One of the most romantic things you can do for your partner, as well as one that will be very much appreciated, is preparing a home cooked meal. You don’t have to be a cordon bleu chef to prepare and serve a delicious dinner, just know your way around the kitchen and enough of the basics of cooking so that the food you deliver will be a real treat for your beloved.
Many gentlemen enjoy cooking, and cookery programs and competitions are all the rage on television. Remember also that a large proportion of the world’s top chefs are men so it shouldn’t be difficult for you to channel your inner Jamie Oliver.
Planning and preparation
You should spend time thinking through carefully what you need to do to prepare the best experience for your partner that you can. You’ll be familiar with favorite foods and there’s no harm in playing up to those strengths. You could always surprise your partner – and yourself as well – by trying out a new recipe but don’t make it overcomplicated, unless you are an expert cook. If you’re not confident stick to dishes that are tried and tested but will still taste good.
Draw up your list of ingredients and estimate the time it will take to make things. A good rule of thumb is to make dishes that are small and light – the last thing you want for a romantic evening is for both of you to be full up with food. Not only could it be uncomfortable but there’s a good chance you could fall asleep in front of the TV later!
Try a simple fish starter of coldwater prawns or smoked salmon with a little salad and a tasty mayo style dressing. No cooking needed for this, just some assembly to make it look attractive and the salmon adds that little touch of luxury. A chicken and mushroom casserole is quick to prepare and can then sit happily in the oven until it’s time for the main course. If you like making bread there’s little to compare with some homemade rolls to go with the casserole. Keep the dessert light too, perhaps a tasty fresh fruit salad with cream or a wicked indulgence of chocolate profiteroles.
For this special evening use your best china and cutlery to add a touch of class to the table. You want to keep your partner happy and this shows that you have taken the trouble to think about how to make the meal the best experience you can – this will be valued. The same goes for your glassware. When you bring out the champagne as a special surprise make sure you have elegant champagne flutes for the bubbly to be shown off at its best. The same goes for your wine glasses and tumblers for water, and if you’re planning to finish the meal with a glass of port don’t neglect to have the appropriate glasses close to hand.
As you’re creating an experience you could use candles for the table to help make the evening feel special. Always use new ones for this type of occasion – used ones may give you light but won’t look as good at the start. Dim the dining area lights, but don’t make things too dark. After all, your partner would probably like to see the food to be eaten, as would you!
The candles and muted lighting will help with the ambient mood, and in different parts of the house you could use lightly scented candles. It’s best not to use scented candles at the table because your partner will want to smell the food without being distracted. Have some of your favorite music playing in the background, familiar and pleasant but not loud enough to interfere with you talking to each other over dinner. You could also place some fresh flowers in the dining room, a nice touch for more color and additional scent.
Turn your phones off or, if you have to, put them on silent. There’s nothing more disruptive to a quiet conversation than the sound of a loud ringtone. If they’re on silent you can both check for missed calls from time to time if you need to.
An occasion to remember
Cooking a meal prepared in the home for your partner shows that you care about your relationship and want to show it with a very personal touch. The time and trouble you take is unlikely to be forgotten, so why not make it a regular occasion?