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romantic al fresco dinner

ROMANTIC AL FRESCO DINNER FOR TWO

I don’t do “cookie cutter” parties.  So why would I want to plan a “cookie cutter” Romantic Al Fresco Dinner for Two?

The answer is, I wouldn’t!  I’ve read tons of articles touting 25 Ideas for a Romantic Evening.  50+ Great Ways to Be Romantic. Or even 100 Romantic Gifts to Give Your Hubby.  Whew, they make me tired just reading the titles!

I can’t help but think like a Lifestyle Diva.  When I plan a party, my creativity and personal touches are what makes them truly special. 

And that’s exactly how I want you to approach your Romantic Al Fresco Dinner for Two.

 

MAKE YOUR ROMANTIC AL FRESCO DINNER FOR TWO “PERSONAL”valentine's love tokens

Everything about romance between a couple is incredibly “personal”.

We share private jokes and form mutual habits and preferences throughout our relationships.  We share memories from the time we’ve spent together.  A couple can even start to think alike and finish each other’s sentences.  (I know H.H. and I do!)

Don’t forget to incorporate some items that you’ve brought home from your honeymoon or your travels too!  They make remembering so much more special!

These are the things I want you to “tap into” when planning your romantic evening at home.

(edited excerpt from Plan A Romantic Evening at Home – From Mood to Food)

Now let me tell you a little about the fabulously romantic menu I’ve dreamed up for your Romantic Al Fresco Dinner date.

 

GARLICY SNAILS FOR TWO

garlicy snails for two

Garlicy, buttery snails stuffed inside escargot shells and baked until piping hot and bubbly.  Serve Garlicy Snails for Two with crisp white wine and sop up the flavorful snail butter with crusty French bread.

I also shared both my recipes for GARLIC CONFIT AND GARLIC OIL and ROASTED GARLIC in this post.  I try to keep one or both of these in my refrigerator’s “pantry”.  They’re so handy to have at-the-ready.

CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE:  GARLICY SNAILS FOR TWO

 

DUCK BREAST WITH BALSAMIC CHERRY SAUCE

crispy duck breast with balsamic cherry sauce

Duck breasts pan-seared to a crispy finish and served with a fabulously fruity sauce.   My Duck Breast with Balsamic Cherry Sauce is absolutely perfect for a romantic al fresco dinner for two!

I’ll teach you how to pan-fry perfectly crispy duck breasts that are juicy and flavorful. And wait until you taste the Balsamic Cherry Sauce, it’s absolutely sublime.

This is one of the most fabulous Fall recipes I have in my arsenal.  I can honestly say this recipe helped make our evening one to remember!  The romantic ambiance, an outdoor venue, some wine, a candlelit dinner…  

Stay tuned.  I’ll be giving you some tips from my professional caterer’s toolkit to ensure a romantic repast for you and your sweetheart!

CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE:  CRISPY DUCK BREAST WITH BALSAMIC CHERRY SAUCE

 

MUSHROOM ISRAELI COUSCOUS PILAF

mushroom Israeli couscous pilaf

A incredibly flavorful side dish, Mushroom Israeli Couscous Pilaf is laced with portobello mushrooms & green onions.  Then we gild the lily by topping it with crispy scallion rings!

This dish comes together super fast as the couscous only needs about 10 minutes cooking time after the vegetables and grain are sautéed in the fat. 

Grain? Don’t worry I’ll explain.

CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE:  MUSHROOM ISRAELI COUSCOUS PILAF

 

ROASTED STONE FRUITS AND ICE CREAM IN PUFF PASTRY

roasted stone fruits and ice cream in puff pastry

Roasted Stone Fruits in Brown Sugar-Dark Rum Sauce is a fabulous topping for any dessert. But it’s absolutely fabulous when tucked inside puff pastry topping a big scoop of ice cream.

And that’s exactly how I serve my Roasted Stone Fruits and Ice Cream in Puff Pastry.  Isn’t that a gorgeous dessert?

