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What do you cook to impress a new love interest?

Little Cupcake Jun 24, 2007 04:31 PM

;-)

  1. r
    Ruby Louise Jul 2, 2007 12:01 PM

    I actually intentionally waited a long time before I cooked for my now husband. I was fairly adept at flirting, dating and impressing. I decided for once in my life I wouldn't use my bag of tricks and would just be myself. I downplayed my cooking skills but he figured me out and started hinting at "Ruby Cooking".

    When I finally did cook for him it was more to feed than to impress. I made broiled chicken with basil & lemon, microwaved some homemade frozen mashed potatoes and I may have served some wine. He raved anyway.

    1. revsharkie Jul 1, 2007 12:48 PM

      Mike and I met at work, so we used to have lunch together every day. He would bring a great big sandwich, and I'd bring whatever I had leftover from the night before. His favorite was chili.

      When we finally were officially dating, the first couple nights we both cooked. One night he made his specialty, which was broiled chicken breast with a black bean/corn salsa. The other night I made lentil curry.

      If (God forbid) I found myself in a position again where I was having to impress a new love interest, I don't know what I'd make. It would depend on him: what he likes, doesn't like, what he finds romantic, that sort of thing.

      1 Reply
      1. re: revsharkie
        HungryRubia Jul 2, 2007 11:30 AM

        I didn't really come in to my own until I met the man who would become my husband, so I have never had a dish that I cooked for a love interest. But for my hubby's b-day and to show him how much I love him I make Osso Bucco with Wild Mushroom risotto followed by some sort of very decadent dessert.
        I must say, I am extremely proud of my osso bucco. A fellow CH friend of mine prefers it to Babbo's version. **blushing**

      2. yomyb Jul 1, 2007 06:43 AM

        For a man, no matter what, he will always love it if you cook him steak. Very sinful and artery clogging if possible. Says you are not one of those annoying girls who can't eat. Tenderloin with blue cheese sauce for example.

        For a woman pasta with seafood. It is sexy, served with white wine and can be followed by a wonderful and fruity dessert. Doesn't make her feel too full so she feels sexy and yet happy enough she had some carbs ...

        No matter what the gender, baking some bread for the meal will make you look like "where has she/he been all my life?"

        Anyway, that has just been my experience....my fiance fell for it...;-) LOL

        1 Reply
        1. re: yomyb
          SIMIHOUND Jul 1, 2007 08:02 AM

          Cranberry Chicken, rice and either florentine cookies from the local bakery or bananas foster. It wasn't the food itself that impressed, just the fact that I had taken time to cook at all.

          CB- Chicken
          season chicken as you would for normal roasting with onion, garlic powder and seasoning salt like Lawry's
          roast chicken at 350 for 50 minutes until near done
          drain fat out of pan then mix
          1 small bottle of french dressing
          1 packet onion soup mix (Liptons)
          1 can whole cranberry sauce.
          mix all ingredients and put over the chicken
          put chicken back in oven another 15 minutes at 350
          when it's done spoon cranberry mix and chicken over rice

          This is really good when used in a crock pot with small drumettes
          or wings for a potluck or party. Cook ahead of time and reheat in a crockpot.

        2. sundevilpeg Jun 30, 2007 11:25 PM

          Soup. Th object of my affection is a soup guy, and every once in a while, apropos of nothing we're eating, he'll start dreamily musing about my white bean, Italian sausage, and kale soup, or my Swedish split pea soup, or some other soupy concoction. And now corn season is nearly upon us, so a nice corn and crab or shrimp chowdah would be a big hit, I'm sure.

          It's funny how something as simple and homely as most soups tend to be can make a person feel loved and appreciated, which is certainly the case here. We don't live together, so I always send some home with him, too - and he'll call the next day and tell me he had some for dinner, and thank me all over again. It's nice. Very basic and honest, and that's what a good relationship - like a good soup - is all about, I guess.

          2 Replies
          1. re: sundevilpeg
            Sam Fujisaka Jul 1, 2007 05:00 AM

            Funny, I cook soups to woo picky kids.

            The soups are thick, (using potatoes), creamy (powdered milk), smooth (blitzed at the end), based on my own stocks, but packed with whatever the vegetable or bean base happens to be. Just a touch of oil to initially saute onions.

            1. re: sundevilpeg
              w
              walker Jul 1, 2007 01:20 PM

              I enjoyed reading your post very much! I think it's very sweet when people make homemade food for each other; what does he cook for you?

