1. Cook Together
One of my favorite date nights of all is when hubby and I either put the kids to bed (or put a movie on in the other room) light a bunch of candles, turn on a little music and head into the kitchen together! We always pick an appetizer, main course and side dish and we usually try to stick to a theme -- French, Italian, etc. (We tend to like cooking French together the most!)
So, earlier in the week, get together with your hubby, look online, scour your magazines and your cookbooks and find some fun food ideas that you can create together. Not only will you be creating a delicious meal that you two can sit down and devour together, but you will also be creating memories and spending some of that important "quality time" with one another.
2. Wine and/or Beer Pairing
Nowadays more and more people are becoming wine and beer connoisseurs. If wine and/or beer is something that you and your hubby enjoy (or even if you just want to try something different!) you should make a night of it!
First things first... head to the store, pick out 4-6 different kinds of wine and/or beer, look online for (or just randomly pick!) some cheeses, sausages, and meats that pair well with each of your drink choices. Set up a tasting bar on your table, separating each of the different drinks and grouping them with their corresponding foods. Add some candles, some chocolates and just have fun! Don't worry if the tasting notes don't line up with what you're actually tasting -- you might even have fun trying to figure out which pairing tastes the worst!
3. Make Each Other's Favorite Dinner
We all have our favorite foods, the foods that make us feel happy, comfortable and just put us in a good mood, the foods that we like with just a pinch more of this or just a little extra cheese. This date is all about those foods! The truth is, sometimes it's fun to make a nice dinner for someone and sometimes it's nice for someone to make a nice dinner for you. I love to cook for my husband, but you know what I love just as much? When my husband cooks for me! There's something so delightful about making your spouse/significant other exactly what they want to eat for dinner, because, let's face it, food is a very important part of life! Not only do we need it to stay alive, but it can just be an amazing sensory-filled experience!
For this date, have your spouse/significant other tell you their favorite meal exactly how they like it (ketchup on their chicken marsala? sounds great!) and you do the same. Then after you've shopped for all your ingredients, you both get to head into the kitchen and get to work. Yes, you will bump into each other and there will be plenty of injured toes, but you can look at it as a fun little challenge! The goal of the night: for you each to make it out of the kitchen in one piece, with two delicious dinners! And of course, sharing is allowed! ;)
4. A Month of Delicious Dates
I'm going to say something crazy, something insane and something downright unbelievable... I don't always want to cook. There, I said it -- and it's the truth! Occasionally it's nice to get out and not have to worry about cleaning up the kitchen afterwards. That huge pile of dishes can sometimes put a slight damper on the evening! Another thing... I love my date nights with my hubby, when they actually happen. I've found that sometimes if you don't prepare ahead of time things will just slip by -- like date night. That's why this date idea is really about preparing ahead of time!
Purchase 4 different gift cards to 4 different restaurants. They can be your favorite restaurants or restaurants that you & your spouse/significant other have been wanting to try for ages! Make it a priority to take one night a week for the next month to have a romantic night with just you and your hubby. (No kids allowed!) Afterall, you've already spent the money and you have the gift cards sitting right there!
5. A Little Friendly Competition
Have you seen the show the Iron Chef? If you haven't then you're seriously missing out! The point of the show is to have 2 different chefs taking the one "special ingredient" and making as many unique and delicious dishes as they can with it! This date night consists of you and your hubby choosing one main ingredient (could be as simple as a pork chop or as interesting as cotton candy!) and each coming up with a recipe to make using that ingredient! Make sure to shop alone so neither of you have any idea what the other person is making until you're both in the kitchen! See who can come up with the most delicious or even the most unique recipe using the ingredient, then, the best part of the whole competition is that you both get to enjoy the final products together!
(If you aren't in the mood for going head-to-head with your spouse you can always choose your "special ingredient" then, together, you can plan and execute your recipes!)