Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A New Experience: Cooking Dinner for Two

Add this to the list of new experiences when you live with your significant other: dinner for two.

Part of the reason I never really cooked for just me is that anything I made for dinner, I then had to eat for approximately the next million lunches and dinners because of leftovers. Now that there's a second person to help with the first serving that leaves just enough for me to eat the next day, especially since I'm working from home.

Someday, I'll get the timing down of cooking dinner for two people. It's a transition, going from either cooking for yourself, not cooking at all and going out somewhere, or having someone cook for you (thanks, mom and dad!) to cooking for not only yourself most nights, but also someone else!

So far I've been trying to start cooking when C leaves work, but more often than not it's been turning into me trying to keep food warm while he 1. drives home; and 2. gets changed and showers for the night.

Since we're both new to living with each other too, I made C come with me the first time we went grocery shopping so I could know what kinds of things he wanted (pasta sauce, bread, etc), and then have been trying to build from there.

Here's what we've been eating so far:

Steak, Potatoes & Asparagus

  • I bought some steak strips (much less daunting to cook than a whole steak for someone not used to it) and some Montreal-style seasoning and grilled these on the stove
  • These cheesy potatoes are my absolute favorite - my mom usually buys them at Costco which is obviously way too many potatoes for two people, but I've found them in "normal people" sized packages at the grocery stores here. 
  • Roasted asparagus in the oven with some olive oil and garlic salt (ok maybe a lot of garlic salt). I had to get creative with this when I was cooking the asparagus and crescent rolls at the same time, but they came out pretty nice. 
  • Crescent rolls (yes, from a package, but these are hard to beat!), and I have plans for this week for some nice garlic bread sticks instead of the crescent rolls. 
Kung Pao Chicken
  • Last time C and I went to Panda Express I asked why he didn't want us to buy some stuff to make this like we had with the Orange Chicken (yet to be eaten since it's a frozen dish) and he said it was too complicated with all the veggies to make at home. Little did he know I could get pretty similar veggies as a frozen bag! I bought a bottle of Panda Express Kung Pao Sauce and after grilling up some chicken on the stove, poured that over it with the veggies and some brown rice. 
Bacon-Sourdough Grilled Cheese
  • Do I really need to say more here? Well, I will. We've been buying the "fully cooked microwaveable" bacon, so we heated up some of those and put them between two slices of sourdough (a personal favorite) with cheddar cheese for a tasty tasty grilled cheese. 

Chicken Nachos

  • On my most recent grocery trip I found "fajita style" cuts of chicken - already cut into nice strips for me. Since cutting raw chicken is currently one of my worst nightmares, this was perfect. 
  • I also found this Ortega Fajita Skillet Sauce and thought that would add some nice flavor to some ordinarily plain chicken. After I grilled the chicken, I let it simmer in this sauce, and it was delicious! 
  • Plus all the other nacho fixins: chips (I like the scoops kind), shredded cheese, refried beans, olive slices, jalapeƱos (for the more adventurous of us aka not me), and we also added corn to these. 
That concludes this episode of "things Amanda can cook for the two of them" - keep checking back for more! 

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