Picnic + Big Cheese Squeeze

Mark it. April 15th, 2013. Four months into our date night experiment, I almost threw in the towel. Not entirely, but just for one date. We’ll call it a moment of fogginess. We came off a whirlwind weekend and were just looking to relax, couldn’t land a babysitter, and both of us (for sure me) just wanted to turn things off for the day. Thankfully, after some quick reflection, we opted not to neglect just one teensy little date night and decided to make it happen. It lacked flash (mainly because Lily was with us) but we had fun none-the-less. My word of encouragement from this date night is aim to do at least something, it doesn’t have to be epic.

Good Eats (Camaraderie)

We decided to go on a picnic at a nearby park for our date day. We also wanted this date to represent our goodbye to Winter. Spring has sprung in full effect where we live and we know because the weather is warmer, our flowering trees are flowering, and the 13.5 million dandelions that have decided to populate our backyard. In light of our goodbye Winter celebration, we decided to enjoy a very wintry meal and put it to rest until the Fall returns. We went with the Good Eats Big Cheese Squeeze, or as Alton puts it, the perfect simple sandwich. The book says it is best enjoyed as a midnight snack at 3:00am but we figured it would work as an afternoon treat…it did.

Super-simple recipe. Sliced up some Italian bread, shredded some sharp cheddar cheese, and heated up a skillet and our cast-iron skillet. Added some dijon mustard to the bread, buttered it, and made a Panini press of sorts with the two skillets (clever idea Alton). You imagination is correct if you’re thinking this was fire. Excellent flavors, textures, and simplicity at its finest. We also made some tomato bisque soup from scratch. By scratch I mean from a can.

Sliced Bread and Shredded Cheese

Applying Dijon Mustard to Sliced Bread

Shredded Cheddar Cheese on Sliced Bread

Buttered & Cheesed Sandwich

Alton Brown's Version of a Panini Press

Good Plan (Initiative)

Since we had Lily with us, we decided to stay local but do something we don’t do very often. We grabbed some blankets, our sandwiches and soup, and a copy of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. We had a date day picnic together and I spent some time reading a portion of  a HP chapter to Britt. In a candid confession, this picnic lasted about 45 minutes. A babysitter is a very important part of date night and for the first time in our experiment, we failed to land one. Of all our date nights, this was the most  faux pas-filled. However, we had a sweet time.

Date Day Picnic

Britt also tried to feed some of the ducks around us. It was cute, especially when they began to swarm around her and she started to run from them. Britt is hilarious when getting chased by a gaggle of geese, throwing bread all around, and yelling at the feathery beasts. Lily and I had a good laugh. It was romantic-esque. Lily also enjoyed posting up with us and the aggressive geese.

Lily on our Date Day

Good Conversation (Depth)

We’re approaching our five-year anniversary so I asked two reflective five-year questions.

1. What’s the best restaurant we have dined at in our five years of marriage?

Britt: Scholars Inn on Mass Ave in Downtown Indianapolis (out of business now)

Matt: Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in Downtown Indianapolis

2. What’s the best hotel we’ve stayed in over our five years of marriage?

Matt: Conrad in downtown Indianapolis

Britt: French Lick resort in French Lick, Indiana