Not a Kitchen Nightmare (Really!)

Before I got married, the only thing I did in the kitchen was bake. Seriously, my baking skills are top notch. You want super moist chocolate chip cookies and cookies n cream cupcakes that make your heart melt? Call on me, I’m your girl.

Actually, I take that first sentence back, I also doctored up boxed macaroni and cheese (add a can of tuna and a can of peas! It will change your life!)

Let’s be real, I wasn’t in the kitchen baking everyday. I saved my skills for special occasions, holidays and birthdays, and sometimes I did it just for fun. Baking takes time and I had a habit of just enjoying a few too many cookies at once. As well as eating too much raw dough*.

My meals came two ways: dining out (FREQUENTLY) or Mom (both bio and in-law).  The amount of money I’ve spent on just feeding myself delicious food from various places is disgusting (yet delish!) (ie food trucks). The amount of meals my mother and mother-in-law have provided for me since I graduated from college three years ago is slightly ridiculous. Being alone in the kitchen, having to cook something that tasted good/decent was a terrifying thought. Seriously. I can tell you all the best places to eat for lunch and dinner on a budget in or around DC, but I can’t tell you how to cook something from a bunch of ingredients from beginning to end.

Until I returned from my honeymoon. Reality sunk in. Chris and I could not afford to eat out all the time and I don’t think either of our parents wanted us to join them for dinner every night. Also, with training for the marathon, I want to eat healthier so I can feel better as I train. The food situation had to change for us. Essentially, I’ve had to put my money where my mouth is in the kitchen. Slowly, I am teaching myself how to cook… well, wikihow and Google answer my basic questions “how long do you bake fish in the oven and at what temperature?”, “what exactly is lemon zest?”, “can you cook with two pans in the oven when the oven has two shelves?” and more like it.

This is definitely (and will continue to be) an adventure. Shockingly enough, I am finding that the food I cook is actually really tasty (I’m biased). While my meals are pretty basic, we all take baby steps, right?

Here is a small example of what’s going on in my kitchen this past  month:

From left to right: chicken and veggie pesto pasta, hot ham & cheese with watermelon, chicken nuggets and sweet potato fries, and breaded salmon with roasted veggies and cheesy red potatoes.

Seriously not ashamed that dinosaur chicken nuggets are a staple in my freezer for nights I don’t feel like cooking. Some people have frozen pizza on the standby, I have nuggets.

I can’t say that I am in-love with cooking yet, but we are on our way to being friends. I do like the sense of power it gives me. It’s like this domestic goddess gene is slowly waking up in me and wants to be the hottest chick ever. Yeah, I can bake… but now I can cook. Double threat.

Also, its nice to know that if we want to have people over for dinner sometime, I can make them something they’ll enjoy and not just politely eat. Success!

What is your favorite meal to cook? Any tips for a beginner? Did getting married change the way you eat? How did your eating habits change as you trained for an exercise event? Let’s discuss! Recipes are welcome! 

*Don’t eat raw dough! Its bad for you! You can get sick and that would be terrible. 

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3 thoughts on “Not a Kitchen Nightmare (Really!)

  1. Hi Sarah,
    Oh how I understand you! I got married when I was 19 and came to live in a small (veeery small) city in Italy – where women cook very well! I knew a couple of things but nothing close to all those mammas and sisters and aunts that seemed to come out from a cooking school!
    It was not easy – also because what I cooked was never good enough, as Italians want the things the same way…always!
    I have a lot of easy recipes that I’d be glad to give you (I am turning a site into a blog and so I don’t have many of them already online), and so I will begin with an easy one that usually pleases all: pasta primavera http://allaboutitalianfood.com/2012/06/14/my-pasta-primavera-recipe/
    All the best,
    Ana

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