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15 Easy One-Pot Recipes for Date Night

skilletchickenzucchiniparmesanWork. Meetings. Appointments. Playing Taxi Cab. Taking the kids to soccer practice. Helping with Homework. Choir Practice. The list just goes on and on. And after all that who has time for some quiet alone time with your spouse or significant other? Let alone stand over a hot stove and cook a gourmet meal. But don’t fret; Sunshine is here to save the day or night in this case. I’ve discovered 15 Easy One-Pot Recipes that you can re-create together for a special date night in. So light some candles, turn on some slow jams and open up a bottle of your favorite wine. It’s time to unplug and connect with some good food & adult conversation!

Lips XO, Sunshine

1. Baked Chicken with Tomatoes & Garlic: Get the recipe on Brooklyn Supper

2. Skillet Chicken & Zucchini Parmesan: Get the recipe on Simple Bites

3. Potato, Kale & White Bean Hash: Get the recipe on Beard & Bonnet

4. Creamy Baked Millet w/ Butternut Squash: Get the recipe on Autumn Makes And Does

5. Barbeque Shrimp – New Orleans Style: Get the recipe on Wonky Wonderful53a065d1f094b_-_cos-05-one-pot-meals-new-orleans-shrimp-de

6. Mushroom Skillet Lasagna: Get the recipe on Savory Simple

7. Crispy Chicken Legs and Brussels Sprouts: Get the recipe on So Let’s Hang Out!

8. Saffron Shakshouka: Get the recipe on Brooklyn Supper

9. Spicy roast chicken with Carrots, Olives & Lemon: Get the recipe on The Crumb Blog

10. Slow Cooker Tuscan Tortellini Soup: Get tuscantortellini_fromabove-noshthe recipe on Nosh & Nourish

11. Sriracha Lime Chicken Skillet: Get the recipe on Running To The Kitchen

12. Chicken & Eggplant Sauté: Get the recipe on Lexi’s Clean Kitchen

13. Skillet Spaghetti: Get the recipe on Julie’s Eats & Treats

14. Thai Basil Cashew Chicken Skillet: Get the recipe on Running To The Kitchen

15. Saucy Chicken: Get the recipe on Diethood

Photo Credits: Simple Bites, Wonky Wonderful & Nosh and Nourish

50 Alternative Date Ideas

Re-Blogged From: Gala Darling

<3 Wake up at 4am & watch the sunrise together

Maybe not first date material, but perhaps third or fourth. What could be better than sitting close on a rooftop somewhere, talking & laughing & watching the sun come up? Take a flask of hot coffee for extra points.

<3 Have an extravagant brunch at 8am
Get dressed up & do breakfast properly. Make a big deal out of it, & include fabulous pancakes, decadent waffles, poached eggs & the best hollandaise. Boutique hotels often do a brilliant brunch, but a bit of surreptitious googling should set you on the right track. Thick white linen napkins first thing in the morning are a magnificent way to start the day — & then you can either go your separate ways, or take a walk.

<3 Go to an art gallery on a Saturday afternoon
You’ll learn a lot about the person you’re standing next to if you go & check out art together. Plus it gives you something so much more stimulating to talk about than the last episode of The Bachelor!

<3 Bring half an evening
One person organises the food, & the other organises a movie, or one person organises tickets to an amusement park, & the other plans a walking tour. Very collaborative! You get the opportunity to impress your crush with your superior taste while also finding out more about them. You don’t have to meet at someone’s house, either — a park bench, good picnic spot or even town square could work too.

<3 The double-Netflix date
For those of you not in America, Netflix is an on-demand DVD rental service that the entire country seems to have a subscription to. Sorry to be so geographically-specific, but “double-Netflix” rolls off the tongue a little better than, “Let’s just each bring a movie & subject one another to our extremely questionable taste”!

<3 The Case Of The Mystery Band
Grab a copy of your local newspaper or magazine, close your eyes, run your finger over the “live music” section & choose a band neither of you have ever heard of to go & see. It could be amazing; it could be completely hellish — you won’t know until you go! But even if it’s shocking, it’s definitely a bonding experience, & maybe even something to tell the children, eh?

<3 Make a fort
Enough said!

