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Old 07-03-2007, 04:33 PM   #1
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Romantic Dinner Ideas?

I'm cooking (for the first time EVER, mind you) for my girlfriend next week for an anniversary...I got the ambience and table setting set up for the most part, but what should I serve?

I'm thinking a nice salad, dinner (chicken and pasta type...she doesn't eat red meat, she loves chicken and she loves pasta), and then dessert (could be anything...something fun/fancy though, I love crazy desserts!), and a good beverage of sorts. What's something aesthetically pleasing/romantic/delicious that I could make? Any ideas????

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Old 07-03-2007, 04:43 PM   #2
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Hi, Michael. First, welcome to DC. You'll get more ideas than you can use, but there's always next time.

If she likes chicken and pasta, how about making a delicious chicken cacciatore and serve it with a side of pasta. That would take care of two of her favorites. For salad, you could prepare a nice one of mixed greens with some grape tomatoes, thin slices of red onion, maybe some shredded carrots, top with a nice vinaigrette (Get a good one at the store if you are hesitant to make your own. It's not difficult, though.) and top it with some toasted pine nuts. Or, you could prepare a Caesar salad. That's good, too.

One of the desserts I used to serve Buck (my husband) when we were dating were kahlua parfaits. In tall glasses put a couple of tablespoons kahlua, a sprinkling of toasted slivererd almonds, a scoop of coffee ice cream, more kahlua, more almonds, another scoop of ice cream and top with whipped cream and a few more almonds. It's like having after dinner coffee and dessert all in one.

Have fun.
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Old 07-03-2007, 05:20 PM   #3
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What about a nice light salad with a vinaigrette and Fettucine Alfredo with grilled chicken strips and a nice crusty french bread.Then a dessert with strawberries or other fresh fruit.
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Old 07-03-2007, 06:00 PM   #4
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Consider Indian food....anything that you can eat with your fingers. Then, feed each other, licking each other's fingers, kissing.... plus, it keeps you sitting very close to each other
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Old 07-03-2007, 06:54 PM   #5
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Cooking for the first time, I would not try to get very creative.

The idea of a salad, like a Caesar, sounds good to me. And you can buy a rotisserie chicken and cut the breast into slices and add them to it.

Pre-cooked is good if you have never done a chicken.

Start with a shrimp cocktail, it is not that hard to do. And you can buy the shrimp already steamed from your supermarket.

And buy a dessert.

There are many things you could make but if you have never cooked before, I would recommend the KISS principle.

The last thing you need is attempting a complicated recipe that could end up in disaster.

Oh yes, and a nice bottle of wine. Probably a white. Something not too sweet at all.

The important point is you are making a lovely evening. Taking a chance on screwing up a dish is not going to make it romantic.

Just my opinion. Have a great evening.
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Old 07-03-2007, 07:56 PM   #6
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Thanks for the ideas so far guys they sound great.

And it's not the first time I've ever cooked...I actually enjoy cooking. It's just the first time I've done it for her. Although you're right...I'm staying away from complicated recipes just for that reason. I don't want to blow it by really messing something up.
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Old 07-03-2007, 07:59 PM   #7
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I can tell you are up for the challenge and a simple, homemade dish will certainly be romantic. How about taking a couple chicken breasts and pound out to about 1/4" in thickness. Take some fresh lemon juice - maybe juice from about 2 lemons, a "glug" of white wine (not cooking wine, the real stuff), a glug of chicken broth, and a 1/4 palm full of fresh tarragon leaves, lightly chopped. Marinate the chicken in it for a couple/few hours.

When you are ready to cook dredge your chicken in flour that has been salted and peppered, shake off excess.


Pound chicken to uniform thickness of 1/4 inch. Marinate in lemon at least 15 minutes. Drain and add to skillet with 1 tablespoon butter. Saute 3 minutes, turning once. Cover and keep warm.

