When Are You Going to Cook Something?

If the way to my husbands heart really was through his stomach we would have never gotten married or we'd be divorced right now.  Thank goodness he loves me for my other stellar qualities.

Last week it dawned on him that I hadn't cooked a single thing outside of Cheese Casadilla's (if you can call that cooking).  And those weren't even for him.

Hey, you haven't cooked since I've been home.  When are you going to cook something?  He's been back from Germany for over a month and even before that I had kinda fallen off the cooking wagon.  Big time.  

I knew this was coming.  I defended myself.  I made chicken breast the day before you got back.  We ate that for dinner.  Then I started whining.  Anyways.  Nothing I make is ever as good as you do it.  Why should I even bother?   I glanced over at our tornado of a kitchen.  In my head I'm also thinking, you seriously expect me to cook in that mess?

He demanded to be fed for 3 days.  By me.  When he insists on something there is usually no point in arguing especially when I know I've been slacking so the next night I picked up Subway on my way home from work.  I just wasn't mentally prepared to cook yet.  My culinary skills are limited.  I can't just whip something up.  I needed more time to wrap my head around the recipe searching, ingredient checking, grocery shopping rigamarole that is cooking.

I'm not the chef and we both know it.  I WANT to enjoy cooking but unfortunately I have never found it to be enjoyable. I actually refused to eat some of his meals.  It just didn't feel fair for me to eat his cooking when I didn't contribute at all.  Is that weird?  The guilt was getting to me but apparently not enough to propel my un Martha Stewart like self into the kitchen.  After six weeks of the non cooking single life I was having some serious motivation issues.  Neither one of us expects me to whip up dinner every night...or every other night...hell not even every week if I'm being realistic.  It's just not going to happen, but I should do it sometimes so he can eat something he didn't have to cook every now and then.  My husband had spoken and it was time to cook again.  But not before having a discussion about the condition of the kitchen.

Dear husband.  How can you expect me to cook when the kitchen has been in an ongoing state of chaos since you got back?  On the occasions that I do cook, 9 times out of 10, I leave the kitchen clean.  He could care less if there are crusty dishes piled in the sink for days, mystery blobs and wayward crumbs scattered across our beautiful granite counter tops but it drives me nuts.  I made it my goal to shut it and not nag about it.  I will allow the kitchen be his domain but I couldn't even think about cooking in there.  Any passing thought about making dinner dies with one look at that dirty kitchen so we have an understanding.  He hasn't promised to clean up after every time he cooks.  I wish.  But if I plan on cooking I have every right to tell him he had better clean up that kitchen or he can forget about it.  At which time he is to dutifully clean the kitchen if he wants me to cook.

Bean foam.  Looks kinda weird but it goes away.
I decided on Chili as my comeback meal because it's easy, yummy, healthy, produces a lot of left overs and perfectly cozy when it's chilly outside.  Chili, chilly.  Get it?  I did complicate matters by using fresh beans but it cuts the sodium in half and it made me feel all domestic to go fresh.  Plus, I just really love beans.  They are packed with fiber and protein.  I want to know how to cook them in the healthiest way possible.  So there I was on Sunday soaking and boiling beans.  I felt like my mom and in fact did call her with a few "bean" questions.

And the thing is.  It makes me feel really good to feed my husband.  I enjoyed watching him sit down to eat a meal that I made.  There is something about feeding people that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  I felt like a good wife and when I feel like a good wife I feel better overall in my relationship and as a person.  I like the end result of cooking; I just don't want to DO it and when I fall off the wagon it's really hard to get back on.  It's kind of like going to the gym.  The moral of the story is to get off my arse and cook.  Even if it sucks at first I'll be glad that I did.  Even so, I don't even want to think about what I'm making next.

If you want to cook fresh beans and eat said beans on the same day the best way to do it is to soak them overnight because it really is an 8 1/2 hour process.  I got up Sunday morning, worked out and by the time I got back from the grocery store the beans didn't make it into the pot until 1pm.  I ended up soaking the beans and cooking them along with the meat on Sunday so it would be ready to heat and eat for Monday.

    1 tbsp olive oil
    1 onion, diced
    1 bell pepper, diced
    6 garlic cloves, chopped
    1 pound extra-lean ground beef
    2 teaspoons ground cumin
    1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    2 tbsp Chili Powder
    Freshly ground black pepper to taste
    Salt or Seasoning salt to taste
    1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
    2 cups water (optional)
    16 oz bag of beans (black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans or any combination).

Rinse and drain beans.  I used black beans and kidney beans.  Pour into a large pot and soak beans in 3 x their volume in water for 6 hours.  Drain beans and return to pan with enough water to cover them.  Bring to a boil then cover with a lid and let simmer for 2 1/2 hours.  Don't worry about the foam that forms on top.  It will go away.  I left most of the "bean juice" in the pan but it's up to you if you want to drain all or some of it and then add water depending upon how thick you want the chili.

