How to Plan a Romantic Dinner: Quarantine Style

This month, my husband and I celebrated 6 years of marriage. Ordinarily, we would go out somewhere to celebrate: dinner & a movie, bowling & games, or a lounge with live music. But with Covid-19 on the rise and my adherence to a strict diet, we decided to celebrate in the comfort of our own home. It turned out to be the best anniversary yet! Here’s how I did it.

Decide on a Menu for Dinner

Two rules:

  1. Pick foods you really like.
  2. Make preparation as easy as possible.

I bought the Italian bread pre-sliced and the broccoli pre-cut. It may be a tad more expensive, but it makes the dinner more enjoyable when prep/cook time is 45 minutes vs. 2 hours.

I heated a few slices of the Italian bread in the oven for about 5 minutes. The herb mixture includes basil, parsley, oregano, thyme, rosemary, minced garlic, onion powder, garlic powder, a pinch of pepper and sea salt.

The hubs and I love crab cakes (Sam’s had a lb of jumbo lump crab meat for $18!), so this was a must on the menu. I followed this recipe from sallysbakingaddiction.com and the crab cakes came out divine! The salmon I cut into about 1 in. pieces, seasoned with sea salt, pepper and garlic powder and pan seared in a skillet (approx. 6 minutes per side).

I peeled and diced 2 russet potatoes and put them in the air fryer for about 20 minutes. I steamed the broccoli and sautéed the spinach in garlic and olive oil.

Set the Ambiance

When you pay for dinner at a restaurant, you’re not just paying for the food but rather the experience. So, it’s important to set a romantic ambiance at home. And the best part about it? You can do it on a budget!

First things first, get dressed! Even though you’re not leaving the house, getting dressed as if you are builds the excitement for the night. I put on my form fitting Fashion Nova dress, did my hair and makeup and sauntered into the dining room, y’all. And the hubby was all smiles!

Next, set the table. I purchased two plastic party tablecloths—one black & one white—while picking up the dinner ingredients from Kroger. I bought a white votive candle holder and a votive candle from Walmart. We already had a vase of faux flowers, so I took that from the shelf and placed it next to the candle. Finally, I used the best plates, cups, & silverware I had at home (although you can purchase nicer dining ware if you’re feeling real fancy!).

Other ways to set the ambiance: play romantic music and dim the lights so that the focal area is the dining room only.

Have a Heart to Heart

With satisfied bellies, we made our way to the patio. Here, we reflected on the past 6 years: reminisced on all the good times and all our blessings. But we also talked about the not so good things: things we want to improve. We cast a vision for our marriage and shared what we both desired to see in the future. Then, we turned up the volume on the music and danced in the middle of the living room!

Have you designed a romantic date during quarantine? Share what you did below!

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