            2. c
              cimui Jun 30, 2007 10:23 PM

              His or her favorite food--whatever that might be. And if it's a doggie love interest, I cook him or her liver with chicken, rice and peas, with some cottage cheese and a bully stick for dessert.

              3 Replies
              1. re: cimui
                Ruth Lafler Jul 1, 2007 01:05 PM

                Doggies love bully sticks, but the guys I know would rather not think about them about them. ;)

                1. re: Ruth Lafler
                  c
                  cimui Jul 1, 2007 04:21 PM

                  Wha-a-a-at, it's just a stick! Sort of like a pirouette cookie, no? =)

                  1. re: cimui
                    Ruth Lafler Jul 2, 2007 09:43 AM

                    Yeah, right, it's not a "pizzle" it's a rolled up pizzelle! ;)

              2. jbyoga Jun 28, 2007 10:47 PM

                I always make my Triple X-tra Super Delicious Garlic Sauce of Love...cause it is so easy -you can cuddle on the couch with a glass of wine while the house starts to smell incredible!

                20 roma tomatos
                3 small heads garlic (really)
                1 shallot
                1/4 white onion
                1 tbsp raisins
                Olive oil
                1 tsbp chopped kalamata or tapenade
                a dash of the red wine you're drinking
                fresh basil/salt pepper to taste.

                Quarter and seed tomatoes, chop garlic/onion/shallot very fine, sweat onions/garlic untill translucent, add tomatoes, tapenade and raisins (sugar cuts the acid) and reduce heat to simmer/low...cook for 2 hrs, stirring occasionally - the slow heat sweetens the garlic.

                After about 2 hrs, I use an immersion blender to puree and then serve atop spaghettini with the fresh basil (torn) a bit of grated Asiago/Parm...a bit of red wine, some chocolate for dessert...mmmmmmm..love!

                1. susancinsf Jun 28, 2007 10:18 PM

                  First time I cooked for hubby I made cioppino. At the time I was house sitting at my father's, which meant that we had the place to ourselves, without my then teenage kids around....Now, I make a pretty fine cioppino, if I do say so myself...as for the impact it had, well, let's just say hubby was relieved when my father sold that place several years later, as he could never think about the area in front of the fireplace in quite the same fashion...and was sure my father and stepmom could read it in his face... -)

                  Cioppino still does it for him. Must be the combo of shellfish (which has to be an aphrodesiac of sorts, right?), the impressive flavors, and the fact that it is just a bit messy and 'hands on'....

                  to seal the deal, I serve champagne before and something chocolate with rasberries after...

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: susancinsf
                    janetofreno Jul 1, 2007 07:51 AM

                    TMI Susan!!! I won't think of the place the same either!

                    I had a great recipe for banana French toast (at least I assume it was great...everyone liked it! ....I wouldn't know personally because I don't eat bananas!) that was given to me by a former love interest!! Something special and easy in the morning is always good!! Serve it with whatever other ripe fruit is available, and of course Mimosas!

                    The last time I made it was when hubbie and I were dating. That was a LONG time ago..... He still asks for it sometimes, so I taught him to make it himself. Remember, I don't EAT bananas!!

                    I'm not sure what to think about the fact that hubby taught the recipe to our sons...(its really very simple: just mash some very ripe banana into the egg mixture, add a touch of sugar and cinnamon.....)

                  2. c
                    chrisinroch Jun 27, 2007 04:36 AM

                    We'd have an Italian dinner. While snacking on bruschetta and sauvignon blanc, I'd make the fresh pasta with her; teaching her how its done. Maybe cheese ravioli, and then serve with sage and brown butter sauce. Second course maybe grilled trout with pancetta and green olives (mario's recipe). Dessert would be something simple like a homemade gelato with a non traditional flavor.

                    1. cayjohan Jun 26, 2007 11:13 PM

                      First meal for my to-be husband was a roast chicken stuffed with potatoes, olives, lemons and herbs. Salad to round it out. He countered (and he is culinarily challenged, but rose to the occasion) with a recipe for beet coulis over pierogi. I was hooked, and made him soup ( which in my family tends to be symbolic, and which I happen to do very well), and a variety of sandwiches. We fell.

                      We're (ahem, I'm :) ) still making soup (WOW soups) and sandwiches (fab ones) for many meals, and we're happy as can be.

