As any couple with a two-year-old will tell you, it’s not always easy to find time for a romantic evening together. (Our current idea of “romance” is sharing a beer while watching American Idol.)
I decided to get us out of that romantic rut by planning a special meal at home that would be eaten in a very special place – the dining room. Or, as it’s called in our house, “that room we never, ever eat dinner in.” The theme of the meal and the table setting would be a romantic setting near and dear to our hearts, our honeymoon in Hawaii.
To help plan our romantic dinner at home, I drew inspiration from a beautiful book called “Seductive Tables For Two: Tablescapes, Picnics, and Recipes That Inspire Romance” by Moll Anderson. Moll is a lifestyle and romance expert who’s a genius when it comes to entertaining at home.
She’s got upcoming appearances on Access Hollywood and a radio show on XM Talk 168 every Saturday at 5:00 pm EST, so she definitely knows what she’s talking about when it comes to romance and “setting the mood.” (Feel free to follow her on Facebook and Twitter for all sorts of romantic tips and insight!)
I picked up our copy of Seductive Tables For Two at my local Books-a-Million. The book was conveniently located on a display near the front of the store along with a bunch of other romantic Valentine’s Day-themed reading material.
There are so many things that I love about Seductive Tables For Two. The pictures are incredible and the descriptions inspiring, but what’s really nice is that Moll offers ideas for all sorts of occasions – special ones, holiday celebrations, and even impromptu settings like picnics. She gives you table setting ideas, suggestions for little touches that bring the whole thing together, guides for casual and formal table settings, and stemware basics.
The book even includes a recipes-for-two section which includes ideas for everything from breakfast to desserts to beverages. She even throws in plenty of timesaving recipes and take-out tips so you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying your special meal with your loved one.
One of the lessons in Moll’s book is that every table should have a focal point. Our focal point – which captured the theme of our Hawaiian dinner perfectly – was a pineapple surrounded by hibiscus flowers. Yeah, they were fake hibiscus flowers, but I couldn’t find any hibiscus growing in our backyard on the cold East coast in January, so I did what I had to do.
When was the last time we ate dinner at a table with flowers on it? Hard to say, but we were about to! And yes, these flowers were real.
The table is ready! Yes, we were using real cloth napkins (not paper towels!) and we’d be drinking our beer (Coronas, of course) out of real beer glasses! I choose the parts of the table setting carefully: the sand-colored table runner, the bamboo styled plates, the hibiscus flowers, and the sea blue napkins.
With the table set, it was time to get to work on the meal. Borrowing another lesson from Moll (that a romantic meal doesn’t have to be something expensive or time intensive), I decided to prepare one of my husband’s favorite meals – hot dogs and fries – with a Hawaiian twist. That twist included the delicious Hawaiian Pineapple Salsa pictured below.
For the fries, I got a little “fancy” with some hand cut potato wedges tossed with salt, pepper, garlic powder and oregano and baked in the oven.
Dinner was done almost before I could say “Aloha!” (Actually, while the potatoes cooked, I reminisced by looking at pictures of our honeymoon in Honolulu.) Those things with flames shooting out of the tops are called candles. Apparently, some people light them during dinner, even when there’s no power outage.
So how was the dinner? Well, besides being romantic, the food was fantastic! All in all, it was a wonderful meal, and I owe a big thank you to Moll Anderson and her book for helping to bring it all together!
For more photos and details about my experience, check out my Google+ album!
I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias®. All opinions are my own. #cbias #SocialFabric #SeductiveTables