This is an un-pea-lievably exciting first step in a project that I’ve been thinking about for some time. I love to write, sometimes I need to write, and I have SO much to say! As a result, my daughter, McKay, has been encouraging me to start a blog so that I have a forum for getting my thoughts out of my head and onto (virtual) paper. At first, I was hesitant — “what do I have to say that would interest anyone?” But, as time went on, I unexpectedly stumbled across an idea that resonated with me and, no surprise, it blends many of my favorite pasttimes — cooking, gardening, and photography.
One night, my husband, Mike, and I were in the kitchen, as we are almost every night, and we were giddy with excitement over some unexpectedly fabulous food creation we had conjured up out of nothing (we like to call it “garbage dinner” because we use scraps of whatever we can scrounge up in the fridge and cupboards). All of a sudden, it dawned on me that most couples of the “newly empty-nest” age group probably aren’t having as much fun in the kitchen as we are; in fact, many probably aren’t even cooking much at all. And sadly they’re missing out on the supreme enjoyment of having the kitchen all to themselves and no persnickety kiddies to cook for!
A sliver of an idea was born that night, and now I’m posting my first “Two Peas in a Pod” blog. Predominantly, these posts will feature healthy and fun recipes for two people – whether you’re just starting out or you’ve just pushed your last birdie out of the nest. Either way, we want to show you that it doesn’t have to be a chore to make dinner, even if you’ve dragged your weary butt home after a long day at work. The key is to have great company, some key ingredients, a little patience, and, most importantly, an adventurous attitude. And a nice glass of wine always helps, too!
I’m not a professional chef; I don’t claim to be exceptional. I just have an insatiable passion for cooking and learning through experimentation. My photos probably won’t be considered food porn, and they likely won’t end up as someone’s screensaver. These are real recipes for real people. Whenever possible, I will illustrate the basic steps through written explanation and accompanying images.
I firmly believe that, to be a reasonably decent cook, you have to learn to let go of your inhibitions and free yourself to try new things — new flavors, new techniques and new concepts. Learning to have self-confidence in your cooking allows you to free yourself from the printed letters on the page of a recipe and start to personalize dishes to your own tastes. I hardly ever follow a recipe exactly as it’s stated. In fact, I often read and compare several recipes, and then cull the interesting tidbits from each to create my own concoction. I’d be lying if I said that every experimental dish turns out perfectly. I’ve had more than my share of misfires — my children will certainly attest to that (#children=guinea pigs). But without experimentation, we would never discover those hidden gems that become lifelong treasures. I used to think that I didn’t like fennel, same with cilantro, but as I opened up my mind and my palette, I realized that I just hadn’t had them prepared in a way that best showcased their unique flavors. Now, I’ve grown to love them both and cook with them regularly.
My hope is that, by reading this blog, you will be inspired to get into the kitchen and try something new. Or, at the very least, just have fun making a delicious meal with your partner.
- All recipes are designed for two people unless stated otherwise.
- With a nod to the rockin’ Rachel Ray, EVOO always stands for Extra Virgin Olive Oil.