<3 Bring your favourite book & read the first chapter aloud
Again, this says a lot about a person. Will they bring The WitchesLolitaThe 120 Days Of Sodom? I can barely stand the suspense…

<3 Mix CD trade
Are mix CDs antiquated? Maybe you could just make one another a playlist on your iPod or something… Either way, sharing & discussing music is one of the world’s great, little-known aphrodisiacs. Truth. (Unless all they listen to is Richard Marx. Damn.)

<3 Do something neither of you have done before
Pottery class? Swing dancing lessons? Hiring a moped & driving out into the country? Who knows, but it’s nice to share an experience that is new to both of you!

<3 Random restaurant date
Search Yelp for restaurants in your area, close your eyes, roll your mouse & point at the screen. Just like the mystery band date, you never know how it’ll go — it could be a hidden treasure or a total health hazard, but that’s part of the fun, isn’t it?!

<3 Hot air ballooning
Not the cheapest date idea, I’ll admit, but certain to score you points & to impress your lover-to-be. Maybe if you’re an heiress?!

<3 Decorate a Christmas tree together
Yes, this one is seasonal, but think how fun it would be! It’ll cheer up your (or their) apartment, give you a visual reminder of them (assuming the date goes well), & maybe you could even go ice-skating afterwards. Cute ++.

<3 The Sunday New York Times crossword date
Bonus: intellectual stimulation, nerd points & you get to find out how clever they really are, all in one fell swoop. & wouldn’t it be great if you looked at them across the table, sunlight falling across their face, & they smiled at you & you thought, ‘I would like to spend every Sunday this way’? Yes. Yes it would.

<3 Playground date
Slides are exciting. Monkey bars are fun. Swinging side by side is totally awesome, & you can have a contest as to who can swing higher. (Hint: if you are younger you will probably win this one. Older people, I have learned, sometimes feel motion sick on swings. Definitely one of the downsides of maturity.)

<3 Tree-climbing date
No explanation required, but if you take them to a secret treehouse that no one else knows about, please don’t be surprised if they propose on the spot!

<3 Video game arcade date
This isn’t always a perfect match, especially when it comes to girls in high heels & those weird shoot-em-up zombie games. Or whatever. (How impressed would you be by a drop-dead gorgeous girl kicking immense zombie butt, though?) But everyone likes air hockey. Don’t they?!

<3 Ye olde photobooth hunt
Trawl your city for old-school photobooths & take as many strips as you can. Take props, maybe a silly wig or two, & see how bizarre you can make them. P.S. Photobooth.net is your go-to source for major photobooth info!

<3 A drive-in movie
I admit, this one seems ultra-cool to me just because I’ve never done it & I am in love with Danny Zucco from here until eternity. Just don’t try to take your ring off by wiping it through your greasy hair & hit your girlfriend in the boob!

<3 Sugarhigh date
Simple. Go to a convenience store. Buy cheap, evil, sugary treats. Find somewhere to sit & glut yourselves on them. Then see what happens. Spontaneous dancing? A completely misguided shopping trip? Leapfrogging over small children?! Let us know!

<3 The socially irresponsible date
One word: graffiti. You rebels!

<3 Pretend to be tourists
Go & do the stuff you’ve never done because, well, you’ve always lived here. Wear a baseball cap, khakis & a bum bag (“fanny pack”) for a feeling of real authenticity, & don’t forget to take plenty of photos!

<3 “My old neighbourhood” date
Walk around the area you used to live, & tell your date about where you used to ride your bike, what happened on that one lawn, which house was best to hit up on hallowe’en & who the really creepy neighbours were.

<3 The really long one-way walk
No rules except that you just have to walk for a really long time in one direction & not turn around. When you’re really exhausted or you hit the ocean, it’s time to go back. Catch a taxi or a bus or something to ease the pain.

<3 Take a dog for a walk
It doesn’t have to be yours, or even hers. Borrow your friend’s dog! They’re adorable & fun & will give you something to talk about if you get stuck. Plus, people will come up to you & say, “Cute dog”, & you can beam at each other like proud parents.

