Romantic Meals to Cook at Home

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Over the years, my husband and I have made the conscious choice to spend many special occasions at home. It’s not that we don’t love going out, we do. But, it’s the high tab at the end of the night that we could do without.

Instead, we’ve looked for inexpensive ways to enjoy a romantic meal together, cooked in our own kitchen. I make something we love, something that might be a little splurge, or something that has special meaning.

Here are some ideas to get you thinking about what to cook for your next romantic meal at home:

Your first date or your wedding dinner

We’ve recreated each of these special moments over the years, sometimes with our kids. We enjoy Chicken Parmesan every Valentine’s Day in honor of the first meal I ever cooked for my husband. And on the anniversaries when money has been tight, I’ve prepared Tri-Tip and Chicken and an array of salads, similar to what we served at our wedding reception.

A meal worth fighting over

We both love Poblano Chile Enchiladas. I mean, looooooooove. I usually make about a dozen. He gets 6 and I get 6. The leftovers are great which is why there’s no way I’m going to let my half get consumed by anyone but me. We have often made this for special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries. It ‘s probably the only meal that we’ve ever fought over. Literally.

A small splurge

At our house a splurge might mean fish or steak, proteins that don’t often go below my target price of $2 per pound. Hubs prefers the fish, while I go for the steak. We can have surf and turf and both be happy. While it is a “splurge,” it is still quite a bit less expensive than if we ate the same meal at a restaurant.

What romantic meals do YOU cook at home?

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  1. About 3 years into our marriage, I discovered my husband had cooked at Red Lobster for several years while in college. I have played that knowledge to my advantage – he cooks our special dinners, which always involve seafood (sometimes with steak) , while I sit at the counter sipping wine and chatting with him. In this way, he also gets off the hook for buying a gift – just flowers and the best seafood EVER will do, thanks, honey! 🙂

  2. Our romantic meals are usually the low-key snacky variety. After the kid’s tucked in bed I slice up summer sausage, cheese, and apples. We eat these crackers and peanut butter (for the apples), and I lay the whole thing out on plates on the bed while we watch a movie on the laptop.
    too fun.

  3. I often go the steak route, a little bit of a splurge and so tasty. Chicken Parmigiana is another favorite, and pasta in general can be very romantic. Some kind of special dessert is usually involved. Today – strawberry cheesecake. Yum!

    And thanks for sharing the enchilada recipe, looks fabulous! I have some poblano peppers just waiting to be used…

  4. Last year I made the kids a special Valentine’s dinner {complete with a table for 2, candlelight, and chocolate milk served out of fancy glasses}. I pretended I was their server at a restaurant. They went crazy and I just made basic food and served pink/red M&Ms over brownies for dessert. After we put the kids in bed, hubby and I got dressed up and sat at the same table enjoying food we purchased from our local health food store’s hot bar with some wine. It was one of the best Valentine’s we’ve shared! I think we’ll replicate that again this year. Even though we spent a little extra on the prepared food, it still was cheaper than eating out and just as delicious {and minimal clean-up afterwards}.

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