Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Date Night

My hubby and I haven't had much time in our relationship that hasn't involved kids (sorry about the double negatives…). For the last couple of years, we have tried—mostly unsuccessfully, unfortunately—to have "date nights." Tonight is Tuesday and for the last year or so, we have tried to consider Tuesday our date night. As I sit here typing, it is 10:10 pm, my children have just now gone to bed, and my hubby is taking a shower…alone. Needless to say, we were unsuccessful yet again with date night tonight. I realize that this post is supposed to be about dates the fruit, but I have this other kind of date on my mind tonight and felt like sharing. Since Chef Brett and I wanted to make this blog about our lives—and share these events and stories with you, our faithful reader—for this post I'm going to talk about the "health benefits of dates" and I hope you will pardon the pun and bear with me!

My family life is a bit crazy. I'm sure that many of you are in a similar situation. How do you balance time for work, children, home, friends, family, self, and still have time for a relationship? My husband works very hard, long hours and has a 35 mile commute each way. He leaves home most mornings at 6 am and often (especially this time of year) doesn't get home until after 6 pm. I work two days a week (outside our home) and take on most of the household duties and get to spend time at home with our boys. I am so grateful that my hubby's job supports us and allows me the chance to be home to raise our boys and also has given me the opportunity to work part time and start building my medical practice. But this definitely comes with a trade off: he and I don't get much time together as a couple.

Fortunately, we have a very strong relationship and despite the fact (hopefully not because of it!) that we don't get much quality alone time together, we are still going strong. We try to take advantage of the times we do get together, we talk to each other, we are on the same page about parenting, we have lively political and social debates (he's a bit more conservative than I tend to be), and we try very hard to keep the romance alive. So here in this public arena of my blog post, I'm going to make a promise to my hubby—for our health and the health of our relationship—to be better about date night! I love you babe! Wanna go out?

Yours in health,

Doctor Crystal

Monday, June 7, 2010

Time for a Date

I have recently rediscovered my love for dates. I regularly shop at Trader Joes and when I do I will buy a container of their chocolate covered cranberries or their raspberry sticks, which are covered in chocolate. I like to purchase these items so that I have a small treat around the house to satisfy a sweet craving rather than indulging in say a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup Blizzard from Dairy Queen. It usually works but my new favorite treat I have discovered at Trader Joes are dates. In the produce section they have a package of approximately 25 dates that is easy to grab and store in the refrigerator and pluck a date or two out when the need for sweet is upon me. I know that Trader Joes is not the only place to get dates, it is just the place where I rediscovered them. I would also like to add that my 2 year old son will not touch the dates. He will eat a prune but under no circumstances will he even taste the date, I don't get it.

The recipe I want to share today I have not made yet (will do a follow-up post with a full report on the outcome). It is a bran and date bread straight out of Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker. Sounds healthy… or at least good for the colon, right Dr. Crystal?

Quick Bran Date Bread

2 cups chopped dates

2 cups boiling water

2 eggs

¾ cup brown sugar or ½ cup molasses

2 cups whole grain flour (divided)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 cups bran

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup chopped nuts


Preheat the oven to 350®

Combine the dates and the boiling water. Set aside.

Beat eggs and slowly add the brown sugar or molasses.

Add 1 CUP of the flour and the baking powder and baking soda to the egg mixture.

Add half of the date mixture and the remaining cup of the flour, the bran, and the vanilla.

Add the rest of the date mixture and the nuts.

Place the dough in two lightly greased loaf pans.

Bake for 1 hour.