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Make it about the meal: Best ways to sweeten up your next date
by Admin |  Feb 26, 2013

Got an anniversary coming up with that special someone? Every girl dreams of being taken out for a candlelit dinner of steak and lobster on those special nights, whether it's a birthday, anniversary or other occasion, right? Not necessarily.

Not only is this not true for every gal out there (hello vegetarians), some significant others might not find public, extravagant dinners out to be the best way to show their love, either.

If you and your sweetheart prefer a more unique, less conventional night of romance, a home-cooked meal might be the best way to go. Whether you're preparing it for your lover or the two of you are taking to the kitchen as a couple, there are a few foods that should certainly be involved in your next at-home date night.

That said, these snacks are perfectly suitable for a night spent in with friends or family, too! Invite the gals over for a little dinner party just because!

What makes a meal date-worthy?
The food you cook up on date night really depends on your preferences, but it could be a sweet idea to stick with a certain theme. Maybe you and your significant other met while studying abroad in France - a Parisian-inspired meal is the perfect way to commemorate your relationship. If you're cooking a special meal for your sweetie's birthday, consider his or her favorite meals, foods, places and things, and infuse these themes into the night.

Any other "special occasion food" is a great option, too. This could mean celebratory oysters with Champagne, sweet, buttery scallops, or homemade sushi. Get creative, try something new and treat yourselves today!

Can't do without chocolate
They say chocolate is an aphrodisiac, ramping up your appetite for the after-meal festivities, but we say it tastes good either way, so who cares! Chocolate is a must for date night. While you can bake an elaborate cake or soufflé, this recipe for Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse adapted from Martha Stewart will impress your guest(s) with minimal effort.

You'll need four large egg yolks, 1/4 cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, 2 ounces of bittersweet chocolate, 3/4 cup heavy cream and a pinch of salt.

Finely chop the chocolate and set aside. In a double boiler over medium heat, whisk yolks, sugar and salt until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is warm, not hot. This should take about three minutes. Take the pot off the heat and stir in the chopped chocolate until the mixture is smooth - it should be thick. Let this cool to room temperature while you work on the next step.

In a medium bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks form. (Using a hand mixer is the easiest and most effective way to go about this step.) Whisk half the whipped cream into your chocolate mixture, then fold in the remaining whipped cream with a spatula.

At this point, the mousse is done - almost. Spoon it into small bowls (preferably cute ones that match the theme of your night!) and chill for at least two hours, or up to one day. Garnish with chocolate shavings before serving.

What a way to end the meal! Of course, don't let us limit you. The opportunities for chocolate creations are quite literally endless. The point is just to have fun and enjoy yourself - even if that just means cuddling up with your loved one and a carton of chocolate ice cream.

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