Cooking to impress a date has long been a courting ritual. Choosing just the right dish, although sometimes stressful, is the easy part. Cooking it to perfection…that’s the challenging part! You want it to be tasty, beautiful and show off your culinary talents. You want it to be memorable.

This doesn’t mean learning how to make escargot or practicing days ahead of time to perfect cherries jubilee. Save yourself the singed eyebrows and stick to what you know. Keep it simple. Simple is the new elegant.

Rather than trying to make something fancy, focus on making something basic and give it a makeover. It’s the small finishing touches that upscale a recipe.

If burritos are your go-to recipe, stick to it. Grab some homemade flour tortillas from a nearby Mexican restaurant. There’s nothing like warm, homemade tortillas! Swing by your local farmers market and pick up some fresh cilantro and some juicy yellow and red heirloom tomatoes to add to your fixings. Abracadabra! You’ve just up scaled your old burrito recipe into a feast for the eyes and taste buds.

Add these fabulous dishes to your date night recipe box.

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A simple flatbread can be transformed into an elegant appetizer. Kickoff your date night meal with a tasty Chicken Veggie Flatbread.

Bring on the bruschetta! You can’t go wrong with crispy, crunchy and creamy Cannellini Bruschetta.

Your date may be easy on the eyes and so is this Greek Salad. The presentation alone will have your date asking for more.

Quick and Easy Pasta Salad with tangy vinaigrette is a sure bet as a side dish for chicken or beef. Using multicolored pasta adds visual appeal to ordinary salads.

Pinching pennies and striving for elegance? This is the dish for you! This Quick Pad Thai made with ramen noodles will have you and your date reliving your old college days.

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Sandwiches for date night? Absolutely! It’s all about the bread and the condiments. Arugula Mayonnaise can turn a boring sandwich into a masterpiece for your palate.

Grill some salmon or a big juicy steak and top it off with a dollop of herb butter to make it pop. You’ve instantly gone from griller to chef.

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Turn this simple shortbread recipe into a cookie to remember. Rosemary Shortbread served with a glass of red wine after dinner will have your date marking this day on the calendar.

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