Thursday, October 28, 2010

Box dinner date night (and the giveaway starts!)

The table’s set. The candle is lit. And dinner is served. Except you're sitting at your own dining room table.

This is the first time we've eaten in here since February...
we usually eat in the breakfast area.

There’s just something nice about having an at-home date night.

Through Myblogspark (thanks for leading me there!), I was asked if I would like to participate in an at-home themed Spark.

I received a free Wanchai Ferry and Romano’s Macaroni Grill dry dinner kit as well as a $25 gift card to purchase additional ingredients for my date night. I was so excited when I saw the little brown box on the front door step.
Hello, box!

I purchased:

• Candle (I already had a bottle of wine I wanted to drink, or I would have bought wine instead)
• 1 lb of chicken breasts
• Broccoli
• Fresh parmesan
• Salad mix
• French garlic bread
• Tomato
• Brownie ingredients (you know I made the box kind…)

For Tuesday’s date night, I chose to make the Macaroni Grill Creamy Basil Parmesan Chicken and Pasta. All you really need is the chicken. I didn’t realize the kit included parmesan!
The chef's tip on the box was to add a fresh tomato to the pasta.
I definitely think it was a good idea.
After a slight mishap because I didn’t read the instructions completely (they’re not hard…but I didn’t realize there was a sauce packet AND a seasoning packet). I might have added the sauce WAY before I was supposed to. Oh well.

Next time: Read directions before I start cooking.
The directions said to use two tablespoons of butter to grill the chicken in, but I just used one, and it worked out perfectly.

And I’m not lying when I tell you the boy said, “This is better than you could get in the restaurant.”

I think it's a combination of the food quality and my fabulous cooking skills.

Now, I was skeptical at first. I didn’t think it would be enough food. It looked small in that box. But it was enough for me to have for lunch the next day. And I couldn’t even it all of it then (it was just as delicious the second day).
Delicious date food.

I always worry about these box dinners having enough flavor, but that was not the case with this one. I agree with Mr. A. It had more flavor than you often get in restaurants, and I didn’t add a single thing. Not even salt.
I made the brownies first. Is that normal?

Dessert? Yes, please!

I can’t wait to try the Wanchai Ferry Orange Chicken, and I know the boy can’t either. He loves Chinese food. I will definitely let you know what we think about that one, too. If it’s as good as the Macaroni Grill box, I can see these popping up in the pantry more often.

YOU CAN WIN! And guess what? You have a chance to have your very own date night (or dinner with friends)! It will be the same Spark gift I received: a Wanchai Ferry and Romano’s Macaroni Grill dry dinner kit as well as a $25 gift card.

To enter:

> Leave a comment about the best date you’ve had (or your favorite go-to date); or a tip for having a fun date night at home.
> I will give you an extra entry (or entries) if you blog or tweet about my contest. Just send an e-mail with the link or tweet to

It doesn’t take a fancy date or expensive night out to have fun. Sometimes, it’s just nice to stay in.

I will announce the winner next Thursday!


Mrs. Bear said...

This is such an awesome giveaway!! I think one of my best dates with my husband was our first official date. We spent so much time laughing over drinks before we left for dinner that everywhere closed - we ended up begging the people at Olive Garden to give us a table. We laughed the whole way through dinner and I remember thinking it was the best date ever.

JC said...

My tips for having a fun date night at home- a good bottle of wine and desserts plus candles
tcarolinep at gmail dot com

Tatum-LeTard said...

Thank you so much for your sweet comment on my last post! If I haven't told you before, which I am sure I have... I just LOVE your blog!!! Everything you write sounds so much like me! And the Mac Grill dinners... AWESOME! You can't go wrong!

katychick said...

my favorite date night is my hubby cooking me dinner- the kids are at grandma's- we rent a movie and sleep in late.
tcogbill at live dot com

Mami2jcn said...

One of the best dates I ever had was when my husband proposed. He took me back to my college campus where we met and proposed in a beautiful gazebo with a dozen roses.

mami2jcn at gmail dot com

Ragan said...

My best date is by far italian-themed. Aside from the at-home prize featured on your blog, it just doesn't get better than Pesto Cafe. Huzbo and I had our first date there and keep going back. My best at home tip is to find a good board or card game and get your competition on.

JoeyfromSC said...

The table and the food looks great!!

Actually embarrassing but my best date was at McDonald’s, ironically 9 years ago today, with my best friend of now nine(long lol) years!!! haha

We hit it off really well & it's a night I won't forget!

Thanks for the chance to win!!!


*emailing you now with the link to my tweet too:)

Anonymous said...

Our go to date is move night in with a special dessert!

Anonymous said...

Our fav date night is pasta dinner at home then out for dessert!

Nicole-Lynn said...

Great giveaway! So sweet :)

My first date night was with my now fiance, it was 9 years ago when we were in high school! He took me to a Denny's Restaurant! haha We love to have date nights at Barnes and Noble just looking at magazines or going to the beach and spending time together.

We're now planning our wedding and looking to buy our first home! Needless to say we're on a tight budget! Winning this would still enable us to have a nice, fun date night!

Amy said...

Our favorite date is a campfire in our back yard!

avennett AT verizon DOT net

Louis H said...

to make the most of your at home date unplug the phone and arrange a sleepover at friends for your kids

Thank you for hosting this giveaway

schnitzomage {at} gmail {dot} com

Louis H said...

here is my tweet!/left_the_stars/status/29241191899

tattgiff said...

We are so boring.
We are just fine with a glass of wine and psych reruns!
tattgiff at centurytel dot net

Gracie said...

I like a date night in where we can cook together but he does all the clean up! =)
And if there's wine involved, it makes everything better!

Anonymous said...

When I was in college, I dated my future hubs for a summer. We'd bring a blanket outside and stargaze on the warm summer nights. Perfect!

Mari said...

When my dh proposed, he hired an plane to fly overhead with a banner that read "I love you, will you marry me?"
It was so romantic.

runningmatey at hotmail dot com

Kerri said...

I love your blog!! My go-to date is sushi and a movie. Delicious and romantic, it never fails!

Michelle said...

I'll play! My favorite date night with my hubby involves a piece of Sam's pizza and endless diet coke as we do our shopping. Lame, but we have our best conversations going aisle to aisle. Michelle.malashock @ gmail dot com.

Anonymous said...

I love reading your blog for the reason that you can constantly get us fresh and awesome things, I feel that I should at least say thanks for your hard work.

- Henry