Going OUT for date night is tough to beat, but when you can’t go out for whatever reason (can’t find a babysitter, money is tight, bad weather, or you simply just don’t want to leave the house, etc) a date night IN is always a fun alternative. In fact, some of my more memorable date nights have been date-night-ins!
Here is a compilation of date-night-IN ideas with dinner included!
Homemade pizza is one of my all-time favorite things. It is cheap, easy and, in my opinion, tastes way better than anything you can get delivered. Turn on some Italian music then get in the kitchen TOGETHER to make some gourmet pizzas. When your pizzas come out of the oven, turn out the lights, turn on the fire and enjoy your Italian cuisine picnic-style in the comfort of your own living room!
Iron Chef Chocolate Edition:
I came up with this idea late last night when I was watching Iron Chef (I am addicted to that show). Make a meal where CHOCOLATE is featured in every course. Who says chocolate can’t be served as a main course? My very favorite way to serve ravioli has chocolate sprinkled over the top (click HERE for the recipe)! You can either make a meal together or divide up the courses between each of you and surprise the other with your sweet & savory creations. I am 99% sure that I, personally, will be doing this for Valentines Day this year! For dessert you could try German Chocolate Pie, Homemade Almond Joys, Chocolate Malt Cake, or Chocolate Truffle Balls.
Dine in the Dark:
Have you ever heard of the restaurant “Opaque” in San Francisco? Haven’t been there but it sounds amazing! Here is what it says on their website:
“In this era of information overload, visual stimulation has reached an all time pinnacle. But imagine, just for an hour or two that you cannot see, that you are abandoning vision in exchange for a new, more stimulating dining experience – this is “Dining in the Dark”. –Opaque Restaurant, San Francisco
How easy would this be to create this experience at home? Close the blinds, cover the windows, and enjoy your dinner in COMPLETE darkness! Try this with a main course such as Cranberry Chicken, Parmesan Potato Halves or Bowtie and Asparagus Pasta for a side dish and for dessert, Our Version of Nothing Bundt Cakes’ Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cake!
Chinese Take Out Stay In:
Grab some to-go boxes and chopsticks from your favorite Chinese place (they will usually sell them to you for cheap—if not just give them to you). Prepare a few Chinese dishes at home (click HERE for a whole bunch of Chinese recipes including Fried Rice, Lo Mein, General Tso’s Chicken, Mongolian Beef, Sweet and Sour Chicken, Egg Rolls, and Potstickers).
Watch your favorite RomCom and eat purely out of your to-go boxes. For an added surprise, make custom love notes and slip them in your fortune cookies! (You can do this by wrapping a lightly damp paper towel around your fortune cookie and zapping it in the microwave for 5-10 seconds. It will become pliable for a few seconds so pull out the fortune and stick your own in. Press the cookie back together and allow to harden.)
Hotel [your last name]:
Surprise your husband (or wife) with a hotel experience at home! Make up your bed with crisp, white sheets and put a couple mints on the pillows. Have a dinner menu laying on the pillows for “room service”. Have dinner on serving trays in your room and eat on the bed while watching a movie (assuming there is a TV in your room)!
An example of a good “Room Service” meal would be Potato and Broccoli Cheese Soup with Steak Salad and Breadtwists with White Chocolate Caramel Macadamia Nut Cheesecake for dessert. Serve with your favorite beverages!
Picnic and a Movie:
Pack a picnic basket with some sandwiches (like Turkey Pesto Croissant Sandwiches, Chicken Curry Wraps, Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce, or Italian Sanwiches with Olive Tapenade), snacks, and sodas. Lay a blanket down in the TV room, start a good movie, and open up your basket. Go a step further and make indoor s’mores over your stovetop or with tea candles.
Pull out your nicest formal dress from your last cruise or even from your high school or college prom (if yours still fits.. good for you! I’m not even close to fitting into mine), light dozens of tea candles, and have a romantic, fancy dinner. I highly recommend Filet Mignon with Melted Blue Cheese Sauce, Loaded Mashed Potatoes, and Crescent Rolls with Key Lime Pie for dessert! Or you could try our Pecan Crusted Salmon, Raspberry Spinach Salad, Homemade Rolls and Coconut Cream Cake for dessert.
Pick a movie filmed in a foreign country such as France, Italy, Greece.. Etc.. And make a dinner to go along with it. For example, if you want to do a French theme watch French Kiss, Chocolat, Sabrina, or even Ratatouille and make French Onion Soup, Chicken Cordon Bleus, Ratatoullie or even Strawberry Cream Cheese French Toast!
There is something about dipping food in cheese and chocolate that is just.. sexy. I love Our Version of the Melting Pot’s Spinach Artichoke Cheese Fondue and of course some good ol Milk Chocolate Fondue (try dipping with our Peanut Butter Bon Bons). Light some candles, turn on some good music, and enjoy!
20 Questions Dinner:
Come up with 20 questions for each of you to answer. HERE is a link to some great questions from the “Hopes and Dreams” blog. Each of you answer the questions for yourself, fold up the paper and share your answers over a romantic dinner. Try some Chicken in Basil Cream Sauce for dinner with some Pesto Potatoes and Better than (You Know What) Cake for dessert.