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Date Night Tips for Men Who Can't Cook Slideshow

Date Night Tips for Men Who Can't Cook Slideshow

1. Choose the Right Recipe

The highest priority is meal planning. If time is short, ask a trusted friend to help find something — the range here is more complicated than penne with marinara, but less tricky than pad thai. Consider something that looks impressive but is actually quite easy, like a roast chicken with vegetables.

2. Manage Expectations

You're not a great chef, so don't try to fake it when you tell your date you want to cook for her. Mention that you're no Batali but that you enjoy improving each time you do cook. She'll appreciate the effort, and you'll feel a sudden drop in pressure.

3. Know Who You're Cooking For

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Find out about any allergies/eating restrictions ahead of time. It would be great to defy our gender stereotype of being inconsiderate.

4. Work Ahead

Do any complicated prep work a half-hour before she's supposed to arrive (and really, do as much as you can).

5. Plan the Tunes

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Set the playlist early and have it playing when she gets there. The less you have to think about, the better.

6. Set Out Pre-Meal Snacks

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Have snacks out for both of you — ex: olives, cheeses, baguette — so there's no rush to eat.

7. Involve Your Date

Don't insist on doing everything yourself. When she offers to help (which she will), don't make her sit there twiddling her thumbs while you're pacing around stress-sweating. Have something in mind she can help with, because beyond being helpful, it's also significantly more fun to partake together than for the other person to just watch.

8. Cook to Her Taste

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Use "taste tests" to mask your utter uncertainty. If you start to lose confidence once you're in the trenches, ask her to taste the sauce or risotto as a means of soliciting help without raising suspicion. If the taste is off-course, she'll likely have a suggestion for how to correct it — and this is much better than waiting until everything's finished.

9. Memorize Cooking Times

This may seem like overkill, but the easiest mistake a non-chef can make when trying to have a conversation is losing track of cooking times. Run through the order of things beforehand, and if need be, write it down.

10. If You Screw Up

If the meal does get messed up irreparably, consider two pieces of advice: First, accepting failure with grace is a chance to show character, and second, if you're in good supply of wine (which you should be), the date is by no means over. Make a few self-deprecating jokes, put in a call to the nearest takeout place, and crack open another bottle.


Romantic Recipes for Couples

Gabrielle Quinonez Denton and Greg Denton, chef-owners of Ox restaurant, Portland, OR go all out on date night! One person is the chef, and the other takes a supporting role. It helps them not step on each other&aposs toes, literally and figuratively! If they can&apost agree, they each cook a dish, then decide which one wins. At home, they turn on some music, put on your slippers and open a bottle of wine, so making dinner doesn&apost feel like work!

Photography by Young + Hungry

Roasted Onions & Beets

The meal they love to make is Roasted Onions & Buttered Beets with Blue Cheese. This dish is inspired by a trip they took to Europe. They rented a cottage in a Provencal vineyard, picked up produce and cheese at a farmers&apos market, then roasted the onions in the fireplace, using grapevine clippings for firewood.

Crunchy walnuts contrast with the smooth roasted beets and creamy blue cheese.

Photography by Young + Hungry

Perfect Pair

Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier, Chef-Owners of Arrows and McPerkins Cove restaurants, Ogunquit, ME would rather stay in watching the news and making a meal than go out! They like to see what looks good at the market and plan the meal from there. Shopping together and getting excited about the ingredients is half the fun. When they cook together they have two cutting boards and two sharp knives, so they don&apost end up competing for one tool. They recommend being mindful of sharing the kitchen space, but laugh about it when you both end up in the same corner!

Photography by Young + Hungry

Roasted Salmon

The meal they love to make is Roasted Salmon with Mom&aposs Sauce, String Beans and Pine Nuts. A few months into dating, Clark invited Mark to his parents&apos home for Memorial Day. His parents and him hit it off immediately, but he was horrified when he realized they were having salmon for dinner. There weren&apost many foods he disliked, but salmon was one of them. He planned to take small bites and wash them down quickly with red wine! But to his my surprise, Clark&aposs mom&aposs version was tender, flavorful and far from fishy. Mark knew this was the beginning of a good relationship!

A smoky and sweet mixture of brown sugar, balsamic vinegar and soy sauce caramelizes as it roasts.

Photography by Young + Hungry

Three&aposs Company

Liz Pruiett and Chad Robertso, Chefs, Bakers and Co-Owners of Tartine and Bar Tartine, San Francisco, CA spend most of their "couple time" with their daughter, Archer, who is 5 years old, and loves to cook, too. But Chad and Liz will sometimes add a little something extra to their dishes that&aposs just for them -- like chiles, which they&aposll leave out of Archer&aposs dish, since she doesn&apost like spicy food. To keep home cooking as uncomplicated as possible so that you&aposll do it often they recommend building a meal around something you have on hand or from the market, like a great loaf of bread or delicious chicken.


60+ Best Dinner Ideas for Two for the Most Romantic Date Night

They'll fall in love with these fabulous recipes&mdashand so will you.

