Intro

“Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.”
― Robert Frost

We want you to get a glimpse at our date night. The mess, the chaos and the joy.

We start before the kids are in bed. At times they help us prepare the meal knowing what the food is for – a special date night for mama and dad. Ivy guides my hand to cut the tomatoes just to be a part of it. She’s eager to help taste and her joyful reaction assures me that I’ve done something right. She is already fearless in the kitchen. I watch her confidently grab for ingredients as she nudges her way into the process. Carefully I remove knives out of her path and do my best to keep her safe while not discouraging her bravery and curiosity.

The cocktails are made and the kids are put to bed while I remove the sweet and tangy pork from the oven. In the not-yet-quiet  house the smells of fatty pork and pungent garlic lure us to the table and help to mute the distractions.

This evening we find ourselves casually eating on the couch. The tacos disappear quickly while the conversation lingers. By this point the house is quiet and we settle in a little closer while we talk about the latest book we are reading together.

Both of us work from home so we see each other quite often throughout the day. Quite often we are able to have three meals together as a family – a blessing I cherish in these precious days. But because of that it is easy for us to forget that even though we see each other a lot we are rarely connecting on the level that is needed to deepen our relationship. To become lazy in our marriage is the disease that can quickly kill it. Working hard to preserve our friendship and intimacy we set aside these times, learn together and carve out moments to grow.

While the summer sun slowly retreats we pull our little ice cream bombes from the freezer and finish our night with a sweet, satisfying and unsophisticated dessert that reminds us that while deep and intimate conversations are vital to the marriage, so is having fun. The laughter and goofiness instantly reminds me of falling in love with my husband as his carefree attitude and easy ability to laugh drew me to him. His joy was and continues to be infectious. Somehow he managed to turn our first “date” (said loosely as we insisted we were just friends for months) of a walk to 7-11 into a hilarious adventure that had me laughing for days, actually years, after.

The evening ends and life continues. We go about our days and weeks checking off the hundreds of items that scatter our to-do lists but that time to shut everything off sustains us and sets us closer together. We walk away feeling more of a team and less of just “roommates” and already we anticipate our next day, our next meal and our next adventure.

_________________________

For the pork I used this recipe from my dear friend Rachel. Her carnitas are pretty darn spectacular – fatty, sweet, salty and tangy – everything you want in a great taco.

Additional taco fillings:

cotija, cilantro, radish and lime.

Pico de Gallo
adapted from Bon Appetit June ‘12
makes about 2 ½ cups

It was my mother-in-law who really grew my love of pico. At their house it is a staple and it is not hard to see why. This quick salsa is so fresh, simple and with the perfect bite you get flecks of sweet tomato, spicy jalapeno and cool cilantro. Summer’s ideal accessory.

½ medium red onion
2 cups diced tomato
⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon minced jalapeno
Kosher salt

Combine everything in a medium bowl. Season with salt. A squeeze of fresh lime is perfectly acceptable I’d say.

 

Taqueria Guacamole


adapted from Bon Appetit June ‘12
makes about 2 cups

Usually I like my guacamole thick and full of large chunks of avocado. This simple recipe yields a simple and creamy guacamole perfect for adding to tacos.

2 large, ripe avocados
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
¼ teaspoon lime zest
Kosher salt
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
3 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

In a medium bowl mash avocado with lime zest, juice and a hearty pinch of salt using a fork to break up the avocado.
Once creamy and well mashed stir in the cilantro and minced garlic. Add a bit of water (1 Tablespoon at a time) to achieve a smooth texture. Season with salt or more lime juice.

Little Bombes
adapted from Jeni Britton Bauer via Bon Appetit, June ‘12

12 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
⅓ cup coconut oil
pinch salt

topping suggestions:
cinnamon
lime, lemon or orange zest
ground coffee
cocoa nibs
coconut
sprinkles
flake salt
candied ginger
turbinado sugar

In a medium bowl combine the chocolate, coconut oil and salt. Microwave in intervals of 30 seconds stirring between each or melt over a bowl of simmering water.

Once melted remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.

While the chocolate is cooling scoop some ice cream onto a cold plate then place in the freezer until ready to dip.

With a scoop of ice cream on a fork spoon the melted chocolate over the ice cream. Using another fork gently slide the chocolate covered scoop of ice cream onto a plate and sprinkle with any number of toppings. Work in small batches and quickly return ice cream to the freezer. Let set for at least 10 minutes before serving.

This can also be done several days in advance.

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Pork Tacos // Little Ice Cream Bombes

For the pork I used this recipe from my dear friend Rachel. Her carnitas are pretty darn spectacular – fatty, sweet, salty and tangy – everything you want in a great taco.

Additional taco fillings:

cotija, cilantro, radish and lime.

