At Home: Romantic Dinner Recipes for Two
Posted 16 August 2010 - 05:32 AM
So this will be the place for sharing recipes for a Valentines Day dinner party for two (or a romantic party for a group!), a special anniversary dinner, or a romantic dinner date.
Posted 16 August 2010 - 05:35 AM
1. Set the stage of your romantic dinner by making sure the two of you will be alone.
If you have children, arrange for babysitting at someone else's home.
2. Plan your romantic dinner on an evening of a week that you are sure your spouse won't have other time commitments already scheduled.
3. Do you want the romantic dinner to be a surprise or not? If it is a surprise, light candles in the entrance of your home to surprise your spouse.
If the dinner won't be a surprise, consider giving your spouse an invitation that you write yourself.
Send the invitation by mail, leave it on your mate's pillow, send it with a bouquet of flowers, leave it on the dash of your spouse's car, etc.
Your invitation needs to be specific as to when the romantic dinner is planned. Be creative!
4. Set the table with a tablecloth, cloth napkins, nice dinnerware, crystal, unscented candles, and flowers. The napkins can be rolled or folded in a pretty way.
Sprinkle the table with rose petals or sparkly heart shaped sprinkles. You can set floating candles in small glasses filled partly with cranberry juice.
5. Decide on your romantic dinner menu.
Keep it simple, but don't forget the appetizers. Plan on serving foods that your spouse likes. This isn't a time to experiment with a new recipe.
6. Choose the music you want to listen to ahead of time, and have soft romantic music playing in the background.
7. Create dimmed lighting for the room where you will be dining. Small, white Christmas light strings can have the desired look. So can a fire in a fireplace.
8. Turn off the television, computers, and other distractions.
Posted 16 August 2010 - 05:43 AM
Sinful. Rich. Devilish. Evil. Throughout history, chocolate has been called a lot of nasty things. Hundreds of years ago, this decadent dessert was regarded with more than a little suspicion. That's because nothing that tastes that good could possibly be anything but evil.
But, as most women know, chocolate is your friend. It is not only delicious, it's also a substance that affects how you feel. When it is not covered with the scent of coffee powder (as commercial chocolates often are), the smell of cocoa acts on the emotional center of the brain. Men, you can't plan a romantic dinner without chocolate-- your wife or girlfriend would kick your butt.
Nothin' says loving like garlic breath, right? Funny as it may sound, garlic really does have an effect on your libido-- mostly because it just makes you healthier. It energizes the body, and it also dilates the blood vessels. Plus it tastes great, and is always a good addition to a romantic meal recipe.
Here's a tidbit: the priestesses who lived in the temples of the goddess Aphrodite were experts in love remedies. They always prescribed garlic, which was supposed to "make women fall in love and make men powerful." So watch out, ladies.
The perfect way to get garlic into your Valetines dinner or romantic meal? Italian food! It's red, it's rich, it's romantic. And it's full of garlicky goodness.
It's tasty, it makes food pretty, and it stimulates the erogenous zones. Nice! Some studies have shown that saffron has similar effects on the body to those of actual hormones. But be careful! Too much saffron can cause uncontrollable laughter. Sounds like a fun way to start a Valentines dinner party, actually.
Casanova reported that he would breakfast on fifty raw oysters, and that oysters helped him seduce the 122 women he claims in his memoirs. Charming, eh?
Looks like science is proving Casanova right. After years of questioning the aphrodisiac qualities of this romantic meal recipe standard, researchers have found that oysters (among some other shellfish) were rich in some unusual amino acids that trigger increase levels of sex hormones in the body.
Vitamin E has a direct effect on both fertility and sexual functions. Even recommended to treat impotence, vitamin E is often called the reproduction vitamin. Guess what veggie (and a rather phallic one at that) is full of it? Yep, asparagus.
You can also find plenty of vitamin E in spinach and parsley. A good excuse to add green veggies to that romantic meal recipe.
Ginger, that sharp and tasty root, has been shown to increase sexual gratification and help to promote better sexual health. Throughout history, ginger has been associated with many positive sexual effects. Added to a spicy Indian or Chinese dish, it's a wonderful aphrodisiac addition when cooking a romantic dinner.
Casanova, again, with his oysters and champagne. Did that guy ever eat anything normal? Well, Casanova was said to have given champagne to each woman he was out to seduce-- and she would fall immediately under his spell. Maybe it's just the fact that the alcohol helps you to feel less inhibited, but the truth is... there is something special and romantic about a bubbling glass of champagne. You can't plan a romantic dinner without it.
Posted 16 August 2010 - 05:47 AM
Tangy & Creamy Caesar Salad Recipe
This recipe truly makes the perfect caesar salad dressing. But if you're short on time, it's okay to go with bottled-- though it won't taste half as good.
1/2 head romaine lettuce, washed, dried, and torn
1 1/2 C. garlic-flavored croutons (large)
3 tbsp. freshly grated parmesan cheese
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
2 anchovy fillets
2 small cloves garlic
1 C. mayonnaise (low fat is okay)
1/4 C. half-and-half
1/3 C freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions: For Dressing: In a food processor or blender, mince anchovy and garlic together.
Add remaining ingredients. Process/blend 30-45 seconds. Add more salt and pepper if needed.
If too thick, thin with a small amount of milk if desired (optional).
Refrigerate at leat 3 hours.
Toss about half the dressing with lettuce and crutons. Garnish with parmesan cheese and fresh ground pepper.
