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Tell Us Your Recipe for Romance

They say the way to a lover’s heart is through the stomach, and while that looks unappetizing in print, we know it’s true. Would your sweetheart be by your side if you’d plunked down a frozen burrito on your first let’s-do-dinner-at-my-place? Didn't think so.

Looking to sway cupid in the kitchen? We recommend this gorgeous Peppered Steak with Mushrooms, Seafood Risotto, Chicken Marengo or Romantic Rice Bowl, finished off with our ever-popular Flourless Chocolate Cake or Red Wine Strawberries and Cream. Warning: the aforementioned recipes could all lead to swooning — or spooning.

Peppered Steak with Mushrooms and Red Wine Pan Sauce

 

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Dark Chocolate Glaze Red Wine Strawberries and Cream

Tell us: Have you ever cooked for love? Did someone make you a meal so romantic it made your heart sing (and did it sing Al Green)? What did you cook to win the love of your life — or the love of last month?

Let us know in the comments below by Wednesday, February 13. One winner will be chosen at random to receive a $100 Whole Foods Market® gift card. Use it to buy the ingredients for your next luscious feast! UPDATE: Thank you to everyone that entered. Congratulations to our randomly chosen winner, Rachelle W. from Oakland!

The fine print: No purchase necessary. Promotion ends February 13, 2013, 11:59 PM CDT. Must be a legal resident of the US or Canada (except in Quebec, where it is void) age 18 or older to participate. Taxes on prize, if applicable, are the responsibility of the winner. Employees of Whole Foods Market, Inc., are not eligible. Void where prohibited.

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841 comments

Comments

Erica says …

The first thing my now husband cooked for me was "you won't be single for long" pasta from a Rachael Ray cookbook. And it worked!

Brooke Cordray says …

I made my sweetheart stuffed Cornish game hens. He said 'I can't eat all that!' By the end he was sucking the meat of the bones. I made it with the intentions of winning his heart- it worked!!!

Megan Orvold says …

I made homemade chicken fettucini alfredo with broccoli and mushrooms for our first date and some chai cupcakes!!! so yummy :-)

Hay says …

One of the first meals my boyfriend made me, that easily helped me "fall in love" was a mildly seasoned steak, baked sweet potato "fries" and parmesan asparagus. It showed me he was both health conscious and a skilled cook. He's been making me great dishes ever since!

Melissa says …

I LOVE food my family. And another thing I LOVE is quality ingredients from my favorite store. I made a Frozen Grand Marnier Torte with Dark Chocolate Crust and Spiced Cranberries for Thanksgiving to show my gratitude for my family. It was fantastic. I always love making my husband breakfast in bed which usually consists of almond crusted french toast.

Jessica Z. says …

About five years ago was the first time I cooked for my husband (then boyfriend). I told him I was making spaghetti and meatballs, and he didn't seem very excited. I nervously watched him take a bite of my turkey meatball, and I was so relieved when he exclaimed "I like it!!!" Little did I know, he never liked meatballs before, but he loved the way i made them. Over the next few months, we cooked all of our meals together and our love of food (and each other) has only gotten stronger!

Christine says …

Carmel apple pie with homemade cinnamon ice cream - my mom won over my dad with it and passed the recipe on to me. My husband loves it!

Jen Killeen says …

I was listening to a morning talk show host talk about how his girlfriend (now wife) made him a special dinner. The recipe was featured in Glamour Magzine and is called Engagement Chicken. I had been dating my boyfriend for a couple of months and thought what the heck. I had not cooked a meal for him yet and thought it would be nice to spend the night in with a home cooked meal. The recipe is for a whole chicken. I had never cooked a whole bird before but followed the directions line by line. When the chicken was done I went to carve and serve it and noticed there seemed to be no breast meat. I was starting to sweat. My new boyfriend sitting at a beautiful table setting and this bird I made appears to have no meat on it. I let him in on the problem I was having. He took the knife and fork in his hands and started to probe at the chicken. He looked at me and just started laughing. I had cooked and served the chicken upside down! Well I guess no matter how you cook it....it works. Now it is almost 8 years later, one wedding and one beautiful daughter. I have never attempted to make that chicken again.

Kendra says …

I cooked a big pot of red beans with jalapeno corn bread. Yum!

