Tuesday, June 10, 2008

No, I'm not Betty Crocker...

I recently saw a story on the news about a mother who'd arranged to have chef friends cook her prom-going daughter and date's dinner. Maybe this particular story was a result of the crazy economy, but I think cooking (or having someone else cook) dinner on a date can be really fun.

A caveat -- it's way more fun if the date helps cook. One guy I dated helped me pound out the breasts for the Chicken Marsala. Another dude just criticized the way I seared my scallops -- guess which date was more fun?

Some of the best things to cook for someone else you can do ahead of time. Like a baked chicken dish that you marinate that morning and then when you get home from class or work that night, you can just bake it while you get ready for the date. Other things -- like salmon or steaks -- only take a little while to cook. So, as long as you have an appetizer ready to eat while everything is cooking, you're golden.

Eventually in the travels of my life, I cooked professionally, but I haven't always been a good cook. I learned a lot over the years. I remember in college cooking a batch of tofu spaghetti sauce (I was a vegetarian back then) for a date who politely ate the quivering white cubes punctuating the ragu. What a sweet guy he was because it was pretty yucky stuff. These days I'm way better at cooking healthy and I love tofu when it's done right.

The best tasting food has to be when the guy cooks for me, though. Recently I had some great grilled chicken tacos, and this creative guy actually made his own taco shells by frying tortillas fresh! Yum. Cute guy and good tacos -- is there any better combination?

So... has anyone else cooked for a date? What are some things you like to make? (And no fair saying anything involving refrigerator biscuits -- I'm so against the overuse of those in HS cooking classes.)


Heather (who is now leaving the laptop in search of French bread and yummilicious cheese.)

Heather Davis is the author of
Never Cry Werewolf
Coming in April 2009 from HarperTeen


Simone Elkeles said...

I like cooking, but I hate cleaning up! I did work at Subway one summer during college, and I know what BMT really stands for.

TinaFerraro said...

One of the ways my husband won my heart was through my stomach. He's a gourmet cook. In fact, he proposed over a skillet of his version of eggs benedict. That was 23 years ago this month.

Marley Gibson said...

Well, you know I'm a huge foodie, so I love this post. And Simone...the deal at our house is I cook, he cleans. It works out perfectly. LOL!!

The (Mis)Adventures of a Single City Chick said...

Unfortunately, I'm more used to dinners of the microwavable sort living alone and all. By the time I get home from work, the last thing I want is a bunch of food preparation. But, I do have a few dishes up my sleeves: risotto a la Milanese, chicken in wine sauce, tortellini alfredo with sauteed mushrooms, stroganoff, spicy asian noodles, spaghetti and homemade meatballs and a few various casseroles. Sadly, as you can see, most of these recipes are made from pasta and/or sauces. Not the healthiest, but oh, so yummy!

Dona Sarkar-Mishra said...

For those of you who know me know that I am a TERRIBLE cook and I don't enjoy anything in the kitchen at all (pouring hot fudge on a sundae however...that I can do!)

I do love to eat though so my husband and I are big restaurant-frequenters...our favorites are Chinese and Italian :)

Tera Lynn Childs said...

I don't cook as much as I should because sometimes it just seems like too much effort for one person. My recent cookbook additions are Japanese and Chinese, but I haven't had time to try any yet.

stephhale said...

I really love to cook, although I haven't quite mastered the grill yet. Which my husband can attest to after eating charred hot dogs tonight! :)

I had a boyfriend in high school cook me a steak dinner for my birthday because he was broke. It was really special. :)

stephhale said...

Oops, I forgot to say how sweet your hubby's proposal was Tina. 23 years is really something to be proud of. :)