Tuesday, February 11

{Link Lovin'} Dinner for Two

My love of cooking totally comes from husband, who was a far better cook than I when we met. We've always enjoyed a nice a dinner together with all the fixings.

With Valentine's Day coming up this friday, I wanted to share a few ideas and tips for planning a nice dinner for two.
1. Start with your budget. I've been caught off guard, and wound up spending a fortune, just marching into the grocery store recipes in-hand.
2. Do some research. Whether it's your newspaper circular or a mobile app (I use weekly ads for their Kroger specials), finding out what is on sale can be helpful if you need to keep cost down. 
3. After looking at a few on-sale choices, your ideas for dinner may start coming together. More research is always needed when it comes to deciding on recipes though. I have  a few cookbooks I stick with, a recipes bookmark folder on safari, my Pinterest board (indulge) and a couple trusted blogs I like to search. 

4. After I decide on an entree, I like to start thinking about my sides, usually vegetables and a starch. Starting with what's in season I like to pick two for a little variety on my plate.  (Maybe only one if I am going to do a more involved rice/risotto/pasta/bean/pea with it.) I also love dips and finger foods as a side; Especially ones that can be enjoyed before the meal (while you're cooking) and then along-side your entree too. 

5. Although salads aren't really my thing,  I do like to incorporate something green into every meal. This is more of a chore than a passion so I won't go on.  

6. Bread on the other hand, really is my thing. I have to have bread; Usually to munch on while dinner is cooking. I love simple no-knead recipes, rolls, and anything involving cheeses or herbs. 

7. Meals should be progressive; Start off easy, but end with a big bang. Dessert is the icing on the cake when it comes to a romantic dinner, so why not give it some serious thought? Milk and cookies can be just as sweet as delicate mini handmade pies, but both are fun to make together and enjoy hot out of the oven.

Links to all these beautiful recipes can be found by clicking their description in the caption of under the photos. I'll admit, I've been procrastinating this post because I felt like it was a tad unoriginal. Surely a million "romantic dinner" posts have been published by now. Truth be told, I love an excuse to share some of my favorite recipes - like those pork chops, carrots, and cookies!

I do hope you enjoy, and if you find yourself a bit bombarded with romance and dinners for two right now, just save this little post for later. Spring is right around the corner, and no doubt love with be back in the air.