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Has Covid killed the dinner time romance? Not here!

Are any of you dining out?  Has quarantine jaded you about mealtime? How about a romantic dinner in?

Updated: December 6, 2020
romantic dinner
By MBL Featured Blogger: Aimee Hughes
Originally Posted: September 25, 2020

Romantic Dinner | Connecting with our partners is important, especially now. 

Here’s some inspiration to make your evening of dining-in more special.  And remember, it’s about you and your significant other not how the food turns out. 

And of course, wine is a nice touch too! 

Classic fondue

I’ve only had a classic fondue once in my life. But, it was in a cozy little cafe in the 5th arrondissement of Paris! Oooo la la ! The ambiance couldn’t have been more apropos, especially as it was a cold and rainy autumn evening. But don’t stop with cheese. You can also make a broth fondue. It’s simply a hot broth used to cook meat, veggies, etc… And make sure to add a bunch of fruit and veggies for dipping in your cheese/broth fondue too. And it’s EASY to make keto. 

Stovetop Mussels

The only time I’ve ever enjoyed mussels was at my local French restaurant as a happy hour appetizer, and I must say they were wonderful. The cool thing is, they’re actually not that difficult, and any home chef can surprise their significant other with this sexy appetizer. Don’t be scared. It only takes a few ingredients and it’s super quick.  Mussels rule of thumb:  If it doesn’t close before cooking- THROW IT OUT!  If it doesn’t open after cooking. THROW IT OUT! No exceptions!

Shrimp linguine in a white wine sauce

Those of us who love shrimp, typically love a good shrimp pasta dish, which is exactly what this is. Cream, white wine, parmesan—what’s not to love about the ingredients that go into a classic shrimp linguine sauce? You can also add dark, leafy greens (like kale, spinach or chard) to a classic shrimp linguine recipe. Dark, leafy greens are totally full of nutrients, which make them rather effective boosters for our libido. 

Braised chicken

Chicken is such a comfort protein-packed food. Also good for picky eaters and/or bland diet restrictions. And braising it adds a rather simple yet elegant touch. If you want to get fancy, try serving it with a classic mirepoix ragout. The possibilities are endless when it comes to braised chicken recipes. You can up your game with an interesting side dish such as mashed sweet potatoes or blistered shishito peppers. 

Romantic breakfast dinner

There’s something childlike and playful about having breakfast for dinner. And you can surprise your significant other with a slightly more adult version. Poached free-range eggs on a bed of wilted spinach and buttered country bread? Add some sea salt and ground black pepper? Mimosas are a romantic treat to add to this fanciful dish. Try serving it breakfast-in-bed style. 

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Simple lemon garlic pasta 

If you’re really limited on time, one of the easiest and quickest pasta dishes to make is lemon garlic pasta. This one-pot dish won’t break the bank, either. All you need is your favorite pasta, lemon, garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper. Serve with a chilled dry white wine under the stars for an alfresco dinner to romance things up further. 

Baked chicken with lemon and garlic

Food and Wine magazine’s baked lemon and garlic chicken thigh recipe is a real crowd-pleaser. And pretty much any recipe from that magazine makes for a romantic dinner idea. This one’s perfect for the frugally-minded diner. All you need are the following ingredients: chicken, lemon wedges, garlic cloves, lemon juice, brown sugar, extra-virgin olive oil, ground black pepper, and sea salt. Turn on some smooth Jazz, open the wine, and viola’ the mood is set. 

Grilled oysters

Oysters are the sea’s natural aphrodisiac. They’re not everyone’s favorite dish when eaten raw. But, for many open-minded eaters, grilled oysters are a real treat. You need some high-quality oysters, and a nice white wine to make this a great romantic dinner idea. Lemons, garlic, and parsley round out this libido-lovin’ dish. Imagine yourself in New Orleans to add to the ambiance. 

Roasted salmon with garlic and lemon

I don’t know about you, but I love salmon. It’s also one of the most nutritious foods on the planet, which makes it a great food to help increase sexual health. Roasted salmon is super quick and easy, making it an ideal romantic dinner idea for those of us who lack the time to prepare a nice meal. Roasting salmon only takes about ten minutes. Doing so with extra-virgin olive oil and minced garlic makes this dish a healthy treat for all seasons. Add greens and quinoa to up the nutritional factor. 

Exotic Moroccan chicken tagine

I’ve often dreamed of traveling to the medinas of Morocco, although I’ve yet to do so. One day, I hope! Instead, sharing a spicy chicken tagine can certainly transport you to more exotic shores. If your beloved loves to travel his or her way via food, this is the perfect romantic dinner idea to try next time you’re feeling particularly adventurous! And you don’t need to invest in a traditional glazed terra cotta tagine. This dish can be made in a good ol’ skillet if need be.  And as an added touch, light some candles and maybe even incense to set the mood. 

Store-bought roasted chicken with roasted root veggies

This is my go-to romantic dinner idea when I don’t have time to cook. Most supermarkets have ready-made roasted chickens which you can buy warm and bring home. Then, the only thing you have to cook is a hearty bunch of root vegetables. An ideal autumn dish, my favorites are carrots, potatoes, turnips, beets, etc. Make sure you roast them with plenty of olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper. OR just grab a bottle of wine and a bag of chopped salad and you have instant dinner with no cooking. 

Ribollita (tomato soup) with a ciabatta loaf 

If your sweetie dreams of Tuscany, this traditional Tuscan bread soup will make them smile. Ribollita is a hearty tomato soup full of beans, greens, olive oil, parmesan, and bread. Perfect for the fall and winter when you want to cozy up on the couch with a bottle of Chianti and watch Under the Tuscan Sun. 

Simple coq au vin for a weeknight

Coq au vin is a classic French dish. Just the name sounds romantic. It’s basically a chicken dish that’s stewed in red wine. And while it sounds incredibly fancy, once you get the hang of this dish, it can easily be a weeknight classic for you and yours. It’s also relatively inexpensive to make. The recipe consists of chicken thighs, wild mushrooms, onions, carrots, garlic, bacon or pancetta, tomato paste, chicken broth, bay leaves, fresh thyme, parsley, and a dry fruity red wine. Served with roasted potatoes or country bread and butter, coq au vin is sure to impress!

Simple cod with capers and lemon

To me, a nice piece of fish, fried up on the skillet, is inherently romantic. And cod is a good bet. All you need for this romantic dinner idea is as much cod as you want, olive oil, flour, capers, lemons, butter, garlic, parsley, and sea salt. A small frisee salad is the perfect side dish. And why not a baked sweet potato on the side? Yum!

Roasted shrimp atop Italian parmesan risotto

Another romantic dinner idea for the shrimp lovers, this dish is a lovely one for the fall and winter, as risotto is a classic Italian meal for colder months. A creamy risotto topped with roasted shrimp and parmesan is fancy and comforting at the same time. Serve this one with your favorite bottle of chardonnay or Portuguese vinho Verde.

Don’t let this quarantine ruin another date night dinner!  Bon appetit! 

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