Wifeys and Gentlemen,
Hello! It’s been a long time.
Sometimes, even the most committed bloggers need a vacation, and I’m so sorry to anyone who has missed me for the past few weeks, but between my birthday, my parents visiting, and a much needed vacation from my wonderful finance job, writing about relationship nuancess, while not far from my mind, was not a top priority.
However, I am so so so happy to report that my birthday was fantastic (28 say what?!), my parents are great and I had an awesome week just spending time with them, and I am now able to survive the next 3 months until I sail away on a Caribbean vacation with my love and my family.
Overall, a girl can’t complain.
Now that that is out of the way, I want to shift gears a bit and begin this month with what I will lovingly refer to as my ‘domestic series’; a collection of 4-5 posts that will be catered to and centered around a more domestic lifestyle (in this case, when I say domestic, what I really mean is “long term”, so try not to get confused).
Inspired (in part) by my actions (or lack thereof) in the month of May, I thought it might be nice to begin my ceremonious return by writing a few posts dedicated to the idea of some things, both cute and serious, that make long term relationships awesome, romantic, and of course, challenging.
Let’s be honest. For some of us (& I include myself in this) we get to a point in our relationships where routine and sameness becomes our new normal. I do NOT believe in that ‘honeymoon phase’ nonsense that people talk about, but I do think that sometimes learning how to adjust to this concept of new normal can be a difficult transition for us all. Additionally, many of us come to a point in our relationships when we feel like we are ready to take the next step (whatever it might be), but we do not know where to begin or how to make that progression a reality.
For this first post however, I want to keep things a little more lighthearted and start with something simple that I was shocked to learn is a dying art. Today, wifeys, I wanna talk about food! Yum!
Wifeys & Gents, I know it’s a cliché, but the way into
a man’s everyone’s heart is most definitely through their stomach. Think about it, when Dave in HR brings in cookies for the office, you can’t help but fall in love with Dave…just a little, right? I mean, come on, he has nourished both your sweet tooth and your soul, and while you’ll likely feel bad about it later, each moment of chocolate chipy goodness brings you and Dave just a little bit closer as colleagues (& best friends, obviously) .
Go with me on this for a second; think about your current relationship or (if you’re single now) think about a good one from your past…one that doesn’t make you sad or angry, preferably). Now remember when you or your partner first started dating. Did he ever invite you over to his place for a meal he cooked himself? Or, did you ever slave away at the stove all day long in order to create a fancy pants meal for your sweetie? What was that experience like? Even if the meal was gross or some of it was a little burned, there was a secure sense of intimacy felt and expressed by both parties, no?
That’s because for most of us, food is love. When someone offers us even a piece of something delicious, there is a distinct moment of care that we feel when we accept it. While I’m sure there is science to support these claims, I don’t know how much that even matters. If we think about it from the most practical perspective, when we choose to cook for someone we love (or even just like) we are trying to show them something. We are trying to impress them; to demonstrate to them that they are valuable enough to care for and to allow for them to see our abilities to nurture from the inside out.
Bottom line, if you can’t cook, LEARN and if you can, bust out a pot and make your babe a nice roast and potatoes! Even if we ignore the obvious sexy points you’ll earn from being a master of a few basic dishes, being able to cook for yourself shows you’re independent, capable, and even creative! It let’s your partner know that you are bringing something (delicious) to the table (literally) and gets you both out of that “at home on a Friday night” rut.
I’m no fool. I know that with food so easily acquired at the click of a button, that cooking can seem tedious and kind of out dated. But I think it’s important to be old fashioned once in a while. I think it’s sexy and chic to be authentic and sometimes, aren’t we all tired of frozen pizzas, plain pasta, and Chinese takeout?
Please don’t misunderstand, all of these options are great from time to time! But what if, say, once a week, you committed to coming to your mate’s place and cooking him/her a delicious, fresh, and homemade meal?
