You’re rushed off your feet, just arrived home form a crazy day at work, barely have time for a spritz with the deodorant, let alone a shower … and you have someone special coming for dinner.

You could do a cheat, ring the local takeaway, hope it arrives in time, or that you have time to go and collect it, plate it up nicely and shove the containers in the wardrobe so your special person doesn’t see them in the bin.

Faking a home cooked gourmet dinner, however, is easier. It is also cheaper, you don’t end up with a globulous Thai red curry sauce on your Jimmy Choo’s and there’s a good chance it will be quicker. Your special person will see that you’ve whipped it up yourself and feel even more special and you can easily fake the “oh, I’ve been working on this for ages!”

Pasta is your friend. Bow tie pasta, penne and rigatoni make a pasta meal look spectacular.

Avoid spaghetti and fettuccine, both of which have been known to cause major embarrassment at dinner parties.   You know what I mean….

Pasta takes ten minutes to cook, during which time you “create” the sauce.

Cherry or sun dried tomato, olives, smoked salmon, tinned tomato, garlic, olive oil or a small jar of cream can create the most gourmet of meals.

Smoked salmon will require some preparation (slicing – very difficult) but the rest simply come out of a jar or punnet.

A small amount of olive oil in a pan, crush a clove or two of garlic with the flat part of a knife, remove the skin and toss it in.

Stir through whatever it is you decide you want in your pasta:

  • whole cherry tomatoes, coated in garlicky olive oil,
  • sun dried tomato or smoked salmon in a creamy sauce, or
  • olives in a tomato sauce …

 The choice is yours and the only effort is the opening of a tub of cream or tin of tomato (diced, preferably). The cream or tomatoes need to be brought just to the boil and then it’s ready to serve.

They all look pretty good as they are, but a sprinkling of grated parmesan, or some torn basil leaves just finish it off.

Turn the lights off and light a few candles and your fake gourmet will not only look gourmet, but it will feel it, too!

If it still all sounds too much, contact me and let me whip you up a meal and escape without being spotted.

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