I just got a new cook book! Date Night In by Ashley Rodriguez, creator of http://notwithoutsalt.com/ . It is a lovely book about nourishing your relationship through making a special date night in. I have only tried 2 recipes, and 1 drink recipe, so far and will let you know how the others go, but these two were great.
The book is broken down into Spring, Fall, Summer, and Winter and each section contains subcatagories of menus with a variety of cocktails, salads, soups, main dishes, and desserts as well as introductions and stories. This would make a great cover to cover read as well as a pick and choose book.
This book doesn’t have to be just for dates, though that is the purpose of the book. It can be about making dinner a time of connection. When my 23 year old saw the book she asked “Is this just for dates, or are you going to spread the love?”. Yes, I’m going to spread the love!
Below are the three recipes we have tried so far:
Time: 1 1/2 hours
Ease: Simple – Moderate – the moderate side is simply because of some ingredients which may seem unfamiliar to some, but don’t be intimidated, just jump in and enjoy!
Review: We all thought this was a good dish. It is listed in the summer section, but would make meal a nice chilly fall night as well. We used a jalapeno from our garden and this year they were a little hot, but you can adjust the heat by choosing your peppers based on heat. This dish does take a little while to prepare and does not fall into a quick meal catagory, but it can be made ahead and reheated and the author said the flavor improves after a rest in the fridge. Ours, didn’t make it for us to know- Gone!
Notes: If you are not familiar with tomatillos ask your grocer for help. They can be mildewed and too soft if you are not careful.
Pepitas are pumpkin seeds which are edible and yummy! You can find them in the Hispanic section of your grocery and in the nuts section at places like Fresh Market. They are good as a snack and in salads too!
Personally, I got lost in the directions of the recipe a few times, though it was well written and I’m not really sure. I finally stopped and numbered my steps to help me.
Time: 15-20 Minutes
Review: This corn is fantastic! I have to admit I was skeptical, but the lime zest really jazzes it up! I think you will find it to be a fun way to serve corn and wow your guests at the same time! One response I got was DAAaaaAAA%%$%! This is a good thing!
Cherry Lime Soda
Time: 10 Minutes plus chilling time
Review: The Cherry Lime Soda was given as a non-alcoholic drink with the suggestion of vodka, gin, or tequila to make it “adult”. My husband made this while I prepared dinner and we just had a lot of fun in the kitchen! It was easy and no Beetle Bailey swearing (#^@^&#). My husband is prone to made up swear words with no real word in it, they sound like the top line of your key board-a.k.a Beetle Bailey!
Notes: Watch the level of lime juice it can overpower the drink, a little taste testing is recommended.
We used tequila, but meh, we will make it again, but use vodka.
All in all I really like this book so far and I love the concept, as my readers know I’m all about bringing people together at the dinner table and this book does that. It’s goal is for dates and connection, but it easily translates to larger groups. I’m sure you will see more reviews of these recipes in the future!
All photos are by me, Lisa Wright Burbach – a Burbachulous Photo. Feel free to share, but please give credit to the source. Thank you.