Is the way to a man’s heat through his stomach? I’m not referring to what gets a man into your bed, I’m referring to what keeps him there once the sizzle begins to fizzle. What qualities differentiate the women you want to bed, and the woman you want to settle down with?

Julie Anne Rhodes by Glenn Lutchford The Face Magazine

Julie Anne Rhodes by Glenn Lutchford The Face Magazine

Is being a good cook one of the qualities men look for? I recently posted this query on my facebook page, and got some interesting responses from men and women alike:

Three out of four men replied enthusiastically “yes” with responses like “absolutely!!!” and “Oh yes … that and a few other things!” If that is the case…then presumably I would make a decent catch.

Man looking for love

Man looking for love

I took a deliberate 10 year hiatus from romance. I needed the time to grieve the death of someone I loved, give Tatjana the undivided attention she deserved when she was home from school, and focus on making a career and a new life for myself in LA. I’m back in the dating world again and I find it all rather baffling. In the last couple weeks I’ve been on two blind dates, and out on the town with crooner extraordinaire, Jimmy Demers.
Young he wondering if she can cook?

Young love…is he wondering if she can cook?

Bachelor #1, and I agreed to meet for drinks at a chic little French restaurant. Tall, very attractive, highly intelligent, and positively oozing charm…he obviously felt a similar attraction since drinks soon turned into dinner while conversation flowed, and I thoroughly enjoyed the evening …except he doesn’t appear to enjoy food much. He eats calories… just enough to sustain himself in fact. Not only is my career all about food, but I think of food as an incredibly sensual pleasure to be savored. Should that be a compatibility red flag? The way to this man’s heart is obviously not going to be through his stomach.

Bachelor #2 loved food a little too much. We met at an old school Italian restaurant. I love Italian food, and he assured me this was the best of the best… as he proceeded to order my entire dinner for me. He ordered a bowl of spaghetti in pesto sauce followed by tiramisu…nice, but kind of boring like he was.

And then there is my friend Jimmy… “Angel, when are you going to make dinner for me again?” were the first words out of his mouth when he picked me up. I always like cooking for Jimmy because not only does he love my creations, he literally sings for his dinner. Being serenaded is quite heavenly indeed… Hear Jimmy’s Version of “Over The Rainbow
Jimmy Demers and Julie Anne Rhodes

Jimmy Demers and Julie Anne Rhodes

Getting back to my facebook query…it was the women that replied negatively. I wonder…is it because they don’t like cooking, don’t have the time, or just can’t be bothered? Is Andy Rooney correct in his assessment when he said “For all those men who say, ‘Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?’ Here’s an update for you. Nowadays 80% of women are against marriage. Why? Because women realize it’s not worth buying an entire pig just to get a little sausage!”

I think the age old adage is just that. I think we all look for a lot more than just a good home cooked meal in a mate, but it sure can’t hurt. I know I love to be wined and dined (minus the wine these days) after a long day of cooking for clients, but I also love to fuss over the perfect meal for that someone special in my life when I’m in the mood.

Here’s a spicy little pasta dish for two that you can throw together in less than 30 minutes for a casual romantic evening in. Dim the lights, light some candles, slip the little black dress on, and some jazz playing softly in the background. Start the meal with roasted cherry tomatoes over fresh Bufala mozzarella drizzled with pesto sauce, and end with a balsamic strawberry sundae (recipe under desserts on my website).

Hot Italian Turkey Sausage & Broccolini Penne
Hot Italian Sausage & Broccolini Penne

Servings: 2

2 cups uncooked penne
1/2 pound (3 links) hot Italian pork or turkey sausage
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 pound broccolini, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 cup parmesan, grated
salt and pepper to taste

1). Cook penne according to package directions.

2). Meanwhile, sauté sausage in a nonstick skillet over medium heat, breaking up into little bits with the edge of a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 7 minutes. Drain on a plate covered in paper towel and tent with foil to keep warm.

3). In the same pan the sausage was cooked in, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, garlic, and red peppers, stirring for 30 seconds, add broccolini and cook, covered for 3-4 minutes until crisp-tender, stirring occasionally.

4). Pour broccolini over penne, add cooked sausage, 1/4 cup parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss well, and serve immediately.
Serving Suggestions: Roasted cherry tomatoes over fresh Buffala mozzarella drizzled with Pesto sauce to start, and balsamic strawberry sundae for dessert.
This post was first published October 1, 2009
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  • October 2, 2009
    12:19 am

    "Hahaha! The whole pig for a little sausage! So funny!"Budgie Bradbury

  • October 2, 2009
    12:20 am

    Then why do they go for hot dogs when theres a nice steak waiting for them at home?Scarlett King

  • October 2, 2009
    1:17 am

    I'm really enjoying your blog Julieanne, you're a terrific writer and story teller. You've have so many interesting experiences. I've been trying to post comments and become a follower but I am a technoidiot so haven't had any success in my attempts to do so. Just so you know, I am following your blog and I think you are doing a great job. Good luck with your dating, There are a lot of great guys out there, you won't find the perfect man but there are some really good ones. I think I hit the jackpot with my guy. Cathy Garossino

  • October 2, 2009
    3:15 am

    Your writing is simply brilliant as YOU are,all of your pictures are amazing…YOU deserve a "Blog-Award"Yvonne Wiesengrund

  • October 2, 2009
    5:10 am

    I totally agree with Budgie Bradbury…..a whole pig for a little sausage is just so hilarious. Great, great writing as usual Julie Anne.I just got a cold the other day and have been feeling absolutely awful. Your blog had me in stitches. Thank you for making my day.I'm sure you will find a great guy. You are terribly gifted, intelligent and stunning. Fingers crossed….I'm sure there is someone just around the corner. By the way, I heard Jimmy's version of Over The Rainbow and simply loved it. Thanks again for yet another delicious recipe. My sister-in-law makes this in a very similar way (she's Italian).Aussie Mum

  • October 4, 2009
    1:45 am

    Budgie, I know…I was ROTFLMA over that one the first time I read it. Someone sent it to me as part of a list of why he preferred women over 40. Scarlett, the ones that go for hot dogs ARE dogs or rather… the exact pigs you don't want to buy just for their little sausages. Cathy, Yvonne, and Aussie Mom, thanks! It makes me feel so good that you always come back to read more. As for finding Mr. Right? I'm so content on my own. I have the best daughter anyone could ask for, great friends and a really good life, so if someone really special comes along… great, but if not that is OK too. I already feel very loved. As for Jimmy…his soul is as beautiful as his voice…just had to share someone so special with all of you too.

  • October 5, 2009
    7:47 pm

    How do you think I got Allen? He wanted to marry someone who could cook, well, he got it, and his stomach continues to be happy (and big!).

  • September 26, 2010
    1:51 am

    You my sweet make more than a decent catch.The way to a mans heart by the way is not his stomach, it's his mission.Support the grand crusade we all want to be part of and you will have us. Knowing what that is will be easy, the ones that don't have a purpose will be intimidated by a strong woman like you and you will be bored by their weakness, the ones that have a purpose, walk, talk,live and behave like they know where they are going, and nothing is going to deter them from getting there. Not even you.