                      Make what you're good at to start and stand by it. If the relationship is right, it's right.

                      If it's not, you still have your culinary skills.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: cayjohan
                        f
                        fara Jun 27, 2007 05:24 AM

                        wow, could i have the recipe for the stuffed chicken? i've made something similar (same ingredients plus olive oil) with chicken pieces in a baking tray, but the stuffed chicken sounds fabulous.

                        1. re: cayjohan
                          maria lorraine Jun 28, 2007 10:01 PM

                          That does sound dern tasty, that stuffed chicken. Please share.

                        2. Megiac Jun 26, 2007 04:12 PM

                          Boneless skinless chicken breasts breaded with corn-flake crumbs and probably served with canned green beans. Luckily, he married me anyway (even after a disastrous lemon chicken "improvisation" a few months later).

                          1. s
                            soupkitten Jun 26, 2007 03:40 PM

                            i never cooked for new love interests/flings. cooking is either for customers, or for people i already have a serious relationship with. . . the first meal i cooked for dh was pot roast, i believe, with some roasted potatoes, and sauteed peppers, wine. i was broke and it was all the food i could afford to buy for the weekend. i think i could have fed him dirt if i had wanted to.

                            1. d
                              dhedges53 Jun 26, 2007 03:35 PM

                              Tube steak.

                              I mean, why go overboard? Show your love interest that you are down to earth. A hot dog, with all the fixin's, including chili. Hey, if you have to get fancy, crack open a couple dozen oysters, for the appetizer.

                              1. k
                                KeriT Jun 26, 2007 03:07 PM

                                So I just called my husband because I could not remember what meal I first prepared for him and sadly he couldn't either. I know the first meal I prepared for the boyfriend before him - it was passover and I made matzah brei.

                                I think I might have made my husband chilean sea bass with a soy sake glaze and soba noodles - something light. You never want to go too heavy (I have an extremely sensitive stomach so I always keep this in mind). And always have alcohol (unless they don't drink) that way if dinner doesn't come out so well they won't notice as much.
                                I will say that citrus lobster is our go to romantic dish because we both need to be involved as he is a New England boy and therefore is in charge of the lobster:

                                http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                                1. tatertotsrock Jun 26, 2007 02:58 PM

                                  I cook to impress myself...if he is not into the foods I enjoy, I am sure we will not be a match.
                                  I also never cook for a guy until I know I want to "do him" (how classy) and I usually know whether I want to or not because we've most likely dinned together quite a bit or he has already cooked for me..his level of passion and interest towards food is was dictates whether I would ever consider taking it "to the next level" with a guy.
                                  I could never date a man who is not as passionate about food as I am, since a nice meal can sometimes trump great sex...if the sex sucks, at least we got to enjoy a great meal together.
                                  I've done some sweet things for a few fellas...one (still a good friend, but not boyfirend material) guy got the sweetest care package before flying to South Africa to film something: really good proscutto, bread, butter, and chocolates...his favorites...I also used to stop by his house with a bottle of wine, some epoisse, dried fruits, nuts, and edible flowers and I knew I'd be in for some wonderful displays of grattitude.
                                  I love baking mini cupcakes and cookies for the people I love...I guess I don't cook to impress boys, I cook for the men who have already sedueced me with their love of food.
                                  Now, when I cook for someone I know I love being with, I usually bake a chicken w/roasted root veggies...it's usually baking super low and slow while we are drinking wine and eating meaty-bits and cheese...see, we usually forget about the chicken becuase we become distracted with other "activities", then remember it hours later when we are hungry again so it becomes the perfect late night snack after a long night of "activity".

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: tatertotsrock
                                    pikawicca Jun 26, 2007 04:15 PM

                                    You must read "La Cucina" by Lily Prior. Candy loaned me this book recently, and you and the author are clearly on the same page. Loved the book, and I'm sure you will, too.

                                    1. re: pikawicca
                                      tatertotsrock Jun 26, 2007 06:34 PM

                                      pickawicca,
                                      Thanks for the suggestion, I am always up for a good read especially if it involves food.

                                    2. re: tatertotsrock
                                      maria lorraine Jun 26, 2007 10:52 PM

                                      Delicious, tater! This line alone hooked me and I had to read on:
                                      "I also never cook for a guy until I know I want to "do him" (how classy)."

                                      Loved hearing about when dinner was, uh, delayed..........

