By Chef Jill McCollum, CC

Dust off that patio table and move it into the living room in front of the fireplace! A romantic dinner for two starts with a simply decorated table with warm tones and a light meal. Add an elegant tablecloth and/or table runner, those fun glasses and dishes you keep buying, and a few fresh flowers in a crystal vase.
I had the pleasure of going to Lindsey Watson's home to take these romantic pictures. I enjoyed putting this together with Lindsey, just using things she had in her cabinets. We pulled one candle holder off the bookshelf! I purchased new tea light candles, and created the perfect atmosphere for a romantic dinner for two.
When preparing food for just two people, the pressures of serving a crowd are absent and both parties can share in the cooking. Certain dishes, often unsuitable for larger groups, become manageable.
A fondue dinner is a great choice for a stay-at-home Valentine's Day or special occasion dinner for two. It's interactive, simple, inexpensive, and requires minimal effort, freeing up the rest of your evening to enjoy each other for your special occasion.
Beef or Chicken Fondue with Sauces
½ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons curry powder
2 tablespoons milk
½ teaspoon hot pepper sauce
¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ cup finely chopped onion
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
2 teaspoons water
¼ teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 ½ pounds beef tenderloin, cut into cubes
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast cut into cubes
3 cups vegetable oil
In three separate bowls, combine the curry sauce, mustard sauce, and onion-horseradish sauce ingredients. Pat meat dry with paper towels. Heat oil in a fondue pot to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Use fondue forks to cook meat in oil until it reaches desired doneness. Serve with sauces.

Chocolate Fondue
½ cup whipping cream
½ cup Liqueur
Options: Amarula, Gran Marnier, Irish Cream
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 dash vanilla extract

In a sauce pan or in fondue pot:
Pour the whipping cream and liqueur into a fondue pot; cook and stir over medium low heat until the mixture boils. Continue to stir while adding the chocolate chips. Reduce heat to low, and stir until the chocolate melts and blends completely with the cream mixture. Stir in the vanilla. Take care not to overheat the mixture. To serve, reduce heat to lowest setting.
Suggested dipping choices:
Fresh Fruit
Fresh coconut chunks
Pound cake cubes
Rice crispy treats

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

First, begin any recipe by washing strawberries and letting them towel dry. In a microwave-safe bowl, or in the top of a double boiler over simmering water, cook chocolate until melted. Stir occasionally until chocolate is smooth. Holding berries by the stem, dip each one in molten chocolate, about three-quarters of the way to the stem. Place on parchment paper until hardened.

There are numerous variations of this recipe. Here are a few:

Bakers Dipping Chocolate and 1 pint strawberries
Chocolate or White Almond Bark
Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips, this will be a thicker consistency, you may need to add oil