When you get married, and when you have kids something happens. People suddenly become compelled to give you advice, to repeat every cliché’ that could even remotely apply to your situation.
Nathan and I let most of the advice slide right past us, tucking a few pieces of sage wisdom that caught our attention aside for later.
One of the pieces of advice that repeated itself with the engagement, the wedding, and with each kid was to always date your spouse.
Never forget the person you fell in love with.
For several years, one of Nathan’s days off during the week coincided with both kids being in school (or in school and in a Mother’s Day Out program) and Nathan and I took full advantage of that to have ‘day dates’
We would take the boat out and go fishing together, even though sometimes it was more Nathan fishing and me reading, it was still precious time together. Time to talk, to share, even just sit in silence – it was our Rachel and Nathan time.
Over the past year, Nathan changed positions at work, and no longer had a day off during the week. Instead of taking friends up on the offers to watch the kids so we could go on a date, we would have family dates with other friends and their families.
Those memories are precious and wonderful, but we missed our Nathan and Rachel time.
This move, this new beginning, has brought a lot of changes to our lives, refreshed perspectives, and while he is home more, we still haven’t gotten our date nights back.
I’ve decided to take things into my own hands. I’ve decided that I’m going to pick one night every month that will be our at home date night – no need for a babysitter or special planning. I’ll fix the kids a special early meal and then send them upstairs to watch a movie slumber party style in our game room.
Once the kids are fully ensconced upstairs and we’ve laid down the “no kids downstairs/only call us if it’s an emergency/work it out yourselves” laws – I’ll set the table, light the candles and Nathan and I will sit in the dining room together with no electronics and eat, talk and enjoy each others company.
I’ve already planned out our first at home date night meal!
For our 8 year anniversary, I made my first spicy shrimp and rice dish, and it’s one that Nathan’s mentioned several times over the years, but I’ve yet to remake because the kids will eat shrimp, but definitely not spicy shrimp.
Nathan and I both love savory dishes and shrimp is always high up on our favorite foods lists.
One of the best things about this meal is that it’s quick to prepare, cook and plate – meaning less time in the kitchen, and more time together.
The shrimp is smoky and spicy with a slight sweetness, and jasmine rice is the perfect complement.
- 1 lb peeled and deveined jumbo shrimp
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
- 2 oranges, zested and juiced
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 bunch green onions
- Jasmine Rice
- 1 Orange Zested and Juiced, separate from the previous
- Rinse the shrimp, pat dry and place in a bowl
- Put the chipotle, orange zest and juice from the 2 oranges, and the brown sugar into
- a food processor and pulse until smooth.
- Toss this mixture with the shrimp and set aside.
- Cook the jasmine rice according to the package directions (mine takes about 15
- 5 minutes before the rice is finished, toss in the orange zest from the 3 rd orange and
- 2 Tbsp green onions.
- Now is when you start cooking the shrimp, too.
- Toss the shrimp into a hot skillet – I use cast iron- and cook until pink. This is about
- 3 to 4 minutes each side. Then squeeze a bit more orange juice over the shrimp, toss
- in some green onions and stir.
- Serve up the rice, with a squeeze of fresh orange juice, a sprinkle of orange zest and
- top with shrimp and fresh green onions
You can add a bit more depth to the flavor of your rice by toasting it lightly in a pan before cooking it (just a little tip) If your palate is a bit sensitive to heat, start with 1/2 a chipotle pepper - if it's still too hot, drizzle some honey over the shrimp to help alleviate the burn.
Do you and your significant other have date nights? How do you make sure to save time for each other? What’s your favorite at home date night recipe??