For Christmas Cameron’s grandmother gave us a copy of our cousin, Ashley Rodriguez’, book Date Night In. When I learned that she was coming out with this book I knew I wanted a copy so it was an amazing Christmas gift to receive!
Cameron and I have two little ones. Ryan is 3 and Alicia just turned 1. On average we might go out on a date once every three months… um… that’s 4 times a year 🙁 So the idea of having an extravagant date night in, well that’s pure genius! There’s no need to worry about a babysitter, just put the kids to bed early and let the date begin. 🙂 I have no idea why I didn’t think of this before. In my free time I LOVE cooking and have made a few recipes off Ashleys blog (NotWithoutSalt). I’m not going to lie, the recipes are kind of elaborate and full of ingredients I’ve never heard of (star anise, what the heck is that!!) and I’ve often felt intimidated to try some of them. But once I started reading this book I fell in love with the idea going the extra mile for a special date with my husband.
When I opened the book I took a deep breath and began reading a recipe… and while a bit complicated… totally do-able! I love the layout and how it gives you a timeline for when to start your prep work and a grocery list of things you’ll need for each date. I went to the grocery store and purchased a bunch of interesting things and I’ll admit I had to ask the store clerk where some of it was located and what it might look like 😉
Here’s what we chose for our first date in:
On the Menu:
\Basil Mint Jubilee\
\Pickled Vegetable Salad\
\Fried Chicken Sandwiches on Black Pepper Biscuits\
\Chocolate Pecan Ice Cream Pie with Bourbon Butterscotch and Pretzel Crust\
We started with drinks since we happened to have some fresh local basil from Local Yokel.
Let me tell you, this drink is awesome!!! (WARNING: I might say that about everything)
I decided early on that I was going to follow the recipes exactly even if it included things I didn’t like…. like pickles. So I was totally nervous to bite into the pickled vegetable salad. I took one bite and oh my goodness, it was amazing (see told you I would say it again). I loved this salad so much I ate the whole thing. Haha, who knew!
The fried chicken sandwich smelled soo good when I was prepping it I could hardly wait. We have never used a cast iron skillet before (I actually went and bought one so I could use it to make things in this book) so we are a little new to how hot it cooks… and we may have burned the chicken a little. Also, I didn’t cut the biscuits, I just rolled them into a ball and smashed them down so they don’t look very pretty. But it didn’t matter, the sandwich was still really really good. And it even had pickles on it. (I might have to re-think my not liking pickles)
Finally we got to dessert, and let me tell you, this is the most amazing dessert I’ve made in my entire 32 years of life! I still cant believe that something this good has existed in life and I’ve never experienced it. I HIGHLY recommend this one.
This date was so much fun. Once all the prep work is done, the dinner itself only takes about 30 minutes to make. I never knew I would have so much fun cooking dinner with my husband and then being able to enjoy it and feeling accomplished at how wicked awesome it was. Cameron and I both decided this was the best date ever and we plan to do a date night in again often.