Stag Night: Summer 2016


Butch stag night, butch cooking, fish tacos

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Stag Night is a night when your girl is out for work or fun and you are left to fend for yourself.  It is a great chance to do the things you love: you can catch up on your favorite show; watch the game without guilt; focus on your favorite hobby without interruption; finish that great book or even pamper yourself with a massage or spa night.

It’s also an opportunity to cook a great meal and make your girl’s night when she gets home.  Taking some of your “me time” to spoil your girl can be very rewarding for both of you.  The perfect stag night is an easy combination of spoiling yourself and doing something special to surprise your girl.

Start the night with a great meal.

Sure you could hit the drive-thru on the way home, but cooking for yourself is simple, faster, tastes way better, and will make you feel like a rock star.  (Fair warning: she will think its sexy that you cooked your own meal instead of taking the easy way out, but eventually she’s going to realize that you can cook.  Better start preparing yourself mentally for taking the next step and cooking her an awesome meal sometime.)

Part of the fun of stag night cooking is picking the meal.  This is the perfect time to make something your girl wouldn’t enjoy.  Do your homework and pick your recipes ahead of time so you can be sure to have all the ingredients.  You could also have a list of the ingredients ready so you can pick everything up on the way home, but every time I leave everything until the night of, it seems the grocery store is out of at least one thing I need.

If you don’t have a favorite meal, try making a themed dinner such as BBQ; summer salad, diner breakfast, charcuterie plate or burger joint food.  Just remember to make it a whole meal.  Three microwaved hot dogs and a bowl of easy mac does not count. Nor does a bowl (box?) of cereal or a package of pop tarts.  The point is to make an adult meal that you can be proud of.

Most importantly, keep it simple!  Now is not the time to have a four course meal, or make a recipe that takes 2.5 hours to prepare.  This isn’t a Thanksgiving dinner for one; it’s just stag night.

My go-to stag night dinner menu in the summer is:

  • fish or shrimp tacos
  • coleslaw
  • corn on the cob and/or black beans
  • IPA or Pale ale

Fish Tacos w-Chipotle Mayo and Coleslaw Recipe _Page_1

Click here to open the recipes: Fish Tacos w:Chipotle Mayo and Coleslaw Recipe.

The final touch is to pick a beer that compliments the meal.  The beer also makes the cooking more fun.  For this dinner, I chose Ballast Point’s Grapefruit Sculpin IPA.  The citrus compliments the fish and the slight sweetness contrasts nicely with the tang of the coleslaw.

Clean up your act

This is where stag night starts to be more than just another night to chill on the couch.  After your amazing dinner, it’s time to clean up.  I don’t mean tossing your plate in the dishwasher or sink.

Start by putting your leftovers away.  Then load and run the dishwasher.  Wipe down the counters with cleaning spray and then take out the trash.  If you cooked something your girl isn’t fond of (that means any kind of fish in my household) or that has a strong smell (burgers can make your place smell just like the drive-thru you avoided), put a cleansing scent in the diffuser to freshen the air.  Lemon seems to work best for me, but other citruses like lime or grapefruit are also refreshing.

Once the kitchen looks awesome, take a few minutes and tidy the whole house.  I hear you sighing, but this is really going to help with the next step.  Pick up clutter, straighten any stacks of books, put the clothes away and tidy the entryway.  I like to make it a race: put on a timer for 10-15 minutes and scurry around cleaning.  See how much you can get done in that short amount of time.  You might be shocked at what a difference a few minutes can make to how cozy your home feels.

Bringing it home

The most rewarding part of this whole stag night starts here: you are going to surprise your girl when she gets home.  The cleaning was step one.  Now it’s time to go for the gold.  This is your chance to shine.

No matter if your girl was out for fun or for business, she is probably going to be amped up when she gets home.  She likely just either survived a stressful business situation or is energized from having a blast.  Either way, you are going to help her wind down and relax from her evening before bed.

You already set the stage by tidying the whole house.  If you don’t consistently keep flowers in your house, stop to get some on your way home from work.  Nothing fancy – some supermarket daisies or sunflowers are just the ticket.  I tend to stay away from the neon dyed ones in favor of the simple natural looking ones.  No need to spend more than $10.  These flowers are just an extra little way to say “I love you” and let her know you’ve been thinking about her all night.

After dinner and cleaning up, put the vase in the center of the table.  If you don’t have a vase, use a mason jar or simple tumbler for a vase for an extra dash of simple cuteness.  You won’t have to say a thing when she gets home – she’ll notice the flowers without any prompting.

Next, make, buy or download and print a note card and jot a few lines about how you thought about her all night and how much you care for her.  Maybe mention that you hope her evening was a success and you had a great night, but missed her and are glad she is home.  Once you’ve finished your note, prop the card up in front of the vase.

Now let’s make the atmosphere relaxing.  Lower the lights or leave only a few lamps on.  Put on some background music.  You want her to walk in and immediately feel more relaxed and glad to be home.

Have a simple dessert prepared and ready to get out and serve.  Ice cream is classic.  Sorbetto is a little fancier and you can get some great light fruit flavors.  Greek yogurt and berries is fresh and natural and just as good as ice cream.  Hell, if she loves Oreos and milk, have a plate and glass ready for her.  Simple is our theme and it’s key here.

When she walks in, drop everything.  Nothing says “I love you” like giving her your full attention, so turn off the TV, put down the computer or book and let her know how glad you are she’s home.  Invite her to go change into her PJs while you get out dessert.  Ask her to meet you at the table or on the couch after she’s changed.

When she comes out, tell her you want to hear everything that happened.  Then, sit and listen.  Really listen.  Ask questions about her night.  Look at her while she talks.  And when she smiles at all the little things you’ve done during the night to make her feel great when she came home, it will be so worth it.

You could take a night alone as an invitation to grab cheap fast food and binge watch TV for 5 hours.  Or you could use it as a chance to make a great meal and make your girl feel amazing.  You might just find that you’ve impressed yourself.  The sense of pride and joy you’ll get from making stag night awesome will stay with you for days.