Krystal says …

I make my home made red tomato sauce with lots of fresh basil and garlic and peppers... all of those fresh ingredients, and the time and love that go into preparing it works every time <3

Melissa says …

Creme brûlée!

Monica Istvan says …

he's liked pretty much everything I've made for him! <3 I'll go with #GF waffles ;-)

Kim says …

Cookies! I was the English major who preferred to bake in the sorority house kitchen. Nothing could keep me away from the big oven and giant cookie pans. My beau was struggling away at the Naval Academy, so I baked and shipped him a little happiness. We're now married for 20 years with 13-year old twins and my gourmet cookie business turns 9 this spring. (My must-have from Whole Foods is their Hermit bar.)

Ai says …

Two my husband's favorite: Chicken Masara and chocolate covered banana and strawberries!

Josh H says …

I Iove to cook and I thoroughly enjoy shopping at whole foods. I would make Canard à l'Orange with lobster mashed potatoes and a mixed green salad serve with a lemon vineagrette. For dessert, I a vanilla crème brûlée.

Carla says …

My husband knew I was marriage material when he learned that I can cook pinto beans better than almost all Mexican restaurants!! And I'm Asian!!! We also share a mutual love for hatch green and red chiles...

Kara Fitzsimmons says …

On our first dinner date, I wanted to impress my guy with a home-cooked meal. The major problem: I didn't really know how to cook! We stopped at the local store for ingredients and got home to start cooking. With the tomato sauce was warm and the noodles boiled, I dropped the first plate of food right on the white rug, the white tile, and the white cat! We washed the cat, he taught me how to bleach a rug, salvaged some pasta and were engaged a few weeks later. That was twelve years ago!

Brad says …

Funny she was just talking about this. Apparently I cooked Mac and cheese but I made it so spicy she couldn't eat it. Good thing she stuck around for my second meal, gnocchi.

Thabershaw says …

I made her espresso rubbed rib-eye. Made the rub myself. We are now married and just had a beautiful baby girl last week.

Frank Jordan says …

My wife and I were dating 2002. I decided to cook her a Romantic Dinner. My famous (only to myself) Ham and Cheese Noodle Casserole. I had candles the whole sha-bang. We had dinner it went really well. Fast forward to 6 months after we were married. She wasn't feeling well so I offered to cook her my FAMOUS HAM CASSEROLE.. She said ...and I quote.... PLEASE GOD DON'T NO THANK YOU!!! She told me she thought it was a very romantic dinner when we dated and very sweet but she nearly choked to death it was so dry. I died laughing and finally told her I felt the same way about her Salmon Stew she cooked me. I swallowed it whole to keep from tasting it. We died laughing and promised each other to tell one another what we liked and didn't like for now own.

Laura says …

I made my (now) husband bacon roses for Valentine's Day last year. Definitely was memorable!!! He loved them, of course

NMPatricia says …

I created a whole chocolate "dinner" one time. But I made the chocolate desserts - chocolate pudding, chocolate cookies. I did buy the candy - but it was local. We then had local wine. I set up "dinner" in front of the fireplace and we had a romantic dinner. Since my husband and I eat our big meal at noon, this was basically a small meal, but very romantic.

VN Felix says …

I didn't know my fella was testing me in preparation for a marriage proposal. We had only known each other for a short time but we were crazy in love. He just knew that he couldn't live out the rest of his life with a woman who didn't make decent red chile (we're talking NM-style chile sauce, not Texas-style chili). I actually had never made chile, though I enjoyed it, but I had illustrated a cookbook on authentic homestyle New Mexico cooking. That's what I used when given one hour to produce a bowl of red chile. I ran over to Whole Foods to find the hottest and reddest chile powder they had to impress my boyfriend, whom I knew cared about such things (good powder is essential). I followed the directions -- I'm good at that -- and we were married a week later.

Lucien Walsh says …

What did I cook to win my wife over? I chuckle to think about it now...I was 24 years old, loved good food, but was in what might charitably be called an embryonic stage of culinary common sense. I wanted to do something luxurious and impressive, but I didn't want to overreach. I decided on filet mignon au poivre, which seemed idiot proof yet impressive; until I got home and realized I had no way of cracking the peppercorns (my investment in a real pepper grinder became an instant top priority, but it was too late that day). So there I was, out on the stoop, with a dish towel full of peppercorns, whacking away at them with a hammer. For dessert I did my mother's orange salad- Navel oranges, peeled and chopped, then doused in 2 cups of flaming Cointreau and a couple tablespoons of sugar. I'd watched her flame the liquor dozens of times growing up, so I was pretty confident I could do it without setting myself on fire. In the end, my girlfriend arrived early, helped me finish pulverizing the peppers and was wowed by the orange fireworks. We drank some random California zinfandel and had a great evening...her birthday, actually. It was the first time we cooked together. So actually in the end you could say we've been cooking together ever since. That was 18 years ago Sunday!

