If you’re on the lookout for great ideas for dates, you want to avoid all the usual cliches. Going for a drink or seeing a movie is a fantastic way to break the ice and get to know someone, but if you’ve had two or three dates already, you need something more exciting and unique that is guaranteed to impress them.

One brilliant option is preparing a delicious home-cooked meal for the two of you to enjoy. Not only will this allow them to see a new and impressive side of you, but you’ll both get to enjoy an amazing meal in privacy without having to worry about booking a table or the restaurant messing up your orders. It’s also a low-cost activity and could potentially help you take your romance to the next level.

If you’re not an expert chef, you may be worrying that you don’t have what it takes to prepare a gourmet meal that is both delicious and nutritious. But there is no need to be concerned. The tips below will give you some advice for whipping up a romantic feast with ease.

Keep it simple

The biggest mistake you can make when cooking for a date is trying too hard. If you try to make an elaborate banquet with complicated recipes and multiple courses, you are setting yourself up for failure. Not only do you increase your chances of getting it wrong, but you’ll be so busy in the kitchen that you’ll have no time to be a charming host and entertain your guest. A three-course meal is a great way to impress, but you can still opt for simple choices. A starter of good-quality bread, olives, and dips is a classic dish that takes seconds to prepare yet will still go down a treat. As for the main, choose recipes that are quick and easy to cook. For example, you could learn how to make chanko nabe or a rich, buttery risotto. The easier you make it for yourself, the more delicious it is going to be.

Prepare in advance

You don’t want to have everything ready on the table when your date arrives, as you want them to see you at work and be impressed by your culinary skills. But it’s a good idea to prepare as much as possible in advance. For example, you could make a dessert the day before and leave it in the fridge, saving you valuable time on date night. Get your ingredients ready on the counter and start chopping vegetables while you wait. You could even have a sauce bubbling away on the stove or some meat simmering in the slow cooker to set your date’s mouth watering as soon as they walk through the door.

Find out what your date likes

The last thing you want is to serve your date a meal they cannot stand. This is guaranteed to ruin the evening, so make sure you are aware of their likes and dislikes. If you’re planning to cook a hot curry, make sure they enjoy spicy food before you buy all the ingredients. Ask them about items they cannot stand and steer clear of them. It’s also important you check for any allergies or intolerances.

Get rid of distractions

If you live with housemates, you might want to let them know about your plans. Nothing ruins the mood of a romantic candlelit dinner quite like your roommate sitting on the sofa playing video games six feet away. Politely ask the people you live with if they can give you some space. Perhaps they wouldn’t mind going out with their friends that evening, or having dinner before your date arrives then keeping quiet in their room. You can always pay back the favor later.

Cook together

Cooking together is one of the most romantic and fun activities two people can share, so why not ask your date to help you. Chopping vegetables side by side will help you break the ice and stimulate conversation. Not to mention the fact that you’ll get the meal cooked a lot quicker! It avoids the need to leave your date sitting by themselves while you prepare the meal alone.

Serve drinks

As soon as your date walks through the door, you should offer them a drink. This will help to whet their appetite and feel they are being looked after. If you’ve already been on a few dates you may have a good idea of what they like to drink, but it’s wise to have a selection of options for them to choose from.

Follow these tips and your date is guaranteed to be a success. Good luck!

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