Quick Tips + Easy Recipes for Date Night at Home

Last Update: August 5, 2020

Welcome to Dining In—a series that takes you into the homes of Thrive Market employees and brand partners to share what cooking in our own kitchens really looks like. Today, we’re introducing you to Erin Morrissey. Morrissey is the recipe developer and blogger behind Erin Lives Whole, a destination for healthier recipes that don’t sacrifice taste. She’s sharing how to make weeknight dinner dates special—even at home.


What does dining in look like for you?

We always try to make dining special in our house, especially since my fiance and I recently got engaged and we both work hectic jobs! It’s our time to just unwind, unplug, and take it easy. We both put our phones in the other room, open up a bottle of our favorite wine from Thrive Market, put on music, and create a recipe that is new to us. We share cooking tasks and truly become a team.

What advice can you give others in a similar scenario?

Make it easy! We pick recipes that may be something a little more complex than during the week, but we also make it easy on ourselves by making sure we do all the prep work first. This means washing and chopping veggies, getting out all of our sauces, trimming our meat, etc. Even if one person does this beforehand, it makes the whole process much smoother.

How do you make meal-time feel special?

Even though we both work from home and see each other all day, we make it a priority to not talk to each other about our ‘work days’ during the day so that we can catch up at night. We try to save any exciting news or stories for meal-time. We also have a strict no-phone policy—this really helps to give our undivided attention to each other.


What’s your go-to Dining In meal when you don’t feel particularly motivated?

Cheeseburger Bowls! I got the idea from my friend Sam, but it’s so easy and so fun to make together. All you have to do? Combine cooked ground beef, fried onions, shredded cheese, tomatoes, pickles, cucumber, and special sauce ‘dressing’ into a bowl. And don’t forget the sweet potato fries on the side! It’s actually so easy and so delicious.

How has Thrive Market made Dining In easier?

Thrive Market makes everything way easier. From delivering all of the essential sauces I need to make creative meals (hello, delicious curries and marinades), to providing high quality meats, to even adding to our wine and crackers appetizer—Thrive Market has everything you need to make a quality Dining In experience.

What are five ways to make date night special while stuck at home?

  1. Have each person pick a meal to cook during the weekend!
  2. Designate an electronics-free zone.
  3. Play a game. We love puzzles!
  4. Make a craft cocktail or drink.
  5. Use fancy china—or just real plates.

How are you getting creative with date night?

My fiance and I take turns picking a meal that we want to make. That way, one person may really want something and the other person may want something else, but you get to make both! We also make a homemade dessert once a weekend as well.

What have been your go-to recipes to make together?

  1. Cheeseburger Salad Bowls
  2. Thai Turkey Meatballs
  3. Ina Garten’s Whole Roasted Chicken
  4. Homemade meatballs and red sauce, served over chickpea pasta!

What have you learned about the importance of date nights and connecting with your loved one?

Making time for each other (and being fully present) is so key to keeping our relationship strong. Sometimes we get caught up in our phones or laptops, but the minute we nudge each other to put them away, the atmosphere changes. By carving out special time to cook and enjoy a night together, our relationship just keeps getting stronger.

This article is related to:

Dining In, Dinner, Dinner Recipes

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Lily Comba

Lily Comba has never met a baked good she didn't like. When she's not baking, you'll find her writing, taking a Pilates class, or collaborating with the editorial and social team as a Senior Content Writer at Thrive Market.

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