                                    3. auburnselkie Jun 26, 2007 02:51 PM

                                      The first thing I ever made for my now-husband was a homemade chicken pot pie. Everything from scratch, fresh veggies, homemade stock, the works. He was quite impressed.
                                      The second thing I made was a little more evil. He had told me once about a disagreement he'd had with his ex where she'd made chicken and dumplings with lots of mushy veggies after he'd asked her to just make it straight (no veggies). Once she had served it up he reminded her that he'd asked for them to be left out and thus the argument began (and I have to say I wouldn't have welcomed the comment either). So naturally on our second dinner date I presented him with my specialty chicken and dumplings...sans veggies.
                                      Of course the dufus had to tell his ex about mine later and lo! Another argument (I love the guy but he just doesn't think things through sometimes)...

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: auburnselkie
                                        b
                                        brendastarlet Jun 26, 2007 02:54 PM

                                        Roast chicken, roasted potatoes (they can cook at the same time), a lovely salad with goat cheese, dried cherries and pine nuts, good bread, and something like apple crisp for dessert (or this time of year, strawberry shortcake.) Accompanied by a good white wine.

                                        This menu is so successful we once never got to dessert. Trust me, you don't want to do anything fancy, the simplest things are enough if the spark is there!

                                      2. DanaB Jun 26, 2007 12:51 AM

                                        With mine, it was everything I cooked. He was soooo happy to be with a girl who cooked, that just about anything I made made him happy. One thing I learned to do for him, though, was perfect rice.

                                        1. h
                                          hungry_pangolin Jun 25, 2007 11:39 PM

                                          OK, Sam, I pick up your gauntlet. A male speaks...

                                          Depends on my quarry. I try to avoid anything ethnic that his/her mother would have made - you're just setting yourself up for unflattering comparison. I try to hit "elegant simplicity" so that it's impressive, but relaxed, and, preferably, something finger-ish, to break down formal barriers and establish a certain 'tone' for the evening. I also try to avoid anything too spicy or otherwise challenging. Over the years I've done cornish hen, quail, lamb brochettes, osso buco (always with a risotto milanese), almost always asperagus as a side, very good vino, and a ploy to get the victim involved in the kitchen, because there's nothing like handling food in close quarters and tasting together to, er, whet the appetite. An accidental cook-together once resulted in a fairly long-term relationship. It all began with tasting the bearnaise off his finger.

                                          I'm not keen on desserts, generally, but if I know that something sweet will be required, I go for chocolate orange mousse, molten chocolate cakes (individual), or, season permitting, something with fresh berries.

                                          Interestingly, perhaps, I have never dated a vegetarian. I've wondered whether that actually says something about me.

                                          1. Sam Fujisaka Jun 25, 2007 10:53 PM

                                            I'm really surprised at how this thread is developing. I expected more than 50% males responding. So far, mostly or almost all female responses.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                              Chuckles the Clone Jun 25, 2007 11:16 PM

                                              Here's what I do. I go to her house. I cook something. It doesn't matter what. She says, "Oh my god! A guy who can cook!"

                                              The bar is pleasantly low.

                                            2. sed231 Jun 25, 2007 07:59 PM

                                              Rigatoni (or spaghetti) Bolognese. It cooks for so long and makes the kitchen smell so, so yummy- it's like an aphrodisiac. I make Marcella Hazan's version, with a few modifications of my own. Serve with crusty bread.

                                              1. f
                                                fara Jun 25, 2007 06:53 PM

                                                the first time i cooked for my boyfriend it was a late last minute dinner. i made farfalle with eggs and onions. and some kind of vegetable on the side. -pretty simple dinner! he loved it though and said I was a good cook. everything I make for him he says is great, which made me suspicious, but he is kind of picky when we go out. the first thing I made trying to impress him was rigatoni with eggplant (eggplant baked until soft, becomes a puree in once in the tomato sauce). his dad was there for that meal, so double the pressure. his current favorite is "italian rice." any kind of risotto he loves.

                                                1. Chuckles the Clone Jun 25, 2007 06:52 PM

                                                  Scrambled eggs. Toast. A nice cup of tea. ;-)

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Chuckles the Clone
                                                    h
                                                    hungry_pangolin Jun 25, 2007 11:13 PM

                                                    That put me in mind of the sexy breakfast scene in The Company (Dir R Altman)!