Pico de Gallo
adapted from Bon Appetit June ‘12
makes about 2 ½ cups

It was my mother-in-law who really grew my love of pico. At their house it is a staple and it is not hard to see why. This quick salsa is so fresh, simple and with the perfect bite you get flecks of sweet tomato, spicy jalapeno and cool cilantro. Summer’s ideal accessory.

½ medium red onion
2 cups diced tomato
⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon minced jalapeno
Kosher salt

Combine everything in a medium bowl. Season with salt. A squeeze of fresh lime is perfectly acceptable I’d say.

 

Taqueria Guacamole


adapted from Bon Appetit June ‘12
makes about 2 cups

Usually I like my guacamole thick and full of large chunks of avocado. This simple recipe yields a simple and creamy guacamole perfect for adding to tacos.

2 large, ripe avocados
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
¼ teaspoon lime zest
Kosher salt
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
3 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

In a medium bowl mash avocado with lime zest, juice and a hearty pinch of salt using a fork to break up the avocado.
Once creamy and well mashed stir in the cilantro and minced garlic. Add a bit of water (1 Tablespoon at a time) to achieve a smooth texture. Season with salt or more lime juice.

Little Bombes
adapted from Jeni Britton Bauer via Bon Appetit, June ‘12

12 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
⅓ cup coconut oil
pinch salt

topping suggestions:
cinnamon
lime, lemon or orange zest
ground coffee
cocoa nibs
coconut
sprinkles
flake salt
candied ginger
turbinado sugar

In a medium bowl combine the chocolate, coconut oil and salt. Microwave in intervals of 30 seconds stirring between each or melt over a bowl of simmering water.

Once melted remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.

While the chocolate is cooling scoop some ice cream onto a cold plate then place in the freezer until ready to dip.

With a scoop of ice cream on a fork spoon the melted chocolate over the ice cream. Using another fork gently slide the chocolate covered scoop of ice cream onto a plate and sprinkle with any number of toppings. Work in small batches and quickly return ice cream to the freezer. Let set for at least 10 minutes before serving.

This can also be done several days in advance.

 

90 Responses to “Dating My Husband”

  1. Kasey

    I just adore this. The video and the recipes! Matt and I don’t have kids yet, but we spent many evenings working side by side together to prepare for just the two of us to enjoy. Some people say that it takes so long to make the food – it gets eaten so quickly! But what you capture in the video shows that the prep work is part of the romance :) I must make those ice cream bombs pronto!

    Reply
    • Ashley Rodriguez

      Kasey – It is pretty crazy that the pork spent all day in the oven and I gobbled up a taco in under 5 minutes (although we had leftovers for days). During the time I spend preparing the food for our date nights I’m thinking about my husband, about our marriage and how much I enjoy serving him in this way. It’s part of the process and really helps to set the mood for the night. You are so right – the prep is part of the romance. Thanks for the comment.

      Reply
  2. Stephanie

    I don’t have a husband to date right now, but should that happen I have a great idea of what to do together! That was a BEAUTIFUL video. Thanks so much, Ashley, for letting us peek into your sweet life.

    Reply
  3. la domestique

    The video is wonderful- from the music to you cooking alongside your sweet little girl, to the beautiful food. Last night my husband and I went out for a fancy dinner to celebrate our birthdays (mine yesterday, his today), and when I asked him if his meal was good, he said that eating out just doesn’t feel special anymore, compared to the meals we prepare at home. It felt good to hear him say that.

    Reply
  4. NicoleD

    So beautiful, Ashley. Your video illustrates how beautiful food is as it comes together. I’ve been known to give a dreamy glance at my bowl of fruit and veggie scraps. I just love every step.

    Reply
  5. Mary

    Thank you so much for sharing that video, Ashley. We had out first “date night IN” last week, thanks to your inspiration! IT WAS WONDERFUL. Just being able to eat together with zero distractions was heavenly in itself, not to mention the uninterrupted conversation. Oh yeah. This tradition is a keeper. Your post has been pinned and bookmarked for a future Date Night In! I just love your blog.

    Reply
  6. Anna

    Simply, well done and tasty shots of natural food. I really liked it a lot! And your daughter…she is like a cherry on a cake :)

    Reply
  7. Sarah

    I love your whole blog but I especially love this series. You are very wise and the video of you all is beyond wonderful!

    Thank you for all your beautiful inspiration.
    Sarah xo

    Reply
  8. MikeVFMK

    Such a beautiful video giving us a small glimpse into your life as a mother and wife. And date nights are part of a beautiful routine as evidenced by this. Love the idea and the recipes.

    Reply
  9. Jamie

    My husband and I have started having at home date nights incense a month. I love it! With 3 kids its easy to forget about each other.

