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With knowledge accumulated from a life as a cook, handyman, fitness instructor, college professor, product designer, and radio talk show host, Eric is the voice behind TheBachelorGuy.com, the go-to resource for the latest info on gear, gadgets, grooming, food and drink... advice for guys who want to improve their lifestyle and gals who want to improve their guys.

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Cooking with The Bachelor Guy
by Eric Rogell, Cooking Guru

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“What’s your date dish?”

My buddy John asked me that over a couple of beers one night. Since I write the blog, TheBachelorGuy.com, I’m used to getting questions about what to cook for a date. (It's often accompanied by questions of what to wear, what wine to pour, and even what latest gear and gadgets to buy.)

A doctor's friends often ask, “Cam you take a look at this?” I get asked to design date night menus.

But John wasn’t asking for information. He was asking out of curiosity.

See, he has a theory that every guy has that one special dish he’s really good at, and it becomes the one he whips up whenever he’s cooking to impress a date. John had been taking an informal survey of his friends, and he wanted to know my special dish. (It's Chicken Milanese, but more on that below.)

The dishes ranged from laughingly simple (tuna melts), to just about anything grilled (the only place those guys were comfortable cooking), to dishes so high in fat, spice or with such high scores on the Messiness Scale, that they render any post-dinner activities impossible. Or unlikely.

And it got me thinking... Cooking a great dinner is the perfect way to impress a date, but a lot of rookie mistakes are made because no one ever gave us a guide to what makes a good date night menu.

So, because The Bachelor Guy always got your back, here are a few things to keep in mind when deciding what to make for that important dinner for two:

Think Cooperation
Whether or not she knows how to cook -— and especially if she doesn’t -- preparing a meal together can not only be fun and memorable, but it can be a great ice breaker. Start by talking about the food, give your date some simple tasks to do, and watch the conversation flow.

Think Light
You don’t want a big meal that will make her feel bloated and uncomfortable for the rest of the night. Watch not only which ingredients you choose, but portion sizes too.

Think “Lessen the Embarrassment”
Serving a meal heavy in garlic, onion or anything that will make her self conscious about her breath, is a bad idea. So is getting heavy handed with the spice. You might like the heat index up around Nuclear Meltdown, but making her sweat through dinner isn’t sexy. Neither is serving anything that requires her to use her fingers, or is generally drippy or goopy. (Sorry to use heavy technical cooking terms.)

Also, I can tell you from experience that women are leery about eating things that they are convinced will stick in their teeth -- foods like broccoli and corn on the cob. Best to leave those off a first date menu.

Think Outside the Box Lunch
Offer her something she may not ...    Continue

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