I think careful cooking is love, don’t you? The loveliest thing you can cook for someone who’s close to you is about as nice a valentine as you can give. Julia Child
It may very well be true that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but women have stomachs too and also like us, they’re closest neighbor to the north is the evasive love pump. Guys, that’s your cue to pay attention and read on! With more women working these days than ever before, cooking for your wife, girlfriend, or date can be a perfect way to spend an evening together. Whether it’s a quick weeknight meal together or something more elaborate for a romantic evening, she’ll love it when you feed her.
For The Single Guys:
Ditch the expensive watches and fancy car routine. Women are not impressed these days by material objects or status symbols, but if you spend a day planning and shopping for a meal that you will cook for her later that evening – her closest circle of friends will all know your name the next day. TIP: Nothing is less attractive than a guy flaunting expensive items that he really can’t afford or shouldn’t have in the first place. If you’re not well versed in the culinary arts, start slowly and take on a project that you can easily handle, don’t start out with beef wellington and a chocolate souffle. The appreciation will be derived from the thought and effort invested in the project, not your ability to appear on TV to “Beat Bobby Flay.”
I will be adding tips and recipes in the coming weeks ranging from ‘beginner’ to ‘advanced’ to help you along. It’s best to start with a small appetizer, a simple seafood dish, a fresh vegetable and a moderate dessert. No need to go too heavy on the calories at first, she’ll feel guilty about not finishing her plate and you don’t want her falling asleep right after dessert either. You don’t have to cook everything either- appetizer can a good artisan bread with cheeses, olives and prosciutto – dessert can be as simple as an assortment of Godiva truffles. For the ambiance: Choose a popular genre of music that’s not too lame and generally popular, a single flower in a small vase and one candle will do just fine for the table – it’s not necessary to turn your apartment or house into a shrine – less is more. TIP: Ask her about any food allergies before you plan the meal.
For The Married Guys:
You’re probably accustomed to either the idea of your wife cooking for you, ordering take-out from local restaurants or making the most popular dinner plan of all – reservations. Throw her a curve ball and offer to cook for her this time, she’ll appreciate it more than you think. As mentioned above, no need to go full blown Emeril if you’re not ready for that just yet. For added effect, open up a bottle of wine and invite her into the kitchen to have a glass while you’re doing your prep work- she’ll probably want to lend a hand as well. Remember, it’s about creating something and spending time together, not an intention to impress.
The money you save by not going to a restaurant can be diverted to a nice bouquet of flowers, on a higher end menu or a more decadent dessert. TIP: Foie Gras and caviar are much less expensive at a local retailer than in the high end restaurant that would list them on the menu, so go ahead and enjoy! It obviously doesn’t have to be Foie Gras and caviar of course, those are just a couple of my guilty pleasures. For you it could be a 3 lb lobster or whatever you love to eat but avoid because of the cost in expensive restaurants. With budgets being equal, there is no comparison as to how much better you can dine at home – you’re saving a boat load of cash by eating at home and not paying $13 for a glass of wine when you can buy the whole bottle at the store for $17. You’re also not spending an extra 20% on the gratuity, on top of the food and cocktails.
If you have young children, you can also save $ on the babysitter. Quarantine the young ones to a separate room to watch a movie or play a game while you entertain each other, they’ll love the fact that you’re at home enjoying the evening together.
Three Phases Of The Cooking Experience:
- The Planning Phase. For me, this is the most intriguing part of it all as the menu sets the mood. What kind of mood I’m in now, and what kind of mood do I want to be in when I will be eating, what to buy, where to buy it etc… Taste is similar to smell when it comes to the senses, a particular taste can bring you back to a happy moment in your life just as easily as a certain smell can.
- The Indulging Phase: This is obviously the part where you get to enjoy what you have created and relax while you indulge in the outcome. Not much description needed here, we all love the eating part.
- The Satisfaction Phase: The meal is over and it turned out just the way you expected. Now for the finale – pour yourself a glass of your favorite after dinner drink and bring on the dessert.
Note: If you’re a beginner and phase 3 turns out to be elusive the first couple of times, don’t get frustrated it’s all part of the challenge and the experience – move immediately to the second part of phase 3! Assess your mistakes, correct your errors and apply what you’ve learned on the next go around.. Don’t give up!
Comments are always welcome!