Monday, August 8, 2011

Explorations as a chef...

One of the things I've been enjoying the most since being married is cooking. Cooking in my own kitchen, for my own family and planning my own menu. It has been a little more difficult than I thought to do the menu-planning portion of cooking. I'm used to checking ingredients, and multi-tasking to put together a balanced meal but what I was not used to was thinking ahead and picking out recipes for the whole week and then shopping accordingly. The first couple weeks of marriage, I found myself running to the store multiple times a week to get ingredients for a meal because I was only keeping main things on hand like hamburger, chicken breasts, etc... So I've definitely had to work hard on changing that!

Something else I'm not used to is cooking seafood...which is most likely a factor of growing up in the center of the continental United States, and that my dad isn't really a big fan. Mark on the other hand grew up in New York and had various kinds of seafood quite frequently so after getting married he requested having fish sometime, so I have begun experimenting and have had pretty good success if I do say so myself!

The first try was for our 2 month anniversary dinner; Pecan-Crusted Salmon, and it was absolutely delectable! I can't wait to make that one again. The next was grilled tuna while our friends Lisa and Caleb were over and although it could have been a tad bit more tender, it tasted yummy. My most recent attempt was Ginger-glazed Mahi Mahi, and although it turned out well from an appearance standpoint, I was not a fan of the taste. The marinade had a strong soy sauce flavor and since I am not a fan of soy sauce, I think that pretty much explains my opinion.  
Ginger-glazed Mahi Mahi

I've also been doing a lot of baking recently since I don't start my two part-time jobs until later on this month. We got quite a few cookie cookbooks for wedding presents so its been fun picking out new things to try. I forgot to take a picture of the final product, but I made butterscotch brownies with white chocolate chips and they were pretty delish!
Ingredients prepared in bowls like on the cooking shows!
The one constant in all of my cooking adventures though has been the presence of our adoring dog, Jordan. That morning there were squirrels in the front yard that required her complete and undivided attention....
Besides cooking, our new house has provided me with many little tasks during the day to keep me busy, as well as the amazing amount of laundry and dishes two people generate! This last week on one of the hotter days, I put on my swim suit and gave Jordan a bath in the driveway which was actually pretty fun. For me. She stood there obediently but sadly as I suds-ed her up then rinsed her off looking like I was punishing her the whole time. When I put her in the backyard afterward she ran around like her tail was on fire...I could almost hear her saying "I'mmmm freeeeeeee!!!!!" Once she calmed down, I brushed her, trimmed her toenails and even brushed her teeth! I think deep down she enjoyed her spa day. ;-)

Dogs need clean teeth too!
She is such a great dog and does a wonderful job keeping me company while Mark is gone at work. :)

Not much else is new around here until I start my new jobs, one is a babysitting a 15mo. old boy Monday and Friday and then the rest of the week I'll be working at a local frozen yogurt shop here in Columbus. They hire about 2/3 of their staff from among the student pilots wives and the other 1/3 is students from various schools in the area. I'm excited to start there as they are owned by a Christian family so they are closed on Sundays and because it is such a happy and high-energy place and I'll know quite a few of the other girls that work there. Plus, their yogurt is AMAZING. Mark says he's excited for me to start working there too, so he can come visit me and get dessert :-P
 I hope that everyone has had a good Monday and until next post-- Peace out from the south! :)


  1. Nice!!! Good for you trying all the new recipes and stepping out of your comfort zone!! :)

  2. I will definitely be coming to visit you at Smackers!! Yum!

  3. You should get "Mad Hungry - Feeding Men and Boys". Best cook and instruction book I have found. Simple things to feed us males!

  4. Those look awesome, great pics! Also, you should post some recipes... Hint hint... :)