But Do It Anyway?

A month ago, I wrote about how much cooking has become a chore for me. And I made a pledge:

“In my next post, I’m going to tell you a little bit about how I am and am not overcoming that. I’d love to know your thoughts on what makes cooking hard or easy for you, or any tips or tricks you have for making it suck less.”

I wrote those words about a month ago, and I did get some good suggestions from my friend Lori in the comments and from folks on Facebook and Twitter. I’m super grateful, but I’m still struggling.

Two dogs facing away from the camera, walking on pink flower petals from the trees above.

Spring sprang while I wasn’t looking.

Maybe that’s obvious from the fact that my last post was over a month ago. Because the “next post” had to be about “how I am and am not overcoming” a feeling of cooking sucking.… Continue reading →

Cooking Sucks – Revisited

In a recent post, I wrote about going feral. Also known as, “bach-in’ it” or “not eating like a grown-up.” I shared it in part because I think it’s humorous, but also partially because I think it’s perilously easy for someone who keeps a food blog and who is known to enjoy cooking to come across as someone who always has the best food to put in her face-hole. (Especially when I tweet about workday French toast.) That’s a lie, and it can be demoralizing to read, I suspect.

But in discussing going feral, I didn’t really address many of the reasons driving my feral-ness. And that wasn’t intentional. It was just kinda spilling onto the page, because the major reason I shared is that sometimes I find I treat myself better when I’m open and vulnerable, rather than trying to only show the highlight reels of my life (as it were).… Continue reading →

[114] Linguine Nagoda for Two

Cover of Cooking for Two

I picked this recipe because it looked very fast and easy to make, and because it involved pasta, heavy cream and walnuts. Which is funny, because I’m not the biggest fan of walnuts. They’re growing on me, particularly mixed in with something, but generally I don’t like ’em.

And I’d better not see any in or on my brownies. No joke.

Anyway, I needed a dish that wouldn’t take much energy, time or focus, because I was battling baked beans TO THE DEATH for a party. I needed something that would be fast and good enough to fill the gaping hole that comes from smelling delicious food cooking all day, then being told (or telling yourself), “Don’t eat that. It’s for a party.”

This appeared to fit the bill when I was digging through my cookbooks.… Continue reading →

[73] Coq Au Vin

Cover of Cooking for Two

I can’t remember why I decided to make this recipe. The sane and reasonable reason would have been, “Because I didn’t want any leftovers before Thanksgiving” and that may have played a small role. However, probably not as large a role as you might expect. I think the biggest reason was wanting something that wasn’t out of How to Cook Everything. Basically, I wanted to cook out of a cookbook we haven’t used in awhile.

On top of that, a very sane Thanksgiving reason also encroached. Not only did I not want leftovers before the big food day, I knew I wanted more freezer space as I cooked beforehand and for leftovers afterward. So I did a lot of digging through my freezer to see what I could use.… Continue reading →

Cooking for Two

cover of Cooking for Two by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough

Did I own any cookbooks when I came in to this relationship? I would say so, but we haven’t talked about any yet. Maybe her taste is just better than mine.

As you could guess this is a Natasha book. It contains a surprising variety of recipes that feel like they were made for two people, instead of larger recipes that are cut down in size. Many are quick (though there are some for those longer nights), and it has treated us well so far. I would recommend it for someone who wants to learn how to cook a decent meal for themselves or (of course) for one other person.

Number of recipes in the book: 120 (so says the front cover)
Number we’ve cooked: 3 (Note from Natasha: As of 15 June 2010, this is the most used cookbook.)

Also, she says that she bought this recently.… Continue reading →