Do It Yourself Tuesdays: Romantic Dinner for Two

candle lit dinnerSo, it’s the beginning of a new school year, and you’ve got a hot prospect. How can you woo him (or her, as the case may be) and get those googly eyes to focus only on you?

Easy.

It’s like your mom always said: the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Even if you aren’t exactly Julia Child, you can still follow instructions, and that’s all you need to do to bust out a romantic dinner that’ll have him drooling for your food and bolting with you to the bedroom.

Trust me, it’s way better to make food for your dude than take him out. Anyone can whip out a credit card, but it makes you look extra-special if you can whip out a spatula and use it like you’re supposed to. Plus, it’s obviously sweeter to make dinner than to buy it, and it gives you the opportunity to tailor what you make to what your guy really likes. (And it might even inspire him to cook for you . . . swoon!)

Before you get carried away, don’t go all Bridget Jones and try to make super-fancy recipes for multiple courses. Keep it simple, especially if you don’t have a ton of cooking experience. Odds are, your guy loves the classics: what meat-eating man would deny a nicely grilled steak or a plate of spaghetti just like his mom used to make?

So set out that tablecloth, light those candles, put on some tunes, and give these two tried-and-true recipes a whirl.

CHICKEN PARMESAN LINGUINE
6 oz linguine
1 chicken breast
1 tablespoon butter
2 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
6 oz mushrooms (any kind works)
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shaved or grated
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Fresh parsley to garnish

1. Boil linguine for 8-10 minutes in a pot of salted water. Drain.
2. Chop up the chicken breast in bite-sized pieces.
3. In a saucepan, melt the butter. Add the garlic cloves and chicken pieces. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until chicken pieces begin to brown.
4. Add the mushrooms. Stir occasionally until the mushrooms release juices.
5. Add the white wine. Simmer until it’s reduced. (That means until all the wine is gone-zo.)
6. Add the heavy whipping cream. When it starts to bubble, turn off the heat and pour in the Parmesan, basil, and pepper. Combine the sauce with the noodles.
7. Garnish with the parsley right before serving.
8. Watch your boy melt into your hands like butter in a skillet.

CHOCOLATE FONDUE
8 oz dark chocolate or chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon hot water

1. In a heavy saucepan over low to medium heat, melt the chocolate with the heavy whipping cream. Stir often.
2. When the chocolate is melted and smooth, stir in the vanilla, sugar, and hot water.
3. Serve with cubes of pound cake, berries, or other fresh fruit. Or, you know, just stick your finger in there and lick it seductively. Whatever works.

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