<3 Go to the beach
Take music, towels, a big floppy sun-hat or two & enjoy the day. Build sandcastles, put sunscreen lotion on one another, go swimming & then travel home together as the sun is setting, relaxed & happy.

<3 Karaoke!
I love karaoke. I love karaoke. I love karaoke. Again, it’s a great way to get to know someone — you’ll instantly know how outgoing they are, how much they like a challenge & what their music taste is like. Plus, usually in my experience, a day-glo private room & weird drinks are part of the package. Who could say no to that?

<3 Collaborative art date
Get a canvas or even just a big piece of paper, some paint, pencils or pastels, & go nuts.

<3 Walk around to different bars & tell stories about what happened
This one is kind of odd, but I was once on a date with a guy where we went to three different bars & as we walked around, he told me about the strange & hilarious memories he had associated with those places. It helped that he was cute & a good storyteller, but still, it could work.

<3 Go & listen to jazz
Aka, pretend to be sophisticated. Or actually be sophisticated, depending…

<3 Take cameras & explore an abandoned place
An excellent opportunity to be artsy-fartsy, or if you like to be on the other side of the camera, get them to take photos of you pulling your most beautifulest face!

<3 Medieval Times
Oh geez, does this need any explanation? No! Eating with your hands, handsome knights, silly hats? Sign me up!

<3 “First date” night
This one works best if it’s not your actual first date. Like, for example, you’ve been together for 3 years & live in the same house. Get dressed separately, meet somewhere strange & a bit awkward, & pretend you don’t know one another. Start from scratch. Ask all those banal questions you’re supposed to ask (“So, what do you do?”). Then at the end of the night, rejoice that you’re in a relationship & not dating any more!

<3 The generational date
Pretend you’re an age that you’re not, then act accordingly. A senior citizens date might involve going lawn bowling, making apple sauce & watching The Price Is Right. A teenager date might involve roller-skating, making out in public & drinking vodka in an alley-way. You get the idea…

<3 The recession date
Triple B’s: eat at Burger King, take the bus to get there, then go & play bingo. Maybe you could go window shopping afterwards or huddle around a cigarette for warmth (very Withnail & I).

<3 The silent date
In a loud, noisy, overstimulating world, it can be nice to unplug & escape. But it can be nice to do that with your new favourite person, too. Hold hands & read books on a wharf & occasionally look adoringly at one another. Cool.

<3 Make cupcakes together
You know you want to.

<3 Make a video & put it on Youtube
You could really do anything & make a video of it, but it does at least give you a purpose & a goal. Plus, later on you have a record of what went on — & a slew of idiotic comments to wade through. Haha!

<3 Liveblog your date
Upload pictures, tweet it, even give it a hash-tag. #evan&madelinesfirstdate. Cute.

<3 Travel without going anywhere
The premise is simple. Have a normal date but speak with an accent. You both have to do it, by the way, or it doesn’t count. Choose something difficult for extra hilarity points, like Scottish or South African. Och aye!

<3 Write letters to one another & post them
Maybe if you were on a date with a contender for Macho Man Of The Year this wouldn’t work, but I think it is almost the cutest idea ever. It’s definitely worth a try.

<3 Dye each other’s hair
There’s nothing like a radical change to make life more exciting. Try blue-black or red or even pink! I wrote a how to, so there’s no excuse!

<3 Sneak into a rooftop pool
They often have them at hotels, but they are usually only open to guests, so you might have to use your best sweet-talking skills, but it will be totally worth it if you can swing it. My suggestion? Just act as if you’re supposed to be there, & them questioning you is really just a waste of your time. Be charming but efficient. Godspeed!

<3 Jump on a trampoline
The hardest part will be finding one, but I have faith in you!

<3 Use sparklers to draw each other pictures
& maybe even write “GD + MK 4 EVER”. (Take photos.)

<3 Ice-cream parlour
Get a really, really, really big sundae & split it. Bicker over toppings. Then, when you’re done, find somewhere to lie down & talk about how sick you feel. A bonding experience to be sure!

<3 Have a five-course dinner… at different places
Have an appetiser at one place, soup somewhere else, a main here, a dessert there, & coffee at your favourite cafe.

<3 Play truth or dare
Awesome.

