Party for Two could easily be subtitled: â€œRecipes for Romance,â€ because author Bruce Cadleâ€™s philosophy behind this book is about having a â€œdate nightâ€ with your wife each week in order to keep romance alive. I love this idea! A large part of date night is planning and preparing a special meal to share together. In this case, the author is the chef, although his wife of 35 years, Valerie, often makes the dessert.
The 8 1/2’â€ X 11â€ book starts with the whole concept of Date Night.Â Actually, one of the authorâ€™s children wrote the Foreword that explains how she and her brother had to stay in their rooms on date night. However, daughter Jennifer would sneak fro her room and tiptoe to the banister so she could listen to her parents.Â This legacy inspired Jennifer and her husband to have a weekly Date Night, creating a wonderful tradition.
Part One discusses his concept of Date Night claiming: â€œDate Nights can reignite the flames of passion you used to feel. Date Nights are a proactive way to keep romance alive and focus on each other.â€ (p. 18). The author writes about how Date Nights are fun, fancy, easy and affordable, giving the reader plenty of food for thought, suggesting this is actually a lifestyle, since planning this weekly romantic evening influences your weekly shopping for food, date night clothes, a lovely serving dish, etc. As Cadle notes:
â€œOur date Night is so much a part of our marriage that itâ€™s not just what we do every Friday night, itâ€™s an essential part of who we are.Â It is a celebration of our love.â€ (p. 25)
Part One also includes herbs & spices as well as food presentation, both important when making romantic recipes. The beginning of the book and Part One are the first 33 pages of the book and the rest of the book are the recipes, except for the Index at the end.
The recipes start with Sauces, Vinaigrettes & Dressings followed by Appetizers, Salads, Entrees, Pizzas & Paninis, Vegetables and Desserts. Since the idea behind Date Night is to have fun and to relax, the recipes are not complex, which I like.Â And even though they are not all suitable to my vegetarian palate, there are enough recipes for me to explore.Â For example, Cadleâ€™s sautÃ©ed Spinach, grilled Portobello Mushrooms and Grilled Asparagus are simple to prepare.
Also, the Blueberry Parfait is something I would serve to my husband or guests, especially since I already have parfait glasses. I made the asparagus recipe over the holiday weekend. (See photo below Rosemary Caprese) But one recipe I know I already love, which is Rosemary Caprese, since we had a similar salad in Italy. Many recipes have Bruce’s personal comments, like the one below.
Author Bruce Cadle has created a wonderful idea with his Date Night romantic recipes. I plan to introduce this idea to my husband and convince him this is a great way to keep our marriage as delicious as the recipes!
P.S. For book purchase, recipe photos, how-to videos, tips, etc. you can go to www.datenightchef.com. Amazon is selling it for $16.39, a great price for re-starting romance!
From the author: Anything with a skewer is fun, and using fresh rosemary as skewers for this petite version of caprese salad makes a great Date Night presentation. You can make this several hours ahead of time, refrigerate until you’re ready to serve and then add oil and you are good to go!
4 ounces mozzarella (look for pearl or baby mozzarella balls)
4 rosemary sprigs
8 grape tomatoes
olive oil or Italian dressing
fresh cracked pepper
Remove the rosemary from all but the top two inches of all four sprigs to create skewers. Onto each (rosemary) skewer thread a mozzarella ball, a basil leaf and tomato: repeat. Drizzle with olive oil or Italian dressing. Sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Garnish with additional basil.
Over the holiday week-end, we ate outside. I made veggie kebobs and grilled green asparagus* from the Party for Two cookbook. Veggie kebob recipe coming soon in Kitchen Nutrition!
Grilled Asparagus (amid the veggie kebobs)
Author Cadle’s Comments: My favorite produce market offers both white and green asparagus for the same price. I almost always choose white because it makes for a beautiful presentation. (*I rarely find white asparagus. ellensue)
1/2 pound asparagus
fresh cracked pepper
1/2 lemon, juiced
Cut off the woody bottom+ inch or two of the asparagus and discard. Toss the asparagus with olive oil until lightly coated. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. (I had no kosher salt, so I used sea salt. es)
Lay the asparagus diagonally across a medium-hot grill or grill pan. Cook for three minutes and roll the asparagus until the grill side is up. Cook for two more minutes or until the asparagus is sligtly tender.
Drizzle with lemon juice and serve.
+Alternately, you can snap off the ends, since they seem to snap off just where the woody part ends. (ellensue)