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Official PreQM Blog

To Do & What Not To Do in Dating. That is the Question. If it was only that easy. Where is Shakespeare when you need him? This is the official blog of PreQualified Mates, PreQM.



50 Shades of Grey in the Kitchen

Dating is like cooking. You need to get things hot.

Maybe that was one of my issues. Growing up, I didn’t have the greatest reputation in the kitchen due to a few notorious moves in my youth.

For years, I was fearful of getting things too hot. Cooking-wise, for sure, and perhaps, love-wise, too.

Anne Burrell would have had a field day with me. She says “Brown food tastes good.” I think I actually invented “50 Shades of Grey.” But, it was on the stove, not in the in the sack.

Pretty gross. Is that why my love life left something to be desired til I was nearly 20?

My mother took a Chinese cooking class when I was around 10. One evening, she had to dash out & run some errands. As she was leaving the house, she told me to “start the wok.” So, I did. I turned on the burner. There was a bunch of oil in the wok on the stove. After a few minutes, I noticed that the oil had turned black. OMG. I knew that wasn’t a good thing. My eyes widened. I didn’t know what to do.


I picked up the wok with my bare hands and ran toward the sink. The oxygen from the movement fueled the heated oil & it burst into flames in my arms. Great. I’m standing in the middle of the kitchen, holding a flaming wok. I made it to the sink and turned on the water. Oops. Another bad move. Flaming oil & water? That’s adding fuel to the fire.

The flames increased & shot up the kitchen curtains. Miraculously, they didn’t ignite. Maybe that’s why my mother’s remodeled kitchen is curtain-free.

I hustled back to the center of the kitchen, holding the wok as long as I could. It got so hot & the flames were so large, I finally let go & it fell it to the floor. The flames put themselves out, but I got splattered a little on the inner crevice part of my left elbow. I still have a small burn mark.

The hero firefighters are a welcome upside. Nice pole.

My younger sister called 911. The handsome firefighters came over to the house. There’s usually an upside. ❤️those brave firefighters.

Those studly hunks asked me “Do you know how to put out a fire in a pot?”


That wasn’t my only incident with firefighters in the bedroom. Indeed. The better one was when my daughter had to call them for me. ~.~ But, that’s another story!

Obviously, I didn’t. “No,” I answered. They said, “Put on the lid.” Duh.

My mother’s nomenclature left something to be desired. By “start the wok,” she meant, start chopping the vegetables. Good one, mom! I’ll add that my mother’s family has been in the States since before the Civil War. English is her first & only language. Ca va! 

Do you have one that can blow their skirt up?

Everyone should have at least one signature dish in their repertoire. More is better, but let’s just focus on one, for starters. For date night. Really. You need to know how to put together a complete meal. One that can blow someone’s skirt up. Or knock their socks off.

It can be very simple. Fresh. Tasty. Something that you like. And, that you are pretty confident in making. So, practice, especially, if you don’t know what you are doing in the kitchen. Get comfortable, so you don’t have to sweat it. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

The 4 Simple Questions & Get Important Bonus Points

Don’t expect them to eat whatever it is that you make. You are the host. Be gracious. It’s nice. Dates like nice.

Ask your date in advance. You don’t have to tell them exactly what you are planning, but just ask them:

  1. Do they eat meat?

  2. Do they drink white wine?

  3. Sparkling water?

  4. Any dietary restrictions?

It’s very considerate. If they do, then you need to adjust. If they are vegan, then make a vegan meal. Figure it out. Google it. Here’s a clue. COOKIE  + kate.

Don’t make foods that are messy, spicy, garlicky, or challenging to eat or that tend to get stuck in your teeth. Like corn on the cob, ribs, or shellfish with the shells on, like shrimp, lobster or crab.

Do you need a recipe for success?

Keep it simple. Here’s a killer menu. Practice, plan & prepare. Apetizers, Roasted Potatoes, Asparagus & Salmon.

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A bottle of Rombauer Chardonnay. Chilled. So-called, “crack for women.” You think I’m wrong? Try it & see for yourself. Have a 2nd bottle on hand.
A couple of bottles of Pellegrino. Chilled.
Some fresh flowers are always a nice touch. Put a few in a vase in the bathroom, too. Relax. Have some nice cocktail napkins, candles and tunes. Make sure your ice is fresh. Decent glasses.

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Maybe some fresh olives from an olive bar & nuts to nibble on as appetizers. Easy.
One sourdough baguette. Like Acme. Yum. Get a good, fresh one. You can use it with the appetizers & with dinner.

Timing seems to be everything in cooking and dating

Asparagus. Al dente. Don’t overcook it.

Do not screw it up. Just like dating.

You can stick the asparagus in the oven when you have around 5 minutes to go. Here’s my secret recipe. Just kidding.

Cut off the ends. You don’t need to be fancy and peel the stems, but it’s a nice touch. Lay them out flat on a cookie sheet. Drizzle with good olive oil. Sprinkle with salt & fresh cracked pepper. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. No more than 7 minutes. Take it out of the oven. Boom.

Here’s how to do it.

Salmon. Sorry, Jamie. Here’s how I do it. However, I now make it with my non-animal product butter & it works perfectly.

That’s it.

What’s for dessert? Not necessarily your date. Keep it simple. Fresh berries. Or maybe some Haggen Daas. A really nice touch is a small plate of fancy chocolate on the table, as well. You don’t have to eat them.

It is better if you do not expect to get laid

Don’t have pre-set expectations. Like, that, for sure, you are going to get laid.

It’s just like “getting ready.” For a date, or a sales call. If you practice, you can relax, a bit, and do a better job with more success. Imagine that. It’s a step in the relationship. Getting to know someone. Getting comfortable. It’s personal, revealing, and intimate.