<3 Three-hour make-out session
Choose a good location & use a stopwatch if necessary. Sounds like a good way to spend an afternoon to me!

“Date Night” In A Jar

I’m sure I’m not the only one – but I’ve been stuck on Pintrest a few times this week, just browsing at what other people find interesting enough to ‘pin’.  Anyway, I came across this idea and thought it would be perfect for Ty and I .  We’re usually pretty good at occupying our time with things that need to be done and things we’d like to check out but as most couples find, there are the days where the conversation goes something like this:

Would you like to do something this weekend?
Sure!
What you wanna do?
Hmmm . . . It doesn’t matter . . .What you wanna do?
It doesn’t matter . . .

I know, I know. We live in the Land of Paradise (as one of my friend calls it) and all we can say is “It doesn’t matter”. Well not anymore a solution has arrived. So to create your every own “Date Night In A Jar” all you have to do is pick up some coloured popsicle sticks, a black sharpie and a drinking glass from your local dollar store. Next you just write the different date ideas on the coloured sticks.  Now how easy is that?  And after browsing random sites online I came across this list of ideas to use as a guide. Enjoy & Happy Date Night!

Pink Sticks: Activities Outside the Home – $$
Hotel stay for the night
Jacksonville Jaguars Home Game
Coupes Massage
Dinner and a movie (her choice)
Dinner and a movie (his choice)
Progressive Meal (drinks at one restaurant, appetizers at another etc; )
Pool/ Darts at a Local Dive Bar
Castle Fun Park
Drive-In Movies
Dessert-Only Date
Bowling
Coffee Date
Golf/Driving Range
Go to an Amusement Park
Aquarium/Museum/Cultural Tour
Go-Karting
Visit a Place Listed in an Entertainment Book
Go to the Zoo
Go Rock Climbing
Try a New Cuisine

Orange Sticks: Activities Outside the Home – $
Picnic
Canoeing
Raquetball
Iceskating
Go to the Beach
Go See a College Sports Event
Go for Ice Cream
Go for a Scenic Drive
Go Wander through the Mall
Yardsale/Antiquing/Thrift
Visit an Art Gallery
Visit a Local Farm
Go to a Book Store
Visit Another Town – Walk Around Main Strip
Listen to Live Music
Have Lunch at a New Restaurant
Go Out for Drinks
Visit a Tourist Spot in Our Hometown
Go Swimming
Go See a Local Band
Go Fruit Picking
Visit a Winery

Blue Sticks: At Home Dates – $$
Fondue Night
Takeout and Scrabble
Nachos and Yahtzee Night
Paris night: Baguette, French Wine, and Cheese
Chinese Food at the Warf
Sculpture a Block of Ice Cream (Get generic brand to ensure firmness)
Make (decorate) T-Shirts for Each Other
Indoor Unbirthday Party (for both of you)
Build a Hobby Shop Project Together
Champagne & Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Accomplish a ‘Home’ Project
Restaurant at Home (Recreate a menu from your favorite restaurant)
Make Ice Cream Sundaes

Green Sticks: At Home Dates – $0
Popcorn and a Chick-Flick
Crosswords and Breakfast for Dinner
Make a Dessert Together
TV Series Marathon
Homemade Pizzas and an Italian Movie
Cook Dinner Together – with Smooches
Bake Cookies Together – with Smooches
Read on the Couch Together
Sensual Back Rub Night
Make Chocolate Covered Strawberries & Bath Night
Carpet Picnic
Work-Out Together – set up stations: jump rope etc;
Total Theme Night – Dress, Dinner & Movie

Yellow Sticks: Activities Outside the Home – $0
Go for a Walk
Jogging
Hike in the Woods
Lie in the Grass & Find Shapes in the Clouds
Build Sandcastles/Snowmen (depending on the season)
Go People Watching
Go Snorkeling
Make Kites and go Fly Them
Roller Skating/Skateboarding
Explore a Local Park
Play Frisbee
Play Basketball
Go for a Bike Ride
Stargazing
Watch the Sunrise/Sunset
Take a Walk Around a Lake

10 iPhone Applications That Parents Need For Date Nights

Re-Blogged From: Babysitters.net

For busy parents, trying to squeeze in a date night can end up being a chore, never mind trying to plan one. Fortunately these timesaving iPhone applications have done your homework for you, so you can put the fun back in date night with none of the usual stress. With recommendations on everything from wine to wonton soup, you can book your sitter, capture a fun photo, and even hail a cab, all with the touch of a button.

