Date Night In is the stunning new cookbook from Ashley Rodriguez of Not Without Salt. Her new cookbook will inspire you to make a special meal and reconnect with your partner. The beautiful narratives and approachable recipes will make this your new favorite cookbook. I’ve made A Winter Barbecue to celebrate the launch of her new book! I’m giving away a copy of her book at the bottom of this post.
I don’t often receive a cookbook, read it cover to cover, then think “I have to write an ENTIRE blog post about this cookbook!” But, this is just one of those cookbooks that comes along once in a blue moon. It’s magical and so much more than a cookbook.
Date Night In is written by Ashley Rodriguez, who is the blogger behind Not Without Salt. If you don’t know her blog, you need to go check it out. It is seriously one of the most gorgeous blogs I’ve ever read and I can’t get enough of her posts. Her writing is lyrical and dreamy and her pictures are just stunning and so simple, in the best sense.
This book is special. It’s like therapy and comfort AND food, all in one.
Ashley is 100% honest. The narratives are about her relationship with her husband; the good and the bad. Because we all have ups and downs in our relationships and we all need work. After getting into a rut and realizing they may not have time for “real” dates, Ashley and her husband started a weekly Date Night In, where she cooks something special, they set the table (after the kids have gone to bed), her husband mixes a cocktail, and they get to eat and enjoy each other’s company, truly talking about all the things that have built up over the week. This isn’t a night for task lists and complaints (though that is always bound to happen on a date, right?), it’s a night to connect and truly remember the core of their family unit, the two of them.
I love it and I relate to it so much. My husband and I may not have kids, but we’re both very busy. And when we’re home, we often catch ourselves living separate lives (I need my “me” time, right?). A date night is when we come together, laugh and tell each other stories, just like when we first started dating.
The recipes in this book are amazing. They’re organized by season, which I love. And they each have a story that goes with them.
I love that the recipes come together as a complete meal. And if you put some effort into it, they all can be pulled off in an evening. The recipes are sometimes small portions, so you’re not making a meal for 6 while just trying to have a date between 2, which I love. It’s so perfect.
^^^ You can clearly see, that as the night got darker and my yellow kitchen lights became more glaring, it was more about getting ready for our dinner than catching “perfectly lit” shots. It’s about us. // Does anybody else get an OCD happiness rush from labeling the items in their fridge? Just me? ^^^
I made the BBQ pork with slaw and baked beans (the Winter Barbecue). I know that’s probably not the first recipe you’d choose when staring at all of the beautiful choices here, but just reading her words made me feel brave enough to tackle some projects I’ve never done before. I prepared the meat a day in advance, rubbing it with spices, then wrapping it up and placing it in the fridge to rest. I also made the BBQ sauce the day before. On the day of our date, I put the meat in the oven at a low temperature, and the beans right along side it, to braise all day. I whipped up the slaw right then, then placed it back in the fridge. When it was time for dinner, everything was done and easy to place on our plates and enjoy.
My husband was so surprised and we were both blown away by the flavors. I tried to stay true to Ashley’s recipes, only adjusting small things (a feat in itself for me, since I tend to redo every recipe I see). I nixed the bacon in the beans because I don’t enjoy cooking it, instead upping the liquid smoke a touch and adding olive oil and a bit more ketchup (just to keep the moisture level there that the bacon would’ve provided). In the slaw I used shredded cabbage and used Greek yogurt instead of mayo because we didn’t have any (I balanced the tang of yogurt by adding olive oil, which made the slaw buttery and so tasty). The flavors were so wonderful. And the leftovers (this particular meal had leftovers, which I’m totally fine with!) made for wonderful lunches that week. The only thing I would do differently next time is double the sauce in the beans.
I love that the cover of this book has a quilted texture. I love that the pages aren’t glossy, so I can make notes on them in pencil. I love that she tells you about her tattoos, fears she had about her weight and fertility (I can relate), that her husband bought her engagement ring with money from totaling his car (can also relate), how her husband sweeps her off her feet and how they have fights just like everyone else does. This isn’t about displaying a perfect marriage, it’s about showing you that everyone needs a date and a way to connect again.
This book just came out, so run to a bookstore or order it online! You won’t be sorry. You’ll find so many recipes to try (I’m about to make some coconut cardamom ice cream!) and so many heart-filled stories to go with them.
**THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED! THANK YOU FOR YOUR ENTRIES!**
NOW! The GIVEAWAY!
One reader can win a copy of Ashley’s cookbook! Just leave a comment below saying what your favorite way to reconnect with your loved one is.
A bonus point will be given if you follow me via Twitter (and leave a separate comment below saying you’ve done so). An additional bonus point can be earned if you tweet about the giveaway with a direct link to this page (and leave a comment saying you’ve done so).
Another bonus point can be earned if you “like” Treats With a Twist on Facebook (and leave a separate comment below saying you’ve done so).
More bonus points? If you follow me on Instagram, you get a bonus point (yup, another comment please).
Final bonus point if you follow me on Pinterest! (you know the drill, another comment)
>> please read the disclaimer below for giveaway rules and stipulations
Note: this is not a sponsored post. The opinions stated were my own. I was sent a copy of the cookbook to do as I please, and I decided to blab on to you for 1000 words and make a delicious dinner from it. Links to Amazon are affiliate links. Buy the book, you won’t regret it!
The giveaway is provided by Running Press and is open to US and Canada residents only. The winner will receive one copy of the cookbook, which cannot be mailed until March 2015.