These are step-by-step instructions on how to impress your significant other with a simple meal. It is not only delicious to eat but is surprisingly unique and easy to make. Even if you frequently find yourself lost in the kitchen, this should lay out the process so that you can make a meal that will show the person you care about you are willing to do something nice for them that is out of your comfort level. It is not cheating; it is just that tasty yet simple.
This meal consists of the main course (Honey Mustard Chicken Curry, which is a sweet twist on the original India influenced Curry Chicken), the side dish (Fancy Green Beans which take frozen beans and doctors them up to be hearty and delicious), and a dessert (which takes brownies and transforms them to something special). After telling you how to prepare the entire meal we will also inform you on how to do a simple table setting to make sure the person you care about will know you put in "a lot" of effort to impress them. It is safe to assume that this not only impress your significant other but might create new opportunities for you to learn to love the art of cooking.
Step 1: Shopping for Ingredients
This is a list of all the ingredients you will need for preparing this entire meal. All of these ingredients should available at your local grocery store.
You will need:
• 1 box of chocolate cake mix
• 2 eggs
• 1/3 cup water
• 1/4 cup oil
• 1 cup finely chopped almonds or walnuts
• 4 tsp of rum or other liqueur (e.g. amaretto, crème de menthe, triple sec, etc.)
• 2 cups powdered sugar
• 1/4 cup cocoa powder
• Finely chopped nuts, flaked coconut, or sprinkles
Honey Mustard Curry Chicken (Prep time about 35 minutes):
You will need:
• 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (thawed)
• 6 Tbsp. honey
• 6 Tbsp. mustard
• 1 tsp. curry powder (or to taste)
• ¾ cup rice
• 1 ½ cup water
• Pinch of salt
• 1 tsp oil
Fancy Green Beans (Prep time about 15 minutes):
You will need:
• 1 package of whole frozen green beans
• 1/3 cup water
• 1 Tbsp. butter
• 1/8 cup slivered almonds
• Salt and pepper to taste
Elegant and Sophisticated Table Setting:
You will need:
• Plates (not paper or plastic)
• Decorative items to set as a center-piece
(seasonal items, floral arrangement, candles in various sizes, reflective surfaces)
Step 2: Rum Ball Preparation
Now that you have all of the ingredients, let’s start preparing the meal. (Hint: You have to start with the dessert because it has to chill for an hour)
1) Bake a chocolate cake mix according to the package directions using the mix, eggs, water, and oil.
2) Allow the cake to cool.
3) Crumble the cake into a large bowl, stirring with a fork until the crumbs are fine and uniform in size.
4) Add in chopped nuts, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and liqueur.
5) Stir until thoroughly blended.
6) Shape heaping tablespoonfuls of mixture into balls.
7) Roll the balls in chopped nuts, coconut, or sprinkles.
8) Place balls on waxed paper.
9) Chill Rum Balls on waxed paper in sealed container for at least one hour.
Step 3: Honey Mustard Curry Chicken Preparation
Start the main course of the meal after putting the Rum Balls into the refrigerator. This will ensure that the Rum Balls will have sufficient time to cool.
1) Turn the oven to 400°F.
2) Mix the honey, mustard, and curry in a small bowl until thoroughly blended.
3) Place a small amount of the honey mustard mixture in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. (This is to prevent the chicken from sticking.)
4) Place the chicken breasts in the baking dish.
5) Pour the remaining honey mustard mixture evenly over the chicken.
6) Bake the chicken for 25 minutes or until thickest part of the chicken is thoroughly cooked. (To check doneness, cut into the thickest part of the chicken. If there is no pink left, it’s done.)
7) While chicken is in the oven, Bring water to boil with pinch of salt and 1 tsp oil.
8) Add rice.
9) Turn heat down to low.
10) Cover tightly.
11) Simmer for 20 minutes.
12) Watch rice carefully. It has a tendency to boil over.
13) When rice is done, divide it in half placing one half on each dinner plate.
14) When chicken is done, remove from oven and place one chicken breast over each bed of rice.
Step 4: Fancy Green Beans Preparation
After putting the chicken in the oven, this is a good time to start preparation on the side dish
1) Bring water to a boil in a 3 quart saucepan.
2) Add the package of green beans.
3) Reduce heat to medium.
5) Boil gently for eight to ten minutes or until tender.
6) Stir at least once during cooking.
7) Avoid overcooking.
8) When done, remove green beans from water.
9) Place green beans in a serving bowl.
10) Add butter, and salt and pepper to taste.
11) Sprinkle slivered almonds on green beans as garnish.
Step 5: Setting the Table
Waiting for water to boil or something to finish up cooking is a great time to get started with the table setting or any clean up that needs to be done around the house. But make sure you either have a timer set or pay very close attention because you do not want something to burn or boil over; it could ruin the entire dinner.
1. Once you have prepared the main course and the rice is on the stove for simmering you can start to prepare you table.
2. First clear off any items on the table.
3. Wipe the table off to insure there are no sticky spots.
4. Once the table is dry lay place-mats down, either across from each other or next to each other.
5. Then put chargers down if you have them.
6. Place plates on top of chargers.
7. Fold napkins in half diagonally.
8. Place silverware (see attached photos on how to place silverware).
9. Place glasses (see attached photos on how to place glasses).
10. Finally put extra hot pads on the table to set the pans and hot dishes on so that food may be served from the table.
Directions for designing a centerpiece:
1. Pick items out. Make sure to only pick a few items (max of 4) so that that table with not be too crowded and the centerpiece will not inhibit conversation.
2. Items should not block view when sitting.
3. Place items in arrangement, if using 1 item place in the center of the table. If using 2 or more items stagger the items so that they are graduated in height. (see attached photos for how to arrange items)
4. Add lighting. A candle is a nice touch for both lighting and aroma. Make sure to light the candle early enough to let the scent permeate the room, but not too early, since it will burn out. Lighting the candles 10-15 minutes prior to dinner being served will suffice.
5. Finally, make sure that all the items on the table have enough space around them so that dinnerware is able to fit around the centerpiece. Make sure everything is placed on the table and go back to cooking the meal.
Step 6: Enjoy!
We hope you and whoever you are sharing this meal with enjoy this meal as much as we do and it has made your night a night to remember!