How to make a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner

They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach — but you’ve already got his heart. This Valentine’s Day, cook a meal to share at a quiet candlelit table for two.

Romantic Valentine's Day placesetting

Step 1: Plan your
meal in secret

Keep your romantic Valentine’s Day meal a secret. When you plan your meal, keep the recipes and ingredients hidden in the days leading to Valentine’s Day. Prepare to set a special table using your special-occasion dishes and romantic touches like candles and flowers. Put together a playlist on your computer or MP3 player to add to the romantic ambiance for your meal at home. Pay attention to prep and cooking times, and schedule the cooking process so that everything is hot and ready to eat at dinner time. Try dishes or desserts that can be prepped ahead of time and heated up at the last minute.

Step 2: Cook delightful finger-food appetizers

As you both wind down from your day and prepare to enjoy the main course, spend time chatting and eating sexy finger foods. Try small appetizers that can be enjoyed in a few bites or eaten from toothpicks and skewers. Fondue is always a hit, especially when you can cuddle up next to the warm pot of seasoned cheese. When planning your appetizers, avoid strong-smelling ingredients like garlic and onions. You may not have time to brush your teeth before you proceed to dessert.

Step 3: Whip up a romantic main course

Think aphrodisiacs when you plan your main course. Oysters are probably too high-maintenance, so consider lesser-known sexy foods like avocados and almonds. No one wants to get frisky on an overly full stomach, so stick to a main course that’s nice and light, like a dinner salad topped with rare cuts of marinated beef. Top the salad with figs, another aphrodisiac. As you plan your main course, stay away from messy, heavy foods like ribs or barbecue. Keep in mind that the best aphrodisiacs are the foods you and your partner have come to love together. Try replicating a meal from one of your first dates if you’re short on ideas.

wineStep 4: Pair with appropriate wine

Dial up the romance with a glass of red wine as you enjoy your meal together. Choose wine carefully, pairing it with the foods you’ve selected for your main course. If you’re not much of a wine connoisseur, visit your local wine seller with your menu and let a pro help you choose the wine. When it’s time to serve it, open it and let it breathe as you finish cooking. Serve red wine in a generous glass that shows off the deep color and gives off the intoxicating aroma as you drink.

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