Easy Entree for Date Night or Company Meal

I read something recently about the many ways in which we express love. Without a doubt, FOOD is the number one love language in our home.We talk a lot about ‘joy moments’ and share tons of pretty pictures on our blog, like here and here, but cooking, which always brings big smiles to us and our guests gets left on the back burner – pun intended. Last week I had a very satisfying personal experience in the kitchen and am still smiling about it, so why not share it with you. After all, celebrating the little things is one of the basic tenants of happiness, right?

Cooking is a hobby that we cultivated together during retirement and our roles are very well defined at this point. We plan the menu together, he shops, I set the table and arrange the flowers and we divide the kitchen duties. He does most of the cooking and I keep the kitchen tidy. It is a system that works well for us and we enjoy this creative time together.

It is rare for me to take the lead in the kitchen for a company meal, but with Malcolm’s birthday coming up and wanting to celebrate with a few friends without asking him to pitch in, I did just that; how hard could it be?

The short answer is, “Hard”! and it made me appreciate him all the more for his culinary talents and organizational skills. I missed working side by side with him in the kitchen but, I have to say I did a credible job overall and I never felt stressed. Granted, the meal itself is fairly basic, but there was shopping and prep work, and table setting, and flower arranging, and clean up, and, and….still smiling??

My goals for this meal were not lofty. In order of importance, hot, tasty, and pretty on the plate seemed realistic! Oh well, two out of three is progress.

my attempt at pretty on the plate fell a bit short

I started the evening by serving a baked Brie, fresh apple slices and some crusty bread. Of course there was a signature cocktail and this one is aptly called, “the Oriental.” It set the tone perfectly for the spicy food to come. Caution, sip slowly…..

The first course was a small bowl of steamed Sake mussels (not pictured), followed by an Edamame salad with fresh baby spinach (not pictured) and the main course was Spicy Salmon Teriyaki with Steamed Bok Choy and a side of Jasmine rice. I am not a huge fan of Salmon, (it’s Malcolm’s favorite fish) but the sauce elevates the dish to a whole other level. It is spicy and flavorful and pairs perfectly with a glass of Chardonnay.

I think this would make a great ‘date night’ meal without the other courses and you can make it from start to finish in under thirty minutes.

If you can boil water, you can cook rice, and steaming Bok Choy requires little or no talent. Consequently, those directions are not included. 🙂

This dish is a ‘keeper’ for me and I can imagine the sauce going well with shrimp also. If you try it, please let me know what you think.


I am sharing this over at Trent’s World for his Weekly Smile series which is guaranteed to make you smile! Check it out and attach your own joy moments post.

38 thoughts on “Easy Entree for Date Night or Company Meal

  1. We make salmon quite a bit (bought in frozen individual portions at Costco) and make a very similar sauce (although we normally broil our salmon in the oven). It’s easy, yummy and, since we normally share one salmon portion, just the right amount. Haven’t steamed Bok Choy before though so I definitely want to give it – and that yummy-looking cocktail – a try!


  2. Hi Suzanne, A friend of time was telling me about a book, “The 5 Love Languages.” I listened to the author recently on a podcast (I think Oprah’s Super Soul) and the information was far more interesting than I expected. Yes, Food is a love language in our home, too. This meal definitely looks hot, tasty and pretty. We love all seafood and we are lucky to have access to fresh seafood. Salmon, of course, is heart healthy and sending a great message to keep Malcolm healthy for many more birthdays. The other courses with the meal plus Chardonnay equals a successful dinner. Worth “smiling” about. #MLSTL and sharing SM and I read your posts anyways.🙂


      1. Suzanne, We have some form of seafood almost every second day. I am also lucky how my husband does most of the cooking. I just say a lot of thank yous. Your entire meal looked perfect. I plan to hunt down a sake mussels recipe. Sounds delicious!


  3. Hi Suszanne – This entree definitely looks hot, tasty, and pretty, and to pair it with a glass of Chardonnay, yum! I also like that the preparation takes under 30 minutes. Thanks for sharing the recipe. #MLSTL


  4. Hi Suzanne – I love that you and your husband have a shared routine when it comes to cooking. My husband and I take it in turns to cook – he does 2 nights, I do 2 nights, we pitch in together for another night, and the other 2 nights are “make it yourself” or occasionally take-away.
    Good on you for stepping up your game for his birthday – it would have given you good Brownie points I’m sure – and he would have felt very loved.
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 😊


    1. Leanne, we decide over our morning coffee what to cook and who will do the cooking. Most of our meals are quick and easy, so it isn’t much of a bother. Clean up often takes more time than cooking! He definitely appreciated not having any responsibility for his birthday dinner.


  5. Food is our “love language” too. We often prepare meals together, so much so that when one of us takes the reigns snd goes it solo the other feels very “spoilt”. Your meal sounds and looks delicious. I love steamed bok choy actually. Both at home and as an accompaniment to dim sum in Chinese restaurants. Yup cooking at home is always time and effort consuming. Especially going it solo and especially more so making food for company. What a lovely birthday treat!



    1. Peta, you get it completely. I am so used to ‘sharing’ this responsibility that I forgot just how time consuming it can be (even for a simple meal). I usually cook for just he and I on his birthday, but this year he requested company. The cutest thing happened – his buddies pitched in to help me plate the meal and clear the table, allowing him to sit with the ladies and chat. It was so sweet.


  6. Hi Suzanne, my husband and I would always prepare the evening meal together when we both worked. That has changed now. We would also take it in turns to prepare a special 3 course meal each Saturday evening as a ‘date night’ at home. We haven’t done this for a while so you have spurred me on to look at some recipes to try. Thanks for sharing at #MLSTL.


  7. Sounds like a similar situation with my husband. He’s a chef, so he does all of the cooking. Once a month or so, I make that one (yes, just one) dish that I do really well. But other than that…he does all the food shopping and cooking. I bat clean-up. And I’ll gladly do it!


    1. Hi Jennifer, Malcolm isn’t a trained Chef but he cooks really well and bakes all the time. It is both a blessing and a curse to be married to a man who knows his way around a kitchen, isn’t it? I willingly serve as clean-up crew any time he wants to play and could live with cooking just once a month. You are a lucky gal!


  8. Hi Suzanne, I love the fact that you “took over” the kitchen in honor of your husband’s birthday. What a wonderful gift to him and as you mentioned, a way to show your love to him. My husband did most of the cooking because he was culinary trained and loved to do it for us, and I was the clean up crew. So I understand how much you enjoy this time together!


  9. We love salmon & your dishes look great. Ever since we’ve been together we’ve done a special meal most Saturdays (if we’re not out, of course). I plan the menu and Grant likes to do the chopping for me. These days we draw a theme each week out of a bowl. This week its Italian…


  10. I think the food on the plate was very pretty! The salmon sounds delicious. I am having a dinner party later this month. Going to bookmark this page to give the salmon a try. Love the idea of pairing it with edamame for an appetizer too.


  11. Pingback: The Weekly Smile Recap for 1/27 – 02/02/2020 | Trent's World (the Blog)

  12. Nancy

    Hi Suzanne,
    I agree that food can be an expression of love…in fact that was the topic of my latest post. Imagine the “validation” I felt when I finally got on reading and responding to my blogging buddies and saw that you had posted very similarly!
    It’s nice, though, that you two work on it together…it’s mostly me at my house, although Dan is very willing to take on the cleanup.


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