Whether you're celebrating an anniversary or just want to treat your special someone a little, well, special on a Tuesday night, one of the most romantic ways to pamper the person you love is to spend a little quality time with them, over a romantic dinner for two. You could go out to a fancy restaurant, of course, but there's something much more heartfelt about making the food yourself&mdashor even better, making it together.

It can be hard to make the same kitchen and dinner table you're always sitting at feel special. Our advice? Dress up a little! Even a nice shirt can help set the mood. Then turn off the tv and turn on some romantic music instead. Light some candles (or at least use floor lamps instead of the overhead lights). If you want to really set the mood, surprise your special someone with a heartfelt love note or a card with a cute quote about love written inside. Then enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal with them.

We know what you're going to say: "Who has time to do all that on a weeknight?" Not to worry. Our recipes are beyond easy, including slow-cooker recipes that will help you get dinner on the table in less time than you can say, "I love you!" So give these recipes a gander, then hit the grocery store, grab an apron, and turn on the stove. You can do this!

And after you've found a delicious dinner, we suggest finding a sweet ending to the evening by perusing these delicious romantic desserts.


15-Minute Easy Dinner Ideas

Here is a list of my favorite fast, tasty, affordable, healthy, and easy dinner recipes. Incredibly ready in 15 minutes or less. Yes!

15-Minute Pasta Dinner Recipes

No-Cook Creamy Tomato Pasta

Full recipe on Gathering Dreams

This incredibly creamy and sweet tomato pasta is made with fresh tomatoes, almonds, garlic, basil, capers (optional), and extra virgin olive oil. You simply add everything to a food processor and toss. You can keep it vegan or add some parmesan on top for extra flavor. And if you have a few more minutes to spare, try this delicious creamy tomato pasta with herbs.

Pasta with peas

Full recipe on The Clever Meal

This Italian pasta with peas is a simple, creamy, and delicious one-pot dinner recipe. It uses simple ingredients, it&rsquos kid-friendly, and it&rsquos ready in no time. The ultimate tasty and affordable pasta recipe.

Spaghetti with garlic and olive oil

Full recipe on The Clever Meal

Another Italian classic: spaghetti aglio, olio e peperoncino. I can&rsquot remember how many times I cooked this pasta at the last minute. It&rsquos the perfect comfort pasta to cook when you have no ingredients available. So simple, yet so delicious. All you need is crushed garlic, chili, extra-virgin olive oil, and some grated parmesan cheese.

Walnut Sauce Pasta by The Clever Meal

10-Minute Chickpea Curry

Full recipe on Gathering Dreams

This is my favorite easy dinner recipe. I make this curry at least once a week and never get tired of it. It&rsquos made with simple and nutritious ingredients that you can find pretty much in any kitchen. Here I used fresh spinach, but you can easily use frozen spinach if you have some in the freezer. I cook this when I meal prep for the week, as it easily lasts a few days in the fridge.

Rainbow &ldquoRaw-Maine&rdquo Taco Boats

Full recipe on Minimalist Baker

I love these colorful salad boats! They are perfect for a quick and easy light dinner. They are filled with hummus, fresh veggies, sprouts, and a creamy tahini sauce. Perfect for when you don&rsquot have time and can&rsquot be bothered to cook at all as everything is raw.

Panzanella Salad

Full recipe on Gathering Dreams

If you have some tomatoes, onions, and stale bread, you have most of the essential ingredients for this deliciously simple Tuscan salad. Ready in a few minutes, you can prep this ahead, so you don&rsquot have to worry about getting dinner ready at the last minute.

Mashed Chickpea Tabuleth Salad by Running On Real Food

Vegetarian Tacos with Avocado Sauce

Full recipe on Love & Lemons

Who doesn&rsquot love tacos? Loaded with simple roasted veggies and a tangy avocado-tomatillo sauce, these vegetarian tacos are an easy weeknight dinner full of flavor.

15-Minute Lo Mein

Found on Pinch of Yum

Stir fry dinners are so easy to make. All you need is just some chopped veggies and a hot pan. And this 15-minute wonder is perfect for a quick Asian noodle stir fry.

10-Minute Margherita Naan Pizza by Salt And Lavender

Blackened Chicken and Avocado Salad

Full recipe on Eat Well 101

Chicken is one of the easiest meat to cook for dinner when you are short on time. And crisp and full of flavor, this easy chicken salad recipe with avocado is the simplest and healthiest meal you can make!

Chinese Chicken Salad

Full recipe on RecipeTin Eats

This salad is all about the delicious Asian Dressing and the slaw-type shape of the ingredients. Don&rsquot skip the crunchy noodles. They totally make this salad irresistible!

15 Minute Sweet and Spicy Chicken Zoodles

Full recipe on Salt And Lavender

If you are looking for a low-carb dinner recipe, this is it! It&rsquos made with spiralized zucchini. I love spiralizing veggies. And these sweet and spicy chicken zoodles are a quick and easy low-carb dinner recipe that&rsquos fresh and flavorful. A perfectly simple and easy chicken recipe!

