When you live with your boyfriend, cooking dinner is a normal part of everyday routine. Obviously you both need to eat, and obviously you’re going to eat together if you both happen to be home from work at a common hour. Sure, there are days when you are both exhausted and run down and the best idea ever includes a takeout menu, the couch, and something dramatic via netflix. Naturally. But cooking together, creating meals from scratch, working alongside one another is one of the best things you can do as a couple. If I were a relationship therapist, that’s the piece of advice I’d give most frequently: cook together.
Color me corny, but I genuinely look forward to cooking dinner with my boyfriend every night. Coming up with new recipes, trying fancy ingredients, or even just adding a bottle of wine into the mix can make a random Tuesday night feel like a date night. And after all, one of the reasons I started this blog to begin with was to share the recipes we came up with to fit both of our tastes, vegetarian and non-vegetarian alike.
Almost four years of co-habitation later though, and we definitely have our favorites. There are meals we’ll make at least once a week, if not more. But we’ve made a lot of dinners. Almost four years of living together equals 1,460 days, and if we stay in and cook approximately 85% of the time, that’s 1,241 dinners. And who says that art girls are bad at math?
So as a tribute to those one thousand plus meals, I decided to compile a list of my favorites. And a link to the recipes. Obvi.
Reader Question: What meal(s) do you find yourself cooking frequently?
Filed under food/drink, life
T minus two weeks until moving day. Our apartment is currently a warzone of boxes, disassembled furniture, half-packed duffel bags of laundry, etc. I am really looking forward to unpacking and easing into a life of organization and cleanliness again. All the clutter is making me a little crazy!
Dinners have been interesting lately. With the move on the horizon, we’ve been trying to use up as much food as possible so we have very little to pack with us. The other night, while trying to figure out what to make, I found myself staring at a box of Annie’s mac & cheese and several cans of pumpkin. All of a sudden, it was like a lightbulb went off above my head. A lightbulb adorned with red & orange leaves and smelling of cinnamon and nutmeg that is. Pumpkin mac & cheese! Of course. OF COURSE.
The result was nothing short of fantastic. I mean, who doesn’t love mac & cheese? And who doesn’t love pumpkin? Need I say more?
Recipe? Of course.
You will need…
- 1 box Annie’s mac & cheese (whatever flavor you want)
- 1/2 (15oz) can pumpkin puree
- 3 tbsp soy milk
- 2 tbsp cream cheese
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- handful breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp margarine or butter
- Preheat oven 350 degrees. Grease a baking dish.
- Prepare the pasta according to the box’s directions. While the pasta is draining, mix together the 3 tbsp soy milk with the cheese from the box. Add the pasta back into the pot and mix in pumpkin, cream cheese and spices.
- Pour the pasta into the baking dish and sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top. Dot with the butter/margarine and let bake approx 15 minutes or until the top is golden. Enjoy!
Now that the supermarkets have begun to stock a healthy supply of canned pumpkin, I’ve been able to complete my autumnal pantry arsenal. If the zombie apocalypse were to happen, we’d be okay in terms of canned goods, but we might be eating pumpkin for a very long time. Luckily, there’s one of us that wouldn’t mind it.
I don’t think I need to go on another tangent about how much I love pumpkin (I’m pretty sure the last post explained it all), but one of the things I really do like about it is that it’s pretty versatile. There aren’t many main ingredients that can be used in breads, muffins, pies, but also curries, soups, and pastas. It’s like a chameleon, always changing its form.
The other night, Boyfriend and I cooked a pasta with chicken/tofu in a pumpkin cream sauce. It actually didn’t contain any cream at all, and was relatively healthy, considering its name. I am usually terrible at measuring pasta, and I always end up with much more than I intended to make. I even own a special tool specifically designed to measure pasta, and when I use it, I always think to myself- That won’t be enough! But I’m always wrong. However, this time, we managed to cook the perfect portions, which seems like an accomplishment in and of itself.
I just want it to be October forever, so we can eat pumpkin all the time! What will I do when autumn becomes winter and I have to part ways with this amazing ingredient? I guess we can blog about gingerbread and peppermint. It’s just not the same.
Pasta & Chicken/Tofu in a Pumpkin Cream Sauce
The end of September marks the official beginning of autumn, when the air gets just a bit crisper, light jackets come out of storage, and it’s finally time to retire those worn-out flip-flops that probably should have been thrown away two years ago. Autumn has always been my favorite season, and I look forward to the time of year when the trees are multicolored, the air is chilled but not cold, and everything has a twinge of cinnamon to it. Boyfriend is also a big fan of the fall, which is a good thing, because when autumn rolls around, all I want to do is bake with pumpkin, cook with pumpkin, and drink pumpkin coffee. And I’m not alone in this, because, let’s face it, autumn is a little bit trendy. Lots of people love the fall. Am I right? And our location certainly adds to the autumnal magic. I know a lot of people wax nostalgic about autumn in New York, but there’s nothing quite like an autumn in Boston.
Autumn is also a little extra significant because Boyfriend and I met during this time of year, and one of the first dinners we ever cooked together was a spicy pumpkin soup. This recipe has become a go-to staple of the fall, and I’m fairly certain I will want to cook it again at least ten more times before Christmas. Maybe closer to twenty.
This soup is perfect paired with a slice of whole-grain bread and a side salad. It is spicy and sweet all at the same time, and will fill your kitchen with the smells of fall. Guaranteed.
Spicy Pumpkin Soup
(serves 2, with lots of leftovers)