Tag Archives: double date

Another Fun Double Date Night In

Tonight was another random, last minute, double date night in. Our friends Leigh and Nate’s anniversary was yesterday, so I sent them an email and told them we should get together again soon. They suggested tonight, so we said sure! They came over for a healthful Lasagna (we use the recipe on the back of the Barilla No Bake Lasagna noodles box and substitute ground turkey for the beef/sausage; plus, every time it says to add meat, add meat AND veggies–we used 1 c. frozen spinach, 1 small zucchini, 1 small yellow squash and about 8 chopped baby carrots). Plus they brought garlic bread and we made a salad (see below).

Green Salad with Carrots in the center, surrounded by a Caprese Salad of roma tomatoes, mozzarella, capers and chopped fresh basil. Drizzle with olive oil and your favorite vinegar and sprinkle with salt & pepper or your favorite seasoning grinder. Yum!

For dessert, we had a rich cup of French Roast coffee and Double Chocolate Torte (gluten-free vegan recipe from Oh She Glows). Even the dessert is full of good-for-you stuff, don’t knock it before you’ve tried it. Seconds will be had…guilt-free! Delicious chilled, at room temperature, or my favorite way–frozen!

picture courtesy of Oh She Glows

After dessert, they ended up teaching us two new games. If you hadn’t noticed, games are one of our favorite things to do. We played a lot of games during our dating years, especially Settles of Catan, Ticket to Ride, Scrabble and Dutch Blitz. We even had game nights that we co-hosted weekly during our first couple of years of marriage. Six years later, the frequency of games has decreased, but we still enjoy board and card games quite a bit.

Last time Nate and Leigh were here, they taught us Dominion, and it became a fast favorite, to the point we “had” to buy it and have played it for date nights multiple times since then (good for 2 players). Tonight, they taught us Small World and 7 Wonders–both are very good games!

“Risk”-esque game of conquering territories. Only 9 turns per player, but has a bit more of a learning curve than 7 Wonders and takes a bit more time with strategizing.

A fast-paced, easy to learn game for 3+ players, with multiple strategies and outcomes.

Thank God for like-minded friends and lasting memories of fun nights together! And Happy Anniversary, Nate and Leigh!

Venison and Brown Rice Bar (aka “Unfried Rice”)

Our friends, Greg and Catherine, joined us for dinner on Friday night. Catherine focuses on a raw vegan diet as much as possible, so we wanted to have a fun spread. They did, however, provide some venison that had been given to them. Everything was delicious and very simple. Greg and Catherine arrived around 2:30 in the afternoon. We prepped the Raw Pumpkin Pie and began the meat marinade while we caught up and enjoyed each others’ company. We ate around 5 and finished with a great board game. It was so much fun to cook as couples and try new things.

Nothing says southern hospitality like a glass of iced tea! (Of course it's sweet!) All photography in this post courtesy of Bryan McKinnon, http://www.shadowlight.smugmug.com.

The Spread: Brown Rice Bar with Fresh Mix-Ins, Pan-fried Venison, Tossed Salad with Mushrooms and Tomatoes, Carrot Salad with Cinnamon, and Sweet Tea.

Meat for the Man Folk: venison marinated in apple cider vinegar, garlic salt, onion salt, pepper and olive oil for 1 hour prior to battering in Italian panko (bread crumbs) and pan frying in canola oil. Yum!

Fresh Raw Ingredients for the Rice Bar: tomatoes, zucchini, apples, carrots, green onions, radishes, green and red peppers, white onions, pumpkin, garlic.

More Rice Bar Add-Ins: Pomegranate, Goat Cheese, Parsley, Paprika, Curry, and Mint Leaves. I highly recommend the combination of garlic and curry. This was a great feature and I will definitely serve it again. So tasty, and everyone gets to pick their own add-ins! You can please vegetarians, and it doesn't matter if the rice gets cold because it still tastes great!

We concluded the evening with a rousing game of Settlers of Catan, Organic French Press Coffee for the ladies and Earl Grey Tea for the men. (Okay, I took this pic, obviously.)

Joining A Gym with Friends

We’ve been talking with our friends Dave & Rachel about getting more active as couples. Rachel works out with me and my friend Jan sometimes, and she & Dave have recently gotten back into running. We hang out all the time and decided to join a gym together. What really motivated us was the $10 per person per month special! It’s a pretty cool gym. The best part is it’s within walking distance of our house! So on Tuesday night, we went over and checked it out, and walked out as members!

Bryan went last night while I trained my two new clients. He warmed up on the bike, did the elliptical for about 40 minutes, then cooled down on the bike. I was so thrilled. He came home from work and the next thing I knew, he was like, “I’m going to the gym. See you in a while.” Yeah!!

ZXFitness stands for Zero eXcuses! And with it being so close and so cheap, we really don’t have an excuse not to use it. We joined with friends so we can stay accountable! I’m super excited! The four of us have a double date at the gym tonight! I’ve been looking forward to it since I got up this morning! Then I think I’ll have a smoothie for dinner. Looking forward to that too!