If you would like to try more low-carb spiralizer recipes, check out these 25 GENIUS WAYS TO USE YOUR SPIRALIZER

10-Minute Teriyaki Chicken & Broccoli by A Simple Palate

15-Minute Garlic Shrimp Zoodles

Full recipe on Salt And Lavender

Another low-carb zoodle recipe, this time with sweet and tasty garlic roasted shrimp. Lemon adds a bit of tanginess and freshness to the zucchini noodles.

Parmesan Crumbed Fish

Full recipe on RecipeTin Eats

Have you ever found yourself with some fish in the fridge or freezer and without any idea of what to prep for dinner? Well, this quick emergency fish recipe is perfect with any fish fillet you have. It&rsquos a super-healthy fish recipe ready in no time with a delicious golden baked crust.

Farmer&rsquos Market Spicy Tuna Wraps

Full recipe on Ambitious Kitchen

Sometimes, if I am in a hurry, I put together a quick wrap for dinner. And these tuna wraps are just delicious. Full of fresh veggies and drizzled with light chipotle Greek yogurt ranch dressing.

EASY Chimichurri Baked Salmon by Eat Yourself Skinny

Baked Gnocchi with Spinach and Mozzarella

Full recipe on Taming Twins

Potato gnocchi is one of my favorite dinner recipes. And if you don&rsquot have time to make your own, you can just buy them ready to be used. This vegetarian baked gnocchi recipe is quick and tasty. A super-simple sauce packed with spinach and tomatoes is topped with mozzarella cheese for the perfect easy comfort food supper.

Black Kale Pesto Pasta

Full recipe on Gathering Dreams

Pesto is an old-time favorite, as you just put all the ingredients in a blender, cook pasta al dente, and you are set for dinner. This black kale pesto recipe is made with cavolo nero. It&rsquos a recipe that I discovered for the first time in Florence. Delicious. If you don&rsquot have black kale, you can simply use normal kale. It will be just as good.

Butternut Squash Pasta With Sage

Full recipe on Gathering Dreams

Do you even crave something warm and sweet in the evening? This creamy and hearty butternut squash pasta is what you are looking for. It&rsquos effortless to make, plus it&rsquos healthy and ready in just 30 minutes. It&rsquos the perfect comfort food to cook on a cold evening. And if you love butternut squash, you should also check out my favorite warm butternut squash salad.

Asparagus Pesto Pasta

Full recipe on Gathering Dreams

When asparagus is in season, this asparagus pesto pasta is a great alternative to the classic pesto recipe. It&rsquos straightforward to make, and you can prep the pesto in advance and have dinner ready in no time. It&rsquos creamy, lemony, and refreshing. And if you love asparagus, don&rsquot forget to check out my favorite asparagus risotto.

Vegan Mushroom Pasta

Full recipe on Gathering Dreams

A creamy mushroom pasta, ready in less than 30 minutes. Each mouthful explodes with flavors. Perfect for a quick, comforting dinner! It&rsquos easy to make, vegan, creamy, and full of healthy fats from the homemade cashew cream.

Roasted Eggplant Pasta by A Simple Palate

Vegan Stir-Fry Noodles

Full recipe on Gathering Dreams

This stir-fry udon noodles recipe comes together quickly. It&rsquos delicious and very satisfying. It&rsquos easy to make and full of flavor. Like any stir-fry type dish, it is very flexible: you can use any veggies you like, but make sure you add to the pan or wok the veggies that take longer to cook first. You could cook the noodles from dry or use pre-cooked noodles if you want to speed things up.

Mexican Quinoa

Full recipe on Gathering Dreams

If thinking about black beans, juicy tomatoes, crunchy sweet corn, and creamy avocados makes you drool, this Mexican Quinoa is the perfect dinner recipe you are looking for. It&rsquos healthy, flavorful, plus it&rsquos super easy: you just need one pan and little prep time! Plus, it&rsquos vegan and gluten-free.

Vegetarian Paella

Full recipe on Gathering Dreams

I just made this for dinner on Sunday, and it was so good. You don&rsquot need to use the veggies in the recipe. Anything you have in your fridge or freezer works! It&rsquos so easy!

Coconut Lentil Curry

Full recipe on Gathering Dreams

This gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan coconut curry is made with canned lentils and rich coconut milk cream. You can serve it over rice or with naan bread for a hearty, filling, and flavorful plant-based meal.

Red Lentil Soup With Spinach And Carrots

Full recipe on Gathering Dreams

This red lentil soup is quick, simple, and easy to throw together. Made with wholesome red split lentils, it comes together in just 30 minutes. An incredibly comforting and nourishing dinner, perfect for warming you up during cold days!

Ginger Carrot Soup by Gathering Dreams

Crispy Quinoa Sweet Potato Fritters

Full recipe on Minimalist Baker

These sweet potato fritters are easy to make and are full of wholesome ingredients: quinoa, spinach, and eggs! I normally eat these with a nice green salad, and I am done in about 30 minutes. A delicious, gluten-free, vegetarian dinner!

