Thursday, March 22, 2012

Date Night In

K and I really enjoy good food. Finding new restaurants and eating out is probably one of our favorite things to do together. And we tend to do it well - a nice bottle of wine, appetizers to split, entrees and dessert with champagne. But, as much as we love going out, I also really enjoy cooking. Not whipping up dinner after work, but slowly putting together a meal.

This weekend K and I didn't have any plans on Saturday. This doesn't happen often, so when it does we like to take advantage by really enjoying the free time. For me this meant making dinner. That may not sound so relaxing, but it was wonderful. On the menu? Herb roasted pork tenderloin, cheesey quinoa, and basalmic and goat cheese asparagus. It was simple, easy to prepare, and delicious. And to take the mood from dinner in to date night, I decided to set the table with linens, crystal and china. It was such a relaxing evening and one that I hope we can repeat often.

Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin

pork tenderloin
herbes de Provence

Preheat the oven to 375. Sprinkle tenderloin with s+p, then with herbes de Provence. I like to rub the herbes de Provence in to treat it a bit more like a rub. Place the tenderloin in your roasting pan and drizzle with a few tablespoons of balsamic. Roast at 375 for 30-45 minutes until your meat reaches the desired degree of doneness. (Note: we usually take ours out a little closer to medium rare, cover it with foil and let it rest. The time on the counter allows it to finish cooking and keeps the meat from drying out.)

Cheesey Quinoa (recipe inspiration here)

1 small shallot, minced
1.5 cups quartered cherry tomatoes
1 clove garlic
.5 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 cup water
shredded cheddar (a big healthy handful)
s+p, to taste

Heat a little EVOO in saute pan. Saute shallot and tomatoes over medium high heat for around 5 minutes. Add quinoa and garlic and cook until quinoa appears "toasted." Add water, bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Once the quinoa is cooked, fluff it with a fork and stir in the cheese. Season with s+p to taste.

Asparagus (recipe here)

Yum. Typing these recipes makes me hungry for the meal all over again. I hope you have a chance to enjoy a relaxing Saturday and date night in.

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