For today’s post I’m switching gears from the regular recipe routine and sharing my plans for Valentine’s Day 2016. Let me first start by saying that my ideal Valentine’s Day would include dinner at my favorite restaurant, Acqua, where I’d indulge in some kind of pappardelle pasta, the real version of this apple and parmesan salad, and a decadent dessert. However, with two busy kids and grandamas that have been more than helpful with babysitting lately, we’re doing the next best thing and planning a date night in this year. And by date night at home, I mean we’re going to have our first ever husband and wife cook-off.Back when my husband Dan and I first started dating, we spent a lot of time in the kitchen, cooking quintessential cutesie-new-couple type things like chocolate chip cookies and spaghetti and meatballs and maaaybe venturing into new territory with a stir fry. Daring, I know. We really had no clue what we were doing, but that was the fun part. Experimenting with cooking techniques and ingredients and having a blast at the same time. How’s that for your daily dose of sappiness?
Let’s fast forward and talk about how this idea started. At the breakfast table last weekend, in the midst of waffle pieces flying from our kids’ forks light sabers, Dan and I had an intense conversation:
- “Dan, what do you wanna do for Valentine’s Day?”
- “I don’t know, we could go to Acqua or something”
- “But then we’ll need to find a babysitter”
- “Oh yeah, so let’s just order takeout”
- “Hey, how about you cook for me?” —silence…waiting for “that’s a good one” —
- “How about we cook for each other?”
Fist bump on the compromise, Dan. And from there, our minds started racing with ideas of a taco night, a French meal, a breakfast for dinner theme, Chinese takeout faves. We couldn’t decide so I turned it into a fun little game. The steps:
1. Brainstorm a bunch of your favorite types of cuisine and write them down on a piece of paper or this printable.
2. Cut out the meal themes and put the little strips of paper in a bowl.
Watch your children fight over who will draw a theme out of the bowl.
4. Decide which meal courses you want to cook for each other and write them down on a piece of paper or this printable.
5. Cut out the courses and put the strips into a bowl.
6. Take turns drawing to decide who will prepare which course.
7. Laugh at the randomness of the results.
Here’s what our Valentine’s Day meal looks like:
Do I trust my husband with an Indian appetizer and dessert? H to the E-double hockey sticks NO. Not sure I’d trust myself. But I’m super excited to see what he comes up with! And above all, I’m looking forward to spending time in the kitchen with him just like old times.
If you’re looking for a date night in idea or planning a singles only night with friends, host a cook-off! I’ll be sure to post some pics of our Indian meal next week!