It is my wholehearted belief that actions like this are beneficial when trying to maintain and establish longevity in a relationship. We’ve already talked about the love, but from an even more practical standpoint, this is a great chance to start a fun, weekly tradition and really elevate those domestic skills. Not to mention that (ahem) cooking is a great way to demonstrate your value and put the idea of a future into your partner’s mind.*
Note*: Call me old fashioned and archaic if you want to, but I am of the mindset that both women and men need to show their partners what skills they can bring to the table in a marriage! I don’t give a crap if you can’t cook now, learn! All it takes is a recipe and a strong will. & no, this responsibly does not need to fall onto the woman (unless both parties are women, of course & ESPECIALLY if both parties are men, hehe). My guy cooks me dinner almost every Friday night and I LOVE it! He’s got skills! & he came from a household where his father did much of the cooking for the family.
So, if you’re finally out of excuses ;-), I would like to close out this post for today with one of my favorite go to recipes. It’s simple, elegant, impressive, and really really easy to execute! Try it out on your next ‘at home’ date, and watch those sparks begin to fly*
Note #2*: Obviously I can’t promise that introducing cooking into your relationship will net you a husband, wife, or new live in roommate. I also can’t promise that your partner will like your food or that he/she will fawn over you with appreciation of your efforts. However, what I can say is this; if there is love in your relationship, if you have been together long enough to really want to see where things can go, if you both want to go the distance, then cooking delicious food is an awesome way to subtly and skillfully demonstrate how you feel about the person your with and express your desire to continue moving forward.
If you learn nothing else, remember that is isn’t always about how much we SAY we love someone, the beauty is in the details; those nuances that remind our partners (as well as ourselves) about humanity, intimacy, and the connection we all are trying to find and hold onto. Cooking is all of those things. Cooking is home and home (as we well know) is where the heart is.
Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s Asian food Friday and I got myself a meal to eat!
Until next time,
Carry on Wifeys!
Ms. Renai’s Classic Stuffed Peppers
6-8 Bell Peppers (any color will do)
1-1.5 lbs of Ground beef
1 yellow onion chopped
2 cups cooked white or brown rice
2 14oz cans of diced tomatoes
1 bag Italian blend cheese
2 cloves garlic chopped
dry Italian herbs (1 tbs)
1 Tbs olive oil
1 cup chicken stock
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut tops off of each pepper and remove the seeds and innards. Steam peppers for about 10 minutes. Remove from steam and place each pepper, standing, into a reasonably sized baking dish. It’s okay if they get a little cold, it actually stops them from over cooking (but you’ll want them to be tender).
*You can opt not to steam the peppers and simply cook them raw, but they will not be as soft, so avoid steaming if you want your peppers to have a little bite (rawr).
In a large skillet or sauce pan add the olive oil and turn stove top to medium-high heat. Add in chopped onions and garlic and let set in pan until nice char develops (about 2 minutes). Stir slightly until onions are soft and translucent. Season with a bit of salt and pepper (just a bit). Add in ground beef and continue to stir occasionally until browned, add in another bit of salt & pepper (seasoning is best is stages). Once meet is brown, add in cooked rice and 1 can of tomatoes. Lower heat to medium/medium-low and add extra salt and pepper to taste. Stir in Italian herbs, 1/2 of the chicken stock and about 1/4 of the Italian cheese blend.
*Note: I am always pretty heavy on the seasoning so I like to add a lot of extras (garlic powder, seasoned salt, red pepper flakes and/or cayenne, tons of herbs, and smoked paprika). However, not everyone is into heavy season and spice, so following the above directions will give you a nice balanced flavor adding just enough salt and pepper to your own taste.
Once the filling is complete, use a large spoon or ladle to stuff each pepper (stuff it to the hilt!!). Top all peppers with a good handful of cheese and pour the 2nd can of tomatoes and the remaining chicken stock into the dish (the peppers should be resting in a shallow pool of stock and tomato, essentially). Cover the baking dish with foil and bake the peppers for about 40 minutes. Uncover the peppers and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until cheese has slightly browned.
Serve with a nice piece of crusty bread and a glass of mild red wine. Enjoy 🙂