Frittata

Full recipe on Love & Lemons

Frittata is so versatile. It&rsquos perfect for lunch and dinner. Plus, it&rsquos super-simple to make. Yes, it takes 30 minutes, but you&rsquoll spend most of the time looking at it cooking in the oven. It really takes 5 minutes to put together. Delicious and rich in protein.

Israeli Pearl Couscous Salad with Feta and Mint

Full recipe on Well Plated

I love couscous as a quick dinner idea. I eat it warm in the winter and chilled in the summer. It&rsquos extremely versatile, and you can add any type of veggies to it. This Israeli couscous salad is made with feta, mint, and a smoked paprika lemon dressing.

Vegetarian Enchiladas by Well Plated

30-Minute Sesame Chicken Green Bean Stir Fry

Full recipe on Ambitious Kitchen

Again, another delicious stir fry! This healthy sesame chicken green bean stir fry is made with fresh green beans, carrots, and red bell pepper, all cooked in a flavorful sesame ginger sauce. This stir fry is perfect as a protein-packed weeknight dinner. You can eat it with rice, cauliflower rice, or quinoa, or it&rsquos perfect on its own if you prefer a low-carb option.

Baked Paleo Chicken Tenders

Full recipe on Ambitious Kitchen

Both kids and adults will love these delicious baked paleo chicken tenders. They are made with a mix of almond and coconut flour and baked to perfection. Perfect for a quick and easy dinner.

One-Pot Chicken Soup With White Beans and Kale

Full recipe on Minimalist Baker

If you are after a cozy, warming yet simple chicken soup, this is it. Made with 8 simple, wholesome ingredients like white beans and kale, this soup is nourishing, hearty, and incredibly comforting!

Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas

Full recipe on Eat Yourself Skinny

This easy sheet pan chicken fajitas recipe has all your favorite Mexican flavors. Made with skinless chicken breast is the perfect healthy weeknight dinner easily made all on one pan in under 30 minutes! It&rsquos also a perfect recipe for your Sunday meal prep too!

Garlic Lime Chicken Tenders and Quinoa by Eat Well 101

Coconut Curry Salmon

Full recipe on Pinch Of Yum

This curry salmon is made with broiled salmon, a creamy coconut curry sauce, and steamy rice to soak up all the delicious juice.

Easy 20-Minute Fish Stew

Full recipe on Garden In The Kitchen

This easy 20-minute fish stew is cooked in a delicious, rich, and fragrant broth, topped with fresh cilantro, and served over quinoa or rice.

Easy Thai Shrimp Curry

Full recipe on Salt And Lavender

An easy Thai shrimp curry recipe that is quick, simple, and with plenty of delicious sauce for your rice! The perfect dinner ready in less than 30 minutes.

Grilled Fish Tacos by Minimalist Baker

The only things you need around you are:

And I cannot stress enough how important it is to invest in some good quality knives. Cooking is just much harder, and it takes three times as long when you have to saw through your veggies instead of slicing them like butter. You just need a couple of good knives, and your life will change forever.

2. Keep pantry essentials accessible

Same as with utensils. Keep oil, salt, and pepper on your counter. And make sure things like sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, spices, and seasoning are easily accessible.

3. Read the recipe till the end before you start

Have you ever gone through a recipe only to find out halfway that your eggs need to be at room temperature or that you were supposed to warm up the oven? Make sure you read the recipe entirely before you start, so you&rsquoll have no surprises.

4. Have all the ingredients on the counter ready to go

I still remember that time I cooked the driest muffins on earth. I was supposed to add oil halfway through, but I simply forgot to add it because I didn&rsquot have it in front of me. Since that time, I have learned to set out all the ingredients I need in front of me on the kitchen counter before I start cooking. Having everything ready staring at you will not only speed up your cooking, but it will help you to avoid forgetting a vital ingredient.

5. Multitask

If you want to cook dinner fast, there is nothing more helpful than doing many things at once. A few examples are: chop onions while the oil is heating up in the pan, measure your pasta while you are bringing the water to boil, chop veggies for your salad while the chicken is marinating, wash dirty dishes or put them in the dishwasher while things are cooking in the oven. It takes a bit of time and experience, but multitasking will come naturally once you learn the basics.

What to make for dinner when you have no ideas?

I hope this post helps you to answer this question. There are plenty of healthy dinners you can make in less than 30 minutes! From sheet pan dinners to instant pot recipes, from filling pasta to fun and satisfying tacos&hellipThere is no reason to cook the usual boring recipes all the time!

These 50+ quick and easy dinner recipes will help you survive in the kitchen! Whether you are preparing and easy dinner recipes for two or you are after easy dinner ideas for kids, here you will find what you are looking for.


