Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Barefoot, but not pregnant, in the kitchen

In the short time since we have been home from our honeymoon, I have spent considerable time nesting. This has included some unpacking and organizing, as well as some discussions around possible remodel projects (including last night's trip to Home Depot, which I believe was for moral support, as I am completely worthless as a source of any real home repair/remodel expertise). The majority of my time and effort, however, has gone into cooking: reading recipes, planning meals, grocery shopping, and experimenting in the kitchen.

I've always loved to cook and bake but there is an amazing freedom (real or imagined) that comes from having your own kitchen. While I do share this space with a husband perfectly capable of creating excellent meals, there is a certain immediate ownership that has been granted me as the wife. I look at the food ads and make the menu and grocery list, and Jer gets to come home to warm homecooked meal. It's the least I can do, considering he gets up early and makes me coffee and breakfast every morning. What a guy!

Adding to the excitement of having my own kitchen is the acquisition through several generous wedding gifts of a host of kitchen appliances. I now own a cuisinart, a wafflemaker, an ice cream maker, several excellent pots and pans, a whole host of baking pans and dishes, and the grand poobah of the kitchen: my Kitchen Aid Onyx Black Pro 600 Stand Mixer. I grew up with a kitchenaid and I absolutely love it. It was definitely my number one "love to have" on our registry. Sunday we made waffles for brunch and then I whipped up a batch of peanut butter cookies on a whim, just because I could. So fast, so easy.

I've been collecting recipes for years now, subscribing to blogs and email lists from places like While I was able to try a few out in my year at the yellow house, I was still living a very busy life and sharing the kitchen with four other people. Now I have free reign to experiment and work through all those recipes, as well as new ideas from recent book acquisitions. Just last week I made an easy fettucine with awesome roasted broccoli, my old favorite taco soup, and chicken thighs in white wine with roasted red potatoes, yams, and tomatoes (in this last one I took two recipes and combined them, using what I liked, and ignoring what I didn't. It was superb). Tonight we are experimenting with broccoli cheddar soup. Mmmmm...

My efforts must be paying off, because not only does my husband seem very happy about his well-fed status, but he just bought materials for a new butcher block countertop for the island. I'm not going to be able to make much for the next few days, but when he's done it will be fabulous and functional. Now if I can just get the rest of the house clean and put together, I might be able to invite some of you over to help Jer with the taste-testing!

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