Trailblazers Date Night Playlist
Click below to stream this month's date night playlist!
Date Night Challenge: Backyard Camping
STEP ONE: SET THE SCENE
Setting up camp is step one in creating your backyard adventure! With your partner, decide together what your night of camping will look like. Do you want to lay in the back of the pickup truck? Do you want to do the classic tent, or would you rather grab a couple of sleeping bags and be underneath the stars?
If you don't have a backyard suitable for a night of camping, that's totally okay! Your challenge then will be to build your own tent in the living room (even more fun)!
STEP TWO: THE CAMPSITE PICNIC
Now that your campsite is set up, it's time to plan your camp night picnic! Heading to the store, your challenge is to create a picnic spread that includes all of the following items. This challenge will help bring a little National Park to your night!
Also, you'll need some ingredients for Step Three, so jump ahead before you checkout!
Here are the items you'll need to find for your picnic:
- One thing that has a bear on the packaging
- Something from the state where your favorite national park is
- 4 to 5 things you can combine to eat raw or fire-roasted (nothing processed)
- A drink whose logo or packaging has something to do with mountains
- A snack in the shape of a woodland critter
- Something butterfly or bird related
STEP THREE: EXTREME S'MORES
While you both are at the store, you'll also want to pick up your ingredients for Extreme S'Mores! They are just like regular s'mores, only more extreme. Here's how it works:
Your first stop is the marshmallow—a must for any s'mores recipe. However, you cannot grab standard, big marshmallows. You must find something more extreme! Together, find a replacement. For example, fruity marshmallows or marshmallow creme. Anything other than regular old marshmallows.
Okay, now here is where things get interesting. The next ingredient you'll need to find is your chocolate. But again, ordinary chocolate squares will not fly! In the candy aisle, decide together what type of chocolate treat best resembles you both collectively. For example, if you both have completely different and unique characteristics, but come together to make one awesome combination, then peanut butter cups might be the options for you! The only other rule is that the chocolate must be stackable. Otherwise, your s'mores will fall all over the place.
Lastly, you'll need a replacement for your graham crackers. Instead, you'll need to find a large cookie type representing your relationship. For example, if you both have powered through obstacles, and are stronger because of them, then maybe chocolate chunk cookies are the way to go (with the chunks representing everything you've been through together). Find the perfect cookie for you! Again, make sure that the cookie is large enough to stack your chocolate and marshmallows.
Once you're back at home, and after your Yosemite-inspired picnic, break out your Extreme S'Mores ingredients and create your very own relationship s'mores with each other!
STEP FOUR: GET OFF THE GRID
The final challenge for your camping night is to get entirely off the grid. No TV, phones, Instagram, clock radios, or anything electronic! For at least two hours, put all your electronics away.
Instead, find some time to do something together that is completely analog! Spend a few hours away from technology, enjoying each other's company, and spending a night under the stars! Find a puzzle to do together, a new board game to play, or even a date night in a box (cough, cough).
Featured Recipe Challenge: No-Bake Trail Mix Bites
So, since we were doing a national park-themed box, we figured we should try and come up with a healthy dessert option (emphasis on try).
We think we came up with a good compromise, though! Our No-Bake Trail Mix Bites are sweet enough to be dessert but also packed with energy for your next national park hiking trip! And of course, there’s a challenge to making them! Enjoy!
- Two cups of granola (see challenge below)
- One cup of chopped nuts (see challenge below)
- One-half cup of peanut butter (see challenge below)
- One-quarter cup of dried fruit (see challenge below)
- Three tablespoons of honey
- Six ounces of dark melting chocolate
- Six ounces of white melting chocolate
- One tablespoon of butter
- A wolf paw candy mold - optional (like this one)
- A mini cupcake pan
First, you’ll need to gather your supplies! Together, head to the nearest grocery store. Collect your honey, melting chocolates, butter, and mini cupcake pan (if you are not using the wolf paw mold).
For the rest of the ingredients, you must select an option that relates to your relationship. For example, you may see dozens of options when you go down the granola aisle. Your challenge is to find the kind that best represents your relationship.
Do the same thing with the rest of the ingredients on your list. Is your relationship creamy, crunch, or extra crunchy peanut butter? What type of fruit does your relationship resemble? What nut describes how nuts you are over each other?
Once you have collected all the ingredients, head home! It’s time to (no) bake your trail mix bites!
In one bowl, add your white chocolate and a half tablespoon of butter. Melt the chocolate and mix in the butter. Do the same thing in a separate bowl with the dark chocolate.
Using a non-stick spray, spray your wolf paw mold or your cupcake pan well. In half of the cups, pour a thin layer of your melted white chocolate. In the remaining cups, pour a thin layer of your melted dark chocolate. Place in the freezer for 5 minutes.
While your chocolate cups are hardening, mix your granola, chopped nuts, dried fruit (chopped into small pieces), honey, and a tablespoon of melted peanut butter. Fold and mix until all ingredients are thoroughly combined and set off to the side.
Take your cups out of the freezer and place them on the counter. Melt the rest of your peanut butter and pour a super small layer into each cup (five or six drops should do the trick). Tap the mold or pan on the counter to ensure the peanut butter is evenly distributed in each cup.
Next, take a spoonful of your granola mixture and press it into each cup. Use a knife to scrape off any excess granola mixture from the top so your bites are entirely flat. Place the pan or mold in the fridge for 10 minutes.
Once completely hardened, remove each bite from the pan or mold and save for your next hiking trip!
Things we learned:
Depending on which kind of granola you get, you may need to crush it more. Fill a sandwich bag with granola and use a rolling pin to crush if you need to do this.
If you get a dried fruit that is larger, make sure you break them or chop them up into small pieces, so they mix well with the granola.
Don’t over-melt your chocolate. This will cause it to start to bake. If using the microwave, melt at 5-10 seconds at a time, mixing after each session. If you use a double-boiler, continuously stir, so the chocolate does not settle.
If you are using the silicone wolf paw mold, the trail mix bites should pop out easily once hardened. If you are using a mini cupcake pan, you may need to use a butter knife to “pop” the bites out of their cup.