A Fun & Easy Date Night In (+ Cookbook Giveaway!)

While I do love discovering new restaurants around Edinburgh, Ben and I are definitely the kind of couple that prefer cooking together far more than going out. And while we tend to cook with each other almost every night of the week, having the same sort of one-pot meals can become a bit boring and lose that "special feeling." Having a designated "date night in", however, is the perfect in-between of spending time together in a way that's not too extravagant, but still special.

When I first found Ashley Rodriquez's book Date Night In while browsing the tables at Anthropologie, I knew that it was the type of book I would love. I scanned the pages of her book, pouring over the beautiful images and scrumptious looking recipes, but unfortunately didn't buy it. But today I'm offering all of you readers out there the special opportunity to get your hands on a book I've personally been dying to have!

 At the end of this post, I'll spell out just how you can go about entering for your chance to win the book, but for now, I thought I'd share our own Date Night In inspired dinner.

While we didn't have a copy of the book to refer to while planning our meal, we took to different reviews of Date Night In to see what reader's favorite dishes were! Our first item on the menu was roasted sweet potatoes with bacon and thyme. Working off of this simple Martha Stewart Recipe we crossed our fingers that we would finally get it right and end up with crispy sweet potatoes. Unfortunately, this wasn't the case- but if anyone knows how to make them crispy instead of soggy please tell me your secret! Despite the off texture of our sweet potatoes, the flavors from the bacon and thyme made for exactly the sort of autumn comfort food we were after. 

What I think is most important for having a date-night in is that the meal must fall into one of two categories: 

1.) Elegant, sophisticated (and, dare I say sexy?) dishes. 
2.) Fun, exciting food that you would normally eat in a restaurant. 

For our meal we went with the "fun" aspect, which was perfectly epitomized in Ben's genius idea to make onion rings as a sort of pre-dinner snack. We had all the ingredients we needed already, so it was a no-brainer. Inspired by this easy-to-follow recipe we set about filling a pot with loads of vegetable oil as a make-shift deep frier. I was skeptical at first, but the results were incredible. Warm, but still slightly crisp, onions surrounded by a fluffy, crunchy batter- we were in heaven.  

For the main event, we were inspired by Date Night In's well-regarded honey siracha chicken wings recipe, improvising a bit on the glaze. Still in line with our "fun" theme, this addictive food was not for the type of couple that's just starting out- you'll want to know each other pretty well before you witness your partner licking sauce off their fingers. While not the most aesthetically pleasing of dishes, I promise you they were good. 

For dessert, which as you probably already know is my personal strong-suit, we kept things light and fruity with a classically British dessert, Eton Mess. Initially, we thought we would buy the meringues, but after we couldn't find them in Tesco, I settled on making them. While the might look finnicky, meringues are actually incredibly easy to make by just whipping egg whites and sugar together before baking them at a low heat for just under two hours. Plus, with a dish like Eton Mess, your meringues can be as lopsided as you want- it all ends up being crushed anyway! (though I think mine do look pretty good)

Just layer the crushed meringues with whipped cream and tart strawberries, top with some mint, and you have a beautiful and romantic dessert. The perfect way to finish off your date night in! 

Now that you're inspired to have your own date-night in, why not enter for a chance to win the whole cookbook? 

*No purchase necessary, US residents only*

 I'll be thoroughly jealous of whoever wins! 


  1. It's not Eton mess until Will's approved it

    1. Truly your best, sassiest comment to date


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