Betsy says …

For Valentine's Day I'm making my husband his favorite - seafood paella, homemade bread, and a green salad.

Hillary says …

I grew up in the kitchen. My mother was the pastry chef for a local restaurant, my father a culinary connoisseur. For most of my life the kitchen was no contest for me, but when I met my current boyfriend, he gave me a run for my money. But the one thing he didn't really like to work with was poultry. So I roasted him a chicken, the family way. Dry brined, tarragon butter under the skin, stuffed with a lemon and an onion. Simple, creative, classic, comfortable, and calming (at least for me). He almost fell off his chair at that first bite. And to see that smile, a grin filled with love and pleasure, that was love.

HTBaking says …

My husband and I began dating at the same time I began a culinary program at BU. The first meal I made him was arctic char En papillote which we learned was a very romantic meal because you cut the parchment in the shape of a heart! It is one of the simplest meals to make and had a tremendous wow factor. He still talks about it and the dish has become a fond memory for both of us. I will be making it this year for sure :)

Alexandra Scratch says …

My man loves crème brûlée, so I found an elegant recipe that used whole vanilla beans and real vanilla sugar to make an excellent dessert. It was so good that we're still together to this day, almost three years later :)

Vanessa Ryan says …

I cook because not only is it my passion but as well as making other people happy. I love bringing joy to others day in many ways although my favorite is through food. I recently made a special dinner for my parents, just because. One of the side dishes was Brussel Sprouts & Spinach with Cider Vinegar and Almonds. With a little sweetness from some pure maple syrup, their hearts were won over. They loved everything about the dish from the first bite to the very last scraping of the pan. Eating healthy is a very important part of our lifes, topping it off with a smile and a request for more really sends the "Love Meter" sky rocketing.

morgan says …

we're not too fancy, but i cook for love every morning - i stopped wearing makeup and blowdrying my hair in the mornings before work so i could lovingly send my darling out the door with a balanced breakfast to start his day... made possible by someone loving me so much that i don't need to spend a half hour beautifying anymore. happy valentines day, everyone!

Tonya Gunn says …

I haven't cooked anything in particular to win love because everything I cook is awesome, but I do make hearts in the lattes sometimes :-)

Mary M-M says …

I have always fixed my husband a chocolate cake with vanilla icing for his birthday. For his last birthday, I had just found out I was allergic to milk and eggs. I fixed it anyway for him. I didn't lick the spoon or eat any cake as I always did. This was definitely an act of love for him. (Now I know how to fix one for his next birthday that I can eat too.)

Chocolate = LOVE! says …

My husband cannot eat gluten, so when I want to show him how much I love him, I make a Chocolate Souffle with vanilla whipped cream. As a die hard chocolate lover, it is my favorite dessert as well. Decadent and easy to make in about 15 - 20 minutes. For extra special love, use all organic ingredients! 6 eggs separated, 1 c. sugar, 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar, 8 oz. semi sweet chocolate (chips), 1/2 C. butter. Whipped Cream, vanilla & powdered sugar for topping. In double boiler melt butter and chocolate, then set aside to cool. In separate bowl whip egg whites & cream of tartar until fluffy, add sugar slowly, then beat on high until stiff peaks form. Stir egg yolks quickly into melted chocolate when cooled. Slowly fold egg white mixture into chocolate, in parts until blended, but not too long. Coat large ramekins with butter and then dust inside with sugar. Spoon chocolate mixture into ramekins. Bake on Cookie Sheet at 325 for 18 - 20 minutes, or until Souffle rises. Serve immediately with Whipped Cream flavored with vanilla and powdered sugar to taste! Makes 6 servings. For a romantic dessert for 2, you can halve the recipe and it still makes 4 servings.

Dionne says …

Anytime anyone cooks for their family, friends or loved ones, it is made with love albeit a labor of love. Enjoying these special times with others always warms my heart.