Sitter Sorter – Before you can plan your date night, you have to secure your sitter. Sitter Sorter lets you store all of your babysitter’s contact information and request a sitter from the palm of your hand. Your sitters can respond to your request for childcare and you can book your preferred available sitter by clicking a button to send a scheduling confirmation to her.

Fandango – For parents who are hoping to catch a movie, Fandango can help them do just that. You can view local times and movies on the app, and parents can even organize their movie theaters by their favorites.

Hello Vino – Heading out for Chinese and want to know the perfect wine pairing for wonton soup? For those who like to keep track of their favorites, they’ll love the note taking abilities Hello Vino provides.

Groupon – Wondering where to go or what to do? Let the local deal of the day inspire you. For parents who are willing to try new restaurants or go on adventures for a fraction of the cost, Groupon can be a great place to score deals.

Food Spotting– The ultimate pocket guide to good food and where to find it, Food Spotting goes beyond rating restaurants and helps you discover good food near you.

Cabulous – For city dwelling couples, Cabulous is a handy application. You’ll never have to worry about waiting in the rain to hail a taxi again. With the push of a button you can hail and track your cab as it heads your way.

Yelp – Dying to check out the new pizza joint but want to hear what others think first? Yelp it! With the Yelp app you can search for businesses and read reviews before finalizing your date night destination.

LocalEats – If you’re looking for a quick restaurant guide, LocalEats is just that. A culmination of the top handpicked restaurants, LocalEats will lead you to the best locally owned restaurants around.

Hotel Tonight – If you’re looking for a last minute deal on a hotel, Hotel Tonight will help you find it. The app boasts low pricing and fast booking, and features three great deals in a growing list of cities.

Pocketbooth – Turn your iPhone into a vintage photo booth with Pocketbooth. You can email, tweet and even mail photo strips with the click of a button. What’s a better a goodnight gift to your kids than sending them a photo of mom and dad having fun?

© Copyright 2009-2011 Babysitters.net. All Rights Reserved. SBS

Kid “Date Night”

Re-blogged from: The Dating Divas

by 

If your house is anything like my house, “We’re going on a date” is instantly followed by many, “WHYYYY???”‘s and “Can we come?”‘s and “I don’t want you to LEEEEAVE!!!”‘s. To help, we’ve put together a little somethin’-somethin’ for your kids while you and the hubs get that much needed togetherness time!  I present to you, the “Kid Date Night” envelope!

Now, this will ONLY work if you DO NOT let them EVER play with the contents of this envelope unless you are on a date! There are 2 games here that are tried and true, kid tested and approved, that are sure to be a HUGE hit with your kids! Kids LOVE to play these two games. They love them so much in fact that they will be BEGGING you to go on your next date! Again, this only works if you save these games for DATE NIGHT ONLY:-)

First, you need this: Envelope Printable

Attach it to a manilla envelope. Make sure this envelope appears somewhere in your children’s view on “date night” day so that they can look forward to it! I like to set mine out on the counter right at breakfast time so that they are excited all that day.

Now, what are the goods inside this wonderful envelope you ask?? Well, I have two, FREE activities for you. Just do either one or the other, and save the next one for the next date night!

{I like to put ALL of the needed supplies for whichever game I choose inside the envelope so it is all right there for the sitter when we leave.}

Game #1: Don’t Eat Pete!

Materials Needed:

*1 big bag of M&M’s

*Our game board

{Find that game board here: Don’t Eat Pete!}

*The rules are simple and they are printed right there on the game board. Bada-bing bada-boom baby!

Game #2: The Kit Kat Game

Materials Needed:

*1 king-size Kit Kat bar (unless they want to play more than once, and they WILL! Then get a couple..)

