Fortunately for our marriage, Jer and I haven’t had anything like that conversation. I have, however, made him dinner. A lot. Some friends were over the other night and commented on how much use the oven is seeing, and Jer estimated that the oven has been used more in the first month of my living in the house than it was the entire three years Jer lived here without me. That might be an exaggeration, but probably not by much.
I do love to cook, and to bake, and the new wife syndrome does encourage a certain bit of nesting. I was also sick through much of November and December, and I find baking to be therapeutic, and good for days when I had enough energy to not be in bed but not enough to go out and enjoy holiday festivities. And it was holiday baking season, so all the foodie blogs (which I have become quite addicted to, I must admit) had fabulous new treats to try out. Add the stack of cookbooks we received as wedding gifts (and the copy of Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking that Jer just picked up for me) and you have a recipe for recipe overload.
It was a lot of fun, and I expect it will continue, although perhaps not to the level that was witnessed last month. Although this year has already seen some Pumpkin Cranberry bread, my famous cookies, a bundt cake, candied nuts, hot cocoa on a stick, an assortment of biscuits and breakfast muffins and a few loaves of sourdough bread, so perhaps this level of baking and cooking is a permanent condition. Not that Jer is complaining!
I shared a few recipes on my personal blog, but here is a sample of our menu and recipes (or links to the blogs I found them on):
On the stove:
Seafood Risotto from America’s Test Kitchen
Chard and Sweet Potato Gratin (Smitten Kitchen is one of my new favorite blogs)
Stew with Greens and Kidney Beans (Emeril failed me in another recipe, but this one was fantastic)
Taco Soup: an easy family favorite, this is simply ground beef cooked with taco seasoning, mixed with 2 cans each of tomatoes and black beans and a can each of red beans, pinto beans, and corn (add in that order).
Slow Cooker Bean Soup (so simple: soak beans overnight, then put in the crockpot with some veggies and cooked meat and italian spices and turn on low for 8 hours)
Pasta with Spinach and Marcarpone (the mascarpone in my fridge had gone bad, so I used some lowfat cream cheese and it turned out great)
Lentil soup (I’m not sure on this one, the lentils seemed a bit underdone. The flavors were amazing though)
In the oven:
Whiskey-Soaked Chocolate Bundt Cake
Breakfast muffins (Using this idea, I made them with homemade biscuit dough, and sauteed ham, mushrooms, and spinach. They are yummy and super convenient for workday breakfasts.)
Pumpkin Cranberry Bread (family sweetbread recipe)
Cranberry Almond Holiday Wreath (the group at brunch decided this was quite yummy, although my mom said it needed a touch more salt to bring out the flavors)
Pear Granola Muffins
And coming soon to our menu:
Zucchini Sweet Potato Bread
Vegetable Pot Pies
Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies (Jer says it sounds like an ice cream sundae) and some family recipe banana bread
Minestrone Soup (I can’t decide between this one and this one. Guess I’ll have to try both!)
Butternut Squash Gnocchi
So readers, what are you eating? Have you got any great recipes to share? Food blogs I should be following? Don’t be shy!