A Date Night In

Thank you to Blue Apron for sponsoring this post. Click here to get $50 off your first two weeks of Blue Apron, and share who you would cook for in the comments below!

I’ve shared before that Matt is the one who does most of the dinner cooking around here. Ironic, I know, since I’m the one with the food blog! We get Blue Apron every week, so it’s easy for him to simply grab whatever recipe card catches his eye and get cooking while I get Riese to bed. No trying to figure out what to make or which ingredients to use because everything is ready and waiting for him. It’s a nice routine!

We get Blue Apron every week on our own dime, and then I occasionally partner with them for a sponsored review every few months. For this quarter’s partner post, they challenged me to show appreciation to someone that I love by cooking them a Blue Apron meal! I was originally thinking it might be fun to cook for a friend (I did that once before using a Blue Apron – it’s a great way to make a meal for a friend/have a girl’s night in without dealing with all the planning/shopping logistics), or for my mom, but in the end I decided why not use the opportunity to cook a meal for my best guy, especially since he’s usually the one cooking for me!

cooking blue apron at home

Matt had a really busy week at work last week, so by Friday he was wiped and I figured it would be the perfect night to let him relax on the couch while I got Riese to bed and then started cooking. It’s hard to get out for date nights nowadays (we are lucky to have my mom babysit on occasion, but we feel bad asking her often), so I figured I could make this meal a special date night in – no babysitter required!

If you haven’t heard of Blue Apron before, it’s a meal subscription box service that delivers farm fresh ingredients to your door (in a refrigerated box, so you don’t have to be home) in exactly the right proportions to make delicious chef-designed recipes at home. We do the 2 person plan (you can choose 2 or 3 recipes each week, each serving 2 people – they also have a family plan option) every week and love having 3 of our dinners already planned and shopped for! The recipe instructions are easy to follow and their meals are always creative and unique, too – it gets us making things at home that we might not normally think of or try!

Case in point was our date night in meal: Shrimp in Smoky Harissa Sauce with Couscous, Olives, & Currants (<- get the easy 20 minute recipe to recreate it at home yourself!). Sounds fancy, right?! My sous chef (always underfoot) and I got to work.

First up: prep the couscous with currants and olives. For some reason I never think to make couscous, and it’s so yummy! This was supposed to have grated carrots in it, too, but we decided to eat those raw while I cooked instead. :)

The couscous also got a yummy boost from this cool preserved lemon puree – I love all the unique ingredients that Blue Apron sources!

Mise en place:

Next up was the shrimp! This was a really fast meal, which I appreciate. Into a pan went the minced garlic, tomato paste, and harissa paste, followed a few minutes later by the shrimp and a little water. Easy!

Matt came into the kitchen to join me for beer o’clock! Because cooking is always more fun with a drink in hand, right?!

A few minutes later and we were ready to eat! That was easy.

To give this dinner more of a special date night feel, I cleared all of the baby stuff off our dining room table (just keepin’ it real), set the table properly, and lit some candles. :)

Matt and I agreed we need to do this more often – we eat at home most nights nowadays, but it’s usually a sort of rushed situation, or we eat in front of the TV, or whatever. Dim lighting and candles, while not great for photography, made this feel special and encouraged us to linger and chat like we would if we were out somewhere. It was really nice, and Matt appreciated my efforts to treat him to a night off from cooking, too. :)

Thank you to Blue Apron for the inspiration behind this date night in – and for making it so easy to execute! Give them a shot yourself – click here to get $50 off your first two weeks of Blue Apron.

November and December are great months to focus on gratitude and sharing love. I’d love to know – who would you cook for, and why? 


  1. 1

    Such a sweet gesture! Dining in can be just as special. We just have to go that extra mile, like lighting candles. I now keep our places set with Pioneer Woman placemats and cloth napkins + light a candle often. It does feel special!

  2. 3

    A very nice idea and a great looking meal!

  3. 4

    Nice work guys! Great “beer o’clock” photo Anne ;)

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