*1 die

*2 butter knives

*A glove or oven mitt for the babysitter

*And this printable: The Rules

Same thing, the rules are printed right there. They are explained simply so your babysitter will know just what to do.  :-)

And the last thing to do, but DEFINITELY not the least, HAVE FUN ON YOUR DATE!

© 2012 The Dating Divas 

Date Night For Parents

Miss the days when you and your spouse were dating? When you could decide at the spur-of-the-moment to spend Friday night enjoying dinner and a movie? Well, what’s stopping you?

“Children,” you grumble. Going out for a date now entails planning a week in advance, so that you can find a babysitter and figure out how long you’ll need her to stay. Throw in her roughly ten dollars an hour fee on top of that twelve dollar per person flick and twenty-five buck a plate meal, and you have a daunting financial issue. As a result, more and more parents are choosing to just stay home and save the money and effort. There’s nothing wrong with this decision…so long as you still have your date night!

Forget the extended planning, hunting down and retaining the sitter, and concentrate on arranging an evening of togetherness. After all, isn’t that the whole point? But don’t forget to make this night special, different from every other night of the week.

Here are a few tips on how to accomplish this:

  • A bottle of wine. Take a trip to the liquor store and pick out something special. If you don’t know wine from grape juice, just ask the proprietor. He is usually quite knowledgeable about which wine is good and will suit your particular tastes.
  • Specialty Foods. Have a light dinner with the kids, but save your appetite for after they go to bed. Then take out the Brie and water crackers, perhaps a little jar caviar, or a couple of shrimp cocktails. How about a couple of rich chocolate truffles for dessert? Whatever you choose, make sure it is extraordinary. These delicacies may cost more, but they’ll still be cheaper than what you were going to pay that sitter!
  • A good movie. This is why there are videos and DVDs. Rent something sappy and romantic, or a laugh riot to blow off a week’s worth of steam. Maybe a good horror flick, to encourage ‘protective’ snuggling? Perhaps something a little racier from that back room of the rental store? It is all up to you tonight, and you aren’t at the whim of theater offerings or their start times.
  • Music. Either after or instead of the movie, pop in your favorite CD, push the coffee table aside, and do a little dirty dancing. There’s nothing like a spin around the floor to warm the blood – even when that floor is covered with wall-to-wall carpeting!
  • Talk, talk, talk. Have a real conversation! Instead of discussions about the kiddies and school, take this time to chat about grown-up topics. Discuss books, gossip about friends, commiserate about work, or just cuddle up and talk about your old college days. It is amazing how much even long-married spouses can still learn about each other when they get the chance.
  • Make out. If you are confident that no little people will invade your space, try necking on the sofa like you were still a couple of teens. Too often, parents rush right into intercourse whenever they get the chance. Take the time to enjoy the kissing and caressing, without the pressure of calling it foreplay. Just snuggle and nibble, and if anything else should follow…well, hey, that’s the privilege of not actually being teenagers any more!

Remember, this is your night – include whatever you want! The important thing is not to give up dating because of time and budget constraints. When you can’t get out of the house for romance, simply bring the romance home to you.

There is only one happiness in life: to love and be loved.

Source: Romantic-Tips

The Impromptu “Stay-In” Date Night

You see I am a well thought out person. I love to plan and to have every little detail organized. But tonight it didn’t happen that way. For starters I was drained. I felt as if I was hit with a Mack truck or had a serious case of jet lag. So in true lazy fashion I talked myself out of cooking dinner and opt’d for the good ole take out. Asking my husband gingerly, “Sweetie you want pizza tonight?” His reply was “YES!” of course. Like I knew it would be because this house LOVES pizza. So now the un-plan was in motion. We ordered the pizza & made a salad while we wait. Once the pizza arrived we fixed our plates and sat down to a very nice dinner. Afterwards we cleaned the kitchen and settled in to watch a movie that I had pre-recorded on the DVR. And you want to know the best part of it all, Sweetie stayed awake. Usually he tends to get the i-tis and I have to stop it and plan to watch it at a later time.  But NOPE not today. We watch the complete movie in its entirety. This was a great impromptu “Stay-In” date night. And to think it wasn’t even planned. It’s times we share like this that are just Priceless. Just simply Priceless.

“I have found the one whom my soul LOVES …” Song of Solomon 3:4