Taking a cooking class as a couple is a blast, but it can also be quite expensive. Even with a good deal, you are still looking at spending around $50 per person. While this is a great special occasion date option, it probably isn’t practical for a regular ol’ weekday date night. However, all is not lost.
Enter YouTube – the great teacher of this generation. Along with video tutorials on how to perfect a smokey eye look, build a house from scratch, and do magic tricks, you’ll find plenty of step-by-step guides to making a homemade meal.
With the wonders of the internet, you can have a cooking class of your own in the comfort of your home, for just the cost of ingredients. It will take a little prep to ensure a smooth date night in, but we’ve got you covered …
6 Steps for a Successful DIY Cooking Class at Home
If you are going to do the dang thing, do it right. Spend some time chatting together about what you want to learn to cook, but – most importantly – what you want to eat! Maybe it is a copy-cat version of a favorite from a restaurant you frequent or a classic from your childhood.
You could just stick with one challenging recipe, have a tapas night with lots of smaller dishes, or build a three-course meal for yourselves. The choice is up to you and your budget.
We suggest starting with a general theme based on what flavors you like – Italian, Thai, Mexican, Indian, etc. Then, get to searching while keeping an eye out for ingredients that match any dietary restrictions or preferences you have, as well as your budget (for example meat and fish will be pricier).
Here are some top YouTube cooking-class-style channels to get you started with your search:
- How-To Videos by Jamie Oliver
- Delicious Recipes with Great Instructions by Byron Talbott
- Quick, Easy Recipes by Tasty (good for tapas night!)
- Yummy Recipes with Few Ingredients by Minimalist Baker
2. Get the Supplies
Before you get started, do a pre-watch of the video to make sure you don’t need to do any steps a few hours before (for example soaking beans, etc.) Plan ahead if needed and go ahead and make a list of the ingredients also (most videos will also have links to the ingredient list underneath).
While you could draw straws to see who has to do the dreaded grocery shopping. That’s really crappy date etiquette. You’re in this thing together, right? … Right? Just don’t forget your third wheel – the ingredients list!
If time allows, turn this into a date day with a trip to your local farmer’s market to find fresh ingredients to use in your recipes. Or make a game of who can find their half of the list first. Grocery shopping doesn’t have to be a chore!
Don’t forget to pick up some drinks and snacks for while you cook – all the best cooking classes include these! Your at home version should, too!
3. Have a Back-Up Plan
Any time you try a new recipe, it is important to have a Plan B in case you fail miserably. A frozen pizza in the fridge, your favorite take-out place on speed dial, a tub of ice cream to drown your sorrows in. Any of these will do. Having a just-in-case plan takes so much stress off of the situation!
4. Prepare Your Space & Set the Mood
If your kitchen looks like Gremlins ate there after midnight, you’ll want to clear off some space and make sure everything you’ll need is clean and ready to go. Cooking can get messy, so starting with a clean space helps give you plenty of room and minimizes the work afterward.
Set out all of the ingredients and supplies you need (unless they need to stay cold until use), so you won’t have to go running around in search of them. If you forgot something, just improvise!
Turn on some fun music to get you energized and ready to get to work on your meal. Put aprons on each other. Laugh at yourselves for taking this so seriously. Snap a selfie or seven. Just have fun.
Make sure to also have a few pre-made snacks ready for munching – olives, pretzels, fruit, and cheese are all good options. This is extra important if your meal is going to be very time-consuming. No one likes a hangry date – especially when sharp objects are present. And, of course, pour yourself your drink of choice.
5. Press Play (& Be Prepared to Hit Pause)
It’s the moment of truth! Now your ready to start your video. Dun dun dun.
Be sure to have your phone or laptop in a safe place while watching your chosen virtual cooking class. And keep a towel nearby for when you inevitably need to hit pause or rewind in the throes of cooking.
Of course, a blog post or recipe book can provide the directions you need to make a meal together also. But stopping to read and reread everything gets annoying fast. Having the content in video format is so much easier, trust us on this one!
Take turns doing the chopping, peeling, and/or mixing. Dance around the kitchen. Spoon feed each other often for the sake of ‘taste tests.’
You get the idea.
6. Cheers to You!
Before you know it, your meal will be finished! If making multiple courses, you’ll probably want to plan to sit down to eat your appetizer while your main course is in the oven and so on. Or just bring it all out at once. It’s your house, after all!
Whenever your ready, set the table together, light some candles, and change your playlist to something romantic – whatever you think will make the dinner extra special. Just don’t forget to congratulate each other on a job well done.
Even if your night ended with having to opt for your back-up plan, you still gave it a valiant effort! So, feel free to have that extra glass of wine and leave the dishes in the sink until the next day … we won’t tell!
Don’t let the thought of cooking a new recipe together intimidate you. This DIY cooking class date night is sure to create lasting memories of laughing together and – hopefully – devouring a yummy meal!
If you have kiddos, you could include them as well and make it a restaurant game where they get to help cook, serve the meal, and take on clean up. Or, have a few other couples over and compete to see who makes the best course! The winners’ reward could be not having to clean up.
Your options are really endless for this cooking class date idea. Be creative!
Did you give this at home date idea a try? Share your date night menu and experience in the comments!