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Review

“A stunning book, full of beautiful chic photography and recipes for mouthwatering meals.” — A Literary Cocktail

“Stunning color photography and simple recipes that won't break the bank.” — Daily Echo

“Full of great recipes for alternative date nights and days.” — Sparkles at Midnight

"Sweet, spicy, and deliciously romantic! Warbis proves that love really does begin in the kitchen." —Brianna Shrum, author of How to Make Out

“ The Date Night Cookbook is the perfect little book to bring out when you need inspiration for a perfect night in.” —Linnea Johansson, author of Food for Friends and Perfect Parties

&ldquo The Date Night Cookbook, by London-based food photographer/videographer Rebecca Warbis, is a collection of recipes for DIY 'date nights.' The book has nine chapters, each of which includes several recipes for a specific, themed date. Everything from 'breakfast in bed' to 'dining in Paris,' and even 'dusk beach date' is represented in the gorgeously photographed (seriously, it&rsquos positively Pinterest-worthy) cookbook.&rdquo —HelloGiggles

“A stunning book, full of beautiful chic photography and recipes for mouthwatering meals.” — A Literary Cocktail

“Stunning color photography and simple recipes that won't break the bank.” — Daily Echo

“Full of great recipes for alternative date nights and days.” — Sparkles at Midnight

"Sweet, spicy, and deliciously romantic! Warbis proves that love really does begin in the kitchen." —Brianna Shrum, author of How to Make Out

“ The Date Night Cookbook is the perfect little book to bring out when you need inspiration for a perfect night in.” —Linnea Johansson, author of Food for Friends and Perfect Parties

&ldquo The Date Night Cookbook , by London-based food photographer/videographer Rebecca Warbis, is a collection of recipes for DIY 'date nights.' The book has nine chapters, each of which includes several recipes for a specific, themed date. Everything from 'breakfast in bed' to 'dining in Paris,' and even 'dusk beach date' is represented in the gorgeously photographed (seriously, it&rsquos positively Pinterest-worthy) cookbook.&rdquo — HelloGiggles


30 Indoor Date Night Ideas That Make Staying at Home Feel Romantic

You don't need to travel or spend loads of money to enjoy a fun and creative date.

The standard dinner-and-a-movie date night gets dull after a few rounds &mdash especially when the cineplex is shut down due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and you've practically memorized your favorite restaurant's take-out menu. You can't always get out to stroll around a nearby park or partake in more adventurous outdoor activities. Finding time to connect with your spouse or a new love interest in an adults-only way is hard enough without having to come up with outings or activities that are as unique as your love.

"At-home date nights remind you that your relationship can be exciting without artificial or expensive bells and whistles," says Pepper Schwartz, PhD, coauthor of The Normal Bar: The Surprising Secrets of Happy Couples. Whether you're looking for quarantine-friendly date ideas, the weather outside makes you want to hunker down, your wallet is feeling light, or you just prefer to stay indoors and want creative concepts for cultivating your relationship, we have a few great romantic indoor date ideas to fit the bill. Some of them are totally free of charge, while others won't take a huge dent out of your bank account. Try one of these fun, new dating adventures once a week, or for a special date event like Valentine's Day, to keep the spark alive.

Banish worries about getting a reservation, long waits for a table, and possibly yelling over restaurant chatter by cooking a gourmet dinner at home. Light some candles, turn on some mood music, try your hand at a fancy new dish (perhaps one from Good Housekeeping Easy 30-Minute Dinners cookbook?), and set the kids up with a movie. For extra oomph, put on your date night duds to really spice things up. You'll find yourself thinking, "We should come here more often!"

We all have a lot of shows on our to-watch list these days, but make your TV time feel more special by branching outside your usual Netflix queue. Cue up some of your childhood favorites, to share a piece of each other's history &mdash because even in the age of television, you can't beat nostalgia! Pop a big bowl of popcorn, get in your pajamas and stream your childhood favorites, while seeing if you can still quote the lines.

Browse Airbnb Online Experiences for virtual magic shows, graffiti tours and more. Tune in to an online performance from Washington, DC's Kennedy Center or your local performing arts center. Or try Yaymaker for a guided painting lesson.

Reconnect with each other by unplugging for the night. Take over the kids' blanket fort or spread out in your sleeping bags in front of the fireplace, then indulge in an indoor picnic and tell campfire stories by the glow of a flashlight.

When was the last time you and your partner danced together? Take your sweetie out for a few spins to tunes that bring back great memories. If you've got two left feet, search for "Dance Tutorial" on YouTube to learn some suave new steps. Dress the part, for extra pizzazz.

Tell the kids to go play outside and hightail it back to bed for a breakfast date in bed. Don't forget to pour yourself some mimosas, Bloody Marys, and some steaming cups of Joe. Then, enjoy your stolen time beneath the covers: Read aloud to each other, relax, and snuggle. Your weekend chores can wait until after lunch.

If you have a smartphone, you've already got everything you need to become YouTube stars. Gather your ingredients, tie on those aprons and turn dinner into a friendly competition or a collaborative event. Shoot it on a phone, then giggle while watching it over dessert.

If you find yourself missing the holly jolly spirit of the holidays, string some twinkle lights around the living room, put on your ugly Christmas sweaters, bake some shape cookies, and spike a cup of cocoa with a little splash of somethin' somethin'. Watch a cheesy Christmas romance movie or just dance around the house to carols. Don't forget the mistletoe!

A little friendly competition can actually draw the two of you closer, so spar in a format that doesn't include criticizing the way he loads the dishwasher. Commandeer the kids' gaming system to stretch your mental muscles in a new way, or blow the dust off a classic board game. Loser gets to do the others' chores for a week!