To skillet, add marinade, scraping up browned bits from cooked chicken, adding more white wine and chicken broth and bring to a boil, then simmer for about 15 minutes to reduce. Add about 1/4 cup heavy cream or so and bring to a boil and simmer 2 minutes. Whisk in a couple more TBS of butter and taste sauce. If it needs anything add it now - you may want to brighten up the flavor with a bit more fresh tarragon. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Put some cooked cooked linguine in a bowl, pour on some sauce, slice chicken and lay on top of pasta, top with a few capers if you want.

I, personally, would like sauteed mushrooms mixed with the pasta.

Serve with a mixed baby lettuce salad with a pinwheel of pear slices topped with bleu cheese and a very basic red wine vinaigrette (2 TBS red wine vinegar, 6 TBS olive oil, salt, pepper - put vinegar, salt and pepper in a bowl and while constantly whisking slowly drizzle in olive oil).

You can do it - I know you can!
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Old 07-03-2007, 08:07 PM   #8
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Oh, and for dessert? Take some seedless green grapes that have been thoroughly dried after washing and put in bowl. Mix sour cream and brown sugar until it is nice and caramel in color and flavor. Mix with grapes and let sit all day in fridge. Serve in a wine glass.
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Old 07-03-2007, 08:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpmcgrew
What about a nice light salad with a vinaigrette and Fettucine Alfredo with grilled chicken strips and a nice crusty french bread.Then a dessert with strawberries or other fresh fruit.
I like this idea...with her favorite salad dressing, grill whole boneless, and brined chicken breast, slice and lay on pasta. Either dip yourself or buy chocolate covered strawberries....I also would envolve her in a small way. You can cook "for" her, while at the same time "with" her, while enjoying her favorite wine. Keep it simple, casual and fun!
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Old 07-03-2007, 08:47 PM   #10
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Tomato/basil/mozzarella salad

Chicken Parmesan
w angel hair pasta (w oil & garlic) or spinach fettucinne (or storebought cheese stuffed shells or frozen ready made ravioli - in the refrigerated section of the market)

with
Steamed zuchinni, roasted brussells sprouts, or green beans

Chicken Marsala

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Chicken Saltimbocca

Chicken Wellington


The chicken dishes are easy to prepare. If you need any recipes, send me a pm or you can do a search on this site - upper right hand corner

Dessert
Individual strawberry shortcakes
(you can find the readymade shells in the market near the strawberries. Tope with whipped cream & a sprrig of mint

Wine

The chicken parm & zuke can also be made in a heart-shaped foil packet in the oven.

Have fun.

Edited to add Chicken Wellington - Chicken breasts are wrapped in puffed pastry, w cream cheese & mushroom, etc. filling. Not as scary as it sounds.
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Old 07-03-2007, 11:15 PM   #11
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Thanks these all sound great! Haha I was watching food network today and saw all these things and kept thinking ooh! that looks great, i could do that! This is going to be fun
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Old 07-03-2007, 11:27 PM   #12
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Wow they all sound like fantastic ideas! Just so long as you have a nice bottle of wine and lots of candles and flowers she won't care what the food looks/tastes like. Trust me, my boyfriend can't cook to save himself but I love that he tries. Don't stress!
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Old 07-03-2007, 11:27 PM   #13
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That's what I love about Food Network. All you have to do is print a recipe and DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Make things ahead that can be made ahead and then put that mise en place into action.

For an appetizer you should have prosecco with some fresh strawberries and blueberries, peaches if you can get ripe ones - that'll set the mood! lol Put some whole strawberries and fat sliced peaches in the freezer and use those, when needed, to keep your prosecco cold.
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Old 07-03-2007, 11:35 PM   #14
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Just be sure to start the night with lots of hugs and kisses and finish with the same, every thing will turn out fine. Have a blast!
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Old 07-04-2007, 05:55 AM   #15
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You could make these 2 desserts the day before and then just plate them up nice before serving. This way you have more time to concentrate on the main dish.
These 2 are really popular
http://www.discusscooking.com/forums...hocolate+cakes

Chess Cake:
1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick butter, softened
2 eggs
1/2 t. vanilla
1 8oz. package cream cheese
1 box powdered sugar (save 3 T.)
2 eggs

Mix cake mix, butter, 2 eggs, and vanilla. Spread in bottom of 9x13 inch pan.

