Dinner dates with a new love interest are certainly exciting, but as with all first or second dates, they can make you feel a little anxious. Even more so if you're the one issuing the invitation and planning the evening. Will your date like your choice of restaurant, will the atmosphere be too loud or distracting for you to spend quality time together, getting to know one another? Will your companion enjoy his or herself?
Whether you are with someone new, an old steady, or your darling spouse, the best "night out" you can plan might just be one that you prepare yourself at home. Whether the person doing the planning is the guy or the girl - planning a romantic dinner for two at home is a hot idea. And there are certain things you can do, and certain foods you can serve - we're talking aphrodisiacs - which can increase the chances of things becoming even hotter. We'll talk about those more specifically in a minute. But first, lets set the scene for romance.
When you cook for someone at home you can control the cuisine, the atmosphere and ambiance (temperature, lighting, decor, music), and the level of romance. In the home environment it's just the two of you. There's no risk of the evening's mood or enjoyment being dampened by bad food, poor service, or annoyingly loud chatter from the booth behind you. You have complete privacy and won't be distracted by serving staff coming and going or other diners. You can focus solely on each other and forget the outside world completely for a few hours. And in a private environment, you're able to go where ever the mood might take you, when ever it hits.
A quiet dinner for two at home can be very intimate.
If the guy is cooking for a woman, she feels pampered, intrigued, enchanted, taken care of, excited by the romantic nature of such an experience... and maybe even a little vulnerable because the man is in complete control while she passively sits back and waits to be catered to and waited on. There may be an element of suspense as she wonders what he will serve up or how well he cooks, and there may be an element of surprise when he does or serves the unexpected in his effort to impress her. Some very romantic marriage proposals have happened under these circumstances.
And when the woman cooks for her guy, she gets to demonstrate her domestic talents - something a woman's worth was traditionally measured by. She is able to show him that, not only is she easy on the eyes, and not only is she great to be around, she also knows how to take care of him. She knows how to treat him like a king and show him the art of living well through her culinary skills. What man wouldn't respond to this?
Cooking for another person can be incredibly romantic. It expresses a desire and effort to care for, nurture and please the other. It demonstrates thoughtfulness and a desire to give of one's self.
It can be a very sensual experience as well.
The type of food selected and the manner in which it is presented can set the stage for a more an even more sensual experience - which is something the person preparing the food might have in mind for later...
The definition of an aphrodisiac is a food, plant, or scent that that inspires romantic notions, polite way of saying: stimulates or increases sexual libido. There are many natural foods that are said to be aphrodisiacs, dating back to ancient folklore, and you might be surprised when you learn what they are. Whether or not there is any physiological truth to these claims is strongly debated - as of yet, there have never been any scientific studies that have definitively proven the effectiveness of any so-called aphrodisiacs. It's a very difficult thing to quantify, because the effects tend to vary from one individual to the next, therefore proving or disproving a food's aphrodisiac qualities has been challenging.
What we do know for certain is that just the fact that something is said to be an aphrodisiac tends to have a powerful impact on the mind for a lot of people. This is perhaps a purely psychological effect (in other words, if you believe it, it works), though it is possible that aphrodisiacs may indeed prompt the brain to release certain chemicals which stimulate the sexual organs.
Vegetables, fruits, nuts and grains are among the aphrodisiacs which come from plants. Certain fruits and vegetables have suggestive shapes which lend themselves to the imagination. Perhaps this is why they have the apparent effect of stimulating the libido and getting people "in the mood". Asparagus, cucumbers, and artichokes are included among the vegetables people have been known to eat throughout the ages in the belief that they hold special sexual properties, as hinted at by their appearances. If you are conspiring to prepare an aphrodisiac dinner, including nicely prepared asparagus spears or artichoke is a good idea. Asparagus is a phallic symbol. On a sub-conscious, if not conscious level in some people, asparagus spurs thoughts of the make sex organ. Artichoke, on the other hand, has a sensuous, fleshy texture when cooked, that also spurs some to think about lovemaking.
Bananas, pears, and pomegranates are fruit which are popularly thought of as aphrodisiacs. Again, this is quite likely due to thoughts spurred by their shape and physical appearance, although bananas do also contain chelating minerals and the enzyme bromelain which are compounds that are purported to improve male libido, though not proven. These fruits can quite nicely be worked into an aphrodisiac dinner as garnish, or better yet, as dessert.
Peaches are a seductive fruit because of their shape and the texture of the fleshy inner fruit. Some people claim that peaches increase their sexual libido, and the jury is still out as to whether this is purely a psychological effect or if it is because of the high doses of vitamins, nutrients and minerals present in the fruit which contributes to the body's overall good health and energy. Again, serve them as part of the main course, or offer peach pieces up as dessert, perhaps with whipped cream, or marinated in liqueur.
As far as nuts go, gingko nuts are considered aphrodisiacs possibly because Ginko does increase blood circulation to extremities of the body and that would help to increase libido. And when it comes to grains, a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast could have an impressive effect by bed time - oats encourage the release of testosterone in both males and females, which helps increase libido.
Herbs and spices not only spice up your food but also your love life. Basil, cardamon, clove, garlic, ginger, ginseng, pepper, and saw palmetto are all said to be good for getting one's motor running.
