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Plan a romantic dinner date at home

Molly Cerreta Smith has enjoyed a career in the publishing industry for more than 10 years. As an editor of several regional magazines, she has had the opportunity throughout her career to meet many local celebrities, businesspeople, ent...

Dinner date ideas

When it comes to spending some quality time with your man, who wants to waste it waiting for a table at a packed restaurant or straining to hear the movie over the voices of loud teenagers in the theater? Plan a romantic dinner at home, instead! No traffic, no sitters: Just you and your honey enjoying some much needed alone time after the kiddos are in bed. Here's how to plan a romantic dinner date at home.

Romantic Valentines Day Dinner

Dinner ideas

As they say, the way to a man's heart is through his stomach -- so start your romantic date with some deliciousness. Make his favorite meal with all the trimmings. Or, run out and pick it up from the nearest restaurant (we won't tell).

When you are planning the menu, include some ingredients that are known aphrodisiacs. A few to consider are oysters, basil, garlic, almonds and asparagus; for the sweeter side, try honey, bananas and figs.

Don't underestimate the power -- and the fun -- of fondue. There is something very sexy about dipping and dripping… and feeding each other.

Don't dine where you normally do. If you always eat at the kitchen table, dust off the dining table, light some candles and use the fine china. You read that right; what are you saving it for, anyway? Complete the at-home dinner experience with a handmade menu of the evening's meal. Simply print out the menu and mount it on a piece of cardstock, then lay one next to each plate.

After-dinner ideas

Don't let your date end after you've cleared the dishes. Set the stage for an entire evening a deux. Here are a few ideas to extend your date beyond dessert:

  • Rent a few sexy movies (think Unfaithful or 9 1/2 Weeks), share a throw blanket and curl up together on the couch.
  • Uncork a bottle of wine, light a fire and dim the lights. Sit on the floor in front of the fire, chat and offer him a back massage. You can take it from there...
  • If you've been together for the long haul, pull out some old photo albums and reminisce about the "good old days."
  • Up for a little competitive fun? Pull out a two-player game such as Boggle or an interactive DVD game such as The Newlywed Game. Adjust the rules accordingly for the two of you.
  • If the weather allows, move your date outside. Bring a blanket, cuddle up and stare at the stars. A rich chocolate or mocha liqueur is the perfect accompaniment to stargazing!
  • If you both love to dance, why not turn your living room into your very own private dance floor? The best part? The DJ (your iPod) will play all your favorite songs.
  • If you don't have little ones sleeping at home, take a late-night stroll around the neighborhood. Walk close, hand-in-hand.
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