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Date Night – Brie and Beyond . . .

happy couple having a meal

This bite-sized date night idea, courtesy of relationship author Don Macleod, incorporates the three F’s—food, film and fun.

Food: Baked brie with all the fixings

What you’ll need: A wheel of brie cheese; a jar of green pesto sauce; a jar of red pepper jelly; bagel crisps or crusty bread; whole olives; red grapes

This is an easy, tasty appetizer-type meal for a date night at home. To make it, simply bake a wheel of brie on a baking tray at 350°F for about ten minutes (that’s what has worked for me anyway). When it looks all deliciously melted, take it out. Using a spatula or flipper, transfer it to a large serving platter.

Place a big dollop of green pesto on one side, and another of red pepper jelly on the other. Line the platter with bagel crisps or slices of crusty bread (these are nice if briefly warmed in the oven as well).

Warm a handful of whole olives in the microwave for perhaps 45 seconds (depending on the strength of your microwave) and put them in a bowl. Place some cool, crisp red grapes on a plate. If you like, you can also bring a few rolled-up slices of cured ham / prosciutto and a bottle of your favorite red or white wine to the party.

Bring everything to the coffee table and press play to watch your movie! As the opening credits roll, dig in! You can cut the brie wheel as you prefer. Some people like to trim off the top rind and scoop the melted cheese out onto their bagel crisp or bread—adding a bit of pesto or red pepper jelly for extra flavor—while others prefer to simply cut the brie wheel into triangle pieces, as with a pizza.

Film: You’ve Got Mail (1998, Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks)

This is a lightweight romance, but Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks are adorable together. And it’s a nice little time-machine ride into a simpler world. New York has a great atmosphere, the supporting characters (especially Parker Posey) are fun, and the whole tone is optimistic.

This film is interesting for an unusual reason – the technology that factors into the plot is both dated and timely. Made in 1998, dial-up connections were still the norm and texting wasn’t even on most people’s radar yet. Even email was still relatively new for many of us (I still had a pager!). And therein lies the premise of the film: two strangers emailing each other, anonymously, with increasing closeness, and feeling fairly weird about the whole thing in the process. Should they be connecting with a total stranger like this? What if he or she is a nut-job? Isn’t it wrong to be sharing your secrets and feelings with someone you’ve only met online?

As a society, these are questions we were just starting to ask ourselves. And watching people try to figure it all out from the distance of where we are now is half the fun of this movie—because, unfortunately, we all know how much worse it got!

Fun: Halfway or two-thirds through the movie, put technology to good use by sending your spouse a flirty text. Tell them that you’d like to press “pause” on the movie, and head into the bedroom for a little fun before you finish the movie. Not only does this tie into the theme of the movie, it catches you while you still have energy. When you’re finished your fun, head back for the rest of the movie and the refreshment of your post-coital grapes.


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