2.18.2010

At Home Date: Cheese & Wine Tasting

What do you do when you have sick kids and no babysitter on Valentine's Day?  Have an "at home date" that's what!  After being continually frustrated by one canceled date night after another, my husband and I decided to start creating our own little romantic dates at home.  Our first of hopefully many at home dates was a mini cheese and wine tasting.  

Here is how I put it together: 
I headed to our local grocery store to pick up a variety of cheeses to try.  I picked a mixture of hard and soft cheeses:

Brie (soft)
Cambozola (soft)
Four Pepper Goat Cheese (soft)
Havarti (hard)
Purple Moon (hard-it's Cabernet soaked cheddar. Delish)

I would suggest to go to a cheese shop if you have one locally. That way there is a bigger variety to choose from, you can ask for suggestions and they can make your portions of each cheese smaller so you don't have a ton leftover. (Like us-I'm pretty sure it's going to last us through Labor Day) 

I also purchased a baguette to spread the soft cheeses on, water crackers for the hard cheeses, grapes (said to be used to cleanse your palette between cheeses) and pink lady apples.

We had a bottle of Merlot and Chardonnay on hand already, so we just went ahead and used those.  If you want to get really fancy, you can look up exact wine pairings for each cheese online. 

Next go home and set up your table all snazzy like so:
 
 Make sure you have some flowers and a candle or two to set the mood.  Turn down the rest of the lights.
 
Put out some cute labels for each cheese:  
Don't forget the sexy music! Go to Pandora or your favorite internet radio station and type in an artist that does it for you.  In my case, Ray LaMontagne.
 
 Now you are all set and ready to go!
 We ended up having a really great time.  See:
 
Happy and relaxed mommy after a few glasses of vino and tasty cheese.  Who needs an $80 dinner out?

The Purple Moon ended up being our favorite

Another hit was this little recipe:
Place a slice of brie and a thin slice of apple on a water cracker. Drizzle with honey and cinnamon. Yuuuummm!

Here are my last few tips for a successful at home date:
Obviously, if you have kids, wait until they are in bed and sound asleep. You don't want any interruptions.
Make sure the house is straightened: toys put away, dishes done, etc. You don't want visual reminders of all the chores that still need to be done. 
Turn the ringer off your phone.

Get dressed up just as if you were going out to do the same activity.  It may be tempting to put on your sweats and get cozy, but it feels more special to have a nice outfit on.  Don't forget some nice jewelry, lipstick and perfume!

We are already brainstorming ideas for our next at home date.  Send suggestions my way if you have any!

Oh, and guess who got some Penguin Classics for Valentine's Day?  Love them.

15 comments:

  1. ohhhh... husband and I love wine and cheese at home! Always a good time! Looks like you both enjoyed it!

    btw, Ray LaMontagne is one of my all time favs!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I know you've said you're not a big cook but making adult pizzas could be a lot of fun. With gorgonzola, pear, and walnuts, etc. Pizzas the girls wouldn't touch, ever. Rent a good movie and park it on the couch on a late Saturday night!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love this! My husband and I enjoy at home dates too and we don't even have kids yet. You definitely save money and can get exactly what you want. Thanks for sharing!

    ps~ love the new blog design!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thats exactly what dave and i did on our first night in napa. Cheese and wine is the best! And your choices of cheese are superb. Here's to many more date nights for you and hubs.

    ReplyDelete
  5. That sounds like an incredibly romantic evening! I will have to keep this in mind for the future when Eric and I have kids. I can't wait to hear what other stay-at-home dates you come up with.

    ReplyDelete
  6. It looks so fancy! I love this idea so so much. Especially the dressing nice part...that's totally where I would fail. Oh and the cheese tray would be balanced on the couch. But it really does look like fun and you look so happy. Yay!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I always hit Publish too soon. I also meant to say... Hand over the following please: your tablecloth, the placecards and the new books. No one gets hurt. thanks :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. oh how lovely! It all sounds wonderful!!! And I LOVE Wuthering Heights! What a beautiful copy!

    ReplyDelete
  9. that purple moon cheese is my favorite cheese ever! im glad that someone else has found it and loves it just the same!

    ReplyDelete
  10. shut up!
    you go with your romantic rendezvous! great idea. will have to try the cheese.
    love the relaxed mama picture. how nice was that feeling after sick kids.
    good for you!

    ReplyDelete
  11. That's my kinda soiree. Looks lovely!

    ReplyDelete
  12. oh darling! I want that table cloth! Where did you find it???

    ReplyDelete
  13. you are sooo cute!! this is getting saved for sure!! and good man on getting you the books :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. You are so creative! What a fun date. You look so cute in that picture by the way. And hello! I LOVE the books you got! I have Jane Eyre but those others you got aren't at Costco. So pretty!

    ReplyDelete
  15. wow yum! i just drooled on my keyboard.

    ps: love the new blog header!

    ReplyDelete