Creative Date Ideas…... At Home (or long distance)

Do you daydream about whether to pair an unoaked Chardonnay or a crisp Sauvignon Blanc with the creamy Camembert you picked up at the farmer's market? Is sharpening your chef's knife a personal form of meditation? Or, are you simply a food enthusiast who believes a good meal is the best salve for whatever ails you?

Let's face it, with our busy work schedules, social calendars, and community demands sometimes all you want to do is re-charge at home. But that doesn't mean we should neglect date nights and special occasions. Especially, when you can explore the world while elevating your culinary expertise all from the comfort of your own kitchen!

Picture in your mind's eye the end of a demanding workweek. You and your partner have been like ships passing in the night, catching up on logistics via texts. But now, the wine is decanted and breathing on the counter. You are both casually but adorably dressed - it is date night after all - and your computer is buzzing as a master chef is "calling" to start your personal Italian cooking class.

You debated whether to explore Sicily via the regional Caponata or dive into Milanese cuisine and try your hand at Rissoto and Osso Buco. Ultimately, you chose a lesson dedicated to the craft of Ravioli. Rolling supple dough between your fingers and filling it with luscious ricotta and tangy spinach simply won the top spot on the list of fun things to do at home.

Not only are you dazzled by your virtual instructor's encyclopedic knowledge of flavors and pasta folding techniques, but you are also charmed by their ability to explain things simply and make it fun too.

A Night to Remember

You feel transported out of time and place. Your shoulders relax and you look up just in time to catch a loving glance from your sweetie as you finish crimping another fluffy ravioli. And, after the lesson, you and your instructor toast the meal - in Italian! You take a bite and the acid of the tomato sauce, the sweetness of the ricotta, and the spice of the wine waltz across your palate.

You thought you were looking for innovative and fresh dinner date ideas, but what you now realize is that you've unlocked a secret. You can go on romantic mini-vacations through your computer screen at any time. And, these vacations are made real because you can taste and smell the unique hallmarks of that foreign locale.

Anniversaries, Birthdays, and More!

Food is family, food is community, and food is friendship. So, while an online cooking class with a master chef lends itself to romance, it is also a brilliant way to connect with geographically distant loved ones.

Maybe your best friend from college just successfully defended her dissertation and you want to do something special to mark the occasion. Or, maybe mom's birthday is coming up.

When contemplating things to do with a friend or at home birthday ideas, what could be better than treating your friends and family to a live lesson on how to prepare the perfect Thai curry?

Celebrate while assembling vegetable fritters and sipping an off-dry Riesling together over video chat. You may not be in the same kitchen, but when you are tasting the same flavors, inhaling the same fragrant spices, and learning the same lessons, it will feel like you are together.

Then, you can reminisce about your shared experience for years to come. Or, perhaps it will become a regular event! Next time, you'll roll strudel together or "visit" Spain and learn how to make an authentic Paella.

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