Adam and I have been a couple for quite a while, and we have done the same old song and dance that is double dating. We've gone out with our friends and their significant others many a time, but honestly, I have grown so comfortable having date nights at home just the idea of leaving the house to hang out with other couples sounds like a drag some days.
Since I've felt so spoiled with all of the creative at-home dates with Adam lately, the last time we hosted a couples game night I pulled out all the stops and set up an elaborate board game-inspired party table! I'm a huge fan of throwing a game night that is fun and detailed--but I would rather not shell out a ton of money for our couples game nights, so I turn to affordable supplies and a little bit of creativity to get the job done! Today, I'm sharing all of the details and step-by-step tutorials from our latest party so you can see how to host a couples game night of your own!
Java Lava Cakes (Inspired by the Jenga® game)
Ingredients for Cakes:
- 2 cups of baker's fine sugar (white sugar is fine)
- 1 3/4 cups of flour
- 1 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup of whole milk
- 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon of coffee extract
- 2 teaspoons of cold black coffee
- 1 cup of boiling hot water
- 1 cup of hot fudge
- 1 cup of M&M's® Milk Chocolate
- (Optional) Vanilla bean ice cream, to put on top
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees (F).
- Grease an extra large muffin pan (I used an extra large muffin pan to create the look of these Java Lava Cakes!)
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar with the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix well.
- Stir in the eggs and milk. Mix well again.
- While whisking the batter, pour in the oil, extracts, and cold black coffee. Continue mixing well.
- Finally, whisk in the boiling hot water right before you're ready to fill up your muffin pan.
- Pour the cake batter into the muffin pan and then bake it in the oven for 30 minutes or until the edges have started to harden a bit. Pull the cakes out of the oven if you stick a toothpick in the center and it comes out almost completely clean.
- Let the cakes cool completely. You can speed up this process by tossing the muffin pan in the refrigerator.
- Once the cakes are cool, transfer them to a clean flat surface.
- Carve a small, narrow hole down the center of each cake. This is where you'll be placing your "lava!" If you want to close the cakes back up, try to carve out the center of your cake into one piece so that you can put it back into the hole after you are done filling the cake.
- Drizzle about 1-2 tablespoons of hot fudge into each center of the cakes, and then pour in a handful of delicious M&M's® Milk Chocolate!
- Top the cakes with some of your favorite ice cream (we love vanilla bean), and then use a spoon to dig into the center of the cakes. That chocolate and M&M's® Milk Chocolate lava will overflow onto the plate and melt with the ice cream! Enjoy on your own--or share with your loved one for a fun game night treat!
Game Night Sliders
- 1/2 dozen slider-sized dinner rolls
- 4-6 servings of breaded chicken tenders, cooked
- 2 1/4 cups of General Tso's sauce
- 2 cups of shredded lettuce
- Prepare your pre-cooked chicken tenders as expected.
- Cut the tenders into medium-sized pieces (about 2-3 inches by 2-3 inches wide).
- In a large bowl, toss the cooked chicken tenders General Tso's sauce.
- Slice slider-sized dinner rolls and fill them with a piece of chicken and some shredded lettuce.
Game Night Party Table Backdrop
When we hosted couples game night in, we enjoyed setting up our party around a bright and colorful backdrop. To create our board game-inspired backdrop for our wall and table, I used: an assortment of brightly colored paper, a paper cutter, black lettered cutouts, double-sided tape, and a plain white tablecloth.
I began by deciding what color pattern I wanted to keep throughout the theme--a fun array of colors starting with teal and ending with light blue. Then, I cut out 6 squares of each color in my color pattern (there were 8 total colors in my pattern, with a total of just under 50 squares in my design). I used my paper cutter to make the pieces of the game board design into 2.75" by 2.75" squares.
Once I had all of my game pieces together for the wall/table design, I laid out the tablecloth and taped the "START" letters to the wall. Just underneath the "START" letters, I began taping a snake-like/curved line of squares that were close together and made a trail from the wall, down to the table, across and around the table, and then trailing down underneath the table towards where we kept our games we were going to play for the night that were on the floor.