Take things back to your camp days by playing the classic "would you rather" game. Ask your partner the most out-there comparisons, challenging each other to come up with increasingly offbeat ideas. For a more tactile game, write your queries on Jenga pieces and play until your tower topples.

The best part about date night is not having to cook &mdash or clean up. Order takeout from your favorite eatery, and don't forget to add some zippy dishes to your order. "Spicy foods, like hot chili peppers, warm up your body in a way that can be a prelude to foreplay," says Schwartz. Once the food is on its way, cuddle up in soft robes and crank up some sexy tunes to set the mood.

Maybe you laugh at the sensational covers of the grocery store checkout aisle bodice-rippers, but the stories inside can get seriously steamy. Pick up a romance novel that suits your style, and take turns reading it to each other for a unique date night you can enjoy any time.

Pamper your partner to feel closer together. A whopping 74% of couples who consider their relationships very happy give each other regular massages, says Schwartz. Warm up some massage oil, run a steaming bubble bath, and slather on some soothing face masks. Once you've got your bodies feeling like butter, shower à deux and dry each other off with big, fluffy towels.

For those of us with a serious sweet tooth, baking together has a double benefit: It engages the two of you in an activity you probably don't do that often, and you get to enjoy something delicious afterward. Make an especially decadent dessert when you're feeling ambitious, or simply break out a boxed mix if you're short on time &mdash or baking skills.

Step away from the takeout menu and put down that phone: Making your own pizza at home is both a fun activity and a delicious at-home dinner date. If you're feeling ambitious, make your own dough, or pick up a pre-made one from your local grocery store. Top it with all of your favorite fixings or make two personal-sized pies if your tastes are totally different.

Transform your spare room into a vacation suite with a few upgrades. Our sense of smell triggers our most powerful memories, so grab that leftover bottle of coconut-scented lotion from the island hotel you adored, apply, and inhale the memory of crystal-clear waters. Slice up fresh mango or other tropical fruits, and shake up some margaritas. Pull up vacation photos on your laptop for a slideshow or play music that reminds you of beachfront cafes. Finally, don't forget to wear your vacation lingerie to put yourself in a carefree mood.

Couples who sweat together, stay together &ndash isn't that how the saying goes? Tune into a workout app or search for an at-home workout on YouTube to get your blood flowing together in a new way. Exercise also boosts endorphins, so you'll get the warm fuzzies for your partner while you're getting in shape together, too.

Turn off all of the lights, surround yourself with candles, and make the most of that flattering lack-of-lighting with a faux power's out date night. Enjoy dinner in the dark then bundle up under a blanket by the fireplace. Keep the TV and your phones off, so you can get deep in conversation with your soulmate.

Be honest: How often do you actually look through your camera roll? Brew a cup of coffee or crack open a bottle of wine and snuggle up to reminisce over your last vacation, holiday, or family milestone. Or go even further back and pull out old albums to share stories about your childhoods and upbringing. You may even learn something new about your sweetie.

Sometimes, the difference between a tedious chore and a fun couple activity comes down to your attitude about it. Turn a home improvement to-do into date night by working on it together as a way to strengthen your relationship &ndash not to mention your curb appeal. Reward yourselves afterward with a glass of wine, some take-out, and the sweet satisfaction of a job well done.

Thanks to an abundance of online video tutorials, kits, and how-to books, a new skill is just a few clicks or pages away. Try your hand at painting, crafting, woodworking, dancing, or anything you can dream up for a creative date night that's sure to be full of giggles.

Give your inner child something to smile about by indulging in a dessert buffet. Order a selection of your favorites from a local bakery or fire up the oven and turn baking up a storm into part of your date night. Lounge off your sugar coma with a "sweet" movie on the couch afterwards.

When you can't get to a brewery, winery, or distillery, hold a tasting session at home. Pick up a few bottles you've wanted to try, portion them out into little glasses, and compare and contrast the flavors. To up the education factor, you can even print out information about each one to share as you sip.

Squeezing into the photo booth at a wedding or event makes for a quirky novelty, but you can recreate that experience at home with just your phone. Print out some props or get out the costume box to give your pictures some funky flare. Maybe you'll even come up with next year's Christmas card.

Spend a cozy night in putting together a future vacation together. If you don't have the budget to travel right now, make a bucket list you want to achieve someday, to get yourself and your partner talking out your hopes and dreams for the future. It will get you out of the day-to-day autopilot and help reinforce how closely aligned your goals really are.

Find videos with song lyrics on YouTube or turn on the subtitles to create your own karaoke night right in your living room. Find the cheesiest ballads you can think of, or belt out your favorite jams from high school and college. Brooms and mops make great "microphone stands," or you can go the classic hairbrush route.

For couples without kids or pets, watching them for a day or even an overnight can make a fun bonding activity. Ask your friends or siblings if you can borrow their little ones (or furry friends) and then plan some fun activities, and lots of snuggles. Don't forget to snap lots of cute group selfies.

