This is the second post in a series aimed at keeping us connected to our partners during a time of year that can pull our attention in so many directions. This post is an idea for an at home date night where you can put aside the holiday stress and enjoy some holiday flavors instead!
I guess now is a good time to admit that one of the reasons my hubby and I are intentional about date nights, even if we are getting all dressed up to not even leave the house, is that it would be far too easy to slip into turning on the television and tuning out each night after a long, exhausting day with the kids. That’s probably why both of these first two date nights in this series are inspired by TV shows we enjoy watching together. Part I was inspired by The Office, and today’s post is inspired by Chopped. If you are unfamiliar with the show, competitors get a basket of random ingredients and have to use them to create delicious, unique dishes. I recommend watching at least one episode before attempting this date night.
Of course, since one of you will probably have to do the grocery shopping, you may can either agree on one main “theme” for the evening ahead of time (we have done goat cheese and chocolate as themes to incorporate throughout a whole meal) or else you can each pick two ingredients, not knowing what the other two mystery ingredients will be until date night begins.
We have done a Chopped themed date night in the past, but this year will be the first year we plan to do one during the holidays, and I am pretty excited by the possibilities. You can theme your whole date night around a variety of holiday flavors such as peppermint, gingerbread, eggnog, or pumpkin. A clear bonus for this date night in is that you might find a new favorite food that becomes a family tradition. A friend of mine did this last year and their theme was cranberries. She is now obsessed with cranberry kugel.
While this could be done as a competition with separate dishes “competing” for flavor and uniqueness, you can also work together with your spouse and just let the creativity in the kitchen be its own prize. Too exhausted to think about doing any date night in that doesn’t involve take out? Not into the competition in our first holiday date night post? Be sure to read the third part in this series which is by far the simplest. In the meantime, if you try this challenge I’d love to hear about the theme you picked and the yummy dishes you created.