Cook the Meal, Keep the Girl

You already have the girl, but in our fast paced lives it is sometimes easy to forget what brought you together in the first place. When life gets ahead of us it is important to figure out some way to slow things down and take the time to revisit that connection.

Even though we have two kids that require our constant attention, there are still times that I feel that I need to do a little more to let my wife know that the guy that went out of his way to impress her on their fifth date is very much alive and well

The kitchen is my second home, figuratively speaking, since as a stay at home dad I’m also responsible for all meal planning and preparation in our household. I came about this role in the most dubious of ways – I set the bar too high for myself. This is a cautionary tale if there ever was one.

The fateful night that I invited my wife to my condo and prepared what I thought would be a simple, yet impressive, meal. We had barely made it through the appetizer when she informed me that she was never going to be able to cook for me. We’ve been together six years now and I can count the number of times she’s made dinner on one hand.

Still, I wouldn’t change things for the world and I thought I’d share a few ideas on some special things you can do in the kitchen that will impress.

These ideas are relatively budget friendly ways to create a nice meal at home even if you are pressed for time or not totally at home in the kitchen. Or, if you are a master of the Santoku, then I hope these will offer some inspiration or add to your repertoire.

Bring Morton’s to her

Very few things in this world are better than a well cooked steak. One of my favorite things to do for dinner to make it kind of a ‘date night’ is to put together a classic steakhouse dinner at home.

I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time paying forty dollars for a filet, regardless of the status of the global economy. For the same amount I would spend on just my meal at one of the name places I can put a high quality product on my table for both of us, and, when it comes to my wife, she’ll most likely have left overs to fashion into a nice salad for lunch the next day.

Recreate the first date

My wife and I don’t exchange gifts on birthdays or holidays, but we make it a point to celebrate things like the anniversary of our first date. The meal we had that night wasn’t terribly memorable, yet to this day I can tell you exactly what we had, especially the creme brulee we shared for dessert.

Last year, our fifth anniversary, I was determined to do something special for her. Knowing that she prefers something I make to going out I decided that I would do my best to recreate the spirit of the first meal we shared together.

Date night on a Sunday morning

One of our favorite indulgences in our house is the lazy Sunday morning. Days like this are the perfect opportunity to make the morning that date night you didn’t have the night before.

On these rare occasions you sometimes need something a little more than a bowl of cereal or a quickly tossed together plate of eggs, bacon and toast. Sometimes you need to do a little planning, some moderate prep work and wait patiently for your reward to be ready.

Create a holiday tradition

I hate Valentine’s Day with a passion. Still, despite my general disdain for this manufactured Hallmark holiday, my wife and I have chosen to celebrate the spirit of the day, not what it has become.

After that first meal I made for my wife she confessed that she would have been happy with tomato soup and grilled cheese when I said I’d be cooking for her. So, that is exactly what I did, and have done, for several years now on Valentine’s Day. We’ve taken a holiday that neither of us really care for and have created our own little tradition that suits us.

A better lunch on the go

Being a single income household we do everything we can to save money and that usually means my wife packs a lunch. In my role as family chef it is usually up to me to prepare her lunches for the coming week so it is as easy as possible for her to grab it and go each day before work.

My wife is creature of habit and can eat the same thing for lunch over and over again. However, we do have a rotation of things she likes me to prepare for her depending on the season. From soups to stews to salads there are always a variety of healthy options.

Sneak her a snack

Since it’s the little things that can make a big difference, preparing a snack is another great way to do something special if she is too strapped for time to sit and eat, but would love to have something healthy bring along. One of the best things I did for my wife both during and after her pregnancies was make her banana nut muffins.

They are simple to make, very versatile and keep well in the freezer for a week or two. Depending on how she was feeling she would have the muffins with some peanut butter and yogurt for a nutritious breakfast. Other times, especially when she was on second shift at work, she would take them along as a snack to avoid the vending machine temptations.

Over the past few years I’ve made these muffins a number of ways, including vegan.

So there you have it. Six different ideas on how you can use your skills in the kitchen to let the woman in your life know that she’s still important to you.

If you give this, or anything else here, a try we’d love for you to drop us a comment and tell us how you liked it, or what you did differently to suit your tastes.

Title photo credit: uberculture

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PJ Mullen is a stay at home dad, husband, amateur chef, craft beer enthusiast, prolific air drummer and the Stig in a minivan. Currently in between blogs, PJ has been littering the Internet with his drivel since 2006 when he started a account and blogged about a home renovation project. That proved to be a gateway drug to self-hosting where he went on to blog about football, his life as a stay at home dad and his culinary adventures. While he chooses a new domain to sully, he can be found here at Digital Dads writing about food and craft beer. He was a member of the Bumble Bee Foods "Bee Squad" from 2011 to 2012, contributed to Man of the House, was a member of the Shared Tastes Panel at Ready Set Eat, has worked with several brands including Sony, RedEnvelope, Conair, Lands End and Baby Brezza, and won the 2010 Perdue Verifiably Good Video Contest.

2 Responses to “Cook the Meal, Keep the Girl”

  1. sukhjit Says:

    It’s so true, sharing a meal with someone or cooking for them is so important. Great tips here.

  2. The true way to a woman’s heart — Real Men Drive Minivans Says:

    [...] To read the full article, swing on over to the full post at Digital Dads. [...]

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