Dee says …

I made a potato leek soup for the man who'd become my husband. We were living in NYC and didn't cook much, so this was a big leap for me. I wound up completely burning the potatoes, nearly set off the fire alarm, and had to scrape the burnt pieces off the bottom of the pot. I managed to get the soup pureed but as I was cutting the crusty loaf of bread I nearly sliced off the tip of my thumb with the large serrated bread knife. I spent the next three hours in the emergency room waiting area, thinking I needed a stitch, while the "love of my life" went back to the apartment and ate soup and bread. He said he picked off the bloody parts of the bread and picked out the burnt potato pieces. My cooking abilities have improved somewhat since then, thank goodness.

Rachelle Woods says …

Tiramisu. My own recipe developed over the course of ~5 years with my Italian step-father. Its the perfect combination of chocolate, coffee, cream (whipped & mascarpone), and cake without being too heavy. I'm sure that it was this recipe that sealed the deal for me!

J says …

The best romantic surprise for date night? Him planning a surprise dinner (filet mignon and grilled potatoes with a green salad--all of which he googled and youtube'd how to make, given his lack of culinary experience) and me planning a surprise dessert (fresh whipped cream with strawberries, blackberries, and homemade lady fingers), for the same night without telling each other. Great minds think alike!

Sarah says …

The first time I cooked for my boyfriend, I made him beef & cheddar meatballs... they later won over his mother too :)

Nick says …

One night my girlfriend wasn't feeling well. I told her to get comfortable on the couch and watch her favorite show while I began to cook coconut chicken curry soup. I was a little nervous because it was something i'd never made before but it turned out delicious!! I'm positive it's what made her feel better by the next day. Soup is the best medicine!

Janice says …

well, no I haven't (and maybe that's why I'm still single. Lol). Perhaps one day

Leyla M says …

I made dolma - vine leaves stuffed with lamb and rice-yummy!

jane theriault says …

i'm pretty sure the recipe that i cooked (and still cook!) that won my husband over was shepherd's pie. the most fun we've ever had cooking together was corn bisque with red peppers and bacon, though :)

Laura Micklich says …

On our first night in, I made my then-boyfriend now-fiance black bean and sweet potato enchiladas. I knew these were two of his favorite foods, and so it was perfect! We assembled the enchiladas together: the beans, the cut potatoes, the tomatoes, sauce and spices. Now he says he wants me to cook for him forever! The first meal he made me was grilled peanut butter, using whole wheat bread and coconut oil. He won my heart over too.

Jonathan says …

Nothing says romance like a big pot of homemade chili! It was extra-spicy...

Alfredo says …

I made her baked beer ribs with an addition of cabernet sauvignon to the sauce with curry rice. My key ingredient, lots of love in the process.

Amanda N. says …

This February, we are celebrating 6 great months! And I'd have to say that We've been smitten since we first met. But the moment when we knew we could spend the rest of our lives together was when I made a homemade spinach, acorn squash, carrot ginger and kale puréed stew when he had the flu. Along with handmade chicken lasagna roll-ups and spinach-garlic pesto for lunch since he was too sick to make his own meals.

Terry F. Madden says …

I made a thinly sliced veal cutlet in a lemon cream sauce with a Gruyere stuffed twice baked potato. It is a simple dish that requires pan frying a veal cutlet cut no thicker than 3/4 of an inch to brown on both sides. Remove the veal and wipe the grease out of the pan. Deglaze the pan with white wine and add shallots. Cook until soft then add heavy cream and lemon zest and put the veal back into the sauce and cook uncovered at medium for 10 minutes. Add fresh parsley after 10 minutes and serve. The potatoes are easy. Bake russets until tender. Scoop flesh and add Gruyere cheese, butter, salt, and pepper to the removed potato and mix together. Stuff the potatoes and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Leslie Gracz says …

Anything with love! Appetizer of figs stuffed with goat cheese; seared rosemary lamb chops with sides of fingerling potatoes and glazed baby carrots. For dessert, organic berries dipped in chocolate. No garlic in meal for the obvious!

Cathy Bradford says …

I believe I won my husbands love when I cooked my meatloaf! He is not hard to please so he usually compliments me on every meal

Ashton Christie says …

I made her favorite for her our 1st V-day together. I grilled Steak & Lobster, mushrooms, potatoes, & tomatoes. & then made a heart shaped vinegar pie for dessert.

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