For all of you moms who love to cook (or wanna be a “mom who loves to cook”) out there, meet our friend Jennifer. I met Jennifer a couple years back and have been drooling over all of her incredible concoctions ever since 🙂 Upon starting this blog I knew we had to have Jennifer on our guest blogging team… simply b/c of her gifts in the kitchen. Because who doesn’t want to hear from someone like that, right?!!!
So…meet Jennifer. She’s been so sweet to invite all of our readers into her heart and home (aka: kitchen)…
Gone are the days where you could just look at your spouse and say “hey, want to go out tonight” and not have to plan (i.e. babysitter, coordinate schedules, etc.). Oh yea, and you are EXHAUSTED, and maybe just don’t even have the energy to go out. We all know how important it is to make time for our marriages and try and plan at least one special “date night” a month. This is a time to reconnect and relax (and sip some vino!).
I love food, there I said it. So if you ask me what I would want to do on a date night, you could be positive it involves great food, whether it is in a restaurant or at home. I just love sharing a meal with the one I love, cheesy I know, but very true.
Being a new mom, I have learned that the definition of “date night” has to be tweaked just a bit to fit into our new lifestyle of having an energetic, curious 10 month old. And although getting a babysitter is great, some nights you just want to stay in and enjoy your evening….this is where the concept of stay in date night comes in. Kinda like Staycation. (You get the idea, right?)
So here’s the idea: Plan an evening for AFTER you put the kiddos to bed of great food, good wine and of course the best part…..EACHOTHER!
Lately, I have really been enjoying the fresh produce from Bountiful Baskets (remember the SMB Bountiful Baskets post?) and it has really challenged me to create meals outside of my comfort zone. Not to mention it is super fresh and REALLY inexpensive. Here is one of my latest inspirations, and it is EASY!!! For serious…
So set the table, pour the wine, light the candles and ENJOY!
Grilled Jamaican Jerk Chicken with Fresh Mango, Avocado and Agave Salsa, served over Cilantro Lime Rice
Jamaican Jerk Chicken:
2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, trimmed
2 cups Jamaican Jerk marinade (such as Tropical and Co. or Safeway actually has a pretty decent one)
Marinate chicken at least 2 hours
Fire up grill, grill on high until chicken is done
Mango Agave Salsa
1 Mango, chopped
½ red pepper, chopped
¼ purple onion, chopped
½ jalapeno pepper, chopped
¼ bunch cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
Salt to taste
1-2 tsp agave syrup (Trader Joe’s has the best and cheapest!)
Mix all ingredients together, season with salt and agave syrup to taste
Let sit stand for at least 10 minutes
Cilantro Lime rice:
1 bag Trader Joe’s Organic Jasmine rice (found in the freezer section)
Juice of 2 limes
¼ bunch cilantro chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook rice according to package (3 minutes in the microwave!)
Pour cooked rice into bowl
Add lime, cilantro and season with salt and pepper, mix well
Serve Chicken with mango salsa and rice.
I promise you, this is an easy, fresh, fast meal that will make you feel like you just enjoyed dinner sitting on the beach at some amazing island!!
Jennifer Rzepecki lives here in Phoenix with her husband Mark and 11 month old daughter Lola. She is expecting a little boy in November, and is so excited to have two little ones under 2. Born and raised in Buffalo, NY, Jennifer and her family relocated almost 4 years ago and are enjoying all the Valley has to offer!