For your next date night, skip restaurant reservations and cook dinner at home. Whether it’s for a casual dinner with your long term sweetheart or an intimate dining experience for a new suitor, home cooking is one of the best ways to serve up a little romance.
For a simple weeknight date or an elaborate affair on a special occasion, you can serve a meal that will take minutes – but look like its taken hours – to prepare.
1. Baked Rigatoni with Kale: Most ladies know that it isn’t always easy to get your guys to eat some greens. With this worknight dinner recipe for baked pasta with cheese and kale, you’ll both forget that you’re getting a side of nutrition with meal. Pair with a mixed green salad with bacon and gorgonzola, some crusty multigrain bread and he’ll be eating out of the palm of your hand (maybe even literally).
2. Cranberry Balsamic Pork Chops with Caramelized Shallots: In my opinion, cranberries are one of the most underused berries in the world. They pair equally well with sweets and savories and though their season is short, dried cranberries can usually be found on store shelves. In a pinch, cranberry salad dressing makes a great reduction top top skillet-seared pork chops over a bed of fresh spinach.
3. Oven Baked Fried Chicken: I made Chicken Parmesan for the first few guys I’d ever cooked for. Simple, delicious, but honesty? Boring, boring, boring. Instead, a healthier spin on fried chicken is the new way to a man’s heart. Boneless chicken thighs, crispy on the outside but moist on the inside, might be the new man’s best friend. You’ll both be even happier if you whip up a side of bacon potato salad.
4. Spinach Ricotta Pizza with Olive Oil Dough: Make your next date night a pizza night. You can make an evening out of it by choosing your favorite toppings and taking turns working the dough before you slide your pizza into the oven. Make sure you have a pizza peel, a baking stone and of course, your favorite beer or wine to toast before the meal.
5. Orange Beef & Broccoli Stir-Fry: Channel your inner Asian chef with a simple stir-fry that will wow anyone. Use lean sirloin to cut some of the fat and calories from your restaurant favorites so you can even splurge on a decadent flourless chocolate cake for dessert.