Summer Date Night at Home: 'Greek' Style
The first time I ever cooked for Jared was the first Friday night in my college apartment (where the college housewife was born!). I made Ina Garten's classic, "Perfect Roast Chicken".
Along with the chicken, I planned to make some roasted veggies and garlic mashed potatoes. I remember having to run out to the store three different times in one night because I hadn't even bought a potato masher yet! What a disaster.
We sat at the bar counter top on really uncomfortable stools and ate on all of my thrift store dishes and serving platters. These first few months of cooking in my own place were what inspired me to create 'the college housewife'. The concept was half being a complete oxy moron and comical idea and half being dead serious because I loved the food and entertaining world.
Fast forward 3.5 years later and date night looks quite a bit different. When you live together you still find ways to make the meals feel special and exciting. We usually like to take everything outside (for an actual breath of fresh air) because we are both in an office so much during the week. Rascal loves a good evening on the patio. Time and time again I am so happy that we put the turf in.
We turn on all the twinkly lights and pick some kind of theme for the dinner. This summer we have had bbq, Mexican and Mediterranean/Greek food on a pretty strong rotation. Mostly because each of these categories doesn't require too much prep and are super fresh in flavor. I have been incorporating tons of fresh rosemary, basil and oregano from our little patio garden into these dishes. I couldn't be more pleased that I managed to keep them alive for more than three months! Does anyone else struggle with plants?!
Tonight's date night we went Greek, which has been my personal favorite for the summer.
Greek food is so light hearted. It is filled with fresh lemon scents, earthy oregano and who can say no to hummus on a hot day?!
For the main dish, we did chicken skewers marinated in a light lemonade marinade that I have had on REPEAT this summer! I'll list the recipe below for all of your protein needs! I mostly use it for chicken but it would be great on a white meaty fish, like halibut as well. The best part? I always either grill the skewers or use my stove top grill pan. Who wants to turn their oven on in August?! Not me!
When we sat down for that first roast chicken together, I remember I wanted everything to be perfect. Today, I just want to get something delicious on the table and enjoying each others company as quick as possible.
This is honestly what most of our evenings usually look like. As if we can ever take a few photos together seriously... the ginger ale mojitos didn't help us any.
For our dinner sides and appetizer, I went heavy on the produce. When we do greek nights I usually whip up some kind of large fresh salad. Sometimes it's cucumber based and other times just a ton of leafy greens. My favorite tip to make salads a little heartier: I ALWAYS throw in some quinoa. I mostly just love quinoa but it makes a salad feel really complete to me.
Before we dug into the skewers and salads, I whipped up a little Mediterranean appetizer plate. It was just the two of us so I kept it simple with cucumber slices, radishes, seasoned crackers and tons of fresh garlic hummus. These platters are your best friend when it comes to entertaining for small or large. You can use a large cheese board, decorative tray, cookie sheet, or maybe a vintage door if you're feeding an army. Just kidding about the vintage door ;) although it could be cool at a wedding?!
Grab the recipe here for Lemon Oregano Grilled Chicken Skewers for your own Mediterranean date night!