Sizzle in the Kitchen: Cooking Together as a Couple for the Ultimate Cooking Date Night is a delight! Unveil 7 playful tips and seasonal menus to keep the flames of your culinary romance alive.
What you'll learn in this post:
Pam's Best Tips
Date night is important – not just for getting to know a love interest, but to share experiences and keep things fresh throughout a relationship. Mark and I have been married for over 30 years, our date nights remind me just how much I love being married to him!
When you’re deeper into a relationship, regular reconnections can help keep your bond solid. Dating can be extremely beneficial toward keeping romance alive, and making an effort to regularly set up dates can be a great way to jump-start that habit.
One of our favorite couples schedules a date night pretty much every Thursday. They are a couple who prioritize spending time together and enjoyed their night out for over 30 years.
A couple’s cooking date is the perfect way to spend quality time connecting. And I have a few great tips to get you organized.
Good Luck – and enjoy the experience of cooking together.
Cooking Date Timetable
Wondering what a cooking date night might look like? Below find a infographic I put together of a menu curated with Valentine's Day in mind. Use it as a guide to determine what you might cook first, second and so on. Also I find estimated timing of when you might start cooking each dish.
Valentine's Day Cooking Date Night Menu
With Valentine’s Day just a few days away, You may already have plans. But if you are still looking for inspiration, consider taking the evening to cook a meal together with a loved one!
While curated for Valentine’s Day you could use this menu for a cooking date any time of the year.
Winter Cooking Date Night Menu
Beef Stroganoff with Flank Steak, Mushrooms, and Pasta. It’s mounds of tender beef strips sauteed in a silky crème fresh gravy with caramelized shitake mushrooms, alongside a tangle of buttered pasta noodles is an easy and delicious. I love serve a apple spinach salad with warm bacon dressing along side the stroganoff.
Start the cooking date by making your dessert - raspberry no churn ice cream. This will need freeze time so make sure to plan accordingly.
Spring Cooking Date Night Menu
This Baked Halibut Recipe is perfect for two. Impress your dining companion with this halibut served with mushroom ravioli and a creamy alfredo sauce. Using a steaming method of baking in parchment paper, the taste, the aroma, and the presentation is fine dining in a few steps, coming together in under 25 minutes!
Start you cooking date with a paloma and finish with a decadent mini chocolate bundt cake.
Summer Cooking Date Night Menu
This summer Shrimp and Corn dinner for two is packed with bright flavors and comes together quickly – in under 10 minutes! Leaving you time to grab a whiskey sour and make a key lime dessert.
Fall Cooking Date Night Menu
This pumpkin sauce for pasta recipe with crispy fried sage is delightfully creamy, cozy, comforting and perfectly portioned for two. Serve with a simple green salad tossed in our favorite shallot vingairette and a glass of wine and you have a easy, and fun menu for a night when you are cooking together as a couple. For dessert, keep it simple and buy ice cream, hot fudge and sundae fixings.
7 Cooking Together as a Couple Tips
Here are 7 tips to keep you organized during a cooking date night and most importantly how to keep it fun!
Below you will find a one-page visual chart (with pictures!) that summarizes the 7 Cooking Together Date Night Tips. Be sure to check it out, simply click on the button to display, download and print.
1. Keep it Simple
2. Shop the night before
We think it is fun to do together if you can. Recommend doing the night before or up to 4 days before for this menu. Generate a grocery list, this is accessible on mobile or you can print it.
- Go To Saved Recipes from the Home Menu
- Select Couple’s Cooking Date | Winter Menu under Your Collections in My Recipe Box
- Click on the shopping cart icon in the upper right
- Select Recipes and click the cart icon in the top right to generate the shopping list.
Assign items to each person and meet back at the check out. Each of you to grab a separate cart, so you avoid having to track each other down in the store. We often send texts and pictures of ourselves to each other while in the store….just to keep it fun.
3. Pick your playlist
Now that you have your menu planned and the shopping complete, continue to create the mood with a playlist. Consider starting more lively for cooking and then move to slower songs for later when you’re dining.
- Make sure to include “your song”
- Take a break from cooking to dance
- Use your favorite service Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music
4. Avoid starting hungry
Cooking when you’re ravenous is no fun, and if you are like me, being hungry can make you a bit cranky or even “hangry”.
Do This: Set out some snacks, turn on some music and pour a dring for you and your partner.
Snacks like veggies and hummus, cheese and crackers - anything that is set out with little to no prep – let’s you focus time on the dinner prep itself. Select a lively or energetic songs from your playlist in the background.
Assign one person as the bartender, responsible for keep the drinks flowing throughout the cooking process. So before you begin chopping and prepping, pour a glass of wine, beer or cocktail of choice. A few of our favorites include: Dr. Werley Whiskey Sours, A French 75 (Gin, Simple Syrup, topped off with Prosecco and garnished with lemon) or Paloma’s
5. Divide up the tasks
Mark and I found it’s easiest to work in the kitchen by delegating a “lead” on the recipe, and a “sous chef”. The lead is in charge of reading the recipe and delegating tasks to the partner but also for themselves.
The “sous chef” gets to sit back and relax and worry about sipping (drink of choice, chopping and mixing, without thinking about what is next. Consider alternating roles for each recipe.
6. Clean as you go
No one likes ending with a huge pile of dishes, but a universal law of cooking is that you’re going to get dirty and so’s your kitchen. I like to have a discard bowl next to my cutting board.
A tip I learned from Chef Gavin Kaysen is to set a 10-minute timer, then stopping to clean up for one minute every time the alarm goes off. Soon you will find yourself instinctively wiping the counter or washing dishes.
Consider, delegating one of you to clean up before moving on to the next part of the recipe (avoids a pile of pots & pans after the romantic dinner). This is a good task to alternate by recipe or by recipe part.
7. Keep it fun and flirty
Staying home may feel like a practical and boring date, but it can be really fun if you make it so.
- Enjoy each other’s company and opportunity to work together.
- Make sure you “accidentally” bump into each other a lot while you are working.
- Share a taste test portion of one or more meals.
- Have fun flirting and being romantic, and don’t be afraid to take a short break from cooking and dance to the music!