Now I know I’m the one who proposed this challenge, but by the time “date night” rolled around, I wasn’t in the mood. I got my moon time the day before, so I was feeling a little achy, a little grumpy, and a whole lot lazy.
I thought about rescheduling, but when I looked at our calendar, I realized this was the only night Darrick and I had to ourselves for the next 7 days...
With that in mind, I decided to keep it simple—my plan was to go on a picnic.
My ten ingredients were:
Cinnamon spice tea
I looked in our fridge and found all the fixings for one of Darrick’s favorite carrot dishes.
I make this dish often because not only does it have vegetables, but also a ton of protein from the nuts!
However, feeling a little low really threw me off my cooking game and I burnt the first batch.
Thankfully I got it together with the second batch and managed to create a nice side dish.
We had some peppers that needed using, so I rubbed them with oil and threw them in my air fryer for 12 minutes.
Once I wrapped them in plastic wrap to steam, their skins peeled right off.
Paired with a spicy store-bought hummus and a a pretzel bun, along with a little feta cheese, I thought this would make for a simple, yet flavorful sandwich.
Honestly, it tasted like it required much more effort than it did!
I mean, that sandwich screams date night picnic—don’t you think?!
I have this tea made by Harney + Sons in decaf and regular and use it to make the best iced tea in the world. It tastes like it has sugar in it, but it’s just the cinnamon sweetness coming through.
After a few bumps in the road, I finally finished making our picnic, only I still wasn’t feeling very romantic.
My hair felt dirty and my whole body seemed grimy, and although I wanted to pack up our picnic basket and head to the park, I wanted a shower more.
Instead of packing up our picnic basket, I draped our picnic blanket on our front porch table and put the basket on top as decoration.
I lit a candle and pulled out some wine glasses for the iced tea.
All in all, it looked pretty cute, and as we were sitting down to eat the sun was setting.
Florence even joined us by sitting in the window and meowing through the screen.
By the time we were cleaning up, my mood had shifted and we decided to go on a walk for popsicles.
While we walked, I asked Darrick if dinner felt like a date. I wondered really what was so different from our “picnic” and any other dinner we might eat on the porch?
Here is what my sweet husband said:
You tried to do something special for me, and that is all I need to make anything feel like a date with you.
What started as a crummy day ended with a sweet walk with my husband.
My husband, who has given me every great date of my life.
Seared Carrots with Pepper Yogurt + Walnuts
- 12 ounces carrots, peeled
- 1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- ⅓ cup Greek yogurt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ cup toasted walnuts
- Cut the carrots into 3-inch logs and then divide each log into half or fourths, depending on the width of the carrots; this should make spears that have at least one flat side.
- Over medium heat, in a cast-iron skillet, heat the oil. Once the oil is hot, place half of the carrots into the oil flat-side-down and cook without turning until tender. Sprinkle the carrots with salt. The cut side of the carrots will be very, very dark (some may even call it burnt—don't worry, it tastes great!). Stir and let the carrots cook until they are tender, then remove them from the pan.
- Repeat the previous step to cook the remaining carrots, then remove the pan from the heat. Season all the carrots to taste and cool them to room temperature.
- While the carrots cook, add the pepper to the yogurt.
- To serve, spread 2 to 3 tablespoons of the yogurt onto the bottom of a plate, then add the carrots, and sprinkle them with the walnuts.