Valentine’s Day Date Inspiration: Romantic Dinner At Home

Cooking as a couple is fun, sexy, and super rewarding. This Valentine’s Day, why not skip the expensive restaurant reservation, roll up your sleeves, and spend some quality time together in the kitchen? After the jump, what you’ll need for the perfect romantic dinner at home. 1. A Cute Apron: I like to have my boyfriend wear one too, but, you know, whatever floats your boat. [$35, Etsy]

2. Candles: A couple tall candles are romantic; a room full of tea lights is even better. [$7 (for set of 12), Crate&Barrel]

3. A Great Recipe: There are a few ways to go here. Two people in the kitchen means you can try to tackle a new recipe, something a bit challenging; or you can work together on something simple and focus on flirting instead. One of you could teach the other a favorite family recipe, or you could buy a new cookbook and look through it together the week before. This might be my Italian side talking, but you really can’t go wrong with a simple pasta and red sauce. [“Mastering The Art of French Cooking,” $40, Powell’s]

4. Good Music: Personally I like classic rock/pop that encourages quick dance party breaks and pretending-the-spatula-is-a-microphone karaoke sessions (“Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Raspberry Beret,” please!), but you can always go for classic sexy jams (hello, Barry White!), or a mix of your current favorite artists.

5. Wine: Champagne is customary, but if you’re cooking a rich meal, you can’t beat a nice red. Save the bubbly for after dinner. [Pinot Noir, $19, Erath]

6. Flowers: Always. [Dozen Rainbow Roses, $40, Kabloom]

7. Beautiful Chocolates: Whether or not you’re making dessert, it’s nice to have some pretty sweets around the kitchen. [Heart-Shaped Chocolate Box, $42, La Maison Du Chocolat]