Before I begin sharing some of my favorite recipes, I figured I should give a little introduction to my life in our kitchen.
Our kitchen takes up a small corner in our little fifth-floor apartment, completely open to the living area which, in lieu of a dining table, also houses both of our workspaces. Though there are several challenges to working in a small open kitchen, there is one thing that helps us overlook our troubles: if I take a moment to look up from my cutting board, we get a stunning view of Mt. Hood (you know, when the winter fog lets me). That makes the cramped counter space, tiny electric cooktop, and economy oven worth it. Mostly.
Living with a tiny refrigerator/freezer combination definitely impacts my ability to freeze and preserve as much as I'd like, but luckily we live within three blocks of three grocery stores and the neighborhood farmers market. People tell me there's a gym out there too, but I can barely get past Whole Foods' produce section before I lose focus.
Some of my favorite kitchen tools include:
- chef's knife
- immersion blender
- spankin' new stand mixer
- my own two hands.
As you'll quickly see once I start posting recipes, some of my favorite ingredients to work with are:
- butternut squash
- sweet potato
- brussels sprouts
- wine + beer
- did I say cheese?
As much as I do take the lead in the kitchen, I couldn't do anything even half as well without my lifelong sous chef. Before we started dating, Tom's greatest kitchen accomplishment was perfecting the dairy-to-cocoa ratio in chocolate milk. Needless to say, once we moved in together, it was a challenge to get him into the kitchen, let alone request his help without fearing for his fingers. He instead turned into an expert dish washer, which my glass of wine and I didn't mind at all.
As our relationship deepened, so did his confidence and skills in the kitchen. I, for one, was very excited for this development, as cooking can be a very lonely job. Every day I look forward to coming home and spending time with him chopping, roasting, stirring, and sautéing our way to flavor town (his words).
Cooking is my favorite way to relieve stress, exercise my creative muscles, and share quality time with those I love. As pleased as my husband and our guests always seem about what I put on the table, I'm nervous about putting it out there for anyone to see. But if I don't continue to challenge myself, then I might as well just make grilled cheese and tomato soup every night (editor's note: not a bad idea).I'm looking forward to pushing myself out of my comfort zone as well as use some of our new tools and gadgets that we were gifted for our wedding.
That ice cream maker has been begging me to fire it up, I swear.