A food of love

Joined Oct 13, 2001
Hey folks , I have been going through a nasty divorce for about 3 years and it is almost over ( sigh ) . I feel its time to live again and I have met a girl at work and we have went out for coffee and are going out to lunch tomarrow . She has suggested that maybe I could come over to her apartment and cook us dinner . Yipes , Im scared . Any other time I would not have a problem with a menu but this one has me shaking in my culinary boots . Please help me if you can as my mind is a blank right now . Her name is Aurora and she likes most foods but not to spicey or hot . I realy want to set the evening with a nice romantic dinner but I am like very scared right now . Any suggestions from my friends here on cheftalk will be greatly appreciated .
Helppppppppppppppp , thanks , Doug .............. :eek:
Joined Jul 31, 2000
Dear Chefboy,

Your friends name transends romance.
The Northern lights :Aurora Borealis:

Use this as a painters palette to develope your menu.
Beautiful paintings in the night sky,could be her twinkling eyes, warm and rich flavors,prepare a wonderful bread dough to nead together and cook,the smell alone is romantic and earthy,herb toasted chervre with baby beets and hierloom tomatoes,lamb tagin with cous cous,crispy hunan lobster eaten with your fingers,something with ginger to captivate her palete,maybe oysters with ginger.
Chocolate,mmmmm..warm,gooey and playful.somehow make the meal interactive, a team event.
Joined Mar 4, 2000
CC- Careful, or you'll have women chasing you through cyberspace!! :lol:

No, but seriously, that sounds like quite a romantic meal; especially kneading the bread together. It's provocative and sensual.

And who can go wrong with chocolate? But I was thinking of a cherry pavlova, made with whole pitted cherries, just barely cooked, and drizzled with ganache. Simple, light, and full of texture and juice, without being too fussy.
Joined Feb 6, 2002
Geez CC! :eek: You better stop or we will start thinking you are one of those closet romance novel writers. :eek: Momo is right. :D

BTW: I loved your menu CC. Ill have to remember this when Valentines day rolls around again. Too bad my anniversary was on July 3rd. Sigh.


Take CCs advice. The man's a genius when it comes to food.

Joined Nov 20, 2000
One of my favorite sports when I was younger. Cooking dinner for a date.
I might suggest a couple of things. First keep it light, warm evening, nothing worse than a heavy meal.
You're cooking at her place so you may not be all that familiar with her kitchen and or utensils. Keep it romantic and don't spend too much time in the kitchen. Have her come watch but do as much as possible at home the day/night before and bring it over.
I might suggest as a starter some bruchettas with a nice french bread and tomato/basil topping. Have some assorted olives also. Keeps you thirsty for more wine;)
Do a Julienne of mirepoix (hold in a seal tight bag)as a vegetable sauteed in whole butter with some fresh thyme. When it's almost done remove the vegetables, reheat, add some more butter and saute up some shrimp and deglaze with white wine toss in some julienne sundried tomatoes and finish with some whole butter.
Serve with a few more slices of bread.
For dessert reheat some precooked crepes. saute some cut up peaches with brown sugar and serve with a dollop of lightly sweetened freshly made whipped cream (whip it in a bowl in front of her).
Sure to be a hit. Easy clean up. No intense work. Sensual food fun to watch and easily impressive.
If you don't use the menu, remember the basic tips.
And enjoy the evening with her!
Joined Nov 29, 2001
This is your opportunity to prove just how superior you are to mortal men!! You COOK!!

Do you have a specialty? The best course of action when put in this position is: stick with what you know. Don't try anything too outlandish or something you've never made before. Stick with a familiar dish for your first time, they segue into something more difficult or cook something on her request.

When my husband and I met online, I had to prepare for his first visit. Despite the amount of cooking information I have crammed into my head, I was SO nervous! I wound up choosing foods I could prepare well in advance. I made a saffron rice salad using arborio rice that I had found originally in Saveur (the saffron issue) and embellished it with huge boiled shrimp. This was easy to take out of the fridge and enjoy with no pressure. I made a bread pudding I had seen in a book called Breakfast in Bed (a purchase made during a moment of optimism after my second divorice...:rolleyes: ).

