How to Plan and Prepare a Romantic Dinner

If your plans for Valentine's day involve a home-cooked romantic dinner for two then don't miss our guide to romantic dinners below. Keep in mind that romantic dinners aren't just for Valentine's day and anniversaries...using our guide you can make any meal romantic!

Part 1: Planning and Preparation

Part 2: A Romantic Atmosphere

Planning and Preparation

Impress Her With an Invitation
Send an invitation to your sweetheart instead of calling them up and inviting them over the phone. Create this by hand with a pretty piece of writing paper or some colored construction paper. Be sure to include the date, time, location and dress code. You may be tempted to surprise your honey by not telling him or her what you have planned, but that could spell disaster. If they don't expect food to be served they may eat a full meal before heading over to your place. So make sure they know that this night will include dinner.

The Secret to Choosing What to Make
Instead of consulting "romantic meal" menus when deciding what to cook, ask your partner what his or her favorite meals are. It doesn't matter how much of an aphrodisiac oysters are, if your sweetheart doesn't like oysters, your plan won't work. Once you find out what their favorite meals are you can search the Internet to find the recipe. Try, they test all their recipes and usually include a picture. Another way to get the recipe is to call your love's parents. Their favorite meal may be something that their mother or father cooked for them growing up. Keep in mind that preparing their favorite meal will score you more points than a recipe randomly chosen out of a book.

What To Wear
Dress to impress. If the room, the table and the meal is going to be fancy shouldn't your attire also fit the bill? Tell your sweatheart to wear something extra nice (such as a skirt, a cocktail dress, a suit, khakis and a sweater).

More Food Tips
Plan ahead so that everything on your plate is ready to be served at once. Jumping up throughout the meal to stir your vegetables just isn't romantic.

If you will be serving a dessert, we suggest preparing it earlier in the day so that it will be ready to eat whenever the meal is over.

Wine is a traditional compliment to a romantic dinner...but not everyone drinks wine. Replace it with cider, or an immitation wine that is alcohol free. These can be found in the grocery store and in some liquor stores, and they are actually quite tasty.

Finally, cooking together isn't all that unromantic. Imagine kissing your partner's neck while they chop veggies, snuggling up to your sweetie from behind while they stir the pasta and stealing kisses during idle time. Throw in some mood music and great cooking together doesn't sound too bad does it? For a really special occasion, such as Valentine's Day or an Anniversary I would stick with you serving and pampering her and nix on this idea.

A Romantic Atmosphere
String white christmas lights wherever you can: along the fireplace, around a door or window frame...just don't string them around something you don't want to draw attention to, such as the kitchen cupboards, a cluttered shelf, etc.

If your romantic dinner has to take place while it is still light out, cover your windows with black bags so that no light will seep through the curtains.

Use candles, but avoid the scented kind so as not to overwhelm the wonderful aromas of your meal.

Have music playing softly in the background. Have a few CD's preprogammed into your stereo, or set out so you don't have to riffle through your collection when one finishes playing.

Set up the table in the most romantic room of your house. Often this is not the kitchen, not to mention that looking at all those dirty pots and pans can be distracting. Your first choice should be in front of the fireplace if you have one.

Use your nicest dishes...china?

Use fabric napkins if possible, and make sure they are free of stains. For a nice added touch, roll each napkin losely, put a small rose on top of it then tie them together with a piece of ribbon.

Turn off the phone, cellphone and pager.

Use a clean table cloth and sprinkle it with rose petals or heart shaped confetti.

Fill two wine glasses almost to the top with water and place a floating candle on top. This makes a nice table decoration

If you think your after dinner plans may end up in the bedroom then have it prepped with rose petals on the bed, unlit candles by the bed with matches within reach, white Christmas lights strung along the bed posts. And make sure the bedroom is clean and there are fresh sheets on the bed.

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