    Reply
  10. molly

    I nearly panicked for lack of a pork recipe. Then caught it, up top. Oh, these will so be on our table…

    Reply
  11. scarlett

    thank you so much for this lovely post, video and romantic inspiration. you are a beautiful person and your family is wonderful. it moved me to tears to see how much care you put into living your love. i wish i could do the same. one day, i hope, i will cherish an equally beautiful love.

    thank you, lots of love, keep up the fantastic work.
    scarlett

    Reply
  12. Beth Abbott

    Today is my husband’s birthday. It’s the first birthday we’ve had since we were married last year. To celebrate we’re having “date night” tonight, so the timing of this wonderful post is just perfect.

    Reply
  13. Natashia@foodonpaper

    I can’t tell you how glad I am that you share these date nights… every time I read (and now watch – love the video!) it makes me smile and think about my other half and how much I love sharing meals with him. It makes me want to put a little more effort in to make sure we always stay best friends and never lose what we have. So thank you!

    Reply
  14. rachel schindler

    What a beautiful video and I love the concept “dating my husband”. Thanks for sharing and sharing the recipes. PS I love the addition of the diet coke.

    Reply
  15. Michelle Levine

    Thanks for sharing the video and about your date night! I love seing your little munchkins sharing in the process of preparing it all before they are off to bed and your hubby and you can savor all the fruits of your labor for date night !

    Reply
  16. Denise

    Ashley, lovely reminder that we all need to continue to “date” the one we love. We, too, work from home and see each other all day. But, it is not romantic, it is work and at times can be stressful. We don’t have children but I still feel it is good to schedule a “date” night. L thinks I am being silly since every night is a date night since we are childless; but, it just isn’t the same. It is nice to do a little something extra, every so often. Thank you for the gentle reminder.

    Reply
  17. CGYMomof2

    What a refreshing post! Thanks for sharing. I know so many people who put their relationship on the backburner while they raise their kids.
    My husband and I are preparing our kids to leave home and make one of their own eventually! I think it is so important for them to know you should spend the time with your spouse to reconnect! I also love how you include them in your prep and they understand it is for something special!

    Reply
  18. Fabiola

    I just love this. It makes my heart smile and has me recalling the wonderful yet simple dates my boyfriend and I share in this busy life of ours. We are so blessed. Your video and words help remind me that we should always cherish these sweet little moments. An I tell you how much I LOVE that you allow your daughters curiosity to continue but gently guide her. That is some serious thoughtful cool parenting. Thanks for sharing, seriously.

    Reply
  19. Shaina

    This is so gorgeous. The video with Ivy made my heart melt. What a mother’s helper she’s turning out to be.

    Reply
  20. Wenderly

    Could you & your family be any cuter? No. I think not. What an exquisite evening that was captured so poetically. The food, the mood, the lighting, the music. And of course those cheeks and curious little chubby fingers. Exquisite.

    Reply
  21. Tracey Evans

    Oh my, I love everything about this video!! Soooo sweet! I had to go to itunes to download this song too! :)

    Reply
  22. THE Bombshell*

    Unmistakably Veggie Tales being watched. :) Not the most important thing to notice with this adorable video and post. But, noticed, nonetheless since I have 4 kids under 6. My husband date at home all the time. That’s just the way it’s got to be this stage of life. But I love it. In fact…..he just walked in– off to start tonight’s now. :)

    (btw, I’ve been following you since the commercial! I was literally watching TV and had my laptop, and I’m like “What?!” and looked you up immediately. Love your work.)

    Reply
  23. Aninas Recipes

    I am absolutely speechless, I love everything about this post. I actually got teary eyed when I watched the video! I have a two year old that is starting to enjoy things I do in the kitchen… so so special. Great recipes and awesome pics!

    Reply
  24. Nikkilooch

    This video is so beautiful. And can I tell you some real life about it? It shows me some good stuff about having kids. Everyone always only tells you the bad. Your little girl standing on the stool next to you in the kitchen warmed my kidless heart.

    Reply
  25. Jay

    This site is an absolute inspiration and this video is just gorgeous!

    Would you consider posting a “behind the scenes” article? How do you find the time to capture such amazing images while your preparing the food? Whenever I try it, I feel like I’m washing my hands every 30 seconds just so I can pick up the camera to take a shot! Any hints would be *greatly* appreciated.

    Reply
  26. Laura

    This is the cutest, sweetest, most meaningful thing I’ve seen in a long time! I just got married about a month ago… and while I’ve been so very excited about our future, this makes me even more so. I cannot wait to show my husband. I hope you continue to enjoy your date nights! Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  27. amanda

    what a touching, touching video. your blog is MY retreat. thank you for that. i hope we never stop appreciating our own charmed lives.

    Reply
  28. sarah

    This is lovely. And I’m so impressed with your in-house date night. We always try to get away for the evening, but here I see so much beauty is staying in; there is still room for making the night special, meaningful, and fun. You’ve sort of revolutionized my thinking here.

    Reply

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