Recipe for Romance

The way to a man's heart is through his stomach, they say. (The way to a woman's heart is probably through chocolate. But it's the same idea.) So, here's some food for thought: If you want to turn up the heat in your bedroom, try making things simmer in the kitchen first. Seduce your lover over a home-cooked meal with our recipe for romance.

Plan the Menu

Unless you're a true gourmet, this is no time to try something new. Use a tried-and-true recipe that you know is fabulous (call up Mom for inspiration if you have to). If you insist on trotting out an innovative dish, check the recipe for exotic ingredients or a lengthy prep time. You don't want to realize too late that you can't find jackfruit or have to explain to a hungry date that your entrée needs to marinate for another forty minutes.

Set the Table

If high romance is your aim, break out the formal tablecloth, good china and linen napkins (if you're saving them for a special occasion, can you think of a better one than this?). Add a few candles, some flowers, soft jazz on the stereo, and a chilled bottle of champagne for full-throttle romance. For a playful, casual feast, set up a picnic by the fireplace and, forgoing silverware, feed your lover your fabulous meal.

Timing is Everything

When the big night arrives, try to get the major preparations done ahead of time. Avoid last-minute trips to the grocer or liquor store by shopping a few days in advance. Do what you can ahead of time, like setting the table or cutting up vegetables, and plan for some time to clean up and change before your date arrives. You don't have to be Martha Stewart to pull this feat off; it's okay to cheat and use a store-bought dessert or side dish, if that saves you enough time to get gussied up.

Optimists may want to plan ahead for breakfast in bed for the next morning.

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