Maybe you can share and feed it to each other?  Or not…  When I asked my hubby, he said he wanted his own dessert, and I could keep my fork to myself.  So much for romance after 40 years of marriage!  (No worries, there was plenty of romance!)

CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE:  ROASTED STONE FRUITS AND ICE CREAM IN PUFF PASTRY

 

ROMANTIC AL FRESCO DINNER FOR TWO – Printable Grocery List

romantic al fresco dinner for two grocery listTo make this evening easier to plan, I’ve created a printable Romantic Al Fresco Dinner for Two Grocery List. 

It contains all the ingredients you’ll need to prepare this delicious meal, from start to finish.  

Just download the PDF and print out a copy to take to the store with you. Keep it in a folder with the printable recipe cards and you’ll stay nice and organized.

Don’t forget to check your refrigerator and pantry for staples like kosher salt and olive oil before shopping!  It’s never a good thing to reach for a staple and the jar or bottle is just about empty.

I’ll tell you how to get your own copy at the bottom of this post.

 

 

 

TIPS FOR FABULOUS AL FRESCO DINING

romantic al fresco dinner for two

Here’s a few professional catering tips for making your al fresco dining a bit more fabulous: 

  • Chill your candles for 6 hours before using; set them in place no earlier than 1 hour before lighting (you can preset your table with the empty votive holders/candle sticks)
  • A few days before your date night, freeze some citrus fruits in an ice cube tray for a pretty carafe of ice water for your table
  • Use a large tablecloth/blanket or large piece of fabric to “enclose” an open space to make it cozier (see the feature image at the top of this post; I used the deck railing as a support)
  • Use a combination of fresh and artificial greenery and florals to warm up your dining area
  • Don’t set your table too far in advance, you’ll be surprised at how much “stuff” can land on your plates and in your glassware
  • Wrap your chilled bottle of wine in a large napkin or towel and keep it on ice while dining; your bottle will stay much colder, longer
  • Pre-scoop your ice cream at least 24 hours before assembling desserts.  Keep them on a plate, tightly covered in the freezer.  Your scoops will be rock-hard for assembly so they’ll stand up to the heat of the evening!

 

HOW TO PLAN A ROMANTIC EVENING AT HOME – FROM MOOD TO FOOD

romantic al fresco dinner for two

I’ve written an entire post detailing exactly How to Plan a Romantic Evening at Home and give you lots of great tips on how to make it extra-special. 

I’ve also included some FABULOUSLY ROMANTIC PRINTABLES, like an Invitation for a Romantic Evening at Home,  a little “game” to play mid-evening, and even some “LOVE TOKENS” to give as a surprise gift for your sweetheart.

When combined with this fabulous menu, I can assure you, it will culminate in a magical evening.  Just ask the hubby!

CLICK HERE TO READ THE  ENTIRE POST:

Plan A Romantic Evening at Home – From Mood to Food

 

WHAT ELSE DO YOU NEED FOR A ROMANTIC AL FRESCO DINNER FOR TWO?

romantic al fresco dinner for two

Just you and your sweetheart!  I’ve given you some “personally”  fabulous ideas to create a romantic evening at home that means something special to you both.

No “cookie cutter” date night for you!  Yours will be filled with personal touches, love and plenty of creativity, making it especially romantic for you both.

Now go forth and create your own romantic evening love nest and set yourself up for a spicy success!

 

HERE’S SOME MORE ROMANTIC RECIPES!

chocolate dipped glitter heart cake in valentine's mugWhite Chocolate Dalmatian Mousse

 

Salmon Dill Mousse

 

Mocha Hazelnut Specialty Coffee

 

Pink Panna Cotta with White Chocolate and Cherries + Valentine’s “Love Tokens” PDF

 

Chilled Mussels in Tangy Vinaigrette

 

Chocolate Dipped Glitter Hearts

 

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