Sharing a romantic dinner for two, at home

LIFESTYLE

A popular way for busy couples to reconnect is a nice dinner out - but the expense can prevent some families from making the time for these occasions.

Budget-cooking blogger Kathrine Lynch suggests serving a really simple, but delicious date night dinner at home, to save on cost.

“See if you can send your children to the grandparents or a friend’s house to have some quality time with your partner,” she says. “We all have busy lives and finding that time to spend with your partner is important.”

You might like to peruse restaurant menus online for inspiration and to help you set a theme for the meal.

“The meal doesn't need to be complicated,” says Kathrine. “A simple meal using quality ingredients and basic cooking techniques, presented in a beautiful way, will make you feel like a chef.”

A go-to for Kathrine is a two-course meal of lamb and roast vegetable salad followed by homemade brownies served with berries and cream.

She suggests you set the scene with your table setting: fresh flowers and white serving platters create an elegant impression.

See what you can do to elevate the meal, without adding a lot of cost. “I add candied walnuts, feta cheese and a raspberry balsamic dressing to a basic lamb and roast vege salad,” says Kathrine. “Adding the extras has brought the dish to life.”

Buying a more expensive cut of meat can also be a treat, especially if you are usually on a strict budget.

Accompany your meal with a nice bottle of wine or make cocktails. For a simple and cost-effective cocktail, add some cranberry juice to a bottle of bubbly and add some in-season berries. Or add cranberry juice to a bottle of fizzy lemonade for a non-alcoholic option.

Kathrine likes to finish the meal with the humble brownie, made special with the addition of berries, sliced and arranged on a mound of whipped cream.

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