Do you know your love language? How about your Myers-Briggs score? Whether you believe in them or not, personality quizzes are a fun way to learn something new about your partner, no special equipment required. Take the quizzes separately then go through them together. The results may surprise you!

If you haven't jumped on the jigsaw puzzle trend yet, pick one up and give it a try. Puzzles have known cognitive benefits, so you're boosting your brain power while getting some quality time with your sweetie.

Make a few friendly wagers over cards and chips without leaving your house by having a two-person casino night. If you share a bank account (or don't want to play for cash) place bets on carpool duty, chores, or even who has to give the other a back rub or foot massage. Don't forget to cash in later!


Romantic at-home date night ideas for you to try

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1. Cook a fancy meal

Put on some romantic tunes and get comfortable in the kitchen by making a delicious meal together. Whether you chose to use a service like Home Chef to deliver all the ingredients or whip up something using items you already have on hand, you'll appreciate the meal even more knowing you made it together. Plus, you get to save all the leftovers, so it's even better than hitting up an expensive fancy restaurant. Dress up to make it feel like a real occasion.

2. Have a picnic on the floor

At-home date night calls for changing things up a bit, so why not get creative and enjoy a picnic in your very own living room? Lay down a blanket and nosh on small picnic bites like fresh fruit, cheese, and nuts. Don't forget the wine.

3. Go stargazing the backyard

Stargazing is a free activity that's oh so romantic. On a clear night, lay out a blanket in the backyard and snuggle up with your partner for a sweet way to enjoy the fresh air and each other's undivided company and attention.

4. Create your own at-home pizza parlor

Who will make the prettiest pizza? Have a little extra fun in the kitchen kneading and flipping dough into your very own yummy, gourmet pizzas topped with whatever you both like. Make one big pizza or two separate individual pizzas and decide whose is best.

5. Take online personality tests

Cozy up on the couch with a computer and learn more about one another through online personality tests. Do you know what your partner's love language is? What about his Myers-Briggs personality type? These fun questionnaire tests will get you talking, and since you know your significant other best, you can tell if you think their results are accurate.

6. Camp out in the living room

Set up a tent or some sleeping bags in the living room and cozy up with your beau. You can watch a movie on your laptop or just tell stories. Complete the at-home date night with some indoor s'mores made in the oven or a cast-iron skillet for a delectable way to spend the evening in.

7. Go through old photos

A good trip down memory lane is a perfect way to reconnect and bring up some old memories of the two of you. Shared experiences bond people, so pour yourselves a glass of wine and cue the nostalgia.

8. Have an ice cream sundae night

Pick up a few cartons of you and your partner's favorite ice cream flavors and then go to town creating the most delicious ice cream sundaes. Don't forget to load up on toppings and indulge a little.

9. Make an at-home spa

The perfect excuse for lounging around in plush robes, lighting a few candles, then turning up the romance by giving each other massages or enjoying a nice bath. Try one of these easy DIY foot scrub recipes and give each other relaxing foot massages.

10. Do a craft together

Craft time isn't just for the kids. Try these cute scrabble tile coasters from Simply Darling, or make a collage with a few of your favorite old photos.

11. Have a video game night

It's game on thanks to a little friendly competition from your favorite video games. Grab a controller and playfully challenge your partner to a game. You can up the ante by having the winner get to choose what you do in bed later.

12. Make a pillow fort

Embrace your inner kid and make a blanket and pillow fort with your spouse or partner. Need we say more?

13. Have movie marathon

If you've got a whole day, post up in bed and pick a movie series to watch all at once. Whether you opt for all seven Harry Potter movies or all of the Avengers, pop up some popcorn and let yourselves enjoy hours upon hours of uninterrupted movie time. It's so much better than a tired dinner and a movie date night.

14. Eat by candlelight

Order take-out but add some extra romance by eating it by candlelight. It instantly enhances the mood and will make you feel like you've gotten away.

15. Put a puzzle together

Team up on an epic puzzle and try to put it together in one night. Try your luck at one with more than a thousand pieces and see how far you can get.

16. Do a board game night

Pick a classic board game or be adventurous and go for one that's made specifically with couples in mind, and get to know your partner on a whole new level.

17. Slow dance in the living room

Bring on the romance by turning up the tunes, getting dressed up, and dancing with your partner. It's an excuse to get close and reconnect on a flirty, physical level.

18. Make your own paint and sip

DIY your own paint and sip experience in the comfort of your home by setting up some easels and grabbing a few paintbrushes of your own. Paint a photo of a place that holds significance to you both, or try to recreate your favorite photo of each other. It doesn't have to turn out perfectly, it's the process that's the most fun.

19. Have an outdoor movie night

Set up a projector in the backyard with some comfy blankets and pillows to create your very own outdoor movie theater. Then snuggle up under the stars and watch your favorite flick.

20. Tackle a home improvement project together

Turn what might have ordinarily been a chore into a date night adventure by working with your partner to finish a home improvement project you've been meaning to get to. From painting to laying down tile, there are small projects you can get done in just one evening, and it will mean more if you do it together.

