February 2022 Date Jar: “Have a Chopped cooking competition at home”

What’s the ‘Date Jar’?

When we got engaged, our friends gave us a jar filled with date ideas so that we could continue ‘dating’ even after we got married. Now, after being married over 5 years, we think about that jar and understand how truly important it is to set aside intentional time to have fun and try new things together. Because of that, we gift all of our couples with a date jar filled with 52 different date ideas, some that we have personally already enjoyed, and some new ideas that we have always wanted to try together!

As we encourage couples just beginning their forever together, we thought it would be fun to share our dates to inspire all our friends, families, and couples to continue pursuing each other in marriage.

Confession: I don’t love cooking. I cook to survive. I only choose the easiest, fastest recipes to get the job done. It’s rare that I ever pick a new recipe that I’ve never made before just to ‘have fun’ and ‘experiment.’

Beau, in stark contrast, enjoys cooking. If he’s going to make something, he’s going to pick a new, exciting recipe to try, and he doesn’t mind if it takes hours to prepare as long as it tastes good.

You may remember that last Valentine’s Day, Beau locked me in our bedroom all afternoon to watch Friends and eat chocolate while he cooked an extravagant meal for me. It was the sweetest and most unexpected date night in filled with fun surprises, like a cheeseboard appetizer with a glass of wine.

So this year, I decided to flip the script and do something I literally NEVER do. I picked 5 brand new recipes, including some of Beau’s favorites, to cook for him. When I told him my plan, his face lit up with excitement (which only revealed to me that I should probably try harder to cook fun meals for us LOL). But he insisted that he get to be in charge of dessert for our fancy date night in. Of course I agreed 🙂

cooking date night idea

I wouldn’t say this was exactly a “Chopped cooking competition,” but it was my goal to out-do the meal he cooked for me last year! I decided to make bruschetta as an appetizer to start the evening, and it was a big hit. For the main course, I made roasted broccolini, scalloped potatoes, pan seared steaks, and garlic knots (made from scratch!).

The meal took over 2 hours to cook, but I would say it was definitely worth it. Everything was delicious and it was so fun to try every new dish with Beau.

For dessert, Beau had chocolate fondue for us, complete with all the dipping treats! We moved our little kitchen table into the living room so that we could savor every bite while watching a favorite romcom: The Wedding Planner.

It was another lovely Valentine’s Day date night in. After two years of celebrating like this, we decided to make it an annual tradition. But next year, it’s definitely Beau’s turn to cook 😉

Check out our most recent date jar reel on Instagram for some video evidence!