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5 Tips to Make a Date Night in the Kitchen Successful

What is a better way to show someone you care than cook them a meal? Maybe you think you don’t have time or this is too much work but I am going to give you some tips to make this a lot easier than you think.

Just because I am a professional chef and expert in the kitchen does not mean everything always goes perfect. I have done hundreds and hundreds of meals and I have learned a few things to make sure you hit a grand slam and do not strike out. Here are my top 5 tips.

  1. Be a team: Having someone cook you a meal is nice, but making it a team effort can bring you together in a closer way. Experiencing the triumph of creating a delicious meal is a rewarding thing to do together!
  2. Have a great playlist. Whether it’s Manu Chao or Bruno Mars, be sure to have a playlist with music you can both get into, make sure it is not just for you!
  3. Don’t forget the wine. For most of you, this is a no-brainer. Just make sure you set the timer so you avoid any tipsy meal ruining moves.
  4. Keep it simple: Cooking is fun but the real fun will happen after the meal so be sure to use a recipe that is short and sweet like the one below.
  5. Buy dessert: Dessert is one of the most important parts of the meal on date night and buying it will most likely save you on time and money. Plus, unless you are a professional chef or avid baker, it will probably be more impressive.

Do you have tips to make a date night in the kitchen a success? Share your wisdom in the comments!

Here are a few super easy and healthy recipes that will be sure to impress your date! Buy as fresh as possible for best results.


Salmon Cakes


Recipe By: Chef Jessica Leibovich

Serving Size: 4-6 Preparation Time: 0:15

  • 1 pound salmon — preferably fresh and wild
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup panko — extra for coating
  • 1 each egg
  • 2 tablespoons red bell pepper — minced (about one side of a pepper)
  • 1/4 cup green onions — thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon old Bay Seafood seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • arugula or spinach
  • Scallion aioli

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place salmon on baking sheet lined with parchment. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast salmon whole for 10-12 minutes. Salmon should be undercooked.

Mix all remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl. When salmon is done roasting, remove tiny pin bones if necessary and take the skin off. Chop the salmon roughly and add to all other ingredients in mixing bowl. Using gloves and your hands makes this process easier. Mix well and form into 4-6 large patties. Lightly coat each salmon cake with panko.

Heat large skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. When pan is hot, add the salmon cakes without crowding the pan. Cook on each side about 4-5 minutes. Serve over arugula with scallion aioli.

Scallion Aioli

Recipe By : Chef Jessica Leibovich

Serving Size: 4-6 Preparation Time: 0:05

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger — finely minced
  • 1/2 cup scallions
  • 2 cloves garlic — minced
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh pepper

Mix all ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Serve as a dipping sauce.


Zucchini Rice Gratin


Recipe By:

Serving Size: 6 Preparation Time: 0:20

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 pounds zucchini — sliced thin
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds Roma tomatoes — sliced thin
  • 1 medium onion — halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves — minced
  • 2 large eggs — lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano — divided

Preheat oven to 400.

Steam brown rice separately with 1 cup of rice to 2 cups of filtered water. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in pan over low heat and caramelize onions slowly for about 30 minutes until golden brown.

While rice cooks, drizzle zucchini with 1 tablespoon oil, minced garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt on a baking pan lined with parchment. Toss tomatoes with 1/2 tablespoon oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt in another baking pan. Sprinkle both with fresh pepper.

Roast zucchini in upper third of oven and tomatoes in lower third, turning vegetables once halfway through roasting, until tender and light golden, about 10 minutes for tomatoes; 20 minutes for zucchini. Leave oven on.

Stir together onion mixture, cooked rice, eggs, thyme, 1/4 cup cheese, 1 tablespoon oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Spread half of rice mixture in a shallow 2-quart baking dish, then top with half of zucchini. Spread remaining rice mixture over zucchini, then top with remaining zucchini. Top with tomatoes and then sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese.

Bake in upper third of oven until set and golden brown, about 20 minutes.

About Jessica Leibovich (2 Articles)
Chef Jessica has been helping people heal their bodies through food for the past 15 years. She speaks to groups and individuals about how to implement changes in a way that is workable and effective while showing them how to prepare healthy food for themselves. Her services include a Detox Diet Delivery, Healthy Corporate Catering, Guest Speaking at Events, Nutrition Consulting, and Menu Planning.
Contact: Website

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