Romancing the Kitchen

Often called the heart of the home, the kitchen can be filled with romance for newlyweds eager to explore and discover the multi-sensory delights of whipping up meals together. Spending time in the kitchen to entertain friends and family can also cast a seductive spell on couples as they bond over making guests feel welcomed. In fact, love is easy to detect -- along with the appealing smell of delicious food -- when couples partake in the act of cooking and baking. Here are a few simple tips to romancing the kitchen, including suggestions for essential culinary tools and equipment to enhance the experience, and ways to ensure that cooking with your mate is collaborative and pleasurable.

Add a Little Heat

To avoid falling into cooking doldrums, make it a habit to seek out new recipes together, and decide on at least one new dish to try each week. The Internet offers a plethora of excellent food sites to guide you in your search for food bliss, and epicurean Web sites can be enormously helpful in expanding your recipe repertoire. Stretch the boundaries of your culinary palate by experimenting with new spices and adding them to your dishes in unexpected ways. Hot and spicy foods have been known to release feel-good endorphins, which can help boost your mood. To get the most out of your recipes and ingredients, you'll need the best quality cookware you can afford. For frequent stovetop cooking, the perfect choice for sophisticated cooks is Anolon Nouvelle Copper, the first-ever hard-anodized aluminum nonstick cookware featuring copper metal in the fast-heating base. In addition to providing a warm, inviting look, copper is unparalleled for its heat responsiveness, which is particularly important when searing meats and sauteing vegetables. The collection's restaurant-tested nonstick cooking surface provides the healthy option of cooking with little or no added fat, and makes clean up a snap. To make clean up even easier, the cookware's nonstick-coated rivets lie flush against the wall of the pans to prevent food build up. Oven safe to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and compatible with all types of ranges, including energy-efficient induction burners, Anolon Nouvelle Copper looks as good as it performs with a sensual, tulip-shaped body and close-fitting, gleaming stainless steel lids and handles.

Start With Small Bites

When it comes to hosting your first get-together as a married couple, a party with a menu designed around simple finger foods is the perfect way to make your foray into home entertaining. Whether you prefer preparing savory hors d'oeuvres for an elegant gathering, or sliders with "the works" and homemade fries for watching the big game, bakeware is multifunctional and proportioned just right for making and serving a myriad of small bite recipes. Look for versatile cookie pans and jelly roll pans that have some heft and feature a light-colored nonstick coating, which won't over-brown delicate treats. Anolon Advanced Bronze Bakeware features an elegant bronze colored nonstick coating on both the inside and outside for optimum food release and effortless cleaning. Oven safe to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, the even-heating bakeware is constructed of heavy carbon steel to prevent warping and ensure long-lasting durability.

Dress it Up

Here's a sure-fire way to keep the romance in your marriage without having to spend money dining out: Set a monthly "dinner-in" date with your spouse and go all out in making the evening a glamorous and cozy occasion. Set the dining room table with candles, cloth napkins, and fresh flowers. Dress up for the occasion and enhance the ambiance with soft music instead of the TV. Prepare your favorite dishes using cookware that's black-tie ready, such as the handsomely styled, high performance Anolon Ultra Clad. With an elegantly polished stainless steel interior, and a stainless steel exterior that's contrasted with a wide band in classic black, this gourmet clad metal cookware adds a fresh, modern look to the kitchen. At the ready to instantly add a chic touch to everyday cooking, Anolon Ultra Clad is dishwasher safe, induction-ready, and lighter in weight for easier lifting and carrying.

Simplicity in The Details

The appliances, cookware and accessories that you and your beloved choose for your kitchen make a statement about your sense of style and culinary skills. Find the beauty in ordinary, functional tools, and make a commitment to introduce only those objects that you both truly find pleasing to the eye and a joy to use. Beautifully crafted Anolon Advanced Bronze Tools and Gadgets feature translucent handles in warm bronze and gleaming stainless steel. The elegant, durably crafted handles catch the light, feel comfortable in your hands, and transform simple, utilitarian kitchen products into sleek and attractive equipment that you'll want to display on a wall rack, or nest inside a countertop canister.

To evoke the romance and nostalgic lifestyle of old world European cooking, reach for Paula Deen's Signature Wooden Tools, crafted from sustainable Acacia hardwood. Each meticulously crafted, classic spoon and spatula makes stirring the pot a pure delight. Since wood is a gentle material that won't scratch delicate surfaces, the tools are ideal for use with nonstick cookware.

