Date Night In

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When planning for a “date night in” the menu is the most important part if you ask me, besides your actual date of course. Since I make dinner 5+ nights a week I want to make my menus special and way different than my typical meals at home. With Valentines Day this week I am planning a date night in with the following menu.

STARTER: 
Roasted garlic, sun-dried tomato, and peppered goat cheese with crostini. (recipe to follow) 
SALAD: 
Beets with goat cheese mousse and micro-greens. 
MAIN: 
Seared scallops with creamy garlic sauce. 
SIDES: 
Creamy mushroom risotto and roasted asparagus. 
DESSERT: 
Mixed berry pie with crumble topping. 

Roasted Garlic & Goat Cheese Appetizer

  • 6 oz goat cheese

  • Freshly cracked pepper

  • Two heads of roasted garlic (recipe found here)

  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • About 10 pitted kalamata olives

  • Balsamic reduction (I use it already made from Trader Joes)

  • Sliced and toasted baguette or warm pita

    Roll your goat cheese into a ball and then in the fresh ground pepper to form a light coating. Place in a bowl and top with roasted garlic cloves, olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes, and olives. Bake at 350 for 5 minutes or just until warm. Drizzle with balsamic reduction. Serve with warm bread spices or pita.

For the scallops I am going to try this recipe since i’ve never actually cooked scallops before and it seems to give really good instructions on how to do so. Also, creamy butter and garlic sauce…..it doesn’t take much more convincing for me. I usually make up my risotto recipe but this one is really close to how I make it. I just add a little cream in the end and some fresh herbs.

TIMELINE:

  • 2-4 days ahead decide on your menu and do your shopping (except for scallops in this case)

  • Day before

    • Make appetizer but do not bake, store in the refrigerator

    • Make your dessert if possible. Day before

  • Morning/day of:

    • Set the table

    • Make the salad and refrigerate

    • Slice and oil your baguette for the appetizer, place on a cookie sheet, cover and set aside.

  • Right before dinner:

    • Bake the baguette and goat cheese appetizer

    • Make the risotto, except for the last bit of stock. You can then turn off the heat and leave it on the stove until you are ready for cook the scallops.

  • Fiishing Dinner:

    • I am planning on serving the appetizer earlier to hold us over until after our kids go to bed since we will be eating later than usual.

    • Once our kids go to bed I will serve the salad and then finish making the main course.

    • Once you begin the scallops you can finish off the risotto with he remaining stock and grated cheese, so everything is ready at the same time. Since scallops cook so quickly this should only take about 10 minutes.

    • While eating dinner I am going to place the pie back in the oven to warm. Then serve with ice cream right after dinner.

Typing this all out makes it seem like it is a lot of work, but it’s about spending time together right? You can drink wine and cook the last minute parts together. Don’t get me wrong, I love date night out, but not on Valentines Day. It is also not always possible to arrange a babysitter, so sometimes date night in is a must. After dinner we will be watching the latest episode of This Is Us since I guarantee we wouldn’t make it through an entire movie past 7pm. Now, if you are not the cooking type this still works, maybe just make an appetizer and dessert but pick dinner up from one of your favorite restaurants. You can still set a nice table, light candles, and drink wine but without the cooking and clean up!

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Butternut Squash & Goat Cheese Spread

Butternut Squash & Goat Cheese Spread   12 oz diced butternut squash (I buy this already done)  1 head of roasted garlic (about 8 cloves, recipe below)  1 tablespoon fresh sage, finely chopped  2.5 ounces of goat cheese  1 tablespoon maple syrup  4 tablespoons olive oil  Salt & pepper to taste   On a large baking sheet toss the squash, olive oil, salt, pepper, and sage together. Then bake at 350 for about 20 minutes, or until the squash is fork tender, let cool. In a food processor blend the squash with any left over olive oil from the pan, garlic, goat cheese, maple syrup, and more salt if needed. Once your mixture is blended and creamy serve with warm baguette or crackers.    Roasted Garlic  Cut the top off of a whole head of garlic and lay it cut side down in a small oven safe dish with a thin layer of olive oil in it. Then wrap the top of the dish tightly with foil and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until tender. Let cool and remove cloves.

Butternut Squash & Goat Cheese Spread

12 oz diced butternut squash (I buy this already done)

1 head of roasted garlic (about 8 cloves, recipe below)

1 tablespoon fresh sage, finely chopped

2.5 ounces of goat cheese

1 tablespoon maple syrup

4 tablespoons olive oil

Salt & pepper to taste


On a large baking sheet toss the squash, olive oil, salt, pepper, and sage together. Then bake at 350 for about 20 minutes, or until the squash is fork tender, let cool. In a food processor blend the squash with any left over olive oil from the pan, garlic, goat cheese, maple syrup, and more salt if needed. Once your mixture is blended and creamy serve with warm baguette or crackers.

Roasted Garlic

Cut the top off of a whole head of garlic and lay it cut side down in a small oven safe dish with a thin layer of olive oil in it. Then wrap the top of the dish tightly with foil and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until tender. Let cool and remove cloves.

A letter....

My darling boy, 

When I learned of your existence I felt scared and alone. I was entering into untouched territory and didn’t know what to expect. I knew I loved you and that you were meant for me, but I didn’t know how I would embark on the journey alone. But I wasn’t alone was I? I had you, as small as you were in that moment, you were bigger than me, and you were given to me for a reason. 

You see, the husband who helped create you was someone I needed to let go of. Someone who didn’t understand the beauty growing in my tummy. I knew I had to do it alone, just you and me, my darling. You gave me the strength I did not have on my own to let go, you are the reason I was able to move forward. You gave me life, and I gave you yours. 

Once you arrived I held you against my chest and I knew you were the reason for all he pain and struggle, you were worth it. Those first months were hard, raising babies is not for the weak, and it was just you and me, no husband to help lighten the load. 

I would pray with you in my arms that the Lord would send you a dad and me a partner with His time. That when he was sent I would know it was His doing. After ten months together, it was time, your daddy was sent. He came in a way that I didn’t expect, but he was the one, none the less. He loved you fierce and I knew. I knew he would always protect you, teach you, guide you, and above all love you. 

Your dad fought for you, and today that fight is over, we are all one. We are a complete family sharing the same name. I am beyond thankful. Thankful for you my darling and for your daddy. 

 

Valentine’s bohemian wedding inspiration // 100 Layer Cake

Photographer: Alexandria Smith of Daphne Mae / Bouquet & Head Wreath: Kathryn Barajas / Invitations & Backdrop Art: Mande Gaffney / Garland: Brown Bunny Flowers / Makeup & Ceremony Backdrop Styling: Mandy Morrison / Rose Linen: Silk and Willow / Table Design & Desserts: Jade Magnolia / Wedding Gown: Daughters of Simone / Model: Sammy Hudson / Glassware: Anthropologie