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Weekend Round-Up: Date Night Dinners at Home

Sayonara, party days. Hello, new reality. Three delicious ideas for a special Saturday night in with your parenting partner-in-crime.
Kate Rogers
So, I’m a party girl. Everyone who knows me would say, “Duh.” Frankly, I’d rather deny nature and tell you that I am a serious person who prefers backyard chores and drawn baths to backstage passes and drinks on the town. It just ain’t true. However, now that I have two small boys, my social life looks a little different than it used to.  

As many bleary-eyed moms before me have discovered, parenthood doesn’t mean the end of the party, it just means a change in the definition. These days, my husband and I think the hottest reservation in town is in our own kitchen. And guess what? We love it. For starters, we can always get a table. 

But you have to work at it. Instead of letting your Saturday slip into any other unremarkable night, you have to make it a “thing.” Tell each other you’re having a date night. No “accidentally” watching a hockey game or spending four hours in front of your computer. Put the kids to bed. Meet in the kitchen. Pour a cocktail. Fire up a playlist. Then, start cooking together. It’s my new favorite way to party. 

Here are a few of the dishes we’ve been loving lately. I’d highly recommend each one for your own date nights in:

Short Ribs

braised short ribs
We made these braised short ribs last weekend, borrowing the idea from a blog I really like called Dinner A Love Story. I learned the hard way that you should get them started before the kids go to bed, unless you like eating late. Three hours of braising leaves you and your date ample time to catch up, prepare a side dish or two and listen to some good new albums.

Chili

Easy Chili with Twisted Cheesy Cornsticks
There’s something about cool fall nights and a big pot of chili. It can’t be beat. We like pairing it with stout beer. It’s our “pub date.” One good recipe to try: Easy Chili with Twisted Cheesy Cornsticks.

Pizza Bake

Grands Pepperoni Pizza Bake
Grands! Pepperoni Pizza Bake is a funny date-night choice, but I stand by it. Sometimes you need to recipe-test for the kids, right? The great thing about this bake is that you realize you never need to order delivery pizza again. That’s what I call a win. 

What do you make for date night?