For most of my adult life, I have been single and cooking was definitely not a priority. I loved the convenience of fast food and processed frozen meals. Occasionally I would make a steak or turkey burger. If I had spaghetti, I used pre-made sauce. I married for the first time at 35 to a man who loves to cook and is good at it. However, since my husband was the only one with a job, I knew I needed to step up and do some cooking. I used some tips from my husband and I also started watching cooking shows. If I had a recipe in mind, I would do a search on the Internet.
The first thing that I really started to make that came out well was pot roast. Initially I just used the onion soup packets for flavor, but I wanted to change things up so that I could reduce sodium and do my own seasoning. Now I use my own ingredients like plenty of onion and various spices. I really just started to experiment with spices. Some pot roast meals turned out better than others did, but I just kept at it. As I watched more cooking shows, I became bolder about trying different recipes.
Many times the meals are simple, but with the right seasoning, they can turn out well. Steak, vegetables, and some kind of complex carbohydrate like potatoes or rice are frequent meals in our household. I like to have a balanced meal and I want us to eat healthier. I have experimented with making steak rubs and marinades using ingredients such as balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and various spices like garlic, coriander, and cumin. After doing much grilling with the steaks, my new way of preparation is pan searing. My husband has really come to love the way I prepare and cook the steaks and sometimes lamb. He says I make the best steaks.
Most of the time I steam the vegetables and then toss them with olive oil, pepper, and usually basil. I also like to saute vegetables like zucchini and eggplant in coconut oil with pepper and basil. When the weather is cooler, Rosemary Potatoes are a favorite. I use olive oil, garlic, and obviously rosemary. Rosemary is a favorite spice of my husband and it is good for lamb as well. For the rice, I really like to use my rice cooker and add onions, bouillon, and other spices such as garlic and oregano. Sometimes I add bell pepper and celery as well to add more goodness.
When I make a meal that my husband enjoys, it encourages me in my cooking. I find myself making things like stir-fry, homemade spaghetti sauce, and rice casserole type of dishes. I have really come a long way in my cooking and I like to push the boundaries. My husband likes to take credit for pushing me out of my food bubble. It makes me feel good that he likes my cooking and I always want to make food that he will enjoy. I have surprised myself. Sometimes he tastes the meal first and then comments on how good it is and then I taste it and really find that I enjoy it as well. It is a good feeling. Not every meal is a home-run, but I do not like to give up and if something does not turn out well, I just try again. For anyone out there that wants to cook and do it well, I would just say give it a go and do not be afraid to fail. Look at it as a learning experiment and aim to do better the next time.
© Faithful Homesteader 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Faithful Homesteader with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.