There’s nothing better than taking the time to do something for the one you love….especially when it involves creating a perfect evening at home! Call me basic, boring or old, but to me, there’s nothing better than a perfect date night at home. You’re not waiting on a waiter to bring you your glass of wine, you can eat dessert first if you want, you can have a six course dinner, or something simplistic. The point is, the only person you’re attending to is you and your significant other.
Here are some of my tips for planning a perfect date night at home:
- Plan ahead: Don’t just wing it, make it something special. Sure you cook every night for dinner at home, so why is ‘date night’ anything different? It’s what you make of it. It’s the entire experience.
- Go the extra ambiance mile: Doesn’t even have to be a mile…just a few little extra steps make dinner feel like date night. My favorite easy tips: candles, favorite Pandora station streaming, setting the table with cloth napkins and our nice wine glasses that were a wedding gift.
- Have no timeline: For some people, the timing of dinner causes a night of headaches. Don’t have a timeline. Shoot for a range of when you’ll eat…say 6:30-7:00pm. This way if it takes longer than you expected, you’re not stressing
- Make the meal fun or new: A GREAT date night can be cooking something new together in the kitchen. I’m lucky as my hubby loves to cook (and is great at it) so when we cook together we normally come up with something great. But, if it is an epic fail, you can look at each other, laugh it off…and call for take out! (Been there/done that and aired out the kitchen from burning our food in the oven…but it sure was a memorable date night!)
- Host it on a random night: So many people think date night must be Friday or Saturday evenings…well why not Tuesday night while you’re in the midst of a crazy work week? We love doing middle of the week date night as it lets us unwind from a busy day, talk things through and reconnect with each other.
So using these tips, this past weekend we had a date night at home. I made my Chicken Enchilada stuffed bell peppers (one of the hubby’s favorites…but one that also takes quite a while to make…thus it had to be done on the weekend; check out the recipe at the end of the blog.) I set our table with a candle, our favorite music was on and had poured us some wine. We sat and talked for hours after while watching our daughter laugh and giggle while figuring out what her hands were. We didn’t turn on TV, we didn’t answer work emails…we just talked all night…before you knew it, it was almost 11pm. It was a perfect night. Low stress, family time and connecting about all the right things in this world!
Point is, many people think that a date night has to cost a hundred dollars at a restaurant, wining and dining…but really, what’s special is when you spend time together creating memories and learning more about the ones you love. Now THAT’s a PERFECT date night at home!
Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Bell Peppers
2 Bell peppers cleaned and tops cut off (I prefer yellow or orange ones as they’re sweetest)
1 large chicken breast cooked and shredded (can use leftovers too)
1 c. frozen corn
1/3 c. chopped cilantro
1 package of cooked quinoa
1 heaping cup of shredded cheddar cheese
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
10oz of chicken broth
1 can Rotel diced green chiles and tomatoes (I used the mild ones)
4oz Low Fat Cream Cheese (softened)
½ c. sour cream
Instructions: Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl with the bell peppers cleaned and in a baking dish to the side. In a saucepan, melt the butter over low heat and whisk in flour for 2 minutes stirring often. Pour in and whist the chicken broth and simmer all for about 3 minutes while continuing to stir.
Turn down the heat and mix in the Rotel. In a separate side bowl, but the cream cheese and sour cream together. Add one ladle at a time the mixture from the stovetop. Continue to whisk all ingredients together until all the stovetop liquids are mixed in with the cream cheese and sour cream. Next take aprox 2 full ladles and add the sauce to the quinoa/chicken/veggie mix. You’ll want the quinoa mix to be moist, but not runny with liquids. Keep the remaining of the sauce to the side.
Lastly stuff the peppers with the quinoa mix and top each pepper with additional cheddar cheese. Pour the remaining sauce in the base of the pan with the peppers and bake at 400 degrees for aprox 25 minutes. You’ll note there are lots of leftovers with the quinoa mixture. You can either make more peppers, heat the quinoa mixture up for lunch as is, put them into a tortilla or it freezes just fine if you want to make stuff peppers again a few weeks later.