                                                  2. funholidaygirl Jun 25, 2007 06:20 PM

                                                    Usually I am a pretty good cook but my problem is that my dinner is not quite ready then I have a glass of wine or two and it always gets slightly ruined. Haha, that may explain the status of my love life. But I will say, my ex just came over tonight for my tbone steak, mushrooms and tomato avocado salad but he is gone and I am on chowhound lol. (not that I wanted him anyway, there is a reason he is an ex) But hey, now I have to go get my nightly ice cream. Lucky I have a good metabolism.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: funholidaygirl
                                                      i
                                                      inapinchspices Jun 25, 2007 06:47 PM

                                                      Hello Cupcake,

                                                      If you already know what he or she likes to eat or is not allergic to, that would take care of most of the work. Try something simple, yet elegantly presented, such as seared scallops with simple mixed greens. The effort that you are putting forth for this special someone should be greatly appreciated.

                                                      Make something that you are confident in preparing so that you can focus on the date and not worry about the meal. A simple meal presented well will set the bar high enough without setting unreasonable expectations in the future.

                                                      Following up the meal with a chocolate molten lava cake that you can keep warm in the oven should be the whipped cream on the sundae!

                                                      Good luck!

                                                      James

                                                    2. pikawicca Jun 25, 2007 05:37 PM

                                                      I don't understand this question. I've been cooking for my DH for 32 years now, counting when we were dating and when we've been married. I don't have a different take on the different relationships. I've always wanted to cook what he would like (and most times I've succeeded). Do people really strut their stuff for new amores, then serve up TV dinners?

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: pikawicca
                                                        MMRuth Jun 25, 2007 05:43 PM

                                                        I see your point - can't speak about others strutting their stuff for the new amores and then resorting to TV dinners after they've "caught a live one". As you do - I love to cook for my husband, to make things that I know he will enjoy, etc., and certainly our love of food is probably one of the things that brought us together. But, when I was was 24 and cooked for him the first time - he a sophisticated, Latin American, polo playing, UES kind of guy, me a travelled but quite American Greenwich Village kind of girl, I can assure you that I tried to figure out something to cook for him that I thought he would like etc., especially given my limited repertoire at the time.

                                                        1. re: pikawicca
                                                          The Oracle Jun 25, 2007 05:50 PM

                                                          I'm in the same boat as the OP (trying to figure out what to cook to impress my love interest). It's not that I'm all of a sudden going to switch to TV dinners one day - it's that as a single person - I'm used to going out for food rather cooking -- but now, I want to find dishes that will WOW and impress! (and hopefully build my 'library' of go-to dishes for a lifetime!)

                                                          1. re: pikawicca
                                                            sivyaleah Jun 25, 2007 05:56 PM

                                                            Absolutely not. I may have "caught" my husband by cooking nice dishes but I still love to impress him by finding new and interesting things to titilate his taste buds. Food is very important to both of us. The only time I ever resorted to any "tv dinner" was when we were/are trying to lose weight and then I will admit to a large repetoire of Lean Cuisines :-)

                                                          2. m
                                                            mvi Jun 25, 2007 04:27 PM

                                                            Wow. Reading all of this.....No wonder my new love interests never lasted... Gosh... The first time I had one nice fellow over, I made a yummy salmon dish with an onion/ red wine reduction and when we took it out of the oven together (so romatic), the Pyrex dish exploded, leaving bright red splotches and pieces of Pyrex all over both of us. Of course, we were both casually dressed in our sexy, overpriced summer whites. Another time, I spent a lot of $ on some delicious champagne, and my date told me he did not drink any more, ever since he was locked up for a DUI. And then there was the time I gave a fellow food poisoning, VERY unintentionally. So, I would say. light some candles, put on some mood music and hope for the best, but don't listen to MY ideas for what's on the menu. I am still single!

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: mvi
                                                              lexnrena Jun 25, 2007 05:49 PM

                                                              Thats funny that just happened to me last night I made some chorizo natchos for an appy and as soon as the pyrex dish touched the trivet it shattered
                                                              I guess we woun't do that again

                                                            2. d
                                                              dexters Jun 25, 2007 03:12 PM

                                                              I believe it was baked ziti, homemade meatballs and garlic bread. Probably a salad too, made of iceberg lettuce since I was a poor college student.

