Third Date Checklist

Awhile back, I found myself extending an invitation for dinner at my place for the first time. Even though I've cooked for most of my life, I still found myself jittery, nervous, and clueless.

Crap. What do I cook for date night?

I tried to alleviate my unease with logic (I could see my date thinking: "He's Mr. Thirddatecooking... come on...") and soon realized I was mentally stepping through a checklist:

Days Before ask yourself these questions:
  • "Is she allergic or particularly dislike a food?"
  • "What is her preference on protein? Pork, Beef, Fish?"
  • "From our previous dates, what else do I know about her eating and food habits?"
  • Gather the necessities (olive oil, onions, garlic, cutting board, salt, pepper, and legitimate silverware/plates/napkins)

 Determining the Food:
  • Hors D'oeuvres - It doesn't have to be fancy. Pick a few items - hummus, fresh sourdough bread, fresh cheese, slices of cucumber, olives. Check out this tip of the day for more insight
  • Dinner - Pick a protein + two sides
  • Dessert - Optional (I'm not a dessert person, so you're on your own). If you're having trouble deciding, check out my poll on what my women readers think  
  • Drink - Bottle of wine (or two) and glass (not plastic) wine glasses
I'm partial to cooking beef or fish. For one, if you under cook beef or fish, you're usually fine. Under-cooking pork or chicken, leads to a bad night .  Fish is light and not too heavy.  You don't want both of you to be in a food coma later - for this reason, I usually avoid large pasta dishes.  For the sides, I usually include a  green vegetable (squash, broccoli, green beans) and either quinoa (extremely easy to cook), brown rice, or another vegetable (maybe something that's not green again). When you're planning your dish, think colorful (check out this tip of the day)

The Day of:
  • A clean kitchen and a clean bathroom are a must
  • Throw on some light background music to avoid awkward silences (I like to find a Pandora station on my phone so I can blame poor music choices on Pandora)
  • Real plates and glasses - no paper plates or plastic cups
  • Other items that couldn't hurt:
    • A lit candle in the bathroom. One on the kitchen table
    • Roommates gone from the apartment
    • Eat at the table NOT at the coffee table in front of the TV
    • Turn off the TV
    • Buy a few breakfast items for the next day (just in case)
  • *** Don't cook everything ahead of time, have the light appetizers ready (Astoundingly, 72% of my readers want you to cook in front of her)
  • Cook with her. Make her your sous chef. (Read more in this post)
  • Garnishes make you look like a professional (lemon wedges, freshly grated cheese)
  • And finally....relax. People have been cooking for years

For more help, check out these sections:


  1. Hi Matt!

    Check out my blog I have awarded you the Liebster award!

    :) Gertie

  2. Thanks for the love! I like your "17 guys to date" post... Better success if he can check more than one of those boxes? (though some combinations would be creepy...)


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.