Dave and I are suckers for a good “weekly ritual.” In the first few years of our relationship, every single Sunday was pizza night. All of our friends and family even knew about it. Yet, once we moved to San Francisco, we turned that Sunday night into taco night. Well, the tides have turned again, because we’ve been back on a pizza kick as of late. And it feels good to be back.
Because we tend to go out to dinner on Saturday nights, Sunday nights are our official “date-nights” at home. We’ve been doing them for so long that we have a routine down. It’s a special time that we can be excited about each week, even though it means the weekend is just about over. And knowing you always have pizza on Sunday night, well that’s something to look forward to in itself.
While at times we make our pizzas, usually we pick up an oven pizza. And believe me, we’ve tried nearly every single brand. However, our go-to is DIGIORNO, so you can imagine my delight when the folks at DIGIORNO asked me to try out their new pizzeria! thin line. Yes, please. I knew it would be a perfect addition to our date-nights in. Here’s how we make those nights happen …
How to have the perfect date-night at home
Having a special night at home doesn’t have to be expensive and is something you can enjoy with your significant other any time. I’m a big fan of nights at home now more than ever because we have our little puppy and want to stay home as much as possible to keep him company.
If you’re in need of some fun and quality time without breaking the bank, here’s how to create a good scene in the comfort of your own place …
- Music. Turn it on. But not too loud, so you can have some conversation over it. Our favorite stations for date-night on Pandora include the Frank Sinatra station and the Michael Buble station, yet the real winner is by far the Olive Garden station. We put the music on the TV in the living room, so it spreads throughout the house.
- Candles. That goes without saying, right? But you don’t just want to put candles at the table, you also want to have a scented candle going when you’re in the kitchen and hanging out. I love vanilla, cinnamon and warm scents.
- Pajamas. I don’t know about you, but I can’t relax at home if I’m not in my comfortable clothes. In order to enjoy myself during our date-nights at home, I like to wash my face, pull my hair back and slip into some loose and comfy attire, which easily transitions to laying on the couch to watch TV. Nothing fancy around these parts. It’s just not my thing.
- Wine. Because, wine. I only ever drink wine on the weekends, so Sunday night is my final night before the week begins to un-wind with a nice glass. On date-nights, Dave and I open a bottle of red wine to enjoy alongside our meal. And it’s also a night when I like to pull out the nicer wine glasses, once again, just because.
- Games and activities. We’re both a little competitive, so we like to sit around the coffee table and enjoy Scrabble on many nights at home. And yes, we often make a wager. Other games that are fun to play? Yahtzee, trivia and even cards.
- Conversation. True story: I think we have our best conversations while sitting at the table, because all distractions are put aside. Yet, before we even get to the table, sometimes I pull out my handy “The Book of Questions” by Gregory Stock just for a little extra. And that’s always a great dialogue. If you don’t own that book, get it now! I’ve even brought that out for family nights in Florida and you wouldn’t believe the things those questions get people to talk about.
- Tasty food. Of course, a night wouldn’t be complete without dinner. Oven pizza is such a great meal on your date-night at home, because the preparation is easy and the clean-up is quick, which is probably why we’ve always done it. Not to mention, you don’t have to worry about eating with your hands when you’re at home with your significant other — they don’t mind. (Although full disclosure, I like to eat my pizza with a fork and knife. Dave continues to make fun of me for this.)
- Dessert. We always have a sweet bite on date-nights. Whether it’s something as simple as chocolate-covered dates and milk or perhaps a slice of cheesecake, I don’t like to end a good night without a treat. Extra points for getting something ultra-decadent and sharing it. (Another full disclosure, I do have trouble sharing when it comes to dessert.)
- A show. Whether you have a TV show that you watch together or a movie lined up, the best thing to do once the food and table is cleaned up, is to plop on the couch and relax with some entertainment. Right now, we’re watching season 3 of “Orange Is The New Black” on Netflix, so that’s been keeping us occupied on nights at home, snuggled up with our little pupster.
And with all those elements, you’re bound to have a good one. Now let’s get back to those tasty pizzas …
Introducing DIGIORNO pizzeria! thin Pizzas for your date-nights
I’m being totally honest when I say that we’ve tried nearly every brand of oven pizza over the years, and many are not good. Yet these pizzas are good, otherwise I would not have wanted to share them with you.
On Sunday night, we made two pizzas side-by-side in the oven. Don’t mind my jorts, but I hadn’t changed into my “comfortables” yet after a day out at the fair.
The crust of these pizzeria! thin Pizzas is the best. It’s thin and crispy and drizzled with olive oil, so it has the perfect, taste, texture and consistency. And also, it’s preservative-free, which is always a good thing. In addition, these pizzas have no artificial flavors and are very easy to cook.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Place the pizza directly on the center rack and bake for about 15-17 minutes. Pull it out of the oven to cool for about five minutes before you dig in. Enjoy.
You can find four flavors of the DIGIORNO pizzeria! thin line available in stores now, including Primo Pepperoni, Spinach & Mushroom (totally my personal favorite), Margherita and Supreme Speciale. While I loved them all, I was a major fan of the Spinach & Mushroom, because I do like that combination on my pizza. Mushrooms and veggies make me happy.
My plate from our most recent date-night featured some mixed kale salad, three slices of the Spinach & Mushroom and a slice of the Primo Pepperoni. What a good meal, prepared in a flash. And yes, I even pulled out the cloth napkins.
Nutrition-wise: 1/4 of the pizza has 310 calories, 15 grams of protein and about 25 percent of your daily calcium, which is not too shabby for a dinner. Suffice to say, Dave and I thoroughly enjoyed our date-night with these pizzas, and I think they will be making another appearance again soon.
And by the way, DIGIORNO is so excited about this new line that the company is encouraging anyone who tries it to share their feedback and pictures using #YouBeTheJudge on the DIGIORNO Facebook or Twitter page. So if you pick one up, make sure you do that. But limit your time on social media during your date-night, folks. Be present.
That’s all for now. I’ve got work and a couple of classes on the agenda for today. I hope you’ll be back to join me tomorrow for “Friday Favorites.”
Please note: I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
Questions of the day
Do you have a weekly ritual?
What’s the perfect “date-night” in for you?
What’s your favorite pizza topping?