                                                              9 years later and he still asks for my ziti and meatballs. Which are about the only thing I cook now for which I still use the same recipe (my grandmother's), or even still make from those days. College was a lot of "cream-of" recipes. ;-)

                                                              I agree with the other posters though, that something that typically appeals to most, like a hearty pasta dish is a safe bet.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: dexters
                                                                pancake Jun 25, 2007 07:16 PM

                                                                For those of us still fresh in the game, can you share your tasty meatball recipe?
                                                                Thanks :)

                                                                1. re: pancake
                                                                  k
                                                                  kkbriggs Jul 1, 2007 07:33 AM

                                                                  My first dish for my boyfriend was spaghetti and meatballs with garlic bread and brownies while we were in college. Five and a half years later I'm still making it on a pretty regular basis. These aren't dexters grandma's meatballs, but they're good. I usually make a huge batch and freeze portions for quick dinners on busy nights.

                                                                  Equal parts ground beef and italian sausage (and once in a while veal)
                                                                  One egg per two pounds of meat
                                                                  Finely chopped onion (about half an onion per two pounds of meat)
                                                                  Fresh breadcrumbs with oregano, basil, and parsley ground with them
                                                                  Crushed garlic

                                                                  I mix with my hands just until everything is combined, then shape into small balls (this recipe works fine for large meatballs, but we prefer smaller meatballs) then brown before adding sauce. I finish cooking them in the sauce.

                                                              2. Candy Jun 25, 2007 01:02 PM

                                                                The first time i cooked for the man who is my DH of 32 years was a creamy shrimp soup with sherry. That was years before we got serious about each other. I was prbably 18 at the time he was 19-20. We did not get around to marrying until 8 years later. But the first meal when we got serious about dating was Beef Stroganoff. He also liked my Greman Potato salad. Ever one to gild the lily I dressed it with a bit of homemade Hollandaise sauce.

                                                                1. Homero Jun 25, 2007 12:55 PM

                                                                  Bananas Foster. For some reason, the giant flames are impressive, as long as you don't bburn anyone or thing :)

                                                                  1. r
                                                                    Remoulade Jun 25, 2007 12:52 PM

                                                                    Liver and onions...which goes a long way in explaining the condition of my love life.

                                                                    No really I usually like serve something I know well and is fairly easy to make. I don't like to experiment on "New" friends (that's what the old ones are for) Paella is my goto dish. It's easy and looks nice.

                                                                    1. carinole Jun 25, 2007 12:49 PM

                                                                      My first dish to cook is the giada's love meal. It is fried clams, oysters, and a champagne risotto. wonderful and pretty simple to prepare.

                                                                      1. k
                                                                        kolgrim Jun 25, 2007 12:43 PM

                                                                        Last time I cooked on a first date, I made Mushroom Risotto and Broccoli Raab. We didn't get to the peach cobbler, so I promised it for date 2. She had never heard of risotto and didn't know enough to be impressed by chantarelles and morels but it was good enough for her to eventually decide to marry me.

                                                                        1. jvozoff Jun 25, 2007 12:36 PM

                                                                          The first time I cooked for my husband, I showed up with bags of groceries at his place. I made a simple roast chicken and vegetables and a goat cheese cake. It was delicious and fooled him into thinking I could whip up delicious meals in minutes. (Almost everything else I cook takes me forever...)

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: jvozoff
                                                                            m
                                                                            MellieMac Jun 25, 2007 03:51 PM

                                                                            Who doesnt love a roast chicken with roast veg and potatos. Just make sure the gravy isnt lumpy and he is all yours!

                                                                          2. Miss Needle Jun 25, 2007 12:09 PM

                                                                            I remember the first thing I cooked for a new love interest (who is now my husband) was instant ramen noodles with canned tuna fish, doctored up with eggs. I should mention that this was in the AM (after I had stayed over). He only had beer, butter and eggs in the fridge -- total bachelor.

                                                                            But I think it's very important to find out what your love interest likes. People have a wide range of tastes. What is impressive to one is not to another. I could spend hours on a complicated Indian dish (roasting my own spices, making my own garam masala, grinding my own spices) and my husband probably won't be too impressed (he's not a fan of Indian food). But if I stick a marrow bone in the oven and have some apricot preserves, he would be very happy.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: Miss Needle
                                                                              Ruth Lafler Jun 25, 2007 12:41 PM

                                                                              Exactly. I think what impresses most people is if you are able to understand what would appeal to them -- it makes you seem very simpatico. The other thing to remember is not to serve food that needs a lot of last minute fussing. You want to spend time focused on him, not your food prep. That's why lasagne is such a good idea: everyone likes it, you can adapt it to his particular tastes (veggie, meaty, extra cheese, whatever) and you can make it in advance, clean up, and get yourself all dolled up while it's in the oven.

