For something simple that won’t leave you feeling too stuffed to get naked or too drowsy for stimulating conversation, there’s the grazing platter. Rhee’s recipe balances the sharpness of cheddar and gorgonzola with the woodiness of rosemary crackers and sweetness of strawberries and milk chocolate.
“I love this recipe. It’s a charcuterie board with a mix of fruit, chocolates, and a few different kinds of cheese, which makes this so much more romantic than your average cheese board. Pair it with a glass of wine or bubbly and you’re bound to have a great date night snacking all night,” says Rhee. (More make-it-a-meal charcuterie boards from Damn Delicious: the Perfect Holiday Cheese Board, the Meat and Cheese Board, the Summer Cheese Board, and the Antipasto Appetizer Cheese Board.)
Here’s one way to increase participation points: make homemade pasta. “It’s such a fun, easy way to spend time together and make a delicious meal. It’s a win-win,” says Rhee.
These soft pillows are the ultimate comfort food and only require five ingredients, making them perfect for a date where you don’t have time for multiple trips to specialty food stores.
If you’d rather not get too hands-on in the kitchen, invest money rather than time. That’s correct, this is official permission to splurge. For this, garlic butter steak and scallops is Rhee’s go-to.
“It feels luxurious and special, but it’s so easy to make and will impress any date. Seriously. It’s an expensive surf-and-turf dinner but right at home, [and] of course not as expensive as eating out,” says Rhee. The secret ingredients? Butter, garlic, fresh lemon, chives, and more butter.
Other tips for a romantic dinner
If you want to be ready to make a romantic dinner on short notice, Rhee recommends keeping a few essentials on hand. “I love to have some fresh fruit and chocolate around. It’s easy to throw onto a charcuterie board or to make a quick dessert with a glass of sparkling wine or cider.”
If you’re likely to be hungry for something more substantial, there’s always carbs. “Dried pasta and a few pantry ingredients for a quick sauce are also great, paired with your favorite wine. Light a few candles and you’re good to go,” says Rhee. Two quick and easy sauces from Damn Delicious to consider: Quick Tomato Sauce and Vodka Sauce.