Bottom line - do what you know. Don't take too many risks in an effort to show off - you can do that later. ;)
Joined May 26, 2001
Everyone's given you great advice so far -- just want to throw in my 2 cents: don't make anything that might smell up the apartment in a meat/fish/veg way; however, a lingering vanilla or citrus smell could be delightful.

Oh, and find out beforehand if she's allergic to anything. Nothing worse for a romantic evening than having to scratch all night -- or worse! :eek:

Relax, and take it slowly. (I'm sure I don't need to tell you that.) ;) This is a great oportunity to get to know each other.
Joined Mar 3, 2002
You've gotten so much good advice, I'd only like to emphasize doing as much prep work as possible AHEAD and bring it with you (ziplock bags and duct tape are neck in neck for the greatest invention of the 20th C). I often cook for my son's family in their kitchen and find it much more satisfactory to bring the bits with me, organized to do the final cooking and assembly there. You thus eliminate paying all your before dinner attention to the food instead of her! I think the bruscetta and wine while you do the cooking is inspired.

But plan a few tasks you can involve your hopefully more than friend with. For example, when I made a trifle for dessert last weekend, I made the cake, the anglaise, and cleaned the fruit the night before. My GD enjoyed cutting up the fruit, the cake, and arranging the trifle in the bowl. I couldn't interest her in beating the whipped cream though. :) While mine was a family affair, I can see how doing something like this together after a nice wine-y meal with much finger licking and sampling of the berries, cherries, or peaches, etc. and the liquer used in the trifle could be a nice introduction to the rest of the evening.
Joined Oct 13, 2001
Wow , what a great bunch of people you all are . So many good ideas and such a well of wisdom . cape chef , you and chrose should collaborate on a book , I would buy it . To keep you posted I just finished lunch with the beatuifull woman and we are hitting it off extremely well , but as we are both divorcees and we are on our first outings with someone else we are both taking it kind of slow . It realy is very nice and fresh , I feel alive again and no matter what happens I think it would be awsome to fall in love again . Our plans for our first dinner will probably be in the first week of August . I love all of your ideas , fresh bread kneaded together , chocolate , wine ( and somthing to make you thirsty if I remember right ) and keeping it simple as well as doing what you are comfortable with and getting as much of the prep done ahead of time . I am not shaking quite so bad now thanks to all of you wonderfull people . I will keep you posted as to my final menu and of course the results of the evening . Thanks again all of my wonderfull friends here on cheftalk . Your humble friend ,
Doug ...............:D
Joined Oct 28, 1999
I can't think of anything more romantic (and impressive) than a souffle! You bring along the mis en place and whip the whites at the end of the meal. Perhaps... chocolate w/Grand Marnier, brownie souffle with pastry cream, rasperry with chocolate-Chambord sauce, carmelized pear with vanilla bean ice cream or a frozen white chocolate-macadamia souffle that you can prepare earlier in the day and bring it along with you.
Best wishes!
Joined Mar 13, 2001

I would cook something I'm familiar with and excell at. I'm sure she will appreciate anything you decide to cook just for her...and knock her socks off! ;)
Joined Oct 28, 2001
Good luck! And given her name I think you ought to include Sauce Aurora somewhere in the meal.
Joined Nov 20, 2000
:eek: Me?!?:rolleyes: Lil' old innocent me?!?:D

Chefboy, my first thoughts after reading your later posts were "how romantic" makes me long for the days of fresh love. Then I thought what does that say about my present love. Can I rekindle that excitement? No I can't, not really new love is different. But I love my wife and family and old love really is the best of all. So you have inspired me to just keep rekindling the love I have now.
It sounds really exciting. I wish you the best of luck and hope you two achieve what I have.
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