We don't really have official date nights. The last time we had what I thought was a date night, my fiance asked: "Wait, is this a date night? Does that mean I can't go and play video games?" In my mind, watching a movie and going out for ice cream constitutes as a date night. I'm not the type of person who needs to label things anyway. A date is a date is a date, or is it? We'll get to that later, but first...
Recently, we went to Ottawa for a family wedding. We like traveling together, so I suppose that is something we like instead of official date nights. I hadn't been to the capital city in a long time. It was nice to see the Parliament buildings and the many interesting museums. I thought it was neat to see people from all over the world interested in learning more about Canada.
However, anyone who has been following Canadian politics lately knows there is some tension in the goings on of the senate. Because we were there on a Saturday, it was fairly quiet. I am sure it is not so quiet during the week, especially in the senate room. I wouldn't mind hanging out at the library all the time though--or living there.
The highlight of the weekend was the wedding at the Museum of Nature. I never thought about having a wedding in a museum. It was like a night at the museum. We got to explore the dinosaur exhibit during cocktail hour and the reception hall was a beautiful, historic hall.
Instead of photoshopping funny things into your photos, just take them next to real (well, somewhat real) dinosaurs. The decor was a mix of rustic and elegant and everyone took home a jar of jam as a favour. Plus, there was a candy bar, which is always my favourite part besides spending time with family.
Back at home, I got a special treat and I officially pronounced it "date night." This treat, however, was from Natural Delights who sent me a tub of their Medjool Dates. These are not the dried up, stale dates you buy in the bulk store. Natural Delights Medjool dates are fresh with a caramel-like, chewy texture. They are soft, juicy and practically melt in your mouth. I learned that not all dates are the same. Sometimes, you need to proclaim an official date night to celebrate all the sweet things.
My first thought was to make a dessert or squares with the dates. Instead, I added them to a green bean side dish instead of regular dried fruit. The dates made the dish quite sweet, so I would use them sparingly.
Green Beans with Medjool Dates and Almonds1 lb of green beans, trimmed
1/3 cup dates, pitted and sliced
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to season
Directions:1. Trim and rinse the green beans and place them on a baking sheet. Toss them with the olive oil, sugar and season with the salt and pepper.
2. Roast for about 20 minutes until slightly browned.
3. Toss with lemon juice, almonds and dates.
I made these green beans for a side along with pork and pumpkin sage polenta. I know this is not so romantic, but green beans are good for you and a couple of Medjool Dates provides 12 per cent of your daily fibre, as well as plenty of potassium and polythenols. It is a happy ending for all.
Disclosure: I received samples from Natural Delights for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.