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24 Romantic Dinners Literally Anyone With an Hour and a Brain Can Make

So it's approximately 6:00 p.m. and you&rsquore knee-deep in Pinterest, trying to find a meal you can make fast with stuff that isn't expensive or hard to find. Oh, and it also needs to seem somewhat impressive and romantic. This is basically the finale of MasterChef IRL you did not ask to be a part of.

Pretty much anybody can set up a few cute candles and set the mood with a sexual, The Weekend-heavy playlist. No problem there. But if you're attempting a beef bourguignon, chocolate soufflé situation&mdashand you have exactly 45 minutes to execute&mdashthat's a problem.

* cue fire alarms, crying, sweating, and emergency takeout *

But that doesn't mean you have to pull a Mrs. Doubtfire and pretend you whipped up a Michelin-star-level meal (though, maybe keep that Seamless order on standby). Do-able, fancy-looking, delicious romantic dinners DO exist. We know because we scoured the interwebs to find them.

So if you&rsquore down to the wire and lacking an Ina Garten-level skills, take a breath, do a shot of tequila, and scroll through this list of romantic dinners you can totally cook. Our menu includes vegan options, lots of Italian things (mmmm pasta), a fancy grilled cheese, Thai curry, and so much (drool-worthy) more.


The Best Recipes for a Memorial Day Cookout

From burgers and side salads to lemonades and desserts, there’s no better way to celebrate the holiday weekend than with these summery recipes.

Related To:

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Alice Gao ©Alice Gao Photography

Photo By: Con Poulos ©2010, Con Poulos Photography

Photo By: Alice Gao ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Alice Gao ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Alice Gao ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Antonis Achilleos

Photo By: Antonis Achilleos

Photo By: Alice Gao ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Alice Gao ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Antonis Achilleos

Star Spangle Layered Dip

Katie&rsquos layered dip is fun, festive and fit for a crowd. Don&rsquot forget tohe chips for dipping!

Sunny's Sizzling Summer Burger

Take pre-made burger patties over the top by seasoning with a flavorful spice rub and topping with lettuce, onion and a sriracha-cheese sauce.

Bacon and Egg Potato Salad

Jet uses Greek yogurt and mustard as the dressing for his tangy potato salad.

Crunchy Lemonade Drumsticks

Treat skin-on drumsticks to a fragrant lemon-buttermilk marinade for at least 4 hours (or up to overnight) before breading and baking them. It's best to dip the drumsticks in mayo before rolling them in panko to ensure the breading sticks.

Charm City Corn

Nothing says summer quite like corn on the cob. Wow your guests by tossing the boiled corn in a spicy melted butter.

Antipasto Salad

Giada gives classic pasta salad an Italian twist, tossing traditional ingredients like salami, cheese, peppers and olives with fusilli.

Poppy-Seed Potato Salad

Sparkling Summer Lemonade

Fresh berries and a mint simple syrup infuse sparkling lemonade with fresh summer flavor.

Cucumber Salad

Muffuletta

Stacked with layers of sopressata, mortadella and provolone, this hefty sandwich is made to survive on the road. A muffuletta is really at its best when it's been pressed for up to 3 hours &mdash giving the briny tapenade time to soak into and soften the Italian loaf &mdash which makes it the perfect make-ahead addition.

Coleslaw

What could be better than the tried-and-true combination of fried chicken and coleslaw on a summer day? For the best results, try preparing the slaw the night before the big cookout &mdash that way, the cabbage and carrots have time to soak up the tangy dressing.

Fried Chicken Sandwiches

These easy-to-make sandwiches are filled with crispy buttermilk fried chicken, crunchy coleslaw and spicy chipotle mayonnaise.

Grilled Corn with Smoky Butter

Add a subtle, smoky flavor to grilled corn by slathering each ear with a simple seasoned butter.

Mom's Salad

It&rsquos all about the vinaigrette in this five-minute salad. The combo of fresh oregano and garlic promises a bright taste that pairs perfectly with grilled meats and your favorite summer sides.

Grilled Beans

You can&rsquot have a cookout without a side of beans! Kardea&rsquos better-than-canned version is cooked right on the grill, so there&rsquos no need to stand over a hot stove.

MacDaddy Mauro BBQ Boneless RiBurger

You don&rsquot need beef to make a great burger. Jeff seasons ground pork with a BBQ rub, then bastes each patty with barbecue sauce as they cook. As reviewers say, it tastes just like your favorite fast food sandwich &mdash only better!

Jalapeño Popper Potato Salad

Ree&rsquos spicy twist on potato salad is a great accompaniment to every dish. She mashes the potatoes just a little bit to ensure a texture that's chunky yet silky.


Find a community theater production of something that sounds interesting. Even if you aren’t theatre buffs, you might end up having a great time! If you can’t bear the thought of sitting through a two-hour play, try an improv comedy show or something else light-hearted.

Find a community class for something that sounds interesting to you both—flower pressing, hot yoga, or creative writing. Building a skill together is a beautiful thing! Plus, if the class requires multiple sessions, you have more than one reoccurring date night lined up to look forward to.