Friday, August 20, 2010

Culinary Adventures

I don't like to cook. Everyone knows this. Growing up I spent very little time in the kitchen. When Alex and I met and started dating I was overjoyed that he enjoyed cooking and was actually good at it. I thought, "This is perfect, he can do all the cooking and I'll do the cleaning. I'll never have to step foot in our kitchen. Hoorah!"

Well, since we've been married and he's been working full time it's really not fair to have him come home after working all day to start cooking when I can easily do it since I'm already at home. And so my culinary adventures began. I started with some Kraft recipes. It was very helpful because I would use their '1 Bag, 5 Dinners' feature and their recipes were simple and easy to execute. If you're just getting started with this cooking stuff and need some help planning a weekly menu I say try this website to help you get the hang of it.

Eventually I became more comfortable in the kitchen. I don't need to read the recipes word for word. I can just walk into the kitchen and whip up some dinner. I still don't particularly enjoy it, but it's nice that I don't have to go hungry. Alex is still the best cook around here, he just has more creativity and can think of new flavors and recipes to try just by using whatever happens to be in the pantry. I definitely enjoy it when he cooks (which is still 2-3 times a week).

Lately I've really been wanting to do some more Latin cooking. I have a cookbook my mom gave me full of our family recipes...but I still haven't gotten around to trying it out. I'm intimidated by it because NO ONE can cook Nica food like my grandma can. Luckily my new boss is Puerto Rican and an amazing cook! She introduced me to sofrito (which she makes herself and freezes in ice cube trays...she gave me a tray-full and I love it) and saz√≥n (which I already knew about but hadn't bought any since moving up here). So I've been cooking up rice and beans (gallo pinto!) and all kinds of Latin-flavored goodies. I love this food. It tastes like home.

I've also tried some more difficult recipes (difficult for me). A couple days ago Lauren and I attempted to make beignets. (I had them for the first time a few weeks ago at Rue Cler in Durham...delicious!) I'd say we were pretty successful...but in the process my apartment filled up with smoke (blegh!).

 I don't think I'll be trying to make them again. I'll just make the drive to downtown Durham to enjoy the real thing. Oh, and hopefully Alex and I will stop in New Orleans on our way to Denver to have some at Cafe Du Monde.'s right on the way!:

Anyway...I still don't love cooking...but it's been fun having these culinary adventures. I'm still surprised that I am actually able to cook up some pretty tasty meals. I may not be a master chef, but I'm getting there.


Lauren V. said...

Haha, I'm enjoying the cooking adventures I've witnessed so far! Namely, the smoky beignets. Any time you want me to taste-test some Latin food, lemme know. I'm game. I think we should do a culture cooking night - I'll make sushi, you make Latin food. Not that I'm Japanese, but you know. Also, that drive looks super long on the map! Yikes!

Anonymous said...

you are my hero! I can't make much... i go to and thats helped me out a bit since i decided to kinda learn how to cook...since i'll be married soon and all... lol.
So proudof yo my friend. we should share recipes!

Desiree said...

My husband cooks savory meals, and I bake the sweets.

I make a really good pico de gallo and would love to make fried platanos to complement it, but I'm so afraid!

Lauren said...

I would be proud to try any one of your food dishes. :)

Anne Marie said...

N.O. is totally on the way :D Reading about Kraft on your blog takes me back to when I showed you the site a couple years ago. Time flies!