When you are single, it is often easier to grab takeout or make basic meals like macaroni and cheese or a sandwich instead of actually cooking. As the availability of gourmet food picked up continues to grow, we are finding more and more millennials who simply do not know how to cook. Once you start dating someone special, knowing how to cook for them is a skill you wish you had. Luckily, there are a few easy ways to fake it in the kitchen. Try out our four tricks for adding the wow factor.
Enhance the Classics
If you can make a killer box of macaroni and cheese – then go with that. Of course, there is nothing too spectacular about that dish. With a little magic – read: imagination – you can absolutely wow your partner with this classic dish. For example, add broccoli, sundried tomatoes, and tuna for a flavor-packed pot of yum. Another option is to saute steak, mushroom, onions, and peppers and add to the pot with some extra cheddar cheese for a Philly Cheesesteak Mac and Cheese that won’t be forgotten.
Use a Slow Cooker
If you were to Google “slow cooker recipes,” you would discover that just about everything imaginable can be cooked in one. The attraction to this gadget is that you simply dump in the ingredients and turn it on, then enjoy a delicious cooked meal some 6 to 8 hours later. From sauces and lasagna to casseroles and soups, and even a handful of desserts, you cannot go wrong when you learn to use a slow cooker.
Learn to Love Stir Fry
One foolproof entrée that is versatile is stir-fry. All you have to do is grab one of the frozen stir-fry veggie blends at your local grocery store and your favorite meat to start. Basic stir-fry involves using soy sauce and sesame oil to first cook up the meat (beef, chicken, or pork are the best options) and then adding your vegetables until they are cooked but still tender. You will find a variety of Asian sauces at your local store, including garlic teriyaki, orange sauce, sweet and sour sauce, and General Tso’s sauce. Serve over steamed rice and add some frozen-oven-baked spring rolls for a meal that satisfies better than takeout.
Stick with the Basics
Anyone – anyone – can cook up delicious chicken and vegetables for a meal. The two are healthy and easy to serve. For chicken, simply place it in a shallow pan with some white cooking wine and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. You can season this with lemon pepper season, top it with ham, Dijon, and Swiss for a cordon bleu style dish, or smear it with parmesan, mayonnaise, and breadcrumbs. For the vegetables, try tossing broccoli, cauliflower, or cabbage in the oven with olive oil, garlic, and parmesan cheese, or bake potato chunks with ranch dressing powder or onion soup mix.
Being a wiz in the kitchen starts with these basics that are sure to impress. Give them a try for your next at-home date night.