                                                                              I agree that either something hot from the oven or cold food eaten with the hands (in hot weather) are both "sensual" and can set the mood. Or both: a nice antipasto platter before the lasange and you're all set!

                                                                            2. cheftori Jun 25, 2007 10:25 AM

                                                                              The first time I cooked for my boyfriend (I knew he was a meat guy) I made Homemade pasta with wild mushroom sauce (first course), then Beefsteak florentina - a huge Tbone steak on wilted garlic spinach, I could not afford the traditional Porterhouse. For desert we had dark chocolate and Port.
                                                                              That is when I found out that he prefers milk chocolate. I almost broke up with him right then, but He really loved that dinner! Almost 4 years later I still cook for him!

                                                                              1. m
                                                                                mariannas Jun 24, 2007 10:28 PM

                                                                                I made goat cheese, shallot, and friend sage raviolis with a lovely butter/white wine sauce. Evidently they were a hit, because 3 years later I am still making them for the same guy. ;)

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: mariannas
                                                                                  foxy fairy Jul 1, 2007 06:42 AM

                                                                                  sounds heavenly. recipe? Did you make the ravioli dough or use wonton skins?

                                                                                2. s
                                                                                  slowfoodgrrl Jun 24, 2007 10:08 PM

                                                                                  Since I can't flirt, I bake.

                                                                                  And, I once made donuts for someone who said off the cuff that he loved them. I got up at 4:30 a.m., proofed and fried them (after letting the dough rise all night), did a 45 minute commute to work, and then served still-warm donuts to my crush and our coworkers. He and I dated the rest of the summer. (This happened just after my freshman year of college.)

                                                                                  Now? I brew beer. This has also proven to be a hit with the guys -- the ones who are not a little freaked out by a girl who brews beer.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: slowfoodgrrl
                                                                                    riceflour Jun 27, 2007 01:21 AM

                                                                                    I do exactly the same as you once did: Bake. Almost every guy I've dated in the past five years has received cookies, cucakes, or muffins during our relationship. I've found that always makes them think I'm a girl they can bring home to Momma!

                                                                                  2. k
                                                                                    ktcolt Jun 24, 2007 08:58 PM

                                                                                    I watched this one on the Food Network....oh my goodness...FABULOUS!! Serve this in a teacup and matching saucer or coffe cup and matching saucer. It makes a cute little presentation and makes you feel like you are eating a rich restaurant dessert!

                                                                                    Ricotta Cappuccino

                                                                                    1/2 cup sugar
                                                                                    1/2 vanilla bean
                                                                                    1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
                                                                                    1/2 tablespoon instant espresso powder
                                                                                    1 (3-inch) biscotti, crushed
                                                                                    Pinch ground cinnamon
                                                                                    Pinch cocoa powder

                                                                                    Place the sugar in a food processor. Cut the vanilla bean open lengthwise, scrape out the seeds, and place them in the food processor with the sugar. Run the machine to make vanilla sugar.

                                                                                    Place the ricotta and espresso powder in the food processor. Blend for 1 minute. Stop the machine to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula. Blend for another minute. Spoon the mixture into 4 small coffee mugs. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

                                                                                    To serve, top the ricotta cappuccino with crushed biscotti. Sprinkle with cinnamon and cocoa powder.

                                                                                    A MUST try!!

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: ktcolt
                                                                                      tatertotsrock Jun 26, 2007 02:28 PM

                                                                                      yummy..can't wait to try it...I may just wind up seducing myself.

                                                                                    2. Tartinet Jun 24, 2007 07:10 PM

                                                                                      When I was dating my husband and we were visiting my grandmother, he mentioned that he liked split-pea soup. My grandmother wasted no time in pulling me aside and telling me to get to it, already! I laughed at how old-fashioned she was, but made the soup and then married the man, much to her satisfaction, on both counts.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: Tartinet
                                                                                        maria lorraine Jun 24, 2007 11:46 PM

                                                                                        Nice story. I love your grandmother telling you to hop to it.

