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Routine is awesome in a relationship: it means you've been together long enough that you have rituals and you're comfortable with each other enough that you're able to embrace them. But sometimes, things can get a little too routine. Luckily, one of the easiest places to start overhauling the boring bits is in the kitchen. Here's a few tips.

1. Ditch the Takeout

Maybe you guys still go on dates once a week, but we're betting you heed the call of pizza and pad thai a little more often than that. You'll feel better if you cook occasionally; simple meals prepared together go a long way in keeping a bond strong. It's a tough habit to get into, but Plated is a service that makes it easy: just choose what looks good from the upcoming menu and it arrives at your door on your chosen day. Skip the menu planning, grocery store, and confusing ingredients--each meal is pre-portioned, individually packaged, and laid out in crystal clear photo recipe cards.

2. Try New Ingredients and Recipes

Maybe the coolest part of making an effort in the kitchen is discovering things you wouldn't normally consider. Try Plated and you'll find lots of new ingredients, challenge yourself, and learn a little more about yourself. Never thought you could make salmon? A perfectly cleaned filet and step-by-step photo instructions make it effortless. Never had harissa but love spicy food? A chicken dish calls for a sauce with a dash, and now you have a new favorite recipe in your back pocket.

3. Make It a Team Effort

Even if one of you loves to cook, it can get a little stale when, day after day, half a couple sits on the couch waiting for dinner while the other preps it. If you're dangerous with a knife, wash the dishes; if they're sketchy on stovetop technique, they get to set the table. In short, banish excuses for takeout by cutting out the stress to begin with. Many hands make light work, plus it's built-in quality time with your one and only. You'll thank yourselves as soon as your handiwork hits the table.

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