. Preheat the oven to 400°.

2. Open the slit in the unpitted date lengthwise and stuff each one with 1/2 teaspoon of the goat cheese. Pinch the dates closed.

3. Wrap each date securely in a piece of bacon and arrange the dates, seam side down, on a wire rack set on a baking sheet.

4. Bake the stuffed dates for about 20 minutes, or until the bacon is browned and crisp; turn each date after 10 minutes. Serve the stuffed dates warm or at room temperature

5. In a saucepan, blend the cornstarch & sugar, then add the nectar.

6. Heat, stirring constantly, until thickened.

7. Remove from the heat & add the rest of the ingredients & mix well.

8. Serve warm or chilled.

Happy Planning!

Selena Fragassi
Editor
Illinois Meetings + Events

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Scott Castillo-Milburn, owner of mobile bartending service Classic Cocktails by Scott, developed this recipe last summer for a client who was looking for a bourbon-based drink that would feel seasonal and light for an evening party. The night ended with everyone who’d tried it asking for the recipe, and Castillo-Milburn has since replicated it at 10 events. He’s kept the drink a secret—until now. You can hire his company to create this drink for an event, create a new signature cocktail, or even obtain general liability or liquor liability insurance for your venue.  

 

Centrally located in Illinois, about a two and half hour drive from Chicago, the city of Peoria has many exciting developments happening this year. Here are three to put on your radar.

1. The rustic-themed Bearded Owl Brewing opened in January with a variety of unfiltered beers ranging from stouts to India pale ales to sours, using locally grown ingredients wherever possible. While it doesn’t have designated event space, the brewery makes for a good post-meeting gathering spot for a round of beers and various homemade soft pretzels.