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    Check out more EATS- DIY- LIFE posts from Marina Makes or find her on Facebook & Instagram!

    Hi friend(s)! I’m Marina from marinamakesblog.com and I’m so happy you’ll be enjoying a night at home. I’m here to further elevate your experience with some seasonal eats and sips.


    There are so many times I wish my husband and I could whisk away and take a trip to Europe. I dream about the food we’d eat – mainly bread, cheese and sweets - and the romantic sites we’d get to see. Let’s be real though, the closest I’ll ever get to Europe in the near future is through what I’ve got cooking on my stove. The recipes I’ve prepared for you this month are based on European classics but with a bit of a modern twist. It’s through them, I hope to bring you to the cobblestone streets of France for the night. Enjoy!




    We would LOVE for you to share pictures enjoying your dinner!

    Tag #datenightinbox & #marinamakeseats

    We understand that your TIME is valuable! If you choose to make any of the recipes below you can print out a complete

    shopping list! Enjoy!

  • Beverages

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    French 50


    • Shot of brandy
    • 1/4 cup of champagne
    • 1/4 cup of pomegranate juice


    Place brandy, champagne and pomegranate juice in a glass and stir to combine. Add ice if desired.

    Pomegranate French 50 Mocktail



    • 1/2 cup of club soda
    • 1/2 cup of pomegranate juice


    Place club soda and pomegranate juice in a glass and stir to combine. Add ice if desired.

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  • Appetizer

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    Brie and Walnut-Stuffed Figs


    • 4-6 dried figs
    • 8 oz wheel of brie cheese (will have plenty left over)
    • 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts

    If you’re feeling super fancy, pair the figs with a cheese and charcuterie board. I’d recommend the following:

    • Green olives
    • A hard, sharp cheese like cheddar or parmigiano reggiano
    • A soft cheese like havarti or goat
    • Slices of prosciutto or soppressata
    • Crackers or slices of French bread
    • Fruit preserve to pair with the rest of the brie you bought for the figs


    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.


    Slice each fig through the middle to create a pocket for the cheese and walnuts. Cut a small piece of brie for each of the figs, and stuff each fig with cheese and a couple of walnuts.


    Place the figs on a baking sheet and bake for 5-7 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

  • Main Course

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    Ratatouille Toast


    • Olive oil
    • 2 small cloves of garlic, minced
    • 1/3 cup of zucchini, chopped
    • 1/3 cup of yellow squash, chopped
    • 1/3 cup of eggplant, chopped
    • Salt
    • Pepper
    • 1 tablespoon of chopped thyme
    • French baguette
    • 4-6 tablespoons of sundried tomato pesto
    • 3/4 cup of grated gruyere cheese 



    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.


    Heat a frying pan to medium-high heat. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil and the minced garlic to the pan. Cook for about 30 seconds until the garlic is fragrant. Add the chopped zucchini, squash and eggplant. Season with a little bit of salt and pepper to taste and stir to combine, adding more olive oil if needed. Cook for about 7-8 minutes, or until the vegetables become translucent and tender. Remove from heat and stir in chopped thyme.


    While that’s cooking, cut about an eight-inch piece of bread from the baguette and slice it through the middle to create two pieces of “toast”. Brush with olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for eight to ten minutes.


    When the toast is crisp, spread the top of it with a couple of tablespoons of sundried tomato pesto and top it with the vegetable medley. Place the grated cheese on top and place it in the oven for 5-6 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

  • Dessert

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    Cream Puffs

    Makes six cream puffs (with leftover custard)



    • 1/4 cup of water
    • 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
    • Salt
    • 1/4 cup of flour
    • 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
    • 1 large egg
    • Powdered sugar


    • Half of 1/3 cup of flour
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons of corn starch
    • 1/3 cup of sugar
    • 1 3/4 cup of whole milk
    • 1 egg yolks
    • 1/2 tablespoon of butter
    • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla


    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.


    To make the batter, place water, butter and a couple of pinches of salt in medium saucepan and heat over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and then remove from the heat. Mix the flour and baking powder together and add the flour mixture to the pan, stirring until combined.


    Place batter in a standing mixer (or use a handheld mixer) and use a whisk attachment to whip everything together. Once the batter is cooled down, add the eggs and mix until combined. Make sure you scrape down the sides in the process to ensure everything is mixed properly.


    Press plastic wrap directly over, blanketing the batter. Place in the fridge for about an hour or two to cool down and harden, or place it in the freezer for 20-30 minutes if you’re running low on time.


    While the batter is cooling down, start preparing the cream. Heat a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat and add the flour, cornstarch and sugar. Whisk everything together. While stirring, slowly add the whole milk, and then the egg yolks. Continue stirring for about 7-10 minutes until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Remove from the heat and add a tablespoon of butter and vanilla stirring to combine. Set in the fridge to cool.


    Next, take the batter out of the fridge. Drop 2 teaspoons of the batter (forming each into a ball with a spoon) onto a baking sheet. Bake for about 30-35 minutes.


    After the batter puffs up and is golden brown, take the baking sheet out of the oven and cut each puff almost all the way in half with a serrated knife. Fill each puff with two tablespoons of custard and top with powdered sugar.