French Fries Tower
When Adam and I host couples game night at our place, we try to come up with some creative snacks to serve to our friends--this last time we had friends over for a game night in, I had thought it would be fun to serve up some baked french fries in the shape of a teetering tower inspired by the Jenga® game!
To make our French Fries Tower, you will need: baked french fries, a flat surface, and a little bit of patience!
First, you'll want to build a steady base. Find a few french fries that are about the same size in length that have at least two flat sides. Spread them about 2 inches apart from each other, and then start stacking them on top of each other (alternating between vertical and horizontal) into a hashtag shape.
Continue stacking the fries up until they start to resemble a mighty french fries tower!
Once you've finally stacked all of your french fries into the tower, you now have a fun game night treat (and table decoration) inspired by the Jenga® game!
Your friends will get a kick out of this French Fries Tower--it always seems to be a conversation starter for sure! There is always that one person who tries to pull a couple of french fries from the center of the tower during couples game night (and if you have recently the played Jenga® game you know how that usually ends!)
If you're looking for a fun demonstration to show at your party, once all of your guests have arrived you can invite them to admire your French Fries Tower--and then cover it with everyone's favorite toppings and then enjoy it (for us, we love ketchup, so we completely drenched our french fries tower in some yummy ketchup!)
DIY M&M's® Milk Chocolate Treat Boxes
I never like to send my guests home empty-handed. For couples game night, I make decorative treat boxes out of cardstock scrapbook paper. During our last couples game night get-together, I sent each couple home with their own box of M&M's® Milk Chocolate!
To make our M&M's® Milk Chocolate Treat Boxes for game night, I used: 12" by 12" cardstock scrapbook paper, a ruler, a pencil, a small paintbrush, a rounded traingle stamp cutter, and M&M's® Milk Chocolate.
The 12" by 12" cardstock scrapbook paper makes awesome 4" treat boxes to store candy inside; this is my go-to treat paper measurement when it comes to homemade treat boxes. I began by creating a grid on the backside of the scrapbook paper in the shape of tic-tac-toe (or a wide hashtag) lightly with a pencil. I went over the outline of the grid with the bottom/wooden edge of the small paintbrush to make a light indent on the paper without actually ripping it (the indents make folding it easier!) Then, I used the rounded triangle stamp cutter and made stamp cuts where the indented lines crossed (see the picture above).
Then, I began folding my indented lines towards the middle of the paper (this is when I actually started to visualize the paper box). Once all of the indented lines have been folded, I started to bring all of the squares towards the center to form the box. Before I was finished with my box, I poured in about 2 cups of M&M's® Milk Chocolate into each of the treat boxes and then closed them up.
Optional: you can add a small semi-circle slit to each edge of the scrapbook paper if you want to form a box that will close on its own (or you can close the box by using tape!)
Game Night Party Printables
We finally got a new printer last month (yay! *happy dance*), so I have been pretty obsessed with making my own printables for all of our parties and group get-togethers. For this couples game night, I wanted to pair each treat on the table with its own decorative label. Today, I'm sharing the download links with all of you! These printables are totally free to you, so you are welcome to download these and enjoy for personal use!
Click on the corresponding image(s) below to download the printable!
Download these free printables for your couples game night--French Fries Tower, Java Lava Cakes, and Game Night Sliders!
Shopping for the Party
We shopped at our local Walmart for all of our couples game night party supplies--all of the ingredients for the Java Lava Cakes, French Fries Tower, Game Night Sliders, the backdrop and party treat box supplies, paper plates and napkins, M&M's® Milk Chocolate, M&M's® Peanut Butter, The Game of Life game, and Jenga® game!
If you're thinking about throwing a couples game night you should do it! Seriously, I promise it's a ton of fun!
Every time we've had couples over to our house for a night of friendly and competitive games, we have been told that it's been a really entertaining night. Playing a game as a group is an affordable and awesome way to host your friends and their loved ones--who needs fancy double date night when you can all hang out in comfort of your own home and eat french fries, sliders, lava cakes, and M&M's® Milk Chocolate while playing a round of our favorite Jenga® game? That sounds like a perfect party to me!