When planning an aphrodisiac dinner, asparagus is a top choice for a menu item because it is a phallic symbol, as well as being an elegant and delicious accompaniment to the main dish, as mentioned earlier. But in addition to that, there may actually be a biological reason for its effects. Asparagus contains the two major "sex vitamins" - vitamins D and E. Vitamin D helps promote hormone production, while vitamin E helps increase the blood being pumped into the sex organs. Other nutrients in asparagus increase vitality and help give the body energy. Asparagus has been considered an aphrodisiac from ancient times until the present because of its phallic appearance. It's texture, when cooked, also inspires thoughts of a sexual nature. When prepared using a good recipe, asparagus is truly delicious and also looks rather elegant when presented on the plate - perfect for that romantic dinner date - which is probably why it's often served at upscale restaurants.
Other foods rich in the sex vitamins are eggs and sunflower seeds. Consider quiche for a light romantic dinner or for an afternoon interlude, along with a fresh salad sprinkled with sunflower seeds. (Click here for an easy quiche recipe). Add a little red wine and see what unfolds...
Chiles and spices help the body to produce endorphins, which are mood elevating hormones that naturally exist in the body. Another food which increases endorphins is chocolate - it's no coincidence that chocolate happens to be widely thought of as an aphrodisiac, and that it's traditionally given by a man to a woman as a romantic gesture during courtship. Show up at her door, or if you are married, come home after work with a a bottle of champagne, a dozen roses (or even just one), and a box of sinfully decadent chocolates, and you can almost be assured of getting a romantic reception in return.
Oysters and caviar are well known aphrodisiacs, especially for men. The same can be said of peeled shrimp (not the breaded type) and lobster. The smell of these seafood products is quite similar to the female pheromone, and their high levels of zinc promote the production of testosterone, which is a hormone directly related to levels of sexual desire. Because testosterone is produced in the female body as well, albeit in smaller quantities, these seafoods may also raise the level of romantic interest in women as well. If you are planning an aphrodisiac dinner, including these on the menu while sipping champagne in the warm glow of candlelight is very likely to help inspire a sexy mood.
Foods do not necessarily have to have a physiological effect on the body to be considered aphrodisiacs. Delicious and fragrant aromas can put people in a favorable mood and make them feel comfortable, contented, and very relaxed, which in turn enhances the likelihood of a romantic encounter.
Be sure to use your own imagination and creativity when planning foods to help create an aphrodisiac effect for a romantic evening for two. Some foods are sensuous by their very nature. Grapes and whipped cream or champagne, strawberries (dipped in chocolate or not, and served with champagne or not), artichokes with hollandaise sauce, olives because of their texture, or whole pickles because of their suggestive shape are just a few ideas.
When planning a romantic aphrodisiac dinner, don't stop at food when setting the mood. Think soft lighting and sexy music. Dine by candle light, or turn the dimmer switch for the chandelier down low. No bright lighting, and definitely no florescent lights. When the whether chills, light the fireplace if you have one. Set the radio to a light jazz station, or pop in a CD of favorite tunes that get your groove on.
Make sure to dress for your aphrodisiac dinner date, too. Just because you're dining at home doesn't mean that you shouldn't put on something special including great jewelry, amazing perfume or cologne, a suit and tie (if you're a guy), or sexy high heals for you ladies. Remember, it's a date, so dress the part!
Engage in some stimulating conversation, and be flirtatious! You want to ensure that you'll both really enjoy spending this time together. Whether you are dining together for the first time ever, or for the four-thousandth time, think "date" and conduct yourself accordingly!
Plan in your mind for some interesting, invigorating, and fun topics you can converse about. It doesn't matter if you've been together forever - find a fun and flirtatious way of interacting with one another. For example, ask your dinner partner to tell you something about themselves that you don't already know - some obscure little detail that's never come up before - and then you do the same. Then go where ever this conversation takes you. Or "interivew" your partner about all sorts of little things you've never bothered to ask them. Ask provocative but non-threatening questions like, " Who was the first person you ever kissed, and what was it like?" or "Do you remember the first crush you ever had - tell me about it". As they offer tidbits of information, more questions are likely to come to your mind, so ask them. Then, after you've exhausted that particular thread of discussion, let your dinner companion put the same question back to you, or another question of their own choosing. You'll be delighted by everything you'll learn about the person you're with, and how much fun you'll have in the process of re-discovering them, regardless of how intimately you believe you already know them.
And one last thing - why not put a little creativity into how you extend your dinner invitation to the object of your affection, especially if it's someone you've been with for a while and there isn't the natural excitement of a new romance. For example, if you're planning to treat your husband to a special romantic dinner on Friday night, why not surprise him by placing a note in his lunch bag that says something like, "Meet me for dinner at six in the dining room. You bring the wine - and your appetite. I'll do the rest. XOXOX. PS: Wear that cologne I love". You can be sure all his thoughts will be on you for the rest of the afternoon. Or send him an email from the other room when the two of you are home on a Saturday. Put the words "An Invitation" in the subject line. Then have a little fun with it. For example:
Being in private, couples often feel more at ease to be themselves - and to go where ever the mood might eventually lead.
And as one final plus you've got working in your favor, dinner for two at home allows both people to enjoy as much wine or champagne with their meal as they'd care to indulge in, with no concerns about pacing themselves for the drive home. This, of course, heightens the potential for both people to fully unwind and relax, (and enhances the probability of a romantic encounter) which makes for a very pleasant evening at the very least... and who knows what else?
~ By the Editors of CreativeHomeStyle.com
Have you planned an aphrodisiac dinner date at home? Share your recipes or menu suggestions. Did you incorporate special touches that made the evening even better? Tell us - If we use your ideas, we'll send you are romantic gift for the home (you can share it with someone special!).
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