RELATIONSHIPS - Some say that trust, intimacy, independence and communication are the four essential keys to any healthy relationship! While these maybe true, we want to throw in one more word that can surely be the forefront for anyone entering or in a relationship : time. Time - it may sound like a cheesy concept, but all relationships need time to grow and foster. And when it comes to time, we believe that one of the best ways to promote time within fostering your relationships come from the dates that you create. If dates are something that you may be nervous about doing, or if you are even just finding yourself lacking major date night inspiration, do not worry - you are probably not alone! We definitely have the guide for you to ensure your relationship can blossom into the best it can be! These are our top date ideas to try this summer!
Plan A Picnic
Picnics are a simple, yet romantic date idea for you and your partner to enjoy some quality time with each other in the great outdoors. It is a time to appreciate the weather, appreciate each other, and appreciate life's little moments. When it comes to having a picnic, first and foremost, plan ahead! Picnics are made for enjoying the weather and the day, so find a perfect spot on a day where the weather is agreeable. It is also smart to pack accordingly, taking into account everything that you may need to make for ease. Make a list, or consider the following suggestions down below to help to be prepared:
- A Blanket or Sheet - If you are worried about getting grass stains or getting to dirty, consider bringing a blanket or sheet to sit on! If you are worried about ruining your favorite blanket or sheet, consider sitting on a vinyl tablecloth!
- A Cooler and Ice Packs - A cooler is essential in keeping everything chilled, so be sure to use plenty of ice packs. If you need to save space, consider freezing bottled water, lemonade, or fruit juice to double as ice packs - just be sure you have the time to let them thaw prior to serving!
- A Basket - You don’t necessarily need to get an old fashioned wicker basket, but it might be helpfully and slightly more romantic in looking for something more charming than a bunch of grocery bags!
- Plastic Storage Containers - These can be used to store meals and other foods while also preventing things from spilling.
- Pro-Tip! Do not put breads or other grains in these containers, as they can get soggy. Consider wrapping them in parchment papers or other disposable materials.
- Plates, Napkins, Utensils, Glassware or Cups, and a Cutting Board - It might actually be smart to use real dish-ware than plastic or paper plates. It is more environmentally friendly and adds a special extra touch to each picnic. Consider wrapping glassware, plates, and other fragile items in the blanket for extra cushioning
- Sunscreen and Bug Spray
- Books, Magazines, or Other Literature
- A Stereo or Phone To Stream Music
- A Sharp Knife and Bottle Opener
- Trash Bags and Moist Towelettes - Which can be used for clean up!
- And a First Aid Kit - Just for some protection!
When it comes to foods, it is very smart to serve finger-foods and meals that are easy to prepare, such as sandwiches, wraps, cut fruits and vegetables, chicken wings, tearable breads, and more! For some quick tips when it comes to picking out your menu, these are some tips that we suggest:
- Swap Out Mayonnaise for Pesto - Mayonnaise needs to be chilled and can go bad when exposed to heat for too long. Instead, swap out any recipe that calls for mayo with pesto, something that can be replaced in many pasta recipes, sandwiches, and other meals. It is great as a binder and makes for an easy condiment that is full of flavor!
- If Serving Salad, Wait To Dress - No one likes a soggy salad! Hold on to dressing salads until after you arrived at the spot and have settled in.
- When Choosing Cheeses - Aim for a low-moisture, firm cheese that will not get all gooey when exposed to heat. Cheeses like Gouda, Asiago, or even a nice Pecorino which make all amazing choices.
With these steps, you can ensure that your next picnic date goes smoothly!
Create An Outdoor Movie Night
In wanting to change up your date routines and do something fun and different, why not consider setting up an outdoor movie night for you and your partner! There are many practical DIY's detailing the steps of what you need to do to set-up for the perfect experience, but you do not need the world's most expensive projector and all the equipment in the world to make the most of it! Here is a simple way to create your own outdoor movie night:
Gather Together :
- Clothespins and Clothing Line
- A White Sheet - Either Queen Size or Bigger
- A Projector
- A PC
- An HDMI Cable
- Portable Speakers
- Outdoor Pillows or Cushions
- Outdoor Lights
- An Extension Cord - If Needed
- Set up clothing line at least seven feet off the ground and 2 feet longer than the white sheet. Center the white sheet on the line, attaching with the clothespins. Tie the bottom corners to the ground to secure.
- Create your screening station - on an outdoor table, set up your PC and speakers, testing out the sound if needed. Attach the HDMI cable to both your PC and projector and ensure the projector works.
- Decorate the space with the pillows and other accessories if desired!
- When ready to watch, center the projector to the sheet and play the video.
Explore A Farmer's Market
Produce in summer is so vibrant and colorful and farmer's markets offer an incredible setting that will be beneficial for any foodie couple. What can be really fun about exploring the market is that there is a massive variety of fruits, vegetables, and other produce and goodies to explore! Dip into your culinary exploration, strap on your shoes, and grab your bags. See if you and your partner can find any interesting foods to make fun meals with. Try new foods that have you and your partner haven't had before! It is a simple and cute way to kill time while enjoy the best of what summer can bring.
When you do find produce to try, consider making some of these recipes:
Baked Quinoa with Corn, Zucchini, and Cheese with a Fresh Tomato Relish
Serves - 4 | From Feasting At Home
Gather Together :
- 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
- 1 Small Onion - Diced (About 1 ½ cups)
- 2 Small Zucchini - Diced (About 3 cups)
- 1 Ear of Corn - Lightly Charred On A Gas Grill or In A Broiler
- 2 Garlic Cloves - Minced
- ½ Jalapeño – Finely Chopped (Optional)
- 1 ½ Cups of Water
- 1 Teaspoon of Salt
- 1 Teaspoon of Cumin
- 1 Teaspoon of Chili Powder
- 1 Cup of Rinsed Quinoa
- ½–1 cup Cheese - (Feta, Mozzarella, Goat Cheese, etc)
For Tomato Relish
- 1 Pound Cherry Tomatoes - Cut In Half (Or Regular Tomatoes - Diced)
- ¼ Cup of Fresh Chopped Parsley
- ¼ Cup of Sliced Onion
- 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
- 1 Tablespoon of Lemon or Lime Juice
- Salt and Pepper - To Taste
- Preheat oven to 400F
- In a 10 1/2 inch Skillet, heat oil over medium high heat.
- Add onion and zucchini and sauté 6 minutes, stirring often. Add jalapeño ( if using) and garlic and continue cooking until zucchini is tender, about 4 more minutes, turning heat down.
- Char shucked corn (still on the cob) placing it directly over a gas burner, using tongs to rotate until blackened in spots. (Alternately, cut corn off the cob and add to skillet and sauté with zucchini.)
- Add charred corn to zucchini. Add water, salt and spices. Stir, bring to a boil, then add quinoa. Stir once. Top with cheese, cover with lid or foil and place in the oven for 35-40 minutes. For the last 5 minutes, remove lid, and let cheese get a little melty and golden.
- While baking, make the tomato salad: Place everything in a medium bowl and toss to combine.
- Serve quinoa with the tomato salad relish and a dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt.
When it comes to summer dates, keep it simple and enjoy the weather!
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