Columbus’ Favorite Recipes for an At-Home Date Night

I’m sure we all can agree that this shelter in place has all been a lot more tough than we thought. I’ll be the first to admit that I had high hopes for what I would accomplish each day with home projects, this blog, etc. And here I am, two months later, finally writing another blog post. Trying to find a groove and balance has been really hard! Anyway, I know that restaurants are beginning to open back up, but it seems like some of you are still unsure about venturing out. And let’s be honest, we are all getting tired of cooking! However cooking can be a lot of fun if you turn it into a romantic date night! Here is a list of Columbus’ favorite recipes to cook together – contributed by the Columbus food blogging community and some of my followers.

“Bob and I love making homemade pasta. We recently made beet gnocchi which is super pretty too. We also love making pizza because we can use whatever sauces, cheeses, and toppings we have in the fridge to get creative.”
– Erin Vasciek, The Spiffy Cookie

Columbus date night recipes
Image credit: Erin Vasciek, The Spiffy Cookie

“This one (pantry pasta) is great and has all the pantry basics. Good for date night, quarantined or not!”
– Christina Musgrave, Tasting with Tina

Bacon and cheese fries with chocolate cake for dessert. Great for sharing!”
– Jennifer Osterholt, Plowing through Life

Columbus date night recipes
Image credit: Jennifer Osterholt, Plowing through Life

“Ours is beef tartare chilean style — I doubt it has mass appeal! Haha!”
– Bethia Woolf, Columbus Food Adventures
(I could not find a link to that specific recipe, but if raw meat is your thing, here’s an article from Bon Appetit with 15 recipes from around the world!)

“This (chicken tiki masala by Well Plated) plus Trader Joe’s frozen naan. It’s not difficult to make but you feel like you are eating take out, and it’s a little more exciting than something American.”
– Aileen, The Fernweh Guide

“We love the molten chocolate lava cake from Live Well Bake Often, because it’s decadent, chocolatey, delicious, and makes the perfect portion for two! Lava cake seems like a hard thing to make, but it’s really just gooey undercooked cake! This recipe is great for date night because so many recipes make extras and lava cakes don’t do very well as leftovers ”
– Jordan Posner, Midwest Foodfest

Bolognese sauce reminds us of our favorite trip to Italy, and there is something inherently sexy and romantic about eating pasta. Add a little red wine, a good crusty Italian loaf, and it just screams sexy date night to me.”
– Malini Swank, Lakes and Lattes

Columbus date night recipes
Image credit: Malini Swank, Lakes and Lattes

Make your own pizza night is one of my husband’s favorite kind of date nights – mine too. He doesn’t really like to cook, unless you count hot dogs and tuna melts cooking! I love to cook which is probably why we are a great match! I make the dough ahead of time and together we assemble tons of toppings while the dough is rising. We each create our own personal pie, I pour us a couple glasses of wine, put my Louis Prima album on the turntable (yes album and yes turntable!) and it’s a perfect night. It brings us back in time to one of our favorite little pizza places in NYC where we had one of our first dates. When it comes out of the oven, we sit back, relax, and enjoy our at home date with no crowds, no one else around, just us.”
– Sherri Glickstein, Splash of Sherri

Tips for Turning a Regular Meal into a Date Night

During quarantine it may be hard to separate life obligations from date night, so here are a few tips to make it more special:

  • Start the night off with some appetizers to munch on while you are cooking.
  • Play music that might lead to spontaneous dancing.
  • Make sure your favorite beverages are stocked and flowing.
  • Set the mood by setting the table and eating by candlelight.
  • Go technology free, hide the phones and computers (except what you are using to play the music).
  • Get to know each other on a deeper level by using conversation starters at dinner.
  • Dress up – no sweats or leggings allowed.
  • Take turns selecting and cooking for your partner.
  • Cook together after scoping out the best recipes.
  • Make one meal a week from a new recipe you’ve never tried.
  • Take your meal outdoors – to your backyard. Set up a picnic or a fancy dinner at the picnic table. If it’s warm enough, wait until dark and then enjoy your meal outside. Dinner by the stars and moon.
  • Switch it up and if you’re both working from home, have lunch together instead of dinner using any of the above ideas!
  • Get dinner almost ready then go walk around the neighborhood so it feels like you’re walking to a restaurant when you come back home.
  • Finish with dessert no matter what.


Need to brush up on your cooking skills? Check out this list of Where to Take Cooking Classes in Columbus

Feature image credit: Christina Musgrave, Tasting with Tina

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