Date Night In: Recipes For A Romantic Night At Home

Date night doesn't have to mean you have to dig deep in your pockets. Cooking at home is always a great way to save a few dollars and celebrate a romantic evening that doesn't require a reservation or a babysitter.  We reached out to a few local foodies for their suggestions at how to make for the perfect date night all without leaving your comfy abode.

The Well Dressed Kitchen is a food blogger and meal-prep guru out of Valparaiso.  She came up with this super simple appetizer that's the perfect way to get your evening started.

Pesto Crostini Appetizer

  • 1 baguette or french bread, cut into 1 inch thick pieces (roughly 20 slices)

  • ½ cup pesto

  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved

  • ¼ cup parmesan, shredded

Instructions

  1. Pre heat oven to 400 degrees F. Place bread slices on un-greased baking sheet.

  2. Top each slice of bread with a scoop of pesto and sprinkle with cheese.

  3. Bake roughly 8 minutes or until bread is crisp and cheese is melted. Top each slice of bread with 1 cherry tomato half. Serve Immediately.

Melissa Miller, LaPorte native, also known as Sweet Melissa and The Beer Darling spends her days as an art director and her evenings as a connoisseur for some of the Region's best local beer and restaurants.  This pasta recipe has special occasion written allllll over it and the best part is that including a store bought ravioli means less time spent in the kitchen and more quality time with your person.  Plus check out her chocolate stout bundt cake recipe below!

Ravioli with Brown Butter Sage Cream Sauce

2 9-oz packages of fresh ravioli, cheese or butternut squash filling

1 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup butter

1 Tbsp fresh sage, chopped

1/4 freshly grated Parmesan

1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

salt & pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

Melt the butter in a large skillet heated on medium heat. Continue to cook the butter until it becomes a golden-brown color, about 5–8 minutes. Add the cream and sage and simmer for about a minute. Add Parmesan, salt & pepper. Simmer for another minute, add raviolis, and let raviolis heat for a minute or two. Plate and sprinkle with toasted walnuts. Bon appétit!

Cafe Borgia in Munster, IN made it to the Final Four of our Region's Best Date Night Contest.  So when looking for inspiration for date night ideas, we obviously started our search with someone who's been in the date night business for over 30 years.  Known for their upscale Italian menu and signature cocktails, we found this fruity cocktail sure to bring that date night vibe right to your table.

Watermelon Martini

  • 1.5 oz Three Olives Watermelon Vodka

  • .25 oz Monin Watermelon Syrup

  • .5 oz Triple Sec

  • 2 oz  Sweet and Sour Mix

  • Splash of cranberry juice

Combine all ingredients into a shaker, add ice and cover.  Shake vigorously, pour and serve.

Chocolate Stout Bundt Cake

1 box chocolate fudge cake mix

1 (3.4 oz.) package instant chocolate pudding mix

2 cups sour cream

3 eggs

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup stout, slightly flat & at room temp

3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup heavy cream

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan. With a mixer, blend the cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, eggs, oil, and stout until smooth. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake for about 40 minutes or until set. Don’t over-bake—the cake should still be a fudgy consistency. After removing from oven, let cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes before carefully inverting onto a cake plate.

To prepare the chocolate ganache glaze, place chocolate chips into a bowl. Heat heavy cream until it comes to a simmer then pour over the chocolate chips and cover for 10 minutes. Stir the ganache until smooth then let set uncovered for 15 minutes or more until it’s a bit thicker consistency. Drizzle over the cooled cake. Enjoy!