Reunited with my man, Episode 2: Candlelit Dinner

I’ve been looking forward to preparing a fun dinner and eating by candlelight, and there seemed no better occasion than tonight, to celebrate Bogdan’s return and our happiness. 🙂

This was not a difficult meal to make by any means, but we dressed up, turned background music on, and pretended we had paid a lot for it. 😉 It was so fun, and I’d estimate we saved at least $30-$40 compared with what the same meal would have cost in a nice restaurant. (Obviously this is already taking into consideration the amount we paid for the foods/drinks.)

The menu:

Grilled chicken
– Steamed broccoli
– Rolls
– Mashed red potatoes (with rosemary and Greek yogurt!)
– Jalapeno poppers rolled in turkey bacon (SO amazing!  I’ll share the recipe soon – stay posted!)


– Pale Ale for Bogdan
– Homemade Fuzzy Navel for me (Peach Schnapps + Orange juice = Voilà!)

dinner dinner 2 dinner 3I didn’t have any tall candles, so we got creative with what we did have.  It was such a fun dinner and I’m excited to do it again for Valentine’s Day.

Now on my watch-for-sales list: cloth napkins (We had no napkins tonight! Oops!), tall candles and holders, and fancy serving plates. (I do have a couple but they weren’t appropriate for tonight’s meal.  Maybe next time!)

What are your favorite ways to make a dinner at home seem fancy?


About recipeshappen

I'm Bonnie. I'm a pharmacy technician and new wife to Bogdan. I love cooking, usually without recipes. I love good sales and coupons, but haven't quite figured out the best way to find them. I make the typical new-wife mistakes and have burned my share of cookies. I like a cold house and a hot shower all year long.
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21 Responses to Reunited with my man, Episode 2: Candlelit Dinner

  1. Hannah Acheson says:

    Ah, lovely! Post-child, I’ve basically forgotten what a romantic dinner at home looks like. 😉 We do make it out to eat as a couple on occasion ($$$), but I don’t believe I’ve attempted a “nice dinner” since parenthood — it would have to be a late dinner, considering she typically doesn’t bed down until 9:00 (not a big sleeper). We like salmon; that’s about as “fancy” as we get at the dinner table these days. I don’t own any candlesticks, either; not even a lace tablecloth. If lace and candlesticks say romance, I’m too anti-trinket to be romantic. 😉

    You’ve reminded me I have nothing in particular planned for Valentine’s Day. We’ve never made a big deal of it (no cards, flowers, chocolates, jewelry or the like), and Valentine’s Day night is certainly NOT the night to be having dinner out (with everyone else!); but it certainly couldn’t hurt to plan a little something special meal-wise, Toddler included. 😉

    You’ve also reminded me how much I miss grilling! We don’t own a panini press or a George Foreman, etc., but I do have a grill plate for the stove top. Which I’ve yet to use.

    Sister Schubert’s rolls? I used to buy those, pre-bread making days. Now I’m too old-fashioned and, subsequently, far more inefficient, hehee.

    So glad to see you and Bogdan having opportunities to spend time together after SO long apart! Obviously you’re making this time extra-special for him. 🙂

    • Aw, thanks for the nice long comment!
      I don’t think lace tablecloths and candlesticks have to be the only thing that equals romance. 😉
      Our tablecloth is some weird crocheted one from Goodwill, but it’s all we’ve got. 😉 I think the idea behind the meal is what made it so romantic… trying to do the best I could to make a “fancy” dinner at home, while not spending all day or a lot of money.
      This will be our first Valentine’s Day as a married couple, and I assume we’ll make more out of it than previous years, simply because we missed Christmas, New Year’s, and my birthday with him being gone. He owes me now. 😉 (Just teasing.)
      Bogdan had the panini grill when we got married, and we love using it for sandwiches or chicken, since we really would have no way to grill outdoors. I know it’s “cheating,” but that’s ok.

      I must say, I was somewhat shocked that you recognized the brand of rolls I bought! Honestly, I have never bought frozen rolls before… ever! But when we were in Walmart getting the beverages 😉 we happened to see those reduced to $1 for the package of 10. It seemed like a fun addition to our dinner. They were yummy, but you can’t beat homemade rolls. 🙂

      • Hannah Acheson says:

        Hey, there’s no shame in convenience! 🙂 I recognize the rolls because I bought them in bulk from a warehouse club for at least half our going-on-4-years marriage (I’ve only been working with yeast about a year and a half; I used to be yeast-cursed!) Obviously if buying pre-made rolls was a crime, I’d have quite the criminal record following that first year and a half! Not to mention Sister Schuburt’s rolls are delicious rolls for what they are, Husband never once complained. 😉

        As for the panini press, I’d use one in the Winter months if I had one. Again, no shame. 🙂

        Happy 1st Valentine’s Day as a marriage couple! I know you’ll make it a memorable one. 🙂

      • I love your “no shame” comments… great to hear. 🙂 It’s amazing that we live in a world that can’t even chop their own lettuce and I feel “guilty” for buying store-bought rolls that were on sale. 😛

        I loooove the panini grill, though, even though people say “IT’S NOT A REAL GRILL!” … it definitely is the next best thing, and the best that WE have! 🙂

        Happy Valentine’s Day to you, too… you have the power to make yours memorable, too!! 😉 😉

      • Hannah Acheson says:

        *married couple (Sorry, juggling typing and Toddler.)

  2. Jayne says:

    I haven’t got fancy tableware so I’d just bust out nicer ceramic plates and we’d have some nice drink alongside dinner. I’m thankful hubs is such a simple guy. If I made him a salmon steak, he’d be so so happy. LOL.

    • My husband would also be thrilled with salmon steak, and it’s even more exciting for me that he’s satisfied with grilled chicken. 🙂 (He requested it tonight… way cheaper than salmon! Even though I LOVE salmon.)
      Being married to simple people is a good thing, I think. 🙂

  3. Maleesa says:

    Glad you and your husband are back together.Your dinner and the table looks so nice.Thanks for sharing your romantic dinner with us.I haven’t did that in years!

  4. coleanddebbiee says:

    Lovely dinner! I was recently on a hunt for nice serving dishes myself. Do you have a Pier 1 near you? They had a huge selection of platters and pretty serving bowls for sale for $9 & $10 a piece. From my hunt inside store after store (and with having no luck at garage sales), this seemed to be a bargain compared to most places. ☺ Just thought i’d share. Happy hunting.

  5. Jill says:

    Your dinner looks so nice and I”m so happy you and your love are back together again! Thanks for the great reminder that with just a little prep work it is possible to have a nice romantic dinner at home,, (although it is significantly harder with 3 kids).. I’m sure I could make it work. 🙂

    • Thanks!
      I hope you get a chance to do it sometime. It’s totally fun and worth the few extra dishes or maybe even a babysitter in your case… or a special movie playing in another room, or something! 🙂

  6. Leilani says:

    Hurray for reunions. How sweet.:)

  7. The food looks great, Bonnie, and I love the little candles. The light must have added to the special feel of the meal and made it an experience instead of just food! I am so happy that you have your husband back, and yes, he does owe you! 😉

  8. Jaclynn says:

    Wow, that looks delicious and romantic too! 🙂

  9. Setting the table and lighting a candle is GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME!!! 😀 How cute are you and your man, love it!

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