I have noticed that more and more of our friends are sharing that they have date night, too. Our eighth anniversary was the first one that we didn't have anyone nearby to babysit for us to go out, as most of our friends had moved away and we had moved out of seminary housing. So, that year we picked up take-out from Olive Garden and set up a nice, candlelit dinner in the playroom after the kids had gone to bed. It was so enjoyable that we revisited the idea a couple of months later and began having date night every Friday night. We've done it consistently for two years now, and it has been so much fun! Occasionally we do truly get a night out, but usually it means dinner and an activity of some sort together at home after the kids go to bed.
Ideas are often hard to come by when it comes to an inexpensive (or free!) at-home date night. So, I'll share some ideas that we come up with now and then (we're praying the Lord will really expand our ideas!), and I look forward to any comments from you, dear readers, about any date nights you might have had!
Last night Doug and I decided to enjoy a favorite recipe and try two new ones for date night. (Okay, so it didn't exactly help with the weight loss attempts, but we sure did have fun!) A few days ago a college friend and fellow blogger posted her recipe for Focaccia Bread. We just had to try that. Meanwhile, Thursday night's Good Eats episode was about homemade pretzels. Yum! So, we thought we'd try that one too! Finally, we had some cream cheese that needed to be used, so we also mixed up our own pizza dip recipe...
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 - 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup spaghetti sauce
pizza toppings of choice (optional)
grated cheese - mozarella or Colby jack work best
Preheat oven to 350. Very lightly spray an 8x11 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Combine cream cheese and Parmesan and mix well. Press mixture into bottom of baking pan. Spread the spaghetti sauce in a thin layer over the cream cheese mixture. Top with pizza toppings and then with grated cheese. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until dip is bubbly and toppings are slightly brown.
We typically serve this with chips, but we discovered last night that this dip is incredible on focaccia bread! Mmmm....
It is always an adventure to try a new recipe because you never know exactly what to expect, especially when it's something like a bread or dessert. Spending our evening in the kitchen experimenting was a lot of fun, though, and the results were delicious!