Category Archives: Date Night at Home

Date Night at Home / Gluten-Free / Salads / Savory / Stay Healthy

Valentine’s Sweetheart Salad

February 18, 2014

I made this salad for Valentine’s Day this year, and it was so delicious and full of purples, pinks, and reds that I just had to share it.  It’s a perfect seasonal recipe also, using produce that’s readily available around this time (grapefruit, avocado, mixed lettuces).

This salad would be perfect for a little date night at home (I’d cut the recipe in half for 2 people — and you’ll have plenty of room for apps and/or dessert), or made to impress someone you’re having over for dinner.

And even though this is quite the fancy-looking affair, this salad comes together in no time flat.  I mean, like 10 minutes.

My kind of dish, for sure.

Valentine's Sweetheart Salad

Valentine’s Sweetheart Salad
because Shrimp and Bleu Cheese Salad with Chicory, Avocado, and Grapefruit with Grapefruit Shallot Vinaigrette was way too long of a name

serves 4

  • 1 bag TJ’s Les Salades du Midi (mix of butter lettuce and radicchio) or one bag/one head butter lettuce
  • 2 heads white and one head red belgian endive, sliced (they come together in a pack at TJ’s)
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced
  • 1/8 red onion, sliced
  • 2 oz bleu cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 pound cooked shrimp meat (available at most fish counters)
  • 1 medium to large red grapefruit, segmented, juice reserved*
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper**
  1. Combine lettuces, avocado, onion, shrimp, bleu cheese, and grapefruit segments in a salad bowl.
  2. For the dressing, whisk together reserved grapefruit juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Dress and toss to combine.

*To segment a grapefruit, cut the peel off the top and bottom, making flat surfaces on both sides (no pith should remain). Run your knife down the side of the fruit, removing the remaining peel and pith until you’re left with only the center of the fruit.  Cut segments out, running a paring knife between the segments (you’ll see the faint lines in the fruit), until you’ve segmented the whole grapefruit.  Take what remains of the fruit you just segmented, and squeeze the juice into a bowl for the dressing.  Compost the peel and fruit center (once segmented and juiced).

**Make sure to test your dressing for the appropriate amount of salt — this dressing can taste a little flat if it’s lacking salt because you’re using mostly grapefruit juice rather than a heavy-hitting vinegar in it.

Date Night at Home / Dessert / Holidays / Sweet

Valentine's Ideas: Sweets for Your Sweet

February 12, 2014

You may be already overloaded with candies, chocolates, and other sweet treats for Valentine’s Day; but in case you aren’t, here’s a little homemade sweetness that you can make yourself.

And hey, if you’ve got a lot of special people in your life, what better way to say “I love you” to all of them than with a homemade treat?

Homemade Desserts

  1. S’mores Cookies smores cookies
  2. Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies IMG_1727
  3. Heart-Shaped Oreos Chocolate Heart Sandwich Cookies
  4. Affogato affogato-2

I’m personally trying out a new chocolate cookie recipe this year for our Valentine’s Day.  You have to make the dough 36 hours in advance, so I hope they turn out.  (Fingers crossed!)  Recipe up soon if they do.  XO, Chelsea

Cocktails / Date Night at Home / Drinks / Holidays

Valentine's Ideas: Cocktails

February 11, 2014

What better way to start off Valentine’s than with a delicious cocktail?  There’s something so fancy and special about a cocktail, I think.  While I love me some bubbly any night of the week (and especially on Valentine’s Day), I always feel like kicking things off with a handmade drink is just something that’s a little extra-special.

So put on some music, dim the lights, and whip up one of these (I’d prefer the Monk’s Garden — I mean, a pink cocktail for Valentine’s?  Does it get anymore perfect?)

Instant love.

Valentine’s Day Cocktails

  1. Monk’s Garden Monks Garden Copycat Cocktail
  2. Pisco Sour Pisco Sour 1
  3. Mixed Citrus Margaritasmarg
  4. Skinny Mojitos                                IMG_2162
  5. The Cuke                            IMG_2134
  6. Blended Strawberry Lemonade MargaritasIMG_2045
  7. Vodka Lemon SparklerIMG_1678


Date Night at Home / Dinner / Holidays / Meals for Two

Valentine's Ideas: Dinner for Two

February 10, 2014

Happy week of love, friends!  Are you all ready to celebrate the holiest of holidays?  Oh, what, you don’t think Valentine’s Day is an important holiday?  Well, you’re right.  It’s not.  But, whatever your relationship status, I think it’s nice to celebrate the ones you love, halfway through February.

And what better way to do it than with food!  Because you can’t spell “heart” without “eat.”  ← I totally just made that up.

