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Prepare a romantic dinner for two

Updated: Feb 10, 2011 04:30 PM EST
Whatever you make this Valentine's Day, just remember the most important thing is spending quality time with your partner. (©iStockphoto.com/Andrzej Burak) Whatever you make this Valentine's Day, just remember the most important thing is spending quality time with your partner. (©iStockphoto.com/Andrzej Burak)
  • RecipesMore>>

  • Tomato Basil Pasta, 9/1/14

    Tomato Basil Pasta, 9/1/14

    Monday, September 1 2014 12:26 PM EDT2014-09-01 16:26:50 GMT
    Serge KrikorianDinner's Ready2 Servings2 Tbls. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided5 Tbls. Unsalted Butter, divided (NOT margarine)1 tsp. Minced Garlic1 Shallot, minced1 Pt. Grape or Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise8-10 Leaves Fresh Basil, cut into ribbonsSalt Ground Black Pepper, to tasteGrated Parmigiano reggiano cheese, for garnish4 oz. Penne Pasta (or pasta of your choice), cooked according to package directionsOption Add-Ins: Diced Grilled Chicken, Sauteed Shrimp, sauteed sliced fresh...More >>
    Serge KrikorianDinner's Ready2 Servings2 Tbls. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided5 Tbls. Unsalted Butter, divided (NOT margarine)1 tsp. Minced Garlic1 Shallot, minced1 Pt. Grape or Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise8-10 Leaves Fresh Basil, cut into ribbonsSalt Ground Black Pepper, to tasteGrated Parmigiano reggiano cheese, for garnish4 oz. Penne Pasta (or pasta of your choice), cooked according to package directionsOption Add-Ins: Diced Grilled Chicken, Sauteed Shrimp, sauteed sliced fresh...More >>
  • Spicy Poached Eggs in Tomato Sauce, 8/27/14

    Spicy Poached Eggs in Tomato Sauce, 8/27/14

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 11:49 AM EDT2014-08-27 15:49:39 GMT
    Gary DukeAlley Oops4 tomatoes, chopped2 tablespoon olive oil1/2 onion, sliced thinlysalt, black pepper, crushed red pepper and garlic to taste4 eggsfresh mozzarella cheese, cubedparmesan cheesefresh basilbread slices1. In a sauce pan, cook the onions in the olive oil for a few minutes, add the tomatoes and seasoning to mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover, simmer for an additional 15 or 20 minutes.2. Uncover sauce and gentle crack the eggs evenly around your tomato sauce. Place ...More >>
    Gary DukeAlley Oops4 tomatoes, chopped2 tablespoon olive oil1/2 onion, sliced thinlysalt, black pepper, crushed red pepper and garlic to taste4 eggsfresh mozzarella cheese, cubedparmesan cheesefresh basilbread slices1. In a sauce pan, cook the onions in the olive oil for a few minutes, add the tomatoes and seasoning to mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover, simmer for an additional 15 or 20 minutes.2. Uncover sauce and gentle crack the eggs evenly around your tomato sauce. Place ...More >>
  • Summer Shrimp Salad, 8/25/14

    Summer Shrimp Salad, 8/25/14

    Monday, August 25 2014 8:49 AM EDT2014-08-25 12:49:13 GMT
    Capi PeckTrio'sServes 41 1/4 lbs. large Gulf shrimp in the shell2 ears corn on the cobs, steamed, grilled or roasted/ kernels removedFor the dressing:2 cloves garlic, smashed1 1/2 t. cumin1 t. paprika1/2 t. cayenne pepper1/2 c. lime juice1c. olive oil1/2 c. cilantro leavessalt to tasteCombine all dressing ingredients in bowl or jar. Whisk or shake well to combine. Set aside.2 Haas avocados, sliced1/2 c. cilantro leaves8 cups arugula or other greens of your choice?1 half Vidalia or sweet onion...More >>
    Capi PeckTrio'sServes 41 1/4 lbs. large Gulf shrimp in the shell2 ears corn on the cobs, steamed, grilled or roasted/ kernels removedFor the dressing:2 cloves garlic, smashed1 1/2 t. cumin1 t. paprika1/2 t. cayenne pepper1/2 c. lime juice1c. olive oil1/2 c. cilantro leavessalt to tasteCombine all dressing ingredients in bowl or jar. Whisk or shake well to combine. Set aside.2 Haas avocados, sliced1/2 c. cilantro leaves8 cups arugula or other greens of your choice?1 half Vidalia or sweet onion...More >>

By Amy Reiley

Valentine's Day is well-known as restaurants' busiest night of the year. So why spend your special evening ear-to-elbow with a dining room full of strangers? Making a romantic dinner at home can be less stressful and sexier -- not to mention lighter on the wallet.

The key to preparing a romantic dinner for two is planning. Selecting a menu that incorporates aphrodisiac ingredients can make the evening more successful. Chile peppers and ginger can raise body temperature, cause a release of endorphins and bring a sexy blush to the cheeks. Truffles replicate the scent of male pheromones, champagne brings on a giddy sensation, and the scent of Blanc de Blancs-style sparkling wines offers an aroma similar to that of female pheromones.

On the big night, you want to be able to focus your energy on the one you love. Plan dishes that can be prepped in advance, or that you can make together, like rolling vegetarian sushi. Slow-cooked dishes like Coq au Vin or a seafood stew are smart choices. I sometimes make a turkey meatloaf with chunks of fresh mango folded in for an easy -- but slightly exotic -- dinner. Add a salad of fresh kale (which is good for your skin) with aged Parmesan, thinly sliced apple, and olive oil -- seasoned with salt and pepper -- for a complete meal.

Keep the whole dinner light, including dessert. Try simple sweets like fresh fruit dipped in warm chocolate. You don't need a fondue pot; just bring cream or half-and-half to a near boil, remove from heat and stir in an equal amount of high-quality dark chocolate until smooth and glossy. For added antioxidant benefits and a delicious little crunch, stir in a handful of cocoa nibs.

Whatever you make this Valentine's Day, just remember the most important thing is spending quality time with your partner.

For more on Valentine's Day, check out:

Amy Reiley is the editorial director of EatSomethingSexy.com, a cookbook author and an aphrodisiac foods authority. 

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