4 tips for Perfect Date Nights at Home

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of ConAgra Foods for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

We love having date nights out and about but dang can the cost add up quickly.

I have been trying to plan perfect date nights at home to save money and really spend time together.

I must admit that I am a phone addict. My cell phone is never very far from my hands and I am always checking in on social media.

One of my goals in planning the perfect date night at home is to set down my phone and really just focus on time together.

Here are my tips for planning the perfect date night at home.

1. Put away all electronics.

Yes I mean the cell phones, ipads, laptops, game boys and every other digital and electronic distraction that is near you.

2. Set a time for your date night and stick with it

Set a time/reservation for your date night at home and stick with it. No letting work/life keep you from spending time together.

3. Cook and easy to prepare meal that you both love…. 

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Produce 101 – Artichokes

Produce 101 – Artichokes
Choosing the best
Artichokes are one of the oldest foods known to man. Size has little to do with the quality or flavor of the artichoke. Look for compact, heavy plump heads. Research has found that artichokes contain a high amount of antioxidants, which have been shown to help fight cancer.
Storing
Storage is best in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a 7 days

Produce 101 – Apples

Produce 101 – Apples
Picking the best
With many different varieties of apples grown around the world, Washington State grows the majority of apples consumed by Americans. Whatever the color or variety you choose, look for bruise-free fruit with firm, shiny skin. Since apples are a hardy fruit they are available year-around, new crop apples are available from summer’s end through late fall.
Storing
Ideal storage for apples, are under refrigeration between 34-38 F, where they can last up to 90 days. At room temperature apples ripen within a day or two, so if you consume them in a few days they are fine on the counter. Apples will absorb odors produced by potatoes, bulb onions, or any strong flavored item. When apples ripen, they emit a lot of ethylene gas, which causes other fruit and vegetables to ripen faster so it is recommended to keep them in their own crisper.

Produce 101 – Tomatoes

Produce 101 – Tomatoes
Picking the best
When selecting tomatoes look for tomatoes that are heavy for their size, size of tomato has no affect on taste just a matter of preference. Tomatoes should be firm but yield to the touch. Color and smell are also great indicators of ripeness; unripe tomatoes will have no smell and be pink or lighter in color.
StoringMost tomatoes today are picked before fully ripe. They are bred to continue ripening, but the enzyme that ripens tomatoes stops working when it reaches temperatures below 12.5°C (54.5°F). Once an unripe tomato drops below that temperature, it will not continue to ripen. Once fully ripe, tomatoes can be stored in the refrigerator but are best kept and eaten at room temperature. Tomatoes stored in the refrigerator tend to lose flavor, but will still be edible. To speed up the ripening process of a tomato, store it with a apple or banana in a closed brown paper bag at room temperature.