I like to celebrate Valentine’s Day at home (because restaurants tend to be overcrowded, overpriced, and generally annoying on Valentine’s Day), by making a delicious meal for two.  But, y’know, nothing too time consuming because I don’t want to spend the day of love cooped up in the kitchen.  Also, nothing too complicated because I also like to cook cocktail-in-hand ifyaknowwhatimean.

I’ve got a whole series devoted to Valentine’s Day this week, starting off with dinner for two.  Coming up: cocktails (because, hello, I love you), and sweet treats for that special someone.  You’ll have everything you need to have an awesome date night at home!

Ready?  Let’s get started.

Dinner for Two

  1. Hawaiian-Style Salmon with baby bok choy and brown rice Hawaiian-Style Salmon with Brown Rice, Bok Choy, and Honey-Soy Glaze
  2. Appetizer Spread appetizer spread
  3. Caramelized Onion Pizza with Goat Cheese and Prosciuttocarmelized onion pizza with goat cheese and prosciutto 2
  4. Copycat Chipotle Burrito BowlsCopycat Chipotle Burrito Bowls
  5. Chili-Rubbed Salmon Tacos with Apple-Cucumber Salsa and Lime Cremataco
  6. Barbeque Chicken PizzaBarbeque Chicken Pizza by Go for 30
  7. Margherita PizzaMagherita Pizza by Go for 30
  8. Spicy Summer Vegetable FlatbreadIMG_4246
  9. Steak and Shrimp with Parsley-Smashed Potatoes and Caesar SaladIMG_3508

Dairy-Free / Date Night at Home / Dinner / Gluten-Free / Meals for Two / Savory / Stay Healthy

Meal for Two: Hawaiian-Style Salmon (with bok choy and brown rice)

February 3, 2014

In case you’re interested (you probably aren’t, it’s really not that interesting), but this recipe came from: 1. getting some baby bok choy in our CSA box, 2. my love of teriyaki salmon, and 3. a meal I had at Roy’s a few weeks ago.  I mean, did I say interesting or did I say interesting?

I know, completely boring.

Anyhoo, boring or not, this recipe is really easy, but looks like one of those sort of fancier-restaurant style meals.  (Or maybe I just think that since I’m constantly making one-pot or one-bowl meals…)  And, KC was super into this dish, so I think it’s safe to say that it’s pretty dang tasty.

He’s not one to just throw out compliments, y’know.

Also, this would be an awesome meal for a date night at home or a stay-in Valentine’s day.  It makes just the right amount of food, is really flavorful, and a lot of the work (steps 1-3) can be done ahead of time.  Although, even if you don’t do anything ahead, the recipe takes about 40 minutes from start to finish (assuming you’ve soaked your rice — step 1 — ahead of time).

Convinced yet?

(Oh, and in other “interesting” news: I’ve added a few new categories to the blog — “Date Night at Home,” “Cocktails,” and “Meals for Two.”  Blowing your mind right?  Totally.)

Let’s get cooking.

Hawaiian-Style Salmon with Brown Rice, Bok Choy, and Honey-Soy Glaze

Hawaiian-Style Salmon with Honey-Soy Glaze (plus bok choy and brown rice)

serves 2

  • 1/2 pound salmon filet (preferably wild-caught)

For the marinade:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil (or canola oil)
  • 1 tbsp each: rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated

For the honey-soy glaze:

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp olive or canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • sesame seeds

Brown Rice:

  • 3/4 cups brown rice (I used brown jasmine rice)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • big pinch of salt

Bok Choy:

  • 2 heads baby bok choy, cleaned and cut in half
  • salt and pepper
  • pot with steamer basket
  1. First, place rice in a fine mesh strainer over a bowl.  Cover the rice with water and let soak for at least one hour (preferably longer).  You can do this overnight, or earlier in the day.
  2. Combine all ingredients for the marinade and pour over salmon.  Let marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Whisk together all ingredients for the glaze and set aside.
  4. When you’re ready to cook dinner, drain and rinse the rice, then add it to a saucepan with the 1 1/2 cups water and salt.  Cover and bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes (without removing the lid — no peeking!)
  5. After the rice has come to a boil, bring your steamer pot of water to a boil.  Once boiling, place bok choy into the steamer basket above the boiling water, replace the lid and steam for 5 minutes.  Finish with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
  6. While you’re waiting for your steaming water to boil, place a skillet over medium heat.  Add some oil to the pan, then cook the fish on both sides until just cooked through and the center is still just slightly raw-pink (about 4-5 minutes per side for 2-inch thick filet).
  7. Divide the fish, bok choy, and rice (you’ll have extra) onto two plates and serve with the honey-soy glaze.

*To make this recipe gluten-free, use Tamari in place of the soy sauce.