Prepare two servings of your favourite healthy recipe for a perfect date-night meal; i.e., filet mignon with sweet potato mash mussels with lemon rice or mushroom pilaf..
While the entree preparation is crucial for your meal’s success, the little details can elevate a nice dinner into a romantic feast!
Great Starters Count!
- Make bruschetta earlier in the day, using a baguette, garlic, olive oil, onions, tomatoes, and a few other simple ingredients. Feeling fancy? If so, make deviled eggs the night before and enjoy them while you wait.
- Prepare homemade guacamole earlier in the day and serve it with a bowl of tortilla chips.
- For the summer, make an easy, delicious four-ingredient salad of watermelon, feta cheese, sunflower seeds and mint.
- Hummus with pita chips and fresh veggies is always a big hit.
- While cheese and crackers are usually eaten at the end of a meal, you can enjoy a plate of them as an appetizer. Gouda, brie, and fontina are ideal cheeses for crackers.
Toast nuts and spices. If you toast dry spices like cumin and fennel for a few minutes before adding them to a dish, they become even more pungent and aromatic. The same applies for raw nuts but do watch them closely as they both burn fast.
Brown your butter. Give butter a more nuanced, nutty flavor by whisking it over medium heat for a couple of minutes until it browns slightly. Then substitute it for regular melted butter in recipes or lightly drizzle on veggies. Try to use pastured butter, which is rich in hard-to-find vitamin K2.
Make creative use of your ice cube trays. Do you have an unfinished bottle of wine that you don’t want to waste? Why not pour it into an ice cube tray, then use those cubes for cooking sauces or adding more potency to your sangria? Leftover coffee or espresso can also be used to make caffeine cubes for iced lattes.
Create your own chef-grade oils. Instantly upgrade all your food by making flavor-packed olive oil. Add leftover fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme to a bottle of olive oil to infuse it with flavour.
Keep your fruit from going brown. Honey is long known to have a myriad of health benefits. Did you know that drizzling lemon juice on apple slices keeps them from browning for about an hour ? Yet, a mixture of one part honey to two parts water stops the discolouration of apples, pears, peaches, and other sliced stone fruits for up to eight hours. The peptides in honey halt the oxidation process. To preserve fruit salad for a party the next day or outfit a bar with fruits for garnish, soak the slices in a bowl of the honey and water blend for one minute to ensure a day’s worth of freshness.
Recommended Read: The New Intercourses: An Aphrodisiac Cookbook by Martha Hopkins is organized by type of aphrodisiac. This playful cookbook covers 19 sensual foods, ranging from traditional favourites like oysters and strawberries to lesser-known but equally potent foods like pine nuts and asparagus. Including histories of aphrodisiacs, couples’ anecdotes, and tantalizing photography, this 10th-anniversary edition of this beautiful and innovative cookbook features more than 55 new, couple-tested recipes and a totally revised appendix.