Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Cooking for two

A post about cooking on a cooking blog! Shocking considering how long it has been.

I'm learning a few things about cooking for two and cooking for a guy.

While we were dating and engaged, J and I ate out a ton. I cooked occasionally for both of us and put together some single-girl meals when we didn't have plans, but I didn't do much cooking in the last year. But I missed cooking, and I'm enjoying trying some new recipes and taking advantage of fresh vegetables.

Since we don't live just down the street from the grocery store, I have to think ahead and shop for the week. My goal is to cook dinner three weeknights — Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday — and have an option for the weekend. We have small group at church on Thursdays, so we stay in town and eat before going there.

What I'm noticing is that I rarely end up with leftovers. I might get one lunch out of a dinner, but generally, a meal that might feed me for three or four days is gone in one night. For someone who hates leftovers, this is mostly a good thing, and I'm glad that J likes my cooking. But it is nice to at least have lunch the next days, so I'm still figuring how much to make.

I've been trying some new recipes from Pinterest and keeping some of my standbys in the rotation. Here are some of our favorites from Pinterest:

Skinny Mediterranean Pasta Toss — This is by no means a budget-friendly meal. But it is really good, and J likes it even though it doesn't have meat in it.

Crispy Cheddar Chicken — This is really easy. I skip the sauce, we like the chicken as is. I use two chicken breasts and "everything" Ritz crackers.

Herb crusted chicken with basil cream sauce — The sauce for this is really good. When I used to have leftovers, I put it on pasta the next day.

Macaroni and cheese — I've only made this once, not the healthiest thing. But if you want really good, homemade mac and cheese, this is a good choice. I just wish I had cut the recipe in half. It was not great left over.

Honey garlic balsamic chicken — This is a really easy chicken meal to make, and J said it could be added to the rotation (the sign of a good recipe).

Summer stir fry — This is not your standard stir fry (I am not a fan of stir fry). It is summer vegetables and shrimp cooked in butter and olive oil. Super easy and really good. Even when I think I make more than enough, we devour it.

You'll notice this is a lot of chicken recipes — that is J's favorite. I usually work red meat in through tacos or spaghetti since we don't have a grill for steaks. I'm not a pork fan, but we are probably going to want some variety of meat mixed in. But J is a fan of my favorite vegetarian meals and sides — tomato pie, zucchini pie, roasted asparagus and a new favorite is roasted broccoli. But I'm on the lookout for good chicken recipes if you have some to share or another meat recipe I could work into the mix, please pass along.

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