Simple ways to make dinner at home a special night - Quincy Herald-Whig | Illinois & Missouri News, Sports

Simple ways to make dinner at home a special night

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© David Sacks / Lifesize / Thinkstock © David Sacks / Lifesize / Thinkstock

Dining at home has many advantages, from saving money to affording family members more time together. But it's easy for those at-home meals to become routine and boring - unless you take some simple steps to make dinner time a special time for everyone.

Fortunately, making dinner at home more special doesn't need to eat up a lot of time or money. Serving a feast for the whole family can be done without too much fuss and these simple ideas can help make dining at home feel like a night out.

Make it restaurant style

One of the reasons people love dining out is the chance to eat something they normally wouldn't make at home. Making some of those restaurant favorites in your own kitchen isn't as difficult as you might think. By adding a delicious, easy-to-make dining-out treat to your at-home menu, you can give your meal restaurant quality flair.

One restaurant staple is the bread basket. You can create your own version with take-and-bake options, like frozen garlic knots. Make your meal extra special by serving your garlic knots with your favorite pasta or homemade pizza with a marinara dipping sauce.

Tune out the outside world

You wouldn't be so rude as to take a cellphone call at the table in a quiet restaurant, so why allow such disruptions during your meal at home? Have everyone turn off their phones, switch off the TV and radio, leave all handheld digital devices in another room, and encourage a dinner conversation that truly focuses on each other.

Wear your "Sunday best"

Even if you wear a suit to work every day, there's still something special about dressing up for an unforgettable meal. If you'd prefer, you can leave the heels, jewelry or cufflinks behind - just skip the jeans and sweatshirts in favor of a skirt or a nice button-down and a pair of slacks.

Cook together

Cooking together increases the amount of quality time you spend with loved ones. Whether it's a date night or just a friendly get-together, involving everyone in meal preparation makes the evening memorable and special. Using easy-to-make and delicious products will ensure your meal will have that homemade taste that's sure to please.

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