Note: Even if you love garlic, go easy on it. As it's fresh (and marinates in the fridge) the dressing can have a tendancy to get a little strong. Too much garlic and this easy, romantic dinner recipe will easily scare away vampires... and everyone else.
This makes twice as much dressing as you'll need for two BIG servings, but I didn't scale the recipe down because... well... you'll want more dressing the next day. I promise.
Posted 16 August 2010 - 05:54 AM
Easy-Creamy Linguini with Shrimp
6 oz. linguine (fresh is best)
1 tbsp. butter
1/4 lb. fresh crimini mushrooms, sliced
1/4 C. butter
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
3 oz. cream cheese (low-fat works fine)
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, minced
3/4 tsp dried basil
salt, to taste
1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1/2 C. chicken broth, boiling
1/2 lb cooked shrimp
1/4 C. Parmesan cheese, grated
Instructions: Boil linguini in lightly salted water. Drain.
For sauce: Heat one tablespoon of butter in skillet over med-high heat. Add mushrooms. Saute until tender. Transfer mushrooms to a small plate and set aside.
Heat the 1/4 cup butter in skillet. Add the minced garlic, then stir in the cream cheese.
Allow cheese to melt, then add the parsley and basil. Let simmer five minutes.
Add boiling (or very hot-- the microwave works well for this) chicken broth til sauce is smooth (as needed). Add shrimp and mushrooms and heat through, about 2 minutes.
Toss cooked pasta with sauce, sprinkle with Parmesan, and serve.
Note: Using pre-cleaned, pre-cooked shrimp makes this easy romantic dinner recipe even easier. But if you have uncooked shrimp, simply clean them and toss them in with the mushrooms to cook.
To make this a complete (and completely delicious) meal, buy a nice herbed fociacca bread and dip it in "Italian butter," which is simply olive oil topped with fresh ground pepper. Yum!
Posted 16 August 2010 - 05:56 AM
Nutella Mousse Recipe
Recipe serves 4, but leftovers never go unappreciated.
1 C. whipping cream, very cold
1/2 tsp. high-quality instant coffee granules
1/2 C. Nutella (or other chocolate-hazelnut spread)
Whipped cream, to garnish
Fresh raspberries, to garnish (optional)
Instructions: 1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine whipping cream and instant coffee.
2. Refrigerate 5 minutes, then stir until coffee is dissolved.
3. Stir in Nutella.
4. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat mixture until soft peaks form. Scrape bowl occasionally with rubber spatula as you mix.
5. The mousse will be very soft here-- don't worry. It sets up as it chills.
6. Divide among 4 serving dishes. Chill at least four hours, or overnight.
7. Just before serving, garnish with whipped cream and chocolate curls or fresh raspberries, if desired.
Posted 17 August 2010 - 06:13 AM
Filet Mignon with Shallot
* 1/4 bag(s) (28-ounce) frozen shoestring potatoes, (about 2 cups)
* 1 clove(s) garlic, crushed with garlic press
* 3/4 teaspoon(s) grated fresh lemon peel
* 2 teaspoon(s) margarine or butter
* 2 (1 inch thick, about 4 ounces each) beef tenderloin steaks, (filet mignon)
* 1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
* 1/8 teaspoon(s) ground black pepper
* 1 large shallot, finely chopped
* 1/2 cup(s) dry red wine
* 2 tablespoon(s) chopped fresh parsley
1. Prepare Garlic Frites: On large cookie sheet, toss potatoes with garlic and lemon peel and cook as label directs, stirring occasionally.
2. Meanwhile, prepare Filet Mignon: In nonstick 10-inch skillet, heat 1 teaspoon margarine over medium-high heat until melted and hot but not smoking. Add steaks; sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook 10 minutes for medium-rare or until of desired doneness, turning over once. Transfer steaks to 2 dinner plates.
3. To same skillet, add shallot and cook over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until tender and golden, stirring occasionally. Add wine and heat to boiling. Cook 1 minute, stirring. Remove from heat and stir in remaining margarine. Spoon sauce over steaks.
4. Transfer potatoes to plates with steaks; sprinkle with parsley.
Tips & Techniques
Broiling potatoes as the label directs, instead of baking them, will speed up the cooking process, and your frites will be crispier -- more like french fries.
Posted 17 August 2010 - 06:15 AM
* 1 teaspoon(s) butter or margarine
* 1 tablespoon(s) sugar
* 1/4 cup(s) sugar
* 1 tablespoon(s) instant coffee
* 1 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
* 1/8 teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon
* 2 large egg whites
* 1/8 teaspoon(s) cream of tartar
* 1/4 cup(s) half-and-half or light cream
* 1 ounce(s) semisweet chocolate
* 1 teaspoon(s) butter or margarine
* 1/2 teaspoon(s) instant coffee
* 1/8 teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare Cappuccino Soufflé: Grease two 6- to 8-ounce ramekins with butter; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar.
2. In cup, stir coffee, vanilla, cinnamon and 1 teaspoon water until dissolved. In large bowl, with mixer at high speed, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Beating at high speed, sprinkle in remaining sugar until stiff peaks form. Add coffee mixture and beat on low speed just until blended.
3. Spoon mixture into ramekins. Bake 10 minutes or until soufflés are puffed and edges are browned.
4. Meanwhile, prepare Chocolate Sauce: In microwave-safe 1-cup liquid measure, combine sauce ingredients. Cook in microwave oven on High 30 seconds; stir, scraping chocolate from bottom of cup. Cook 15 seconds; stir until smooth.
5. Serve soufflés immediately. With spoon, break centers of soufflés and pour in sauce.