Saute diced onions, bell peppers and garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil until soft.  Add meat, black pepper and seasoning salt to taste.  Continue to cook until meat is browned and fully cooked.

Add meat, vegetables, crushed tomatoes, cumin, oregano and chili powder to the beans.

Let simmer for another 30 minutes.


  photo SignaturececePink.png


Law_Fal said...

Im not Martha Stewart either but im glad that yall compromise and make it work :)

Newlyweds on a Budget said...

this is probably the only thing we don't have in common, because i love to cook. I find it pretty relaxing. One of my favorite things is to meal plan, so I know exactly what I need to buy at the grocery store. I like to try new recipes too, esp from Pinterest. My husband on the other hand is a great cook but he can usually come up with some fantastic meals just based on what we have in the fridge. I definitely need to follow a recipe.

Faith said...

i'm making chili in the crockpot right now! i'll share the recipe if it comes out good ... but you have points on me since i used canned beans ... oops!

proud of you! the chili looks good.

but this is how i see it, the hubby knew you weren't a big chef and married you anyway ... it's his own fault ;)

Marie Young said...

My husband can cook better than me. He tried to lie and say he couldn't then he cooked this meatloaf that tasted like it came right out of Emeril's kitchen... I'm going to try your recipe!

Cashana said...

Looks good and you get major points on using dried beans and doing the whole soaking method. I love cooking and trying new recipes, but I must start with a clean kitchen and I am so anal I clean as I go. I am also a lazy cook, which means if there are too many steps it ain't happening. I make chili once year and one day I am going to love it, but seriously I am still trying to replicate my aunt's recipe.

AiringMyDirtyLaundry said...

Yum! I'm not big on cooking. Most of my meals are simple and I know my husband is probably like, "Spagetti again?"

Rachel Murphree said...

It looks like it was a success! I have the opposite problem in that I love to cook, and my man loves my cooking, but his reaction is often "why bother, let's just go out." Anyway, I got a cookbook in my pop sugar box that is great for people who aren't already into cooking, called the Can Cook Cookbook by Jessica Seinfield. You might really like it!

A Life Less Traveled said...

While I do actually enjoy cooking, I can easily get caught in the "I'm so tired after work" trap. My husband isn't big into cooking so I don't have the luxury of that. We have been working on meal planning and not eating out during the week.

Anonymous said...

Lol @ Stellar qualities. I prefer to cook together than being in the kitchen all alone Great come back with the meal

Whitney Cypert said...

Proud of you for cooking and sharing a recipe! It looks delicious! The way you described the feeling you get after you make something and MJ eats it is the same feeling I have about working out. The end result is good, but I hate doing it lol.

Discovery Street said...

I really love cooking, but only when I've planned out meals for the week. Trying what to make for dinner a couple of hours before dinner is super stressful

Lovelyladyjb said...

In my quest to save on eating out, I have taken up cooking, and after you have nailed a few recipes, it gets easier. I am by no means a chef - but I started with 30 minute meals and worked my way up, and I make him chop the vegetables ;)

Anonymous said...

Hi Cece,

The chili looks delicious and I'm sure it tasted just as good. You've already declared that you're not planning to cook often, but I just thought I'd let you know that using a pressure cooker cuts the cooking time for the dried beans in half. Use it for anything that's tough or takes a long time to get tender. It's not a utensil that you'll use very often but it saves times and gas.

ShellyShell said...

Some days I love to cook other days I'm like meh. I live alone and make myself gourmet meals. I rarely meal plan and just go off the top of my head. Last night I made these fabulous crab cakes with a spicy remoulade sauce. Monday I whipped up a shrimp stirfry. I usually think about it on my 15min train ride or I just come in the house and sit on the couch for a few then an idea is born. When I lived with my ex. I think I meal planned more.
The chili looks delish.

afairlie said...

Girlfriend! This looks amazing! Go you!

Amanda @ MyLifeIGuess.com said...

I REALLY hope that expression isn't true or else I'm going to end up alone with houseful of cats (but in a way, I'm okay with that - hehe). My cooking skills are comparable to an average 8 years olds! I know that there are a lot of really good, delicious recipes out there that are easy, (like this one!!) but I honestly just can't be bothered.
I'm glad this new guy I'm seeing is a cook :) He made the most amazing (and actually really simple) meal for us last weekend! Maybe he'll teach me... ?

Libby G. said...

Chili is my favorite food! YUM!



Anonymous said...

I hate cooking. If my husband could cook I swear I would do everything else. I would clean the house, I'd deal with the car (if we still had one), I'd take care of Maya, etc., and I wouldn't complain one second. That's how much I hate to cook.

I think it's awesome you made the effort to make something...I can imagine what a sacrifice it was! Glad it turned out. Looks delicious.

Janna Renee said...

Hehe I love that he is making you cook, but I can't judge because I haven't cooked in over a month! Will has cooked more than I have and he hasn't even been home!