                                                                                      2. sivyaleah Jun 24, 2007 07:09 PM

                                                                                        I once did a potato encrusted salmon filet for someone I was dating the first time he was coming up to my apartment- thinly sliced potato rounds artfully placed around the filet. This in my itty bitty New York City kitchen. Couldn't even call it a kitchen - was barely a nook if that.

                                                                                        He was mighty impressed. To bad I wasn't so impressed with him as it turned out :-)

                                                                                        I think I may have made risotto for my husband the first time I cooked for him - just a basic one. He was impressed too - this time, so was I :-)

                                                                                        1. Divamac Jun 24, 2007 07:00 PM

                                                                                          I cooked for my husband a lot when we were dating. The big hits were:

                                                                                          Lasagne (I worked hard to make this right - and failed a lot! now I make a damn fine lasagne). He's a sucker for Italian food, so there was lots of fresh pasta (store bought) and homemade sauce and meatballs (my Mom's recipe).

                                                                                          Fish Tacos. Doesn't sound spectacular, however he's from San Diego, but was living on the East Coast. This was the one dish from back home I tried to make without ever having had it myself. We live in SD now, and I still laugh at how "off" my fish tacos were. But he appreciated the effort of trying to make something that would remind him of home.

                                                                                          For our first Valentine's day (and every one since) I made a Rachael Ray recipe for Baked Scallops and Seared Tournedos with Artichoke Hearts and Asparagus Tips. It was a huge hit - who doesn't like surf and turf? You serve the beef with a pan sauce made with Madiera and tarragon. It's quite good and very easy, but impressive.
                                                                                          http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,,FOOD_9936_17834,00.html?rsrc=search

                                                                                          And I made desserts - chocolate souffle, creme brulee. And Emeril has a recipe for Warm Chocolate Pudding Cakes that are amazingly good and easy.
                                                                                          http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                                                                                          Basically, I found that he was impressed with my desire to cook for him. The fact that the food was good was icing on the cake. The way to a man's heart...

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Divamac
                                                                                            Sam Fujisaka Jun 24, 2007 07:10 PM

                                                                                            Or to a woman's

                                                                                            1. re: Divamac
                                                                                              carinole Jun 25, 2007 12:49 PM

                                                                                              I love that rachael ray recipe. I am make it on special occassions.

                                                                                            2. m
                                                                                              MellieMac Jun 24, 2007 06:43 PM

                                                                                              Depends on the man, but usually meat and potatos. Perfectly cooked New York strip and creamy, cheesey scalloped potatos. And peas. I love peas.

                                                                                              I like the recommendation below about summer rolls and the sharing of food. Very sensuous...

                                                                                              1. MMRuth Jun 24, 2007 06:36 PM

                                                                                                These days I cook to impress an old love interest, but I still remember the first meal I cooked for him when he was a new love, in my divey Village apartment - risotto. To start, I'd bought salmon roe (a lot of it - he loves it) and smoked salmon. No idea what kind of risotto I made - but he loved it.

                                                                                                1. Sam Fujisaka Jun 24, 2007 06:14 PM

                                                                                                  I was about to answer...when my wife walked in!

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                                                                                    maria lorraine Jun 24, 2007 10:56 PM

                                                                                                    Oh, Sam [giggling]!

                                                                                                    There's something so sexy about pulling something warm out of the oven. Especially on a first date. It can be simple, something you have before you go out to dinner. Like a quick flatbread with rosemary and walnuts, or gougeres and a flute of Champagne. But you must pull it out of the oven while your new love is there for the full warm, aromatic, sensual effect. Stilettos and frilly apron optional.

                                                                                                  2. p
                                                                                                    piccola Jun 24, 2007 06:04 PM

                                                                                                    It depends on the season. In the cold months, I make pasta, usually with spicy eggplant sauce. It's one of those dishes that makes people forget it's vegetarian.

                                                                                                    In warm weather, I prep make-your-own summer rolls. I love how intimate it is to share food and eat with your hands.

                                                                                                    Either way, I keep it simple and fairly light. You don't want your love interest to fall into a food coma. :)

                                                                                                    1. grampart Jun 24, 2007 04:44 PM

                                                                                                      Oysters Rockefeller

                                                                                                      1. a
                                                                                                        ashes Jun 24, 2007 04:36 PM

                                                                                                        Usually Italian....eggplant parm. or a nice lasagna. With lots of good red wine and something nice for dessert.

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