When we first got married, I had created this unrealistic set of expectations for not only Josh, but for me as well. For example, cooking. I had never really loved to cook, I had never really been any good at it, and I honestly had never really tried to be. But I thought, when I was a wife, I was going to be Betty Crocker. I would have dinner ready & sitting beautifully on the table at least 5 nights a week. After I worked 10 or 12 hour days. Standing all day...... Life is full of these expectations. You can see this expectation I had set on myself quickly became a weight that I could not bear and it took all the fun out of cooking. Because I wasn't good at it. I had no time to try to be good at it. It was my last ditch effort to bring something to the table, literally, and it was my left over efforts from the day. Mmm, yummy I know.
My husband and I are a team. I am thankful and humbled to say that the first year and a half or so of our marriage, Josh cooked most of our dinners. Healthy, yummy dinners for both of us. His schedule allowed for more time to prep and cook for us so we weren't eating at 9 pm. I am so thankful for his willing and serving heart to step in where I wasn't able to.
When we moved, cooking came back on my mind again. I think in a way, cooking has always been something I wanted to be good at, but I had failed so many times I thought I wasn't ever going to be good at it. I have to admit, if you haven't already noticed, I can be a pretty big poor sport. I'm working on it! The deeper rooted issue I had to learn is that I wasn't failing as a wife because I couldn't always make dinner. I put that on myself, no one else but me. We can't do it all ladies! As soon as that weight had been lifted in realizing and accepting my short comings, I could let it go. I could enjoy learning to cook. Just for me.
Through the first couple weeks and months of being in a new state, unemployed for the first time in almost 9 years, I clung to house making. As we made the transition, I was able to provide a home for both me, Josh & the dogs. That was my way of serving my little family, with a warm home full of love & yummy food. I am thankful that God had placed that desire in my heart during that time of transition, my job had changed. I found myself learning to cook, and I learned that I actually liked it. And that, in fact, I am good at it.
For me, I have to plan out our 4 or 5 meals that I will be making that week for dinner. I print out or mark the recipes in the book, write down the grocery list, and go on that Sunday or Monday. Then I have to glance over the recipes so I know if anything needs to be done in advance or over night. I am terrible at reading directions, that 's part of my cooking downfall, and I have to force myself to read them all! I try to do any prep I can, if time allows, like chopping up veggies. This habit has really helped now that I am working again too!
I have been using this list because I like when that is organized into categories, but I can write in what I want, not a check list, so I don't end up running all over the store multiple times.
This list I just came across and I love because it has room to write down your meals on the side.
And it's cute.
Pinterest remains one of my favorite places to find recipes! Sometimes they fail, or just honestly aren't that yummy. But some of our favorites have come from there. Sometimes we just do simply grilled chicken or Salmon with a salad or veggies, but for us, we love to eat. We love to try different things. That's what keeps us from wanting to go out as much too! I want to enjoy our dinner and we love having left overs for lunch tomorrow.
Here is a list of some of me & Josh's favorite Pinterest dinners..
We love Olive Garden, who doesn't? The constant 20 minute wait at all OG's suggests, that in fact, we do all love Olive Garden. Josh gets Zuppa every single time we go, and usually multiple bowls. I stumbled across this recipe from Damn Delicious by actually looking at another one of her copy cat recipes, the cheddar bay biscuits from Red Lobster. Classy, I know. They are delicious too, by the way, so try those too!
A couple weeks ago, I actually cooked two of the best filets Josh and I have ever had. Super simple and were seriously amazing. Starts a lot with a good quality cut too, so make sure you get good steaks at the store! And check out this video, I followed it without rosemary, because I didn't have any. Make sure you open up the windows and have the fan on though, I set off a smoke alarm haha! I did the steaks with asparagus & a copy cat recipe for Ruth's Chris' sweet potato casserole. That night we dinned like kings.
My husband and I love Cajun & Creole food. My dad grew up in Louisiana and we go to Mardi Gras almost every year as a family. We crave good southern food the rest of the year when we aren't in Nawlins. So this yummy crockpot Jambalaya hit the spot for us. God bless the crockpot.
Cooking has become fun for me and I love looking for new things to try. Please share any of your favorite blogs or places to find cooking inspiration. And please follow me on Pinterest to see what I am cooking up next!