How to Cook a Romantic Meal for your Wife

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Preparing a romantic meal can seem intimidating to many. Men especially may be wary of the time and effort put in to present a special dinner for their significant other. However with a little bit of planning and with some peppy music playing in the background, you can rustle up a romantic meal to wow your wife.

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Plan it out.

The most obvious place to start is with the date. Choose one when you are free for the evening since you don’t want to have to rush through the preparations. While it need not be necessary for your wife to have the evening off, if she has had a relaxed day, it will be easier for her to enjoy the dinner. Also, try not to keep an important meeting the morning after so that you both can enjoy the meal and are not in a hurry to turn in for the night. Finally decide whether the dinner is going to be a surprise for your wife. If so, you need to carry out all the preparations without her knowledge which may require an extra bit of planning keeping her schedule in mind. If not, personally write out an invitation, mentioning the date and time and let her find it tacked on her pillow, the car dashboard or even in her lunchbox.
 

Decide on the menu

Depending on how comfortable you are in the kitchen you can choose from an elaborate five course or a simple three course spread. Note down all the ingredients that would go into the meal and check whether you have them stocked in sufficient quantities. This is so that you can get the ingredients from the store beforehand and avoid last-minute panic when you discover that the bottle of mayonnaise which you thought was more than half-full actually has only about a teaspoon of the substance. While looking for courses, try to maintain a balance between experience and novelty. The latter would make the dinner exciting while the former would give you something to fall back upon in case a new dishes doesn’t work out. Even though the golden rule of entertaining says that one must never try out a dish for the first time on the day of the party, since you are going to cook for your wife, you can always get away with a little bit of experimentation. However take care to avoid items that you know your wife does not particularly like or refrains from having due to health or cultural reasons. Go for a theme-based menu like a romantic Greek dinner or a French dinner only if you are keen to put in some extra effort. Or else stick to dishes you are comfortable with. Try to keep only a couple of entrees like quiche squares of assorted cheese. These will not only be easy to prepare but won’t fill you up leaving the actual meal unappreciated. For the side dish you could decide on vegetables or fish. Again you could choose between a grilled steak or succulent chicken for the main course. Rice dishes like paella or risotto would make for an elaborate meal but if you want to keep things light, buy some nice bread as the staple. Don’t forget a salad of fruits, vegetables, herbs or nuts – here you can experiment with innovative dressings. For dessert of course, you of course be spoilt for choice but chocolate-based ones have always been the lovers’ favorites.
 

Consider advance preparations

Many dishes require advance preparations like marinating for meats or chilling time for desserts. Also you may need to spend quite a while chopping or dicing vegetables. Plan to fit these in your schedule so that you don’t fall short of time on the final day. Moreover if anything can be prepared ahead, do it. For instance you could chop vegetables for the salad and store them in the refrigerator without tossing or you could prepare a sauce in advance and put in the meat on the final day.
 

Appeal to the senses

When preparing vegetables or the salad, mix in lots of colors. Strawberries, celery, blueberries have been traditionally considered to have aphrodisiac properties but today nutritionists know that they are loaded with vitamins and minerals essential to boost the body’s sex hormones. Also play with flavors like cinnamon, clove, licorice, anise and yes even garlic. These spices are known to evoke the sense of smell which can have aphrodisiac effects. Various herbs like mint, parsley, fenugreek and dill not only add color but also lend a meal their unique flavors.
 

Set the table

Your carefully prepared meal needs to be complimented with the right tableware even though you need not bring out the family silver. A nice white tablecloth is appropriate for most occasions but if you want to appeal to your wife’s sentimental side, find one that is pastel-colored or lightly embroidered and don’t forget cloth napkins to go with it. Crystal, opal, porcelain or even good quality glass make for attractive dinnerware. Have an attractive flower arrangement as the centerpiece on the table and place unscented candles to be lighted at the right time.
 

Don’t forget the wine

There is nothing like the right wine to set the perfect mood for a romantic dinner. Consider your wife’s tastes in this matter. So even though you prefer a full-bodied red for yourself, if your spouse likes it go for champagne. Create subdued lighting in the dining area for which you can choose between the soft glow of a fireplace or sparkling fairy lights. And to complete the scene, put on some soft romantic music in the background.
 

Finally...

Take an hour at least to recharge yourself before you go out to receive your wife. Nothing will disturb her more than the sight of a hassled and harried husband who is shuttling between the kitchen and the couch. So relax and look forward to have a good time since this is what a romantic meal with your wife is all about.