newlywed date night: at home!

This is the second post in my Newlywed Date Night series! As newlyweds, date nights don't happen very often right now. But when they do they are all the more special. You can read the first post in this series here!

These summer months do not seem to be bringing an end to my travel - if anything, they are almost maintaining the pace I had set in May! Because I am on the go so often Kurt and I really work to make the most of the time we have together in Tallahassee. For example this past weekend we went for a 10 mile bike ride, tried a new restaurant for brunch that we really liked, and went to see a movie. We are, however, trying to be more budget conscious as a part of my 2016 goals and can't have weekends with brunches and movies all the time! 

So when we are feeling like we need a date night but also want to watch our spending we put together an "at home" date night! 

  We like to mix up our at home date night menus. Sometimes we'll cook a meal that's a little bit more involved. Other times, like our last at home date, we will create small plates!

We like to mix up our at home date night menus. Sometimes we'll cook a meal that's a little bit more involved. Other times, like our last at home date, we will create small plates!

This low-key kind of date is often perfect for a weeknight when we want to do something a bit more special at the end of the day than our usual dinner and relaxing. We will plan the menu together, Kurt will pick up the perfect bottle of wine, and we'll sit and sip all night long while we enjoy the quiet time together. These subdued date nights are often some of my favorites and we love to have one just before I travel so we can slow down and enjoy some intentional time together. 

During these at home dates I've also noticed a difference in our conversation. Because we are at home - an environment that we have set up to be full of love and family and comfort - we seem to dream bigger and more openly about the life we are creating together. We talk about adventures we want to take (both independently and together), the hopes we have for our future family, and the things with which we struggle. These home date nights provide a space for vulnerability with one another that being out in public simply doesn't allow.

  Yummy truffle tots and a big fruit platter. Kurt included sliced peaches, pears, strawberries and grapes.  

Yummy truffle tots and a big fruit platter. Kurt included sliced peaches, pears, strawberries and grapes.  

  Meat and cheese options as well as little toasts with carmelized onions. Kurt created these one night when we were craving the taste of French onion soup but felt it was too hot outside to actually eat soup. These onions are a great substitute and take much less time to make than soup does! 

Meat and cheese options as well as little toasts with carmelized onions. Kurt created these one night when we were craving the taste of French onion soup but felt it was too hot outside to actually eat soup. These onions are a great substitute and take much less time to make than soup does! 

Our most recent at home date night was this past Monday, smack dab in between two weeks of travel. What I particularly enjoy about our home dates is that we can create them on-the-go. On Monday we shared a lovely meal that Kurt prepared and watched a movie because our focus was on slowing down before I traveled again. Sometimes we use these dates to reconnect on our goals or to talk about the relationships in which we want to continue investing through visits, phone calls and Skype dates. Also, there is always extra effort given to make our space feel a little bit nicer to heighten that "date" feel. For example, this most recent at home date Kurt set the table using the beautiful hand made lace table cloth we purchased together when visiting Burano, Italy in 2014. It's not something we use everyday, but is a perfect foundation for the date night table. 

The menu was a highlight of some of our summertime favorites, including s'mores for dessert and our at home version of the truffle tots I mentioned in the first Newlywed Date Nights post! I've included the recipe we use below so you can make this mildly indulgent side dish for yourself this summer. 


At-Home Truffle Tots!

Ingredients: 

  • Frozen tater tots (any brand will do, but we typically use Ore-Ida extra crispy)
  • About 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2-3 sprigs of Rosemary, minced  (we didn't have Rosemary so we used lightly dried basil instead. It was a delicious substitution!)
  • About 2 tablespoons of white truffle oil (I'll admit I wrinkled my nose a little bit at how expensive it was in the store, but it makes all the difference in creating these yummy tater tots!)
  • A generous pinch of salt and pepper

 

Instructions: 

  1. Cook the tater tots according to the package directions. 
  2. When still hot from the oven, place the tater tots in a large bowl. While tossing, add the white truffle oil so all tater tots are coated well. (It's important to add the white truffle oil first so that all the remaining ingredients will stick better to the tater tots!)
  3. Once coated, add the Parmesan cheese, minced Rosemary (or basil in our case this time!), salt and pepper, gently tossing all ingredients to combine well. It's important to be gentle so you don't break your tater tots!
  4. Serve with the dipping sauce of your choice!

Date nights of any type are special but there is something about an "at home" date night that is much more comfortable.

Have you ever had an at home date night? I'd love to know what you include in your date nights at home!