Beat sugar, cream cheese, and eggs. Pour on top of cake batter. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes. Do not over bake. Top will be a little giggly when first taken out of oven. Sprinkle remaining powdered sugar on top of cake.


This is a really simple chicken dish. It is just put into a marinade for about 8 hours and then roasted in the oven for 1 hour. It hardly takes any work, but taste like you spent all day on it. Just throw it in the marinade that morning and put in the over 1 hour before serving time.
http://www.discusscooking.com/forums...lsamic+chicken

One of my favorite pasta dishes and it has chicken
Mediterranean Pasta
3 T. olive oil
1 lb. skinless boneless chicken breasts, sliced diagonally
1 (8.5oz) jar sun-dried tomatoes, julienned and drained
2 T. garlic, minced
1 pound pasta (angel hair, linguini, spaghetti, your choice)
1/4 cup fresh basil
1 (8.5oz) can artichoke hearts in water quartered and drained
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted
6 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 t. oregano
salt and pepper

Boil water for pasta. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Brown chicken strips until no longer pink-about 3 minutes each side. Add sun-dried tomatoes and garlic to skillet. Saute for 2 minutes. In the meantime, add the pasta to boiling water, cook until al dente.

Now add the basil, artichoke, olives and feta cheese to skillet. Saute 1 minute then stir in the cream, heat through. Strain pasta and transfer to large pasta bowl. Add the chicken saute to the pasta and toss. Season with oregano, salt and pepper before serving.
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Old 07-04-2007, 04:30 PM   #16
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Michael,
I support auntdot and Uncle Bob comments, always use the KISS principle and ask her to help you. In addition: Think about multiple flavors/layers, not just chicken and pasta. My suggestion for a menu is:

a) Shrimp cocktails
b) Nicoise salad (tuna, egg, veggies, vinaigrette)
c) Chicken supreme (similar to kitchenelf recipe)
d) Small table with 3/4 cheeses (grapes/pears)
f) Strawberries with Zabaglione or Tirami su

I've tried to keep the menu light (is Summer) and workable so you make things in advance. Let me know if you need recipes.
Do not forget/skimp a nice wine and coffee. Good luck.
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Old 07-04-2007, 05:19 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abjcooking


One of my favorite pasta dishes and it has chicken
Mediterranean Pasta
3 T. olive oil
1 lb. skinless boneless chicken breasts, sliced diagonally
1 (8.5oz) jar sun-dried tomatoes, julienned and drained
2 T. garlic, minced
1 pound pasta (angel hair, linguini, spaghetti, your choice)
1/4 cup fresh basil
1 (8.5oz) can artichoke hearts in water quartered and drained
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted
6 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 t. oregano
salt and pepper

Boil water for pasta. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Brown chicken strips until no longer pink-about 3 minutes each side. Add sun-dried tomatoes and garlic to skillet. Saute for 2 minutes. In the meantime, add the pasta to boiling water, cook until al dente.

Now add the basil, artichoke, olives and feta cheese to skillet. Saute 1 minute then stir in the cream, heat through. Strain pasta and transfer to large pasta bowl. Add the chicken saute to the pasta and toss. Season with oregano, salt and pepper before serving.
mmmm that looks fantastic, abj!

Copied and saved for next week!

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Old 07-04-2007, 05:22 PM   #18
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Old 07-07-2007, 06:21 PM   #19
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Okay so I'm still undecided about dessert (either red velvet or chocolate cake) but I'm going to serve a nice caesar salad as an appetizer, and then this rosemary/balsamic vinaigrette chicken breast (sauteed) over some ravioli with this sauce that looked really good. (it was a rachael ray recipe). This is good because she LOVES ravioli, probably her favorite food actually, and the recipe was really simple/straightforward.
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Old 07-07-2007, 09:01 PM   #20
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Either one would be great for dessert. Red velvet cake is a chocolate cake with red food coloring and a cream cheese frosting, one of my favorites, but you can't go wrong with either one.
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