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Friday Date Nights

So I thought since it was Friday we could tackle a topic that so many people have mixed emotions over... date night.. (Cue Mission Impossible Music) I feel like it is so important, to not only make sure that this happens.. and regularly. What I realize, is that the best laid plans can quickly get changed by last minute "I have to work late", I have nothing to wear, puking kids, cats, dogs, escaped peacocks.. you get the picture.

Now.. before you bury yourself in your Pinot, please take a moment. Gather your thoughts and set the timer on your phone for 5 minutes. Just 5.. I know that there is the 15 minute deal out there.. sorry that's not me. I quite honestly don't always have 15 minutes. Do a quick survey of your fridge, freezer, and linen closet. I would be willing to bet you have something you can throw together for dinner, a bottle of wine, and something pretty for your table. If you don't.. by all means order take out, and throw a plain white sheet over your table. Put whatever you have candle wise out (everyBODY looks romantic in candle light), and break out your pretty dishes. However.. the next time you go out, grab these things... the 2 pack of beef tenderloin wrapped in bacon, 1 loaf of french bread, a pre mixed Ceasar Salad pack, and a bottle of Cupcake Wine. (And to the wine connoisseurs out there.. I know I know.. however Cupcake is a reasonably priced all around good wine). For dessert 1 box of Sugar Free Instant Pudding, and 1 small carton of heavy whipping cream. This entire dinner should cost you less than $15.00. I'm assuming you have salt, pepper, garlic and butter. The good butter.. butter and margarine= NOT THE SAME DAMN THING!!!

So.. the time has come, you are ready to salvage said date night and you head out to fire up the grill. Stop.. stop right there. Get a heavy skillet that is also oven safe. Cast Iron works the best. Start by preheating your oven to 350.. scratch that.. start by taking your tenderlions out. Liberally sprinkle salt, cracked pepper and garlic on them and let them rest on a plate. In your pan, melt 1/2 a stick of butter with garlic. Once the butter has melted, take the tenderloins and sear them on all sides. (Yes.. I do mean the sides also). Once you have a nice crust, and the other 1/2 stick of butter and let it melt down. Pop the whole kit and caboodle into the oven and cook to your desired temperature. You will want to continue to baste these with all that butter yumminess every so often. That's it.. someone will be eating out of the palm of your hand if you serve this piece of beef to them. Toss the salad together, and right before you take the steak out, slice a few slices of the french bread to dip into the butter sauce. While you are waiting for this to finish make dessert.. it could not be more simple, or decadent. 1 box sugar free instant pudding.. 2 cups of heavy whipping cream. Mix. Put into a martini glass and garnish. That's it.. seriously. If you have some time to pre plan this make this in advance, if not it will still be amazing. I promise. Pinkie Promise.

Remember that 5 minute rule.. yep, set that timer again for 5 minutes . Clear the table, and pull out your silverware. If for some reason you don't know the proper place setting.. Google, and Pinterest. Set your table, light some candles and open your wine. Nothing here has to be expensive.. my favorite thrift store always has great wine glasses, and quite honestly my favorite wine glasses came from Dollar Tree. Yep, Dollar Tree. They are a heavy cut glass and I have had them for years.. They have survived the dishwasher, numerous parties, girls nights, and even a tween who hated to wash the dishes. Stand back a take a survey. My bet is that you have a minute and 13 seconds left. Go baste that steak and take it out of the oven. Cover the pan and take another 5 minutes to go put on whatever your evening calls for. come back and pre-plate the dinner making sure that you add lots of that butter. Have a fabulous evening!! Save the dishes for the morning.. yes, I really said that. No one will know. except you.. and your "date", and the cat.

My whole point was to 1- give you a recipe that is timeless. It can be changed up slightly by adding fresh herbs, deglazing the pan with a splash of sherry and mushrooms, adding sauteed onions.. you name it. It's a basic beginning. The second point was to show you that it doesn't have to cost a fortune to have a fantastic evening or set a fabulous table. You can do it.. I have faith.

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