Contrary to what most men think, not all women are Suzy Homemakers. If you happen to fall into this category but still want to surprise your boyfriend with a home-cooked meal, here are some foolproof methods and recipe suggestions to impress your date without destroying your kitchen — or your confidence.
Pick a recipe with few ingredients.
Start browsing for recipes weeks before you plan on cooking this special meal. Whether it’s online or in a cookbook, find a recipe you are comfortable with that has few ingredients. Most websites rank their recipes based on difficulty, so pick one that is labeled easy. The fewer ingredients you have, the less work you have to do and the easier it will be to multitask. You don’t have to make everything from scratch, so choose a recipe that uses fresh and store-bought ingredients.
Try making pizza at home with prepared dough and sauce and fresh produce like mushrooms, peppers or spinach. A classic roast chicken with baked potatoes is always an impressive fake-out. Serve any of these with a simple salad of mixed greens and lemon vinaigrette. An easy dessert could be vanilla ice cream topped with fresh berries macerated in an almond liqueur. Make sure to get your favorite bottle of wine and you’ve got yourself a great meal.
Once you decide on a mouthwatering recipe, make sure you have all the kitchen tools you need to make it. If the recipe calls for a nonstick pan, check your cabinets to see if you have one, or buy a new pan at the store before you start cooking. Read through the entire recipe once, and then look up any cooking terms you are unfamiliar with. If you don’t know what sauté means, then it’s time to start doing some basic research. Being prepared will put your mind at ease and prevent you from scrambling around the kitchen and making the work more complicated than it should be.
Of course, “practice makes perfect” is a worn-out saying, but it’s absolutely necessary for cooking. Don’t try cooking the meal for the first time in front of your date. It will only make you more nervous if something goes wrong. Make it before your date night, and follow the recipe exactly the first time. This will give you experience with reading recipes, following instructions and maneuvering your way around the kitchen. Take your time and don’t panic if it doesn’t come out right the first couple of times. After you practice the recipe on your roommate or sister, the motions will become second nature, and you will be able to put your own spin on the dish if you want.
Cooking doesn’t have to be just for Suzy Homemakers anymore. Use these tips so the next time your man comes over, the two of you can make some magic in the kitchen.