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  • Date Night: Italian Dinner And Board Games With The Family

    [caption id="attachment_4625" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Family Night"]dinner[/caption]

    I know typically our Date Night topics revolve around spending some one on one time with your significant other, but I believe with Thanksgiving right around the corner, and the kids coming back from school, it's time to have a family night instead.

    The first main thing is food. Cooking or going out for two is out of the picture, so be sure to stock the pantry with all the necessities: kettle corn (a great alternative to popcorn), apples, pretzels, chips, hummus, carrots etc. These are the snacks, the fundamentals and basics of every stay-at-home night with the family.

    Now comes the fun Assign tasks for each member of your family. Someone in charge of setting the table, filling the water glasses, helping Dad in the kitchen, someone helping Mom with the dessert, and someone in-charge of clearing the table. Things can get stressful in the kitchen with the family, so it's important that everyone has a job.

    As for the meal itself, this is really up to you. Every family has their own "favorite" dish, but if you're looking for a great new dish, I recommend pasta bolognese. This is by far our families favorite meal, and my Father has mastered this recipe. Here is a great recipe to follow. Be sure to get all these ingredients fresh! Tip #1: Go to the West Side Market the morning of for fresh pasta and meat!


    • 1 large onion or 2 small, cut into 1-inch dice
    • 2 large carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice
    • 3 ribs celery, cut into 1-inch dice
    • 4 cloves garlic
    • Extra-virgin olive oil, for the pan
    • Kosher salt
    • 3 pounds ground chuck, brisket or round or combination
    • 2 cups tomato paste
    • 3 cups hearty red wine
    • Water
    • 3 bay leaves
    • 1 bunch thyme, tied in a bundle
    • 1 pound spaghetti
    • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
    • High quality extra-virgin olive oil, for finishing

    In a food processor, puree onion, carrots, celery, and garlic into a coarse paste. In a large pan over medium heat, coat pan with oil. Add the pureed veggies and season generously with salt. Bring the pan to a medium-high heat and cook until all the water has evaporated and they become nice and brown, stirring frequently, about 15 to 20 minutes. Be patient, this is where the big flavors develop.
    Add the ground beef and season again generously with salt. BROWN THE BEEF! Brown food tastes good. Don't rush this step. Cook another 15 to 20 minutes.
    Add the tomato paste and cook until brown about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the red wine. Cook until the wine has reduced by half, another 4 to 5 minutes.

    Find the full recipe at The Food Network

    Now that dinner is over, it's time for some board games. I don't care what people say...board games are fun and always will be. My personal favorites are the old school games, like Monopoly or Clue, but playing a game together is what's important. Grab some dessert, some warm drinks and enjoy this night as a family!

    Filed under: Entertainment, Fun Stuff
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