Punch Up the Color

Your kitchen's color should inspire your creativity. An instant, effortless and affordable way to inject vibrant energy to your kitchen decor is to select colorful accessories and small appliances. KitchenAid Gourmet Essentials Teakettles --offered in a wide assortment of colored enamel-coated exteriors -- add a punch of accent color to stovetops. Each 2-qt capacity teakettle features a sturdy handle covered in matching, heat-resistant silicone for a firm, comfortable grip. Color options range from bright red, blue, white and black, to pear, warm berry, terra cotta, mustard, and green apple.

Dark and Handsome

Whether it's used to make a decadent molten cake, or an authentic recipe for Mexican Mole sauce, chocolate provides intense richness and deep satisfaction to a home-cooked meal. To enjoy the warmth and sensuality of chocolate every day of the week, without adding an ounce of fat to your diet, stock up on Rachael Ray's new chocolate colored Porcelain Enamel Cookware, and versatile oven-to-table Stoneware. The surprisingly neutral, glossy milk chocolate hue of the cookware and stoneware collections blends beautifully with other colors in the kitchen and dining room table. The cookware's durable and easy-to-clean nonstick interior and porcelain enamel exterior surfaces make cooking meals fast and easy, and the versatile stoneware can go straight from the oven or microwave into the dishwasher, refrigerator or freezer.

Warm Up to Your Oven

Novice cooks often neglect using their oven, except during the holiday times. Make a point to become better acquainted with your kitchen oven and enjoy the ease and convenience of oven-baked meals. One of the best examples of simple, everyday oven cooking is the versatile casserole, which can be made with all types of ingredients, such as beef, chicken, cheese, sausages, vegetables and beans. With minimal prep work, casseroles can be tossed in the oven and left to bake with very little need for monitoring. For excellent cooking results, and attractive oven to table presentation, Paula Deen Signature Porcelain Enamel Cast Iron Cookware includes a full range of round and oval covered casseroles in three sizes, from medium 3.5 Quart -- just the right size for two people (plus leftovers) -- to the larger 5 Quart and the generously proportioned 7 Quart capacity, which is perfect for entertaining. Hearty comfort foods bake evenly, and the heat-retentive, cast iron construction keeps dishes piping hot longer. The casseroles' durable, two-toned enamel finish and unique swirl pattern add instant style and elegance to the kitchen and table.

Anniversary Celebrations

Your first wedding anniversary is the perfect occasion to get sentimental and recreate a favorite meal you had when you were dating. Build your future together as a cooking couple on a solid foundation of hard-working, durable cookware that will last for years. Circulon, a leader in innovatively designed, high quality nonstick cookware, is celebrating its own 25th anniversary in 2010. To mark the occasion, Circulon recently introduced Circulon Contempo, a new, contemporary collection of heavy-gauge hard-anodized aluminum nonstick cookware. Designed for the way we live today, which often times means limited kitchen space -- especially for newlyweds in their first home -- the cookware features innovative storage solutions. Hinged metal loops allow you to hang the pots and pans on racks, or store them neatly in drawers and shelves, and cleverly designed lids slide easily over the handles for space-saving convenience. Stylish and comfortable silicone and stainless steel handles are double riveted for extra strength, and tempered glass lids allow you to monitor the cooking process without releasing moisture and flavor. Perfect for couples who are watching their waistlines, the cookware features Circulon's signature Total® Hi-Low Food Release System. This Hi-Low wave technology, combined with the most advanced nonstick surface available, offers excellent food release and lifelong durability. Preparing foods that are usually prone to sticking is never a challenge as all foods easily slide off the cooking surface, even when little or no oil or butter is used. The specially engineered nonstick surface also protects the pans from excessive abrasion.

Be Sweet

Indulge yourselves occasionally with a weekend devoted to making your favorite treats, such as waffles or pancakes for breakfast, fresh seasonal fruit pies, creamy custards, and buttery cakes. You can invite guests to share your delicious bounty over brunch or a casual coffee and dessert get-together, or savor your creations privately, snuggled up together on the couch. Make the process of baking as fun as the feasting with the expanded assortment of Paula Deen Signature Stoneware. The undisputed queen of southern-style baking, Paula Deen's eponymous stoneware collection includes a 4 Quart Batter Bowl, 2 Cup Liquid Measuring Cup, Loaf Pan, Pie Bakers in round and rectangular shapes, Muffin Pan, and Set of Ramekins. There's also a striking Sunflower Fluted Mold Pan to make a standout bundt cake, perfect for welcoming back spring and summer. Each stoneware piece has a hand-thrown pottery look enhanced with a reactive glaze finish, and a unique swirl pattern. They are oven, microwave, refrigerator and freezer safe, and the perfect excuse to be sweet to each other.

For more information, visit www.anolon.com, www.circulon.com, www.kitchenaidcookware.com, and www.potsandpans.com.

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