Is the way to a man’s heat through his stomach? I’m not referring to what gets a man into your bed, I’m referring to what keeps him there once the sizzle begins to fizzle. What qualities differentiate the women you want to bed, and the woman you want to settle down with?

Julie Anne Rhodes by Glenn Lutchford The Face Magazine

Julie Anne Rhodes by Glenn Lutchford The Face Magazine

Is being a good cook one of the qualities men look for? I recently posted this query on my facebook page, and got some interesting responses from men and women alike:

Three out of four men replied enthusiastically “yes” with responses like “absolutely!!!” and “Oh yes … that and a few other things!” If that is the case…then presumably I would make a decent catch.

Man looking for love

Man looking for love

I took a deliberate 10 year hiatus from romance. I needed the time to grieve the death of someone I loved, give Tatjana the undivided attention she deserved when she was home from school, and focus on making a career and a new life for myself in LA. I’m back in the dating world again and I find it all rather baffling. In the last couple weeks I’ve been on two blind dates, and out on the town with crooner extraordinaire, Jimmy Demers.
Young he wondering if she can cook?

Young love…is he wondering if she can cook?

Bachelor #1, and I agreed to meet for drinks at a chic little French restaurant. Tall, very attractive, highly intelligent, and positively oozing charm…he obviously felt a similar attraction since drinks soon turned into dinner while conversation flowed, and I thoroughly enjoyed the evening …except he doesn’t appear to enjoy food much. He eats calories… just enough to sustain himself in fact. Not only is my career all about food, but I think of food as an incredibly sensual pleasure to be savored. Should that be a compatibility red flag? The way to this man’s heart is obviously not going to be through his stomach.

Bachelor #2 loved food a little too much. We met at an old school Italian restaurant. I love Italian food, and he assured me this was the best of the best… as he proceeded to order my entire dinner for me. He ordered a bowl of spaghetti in pesto sauce followed by tiramisu…nice, but kind of boring like he was.

And then there is my friend Jimmy… “Angel, when are you going to make dinner for me again?” were the first words out of his mouth when he picked me up. I always like cooking for Jimmy because not only does he love my creations, he literally sings for his dinner. Being serenaded is quite heavenly indeed… Hear Jimmy’s Version of “Over The Rainbow
Jimmy Demers and Julie Anne Rhodes

Jimmy Demers and Julie Anne Rhodes

Getting back to my facebook query…it was the women that replied negatively. I wonder…is it because they don’t like cooking, don’t have the time, or just can’t be bothered? Is Andy Rooney correct in his assessment when he said “For all those men who say, ‘Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?’ Here’s an update for you. Nowadays 80% of women are against marriage. Why? Because women realize it’s not worth buying an entire pig just to get a little sausage!”

I think the age old adage is just that. I think we all look for a lot more than just a good home cooked meal in a mate, but it sure can’t hurt. I know I love to be wined and dined (minus the wine these days) after a long day of cooking for clients, but I also love to fuss over the perfect meal for that someone special in my life when I’m in the mood.

Here’s a spicy little pasta dish for two that you can throw together in less than 30 minutes for a casual romantic evening in. Dim the lights, light some candles, slip the little black dress on, and some jazz playing softly in the background. Start the meal with roasted cherry tomatoes over fresh Bufala mozzarella drizzled with pesto sauce, and end with a balsamic strawberry sundae (recipe under desserts on my website).

Hot Italian Turkey Sausage & Broccolini Penne
Hot Italian Sausage & Broccolini Penne

Servings: 2

2 cups uncooked penne
1/2 pound (3 links) hot Italian pork or turkey sausage
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 pound broccolini, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 cup parmesan, grated
salt and pepper to taste

1). Cook penne according to package directions.

2). Meanwhile, sauté sausage in a nonstick skillet over medium heat, breaking up into little bits with the edge of a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 7 minutes. Drain on a plate covered in paper towel and tent with foil to keep warm.

3). In the same pan the sausage was cooked in, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, garlic, and red peppers, stirring for 30 seconds, add broccolini and cook, covered for 3-4 minutes until crisp-tender, stirring occasionally.

4). Pour broccolini over penne, add cooked sausage, 1/4 cup parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss well, and serve immediately.
Serving Suggestions: Roasted cherry tomatoes over fresh Buffala mozzarella drizzled with Pesto sauce to start, and balsamic strawberry sundae for dessert.
This post was first published October 1, 2009
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