You may have been dating a while now, or you may just want to turn up to your first date with a home baked offering to help ease the first impression to fully favourable. Either way, you want to make sure that the choices you make go down as intended.
First off, make sure there are no allergies or dietary requirements such as vegetarianism! No point making your famous peanut butter and chocolate brownies if your date has a fatal allergy to nuts.
The classic image here is of rural elegance balanced with a certain practicality. After all, at some point this food has to be lugged to your patch of grass. Once your blanket is spread and you are ready to chow down on your delectable lunch, you want the great reveal to be tasty looking and not pale sandwiches with jam smeared around the plastic they are encased in. Choose simple basics, good quality and bring wet wipes. Personal favourites would include: marinated olives, flatbreads or farls, humus and other dips (securely packaged!), crudités and a chunky salad with veggies, grains and beans. Lastly get the whole thing off to a flying start by going with a cheese and a selection of cold meats or quiche.
Okay, first things first. Make sure your house is clean. Nothing ruins the aura of a well-cooked homemade meal than a funk of mess! Once you have tidied and hovered, down to the menu. Choose something you can prepare the day before to give you time to fuss over other things on the night. It can be good to choose a theme such as Mexican, Spanish or Greek to keep you focused when finding recipes and putting together courses. Put thought into all aspects of the dinner, not just the food – tableware and setting, lighting and music all help to set the scene for a really lovely meal.
Now, this depends on your own baking ability and the occasion. If you want to present a basket of mini muffins Bree-from-Desperate-Housewives stylee as you walk through the door, this can be solved by just following the appropriate recipe to the letter. This is very important – baking is a science. Use measuring instruments and the specified ingredients to get it right and it will go off without a hitch. If you are looking to do a more impressively decorated cake, well…don’t aim higher than your abilities or it will go wrong. Stick to what you know, or practise beforehand to get a good result.