Sometimes the best way to fall in love again is with a home-cooked meal away from your home.
When it’s just two of you, endless nights of endless dinners for two just happen -- without plans, without calendars and without babysitters. Every night is date night pre-baby, no? But once that beautiful tiny creature enters the picture, spur-of-the-moment dates don’t happen so frequently (shocker, I know). Newfound parenthood consumes you in the best way possible, but taking the time to connect with your partner is more important than ever. It should be a time for you to leave your parent card at home and just be you. The two of you. Eating at a new restaurant is just about me and my fiancé’s favorite way to spend an evening (or morning, or afternoon for that matter) -- we did, after all, decide to go on our first date after a very in-depth conversation at a local bar about (what else?) the best cheeseburgers in the city. So when HowAboutWe asked us to try out their couples membership, I knew I wanted to take advantage of one of their food-related dates. Even though the offerings for tastings at hip under-the-radar restos kept luring us in, we loved the more imaginative options. I mean, who would normally think of for a date night revolving around couples acupuncture, glass blowing or a sweet shop tour? It wasn’t the easiest to decide on just one date, but we wanted something that involved dinner at the end, so we booked a cooking class with Home Cooking New York in SoHo. Pre-baby, our kitchen repertoire was limited to say the least. But slowly within that first year of motherhood, I formed a love for cooking one recipe at a time. My wonderful partner in life, on the other hand, has remained a happy diner, so bringing him into a classroom setting -- where he was forced to touch uncooked food and a chopping knife -- would be a huge step forward in mixing it up in the kitchen. I was also interested in learning a few tricks of the trade. Reading cookbooks is one thing, but learning from a trained professional is whole nother. Our night started out a little rocky -- our little guy decided to have a slight meltdown before we left. So in a back-and-forth, “should we stay or should we go” situation, we forgot to pick up the wine at our favorite local shop before hopping on the train. Luckily, there is a beautiful wine shop right down the block from from the school on Grand St. (do not listen to Google Maps, which led us about nine blocks out of our way on Broadway...in the slushy snow). Nothing was going to stop us from going on this date. Not the snowstorm, not the meltdown. There were aprons and wine glasses available upon arrival (the essentials), and after each student arrived -- there were 4 other couples in the class -- we worked our way backwards beginning at the chocolate mousse. Not a bad way to start. We learned how to properly separate an egg (did you know you actually crack it on its side, flat on the table, and not the edge of the table, as I’ve been doing my whole life?), how to make a homemade whipped cream (yes, please), and how to properly mix the mousse for a perfect texture (super slow). We then moved on to an airy goat cheese souffle, which ended up being surprisingly easy to make and a highlight of the meal. The main attraction was a juicy rib-eye -- which the chef was kind enough to cook well done for an expectant mama in the class -- with green beans and roasted potatoes. Although my fiancé wasn’t sure he’d be able to keep up, the class was actually perfect for beginners. Even for a more seasoned cook, it took the pressure off actually having a desirable meal at the end (this one was not only desirable, but restaurant-quality) and the chef was accommodating of all our questions. Sitting down for a family meal with the rest of the students, as well as the chef -- and Scott, of course -- was a beautiful way to end the evening. We left full and happy. After a successful first date booking through HowAboutWe, we can’t wait to go on our next adventure. I love that HowAboutWe has same-night date bookings because seriously, as many times as I’ve said we should do a cooking class or something else like it, the amount of time it actually takes to research where to go leaves about just enough time to order take-out and sit on the couch. And for those nights when your babe’s meltdown makes sitting on the couch the only date-night available, there are in-home date options too. There are even free date night perks you get just by signing up. I’ve yet to force Scott to crack an egg in our kitchen post class, but maybe if you comment below, he just might.* *Shortly after reading this Scott yelled “I make salad!” He does, he does, he makes a mean salad. Go on and give it a try! All Well Rounded NY readers can get $50 off their first date by clicking here (new members only, expires 5/31/14). Let us know how your dates go! This post was sponsored by HowAboutWe.