2/12/2013

Mardi Gras-Themed Date Night

categories: Date Idea, Kitchen Dates

Today marks the official start of Mardi Gras around the world, and we can’t think of a better way to add some flare to date night than with a private celebration of your own. We’ve taken to the web and found a dinner & cocktail recipe that will make you feel like you’ve traveled to the French Quarter, without leaving your living room. If you still have room post-dinner, try your hand at a traditional King Cake with this recipe from allrecipes.com – and don’t forget to throw on a little jazz trombone to tie it all together!

Hurricane Cocktail (Recipe via The Food Network)
  • 12 ounces light rum
  • 12 ounces dark rum
  • 10 ounces grenadine, or passion fruit syrup
  • 10 ounces fresh orange juice
  • 10 ounces sour mix, or fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons superfine sugar, or more to taste
  • 1 large orange, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices

Directions

Mix all the ingredients in a tall pitcher or large pot and stir to dissolve the sugar. Pour into a punch bowl and add the ice cubes and orange segments. Serve in tall glasses over ice with straws.

Quick Jambalaya (Recipe via Martha Stewart)

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 1 pound andouille sausage, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken stock
  • 3/4 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 can (14 ounces) crushed tomatoes with juice
  • 1 cup long-grain rice
Directions
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. Cut into 3/4-inch pieces; set aside. Add vegetables to pot. Cook, stirring, 5 minutes. Add sausage; cook 3 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute. Stir in stock, Old Bay, tomatoes, and 1/2 cup water; bring to a boil. Add rice and chicken. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes. Cover; remove from heat. Let stand until rice is tender and liquid is mostly absorbed, 30 to 35 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

7/03/2012

How To Put A Custom Fortune In A Fortune Cookie In 30 Seconds (Without Breaking The Shell!)

categories: Date Idea, How To:, Kitchen Dates, Romantic Ideas

In the video below, I teach you a trick that will take virtually no effort (30 seconds of your time) but will leave the recipient with a smile that last for days.    Sound good to you?   It’s how you can remove the fortune from a fortune cookie without cracking the shell, and replace it with your own handwritten fortune. This is absolutely perfect for the next time you bring in Chinese take-out. And for those of you looking for a great marriage proposal idea, it could also be a very unique way to propose.  Your custom message could be “Will You Marry Me?” or you can even put the ring itself in the cookie.

In addition to the video demo above, here are written instructions as well for your convenience:

Step 1 –  Write the custom fortune that you’ll be inserting into the fortune cookie on a piece of paper (approximately 1/2 inch by 2 inches in dimension).

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11/02/2011

How To Make A Gourmet Dinner For Your Sweetie (When You Don’t Know How To Cook)

categories: How To:, Kitchen Dates, Romantic Ideas

In the first episode of “How To Be Amazing In The Kitchen When You Are Worthless In The Kitchen,” I prepared chocolate-covered strawberries for Olga, and they were a smashing success! She loved them. If you are super uncomfortable working in the kitchen like I was, then I suggest starting with the first episode because coating strawberries with melted chocolate is something that even a 1st-grader could do. I’ve found that it’s all about the “small victories” in the kitchen. And once I saw the satisfaction on Olga’s face when she tasted my chocolate-covered strawberries, my confidence was sky-high and I was ready to step it up a notch. In fact, I was feeling so good about myself that I decided to go for the whole kit and caboodle of serving an entire gourmet dinner from appetizers to desert.

But how can you pull that off if you are worthless in the kitchen like me? Well, you get a little help from your friends at local restaurants and bakeries. That’s how! Note however that this is NOT simply about ordering take-out from a gourmet restaurant and then serving it at home. If you don’t even bust out a pot or pan, or turn on the oven or microwave, then don’t expect your date to be too impressed. That said, if you want the meal to taste delicious, then you have to work within the confines of your own skill set and that means enlisting the help of some other folks.

Check out the video above to find out if I bit off more than I could chew…

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