Tuesday, April 28, 2015

French Date Night

"Je t'aime Mon chéri."

Or in other words, I love you my sweetheart, in French. I mean, who hasn't dreamt about a romantic week in Paris, the city of lights? Walking down ancient cobblestone treats, sipping cafe au late, eating warm croissants and tasting French wine? I know we have toyed with the idea of flying to Paris for dinner and some romance! 

While we can't always jump on a plane for a romantic date on the whimsical streets of Paris, I will strongly recommend making your own date in Paris...at home! 

I am all about themed date nights. I have been known to come up with some really interesting ones. And a French themed date night is one we have done to some extent before, and I plan on doing another in the near future, so I wanted to share my ideas with y'all, too! 

These are a few different French Date Night themed ideas that you can use! 

The French Outdoor Picnic

With spring in the air and weather getting nicer, it is fun to get outside and pretend you're out in France enjoying a spring day. 

Location: At your home on the lawn with a big blanket, or if you have a patio table, do that up! Or you can go to a nearby park, but be careful if you are having wine (most public places you CAN'T drink at all, plus there's the driving bit).

What you need:
- A picnic blanket, or a table done up with a table cloth
- Classic French foods, bread, cheeses, "small bites" sorts of foods (see below for ideas!)
- Your phone or some sort of device to listen to music on
- Maybe even some fresh flowers to decorate with! (Get creative!)
- Picnic supplies (Plates, silverware, cups, etc)

What to eat: French baguettes, grapes, apples, a few cheeses (one of my favorites is brie), honey, salami or other dried meats, a favorite bottle of wine, and chocolate truffles for dessert. Or, if you have a local place around that makes them, have macaroons! 

What to listen to: A French inspired Pandora station (you can do Spotify as well but I have found Pandora to be better for me personally when listening to this sort of mix station)

What to do: Put the music on, get some fresh flowers, do up your picnic blanket or table and enjoy your food and wine while listening to French music! Set it up together, sit, and take your time enjoying the outdoors together while sharing a meal.

Questions to ask: (Here are some fun questions to get the conversation going too!)
-If you could plan the ultimate Paris vacation (cost no limit), what would you do, what would you see, stay, eat, etc?
-If you could learn one other language, what would it be and why?
-If you could travel anywhere in the states for an ultimate vacation, where would it be and why?
-What was the one place you always dreamt about going as a kid? Have you ever been there?
-What would be your goal or dream for a realistic adventure for us in the next year that we could do together?

Cook Your Way Through France

Two of my favorite French inspired cooking movies are Ratatouille and Julie and Julia. Ah, classics! Another GREAT one that we watched not long ago is The Hundred Foot Journey. If you have one of Julia Child's cookbooks (which are FANTASTIC), pick out a recipe or two to make together (and if you don't, Google is great!), shop for the ingredients, cook, enjoy and then watch one of those movies to top off the night! 

Location: Your home and your kitchen! (Except when getting your ingredients)

What you need: 
-A few French recipes from a cookbook or google (Julia Child's cookbooks are wonderful!)
-Your ingredients for your recipes (Go out and shop together!)
-Aprons (if you get messy in the kitchen!)
-Fresh flowers if you so desire to spruce your table up
-A beautiful set table, complete with candlelight! 
-A French inspired movie (our favorites are Julie and Julia, Ratatouille, and The Hundred Foot Journey)
-French music for the background of your dinner

What to do: Grab your aprons and getting to cooking...together! Taste as you go, and enjoy! Grab some wine or make your own lemonade or a favorite beverage while you cook. Talk and enjoy the process. Set the table, do it up big! It's fun to make everything look beautiful for your time together.
Put on a French inspired station on Pandora, and enjoy your romantic meal together! Then, eat dessert while watching your French movie! You could even top the night off with some cafe au lait (coffee with milk)!

Questions to ask: (Again, some more questions you could ask at dinner to get things going!)
-If you could only have one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
-What was your favorite meal as a child? What is it now?
-If you could have any chef cook you a top of the line, gourmet dinner, who would cook it for you, and what would you have?
-If you could eat your way through any country in the world, which would it be?
-Where is one place that we can explore together in the near future? 

So, our challenge, try your own French themed date night! Or perhaps another international location. A few great places to find French foods are Trader Joes, Whole Foods, and even check your local farmers markets! 

What is your favorite date night theme? 

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