Posts Tagged First Date
In my house, food is love. It comes in abundance and without prejudice. Sometimes, it’s created to warm a heart, lift a spirit, or celebrate an achievement. On occasion, special dishes are developed to deliver sensual pleasures or tease and tempt. As Valentines Day approaches, I think it’s appropriate to pair food with love and let the story unfold.
Planting the Seeds
I do believe in love at first sight. It’s possible to feel a shock from the soul that is destined to walk alongside you, just as you first encounter it. Yet, love develops over time. It grows and changes in accordance with the circumstances it encounters. It doesn’t always survive, but it can flourish with proper care. To give love its best chance at survival, you start with good seeds, soil, and attention. Today, we’ll focus on preparing a meal that may remind you of the first time you cooked for your partner or help you prepare a romantic meal for your new love.
I don’t remember what I first cooked for my husband. I know our first real date was three months after we started seeing each other because our college schedules were so packed we couldn’t find time. However, when I think of cooking for someone the first time, I think about what the basic intentions are behind that meal.
I’m doing something special for you because I like you
I really want you to like this because I want you to like me
I want us to have fun because I like us
If we have to finish the dinner later, that’s ok
So we need something special, infallible, fun, and flirty. Is anyone else thinking Italian? Absolutely! Pasta is really hard to screw up. There are so many Italian flavors that elicit romance, bring in the comforts of home, and it can always be reheated if you were suddenly distracted.
So, here is a tantalizing dinner to plant the seeds of love or reignite an old flame. Keep in mind you want to keep your night stress free. If this recipe seems too complicated for your skill level, then look around for something easier and don’t worry about getting help from jars, boxes, mixes or whatever you can find. The important thing is to have the time, energy, and desire to spend the evening with the one you like….a lot.
Fresh Mozzarella Slices
Pick up a ball of fresh Mozzarella and slice it into 1/8” inch slices, reserving 4 for the main course. Serve on a small plate with a sprig of parsley.
Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Spaghetti in Vodka Sauce
- 2 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 4 Mozzarella slices 1/8” thick
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2” tsp basil
- ¼” tsp red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup panko Italian bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- ½ package of spaghetti
- Jar of good Vodka sauce or get directions to make your own here from Allrecipes.com.
Place chicken breasts between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound to a 1/8” thickness. (To be fair, I tend to give up somewhere between ¼” and 1/8”.) Brush one side of each chicken breast with olive oil. Salt and pepper. Sprinkle basil and arrange two pieces of mozzarella on each. Roll up tightly and secure with a toothpick or two. Dredge in flour, dip in egg, and finally cover with the panko bread crumbs. Bake in a greased baking pan at 375 for 40 mins.
Once chicken has been baking for 20 minutes, start water boiling for the spaghetti. Put the sauce in a saucepan on low and stir occasionally. Once the water is at a rolling boil, add the spaghetti and cook for 10-11 minutes. Drain well. Put the warmed sauce in a bowl and add the spaghetti.
Serve the chicken and spaghetti with bread, dipping oil, and your favorite easy to make salad.
Cheesecake or another favorite from a local bakery
Why stress over dessert when it will be an afterthought anyway?
Keep an eye out for my next post, which celebrates relationships that have graduated from the initial spark and moved into a comfortable sway, dancing slowly around the table.