Tuesday, April 5, 2011

newlywed life - cooking.

One of the most talked about aspects of becoming a wife is cooking for the husband. Maybe it's a southern thing, but during our engagement I continuously heard, "Jordan, now you've got someone to cook for you!", or, "Ashley, are you excited to use all of your new cookware for Jordan?" It's like people don't realize that I also eat. If not more. 

But seriously, yes, I am excited to cook for Jordan. What most people don't know is that I had never cooked for him at all until two weeks before our wedding. So, no, he wasn't marrying me for my cooking (or cleaning) skills! Thankfully, he would love me even if I didn't do those things. :) But I will, and I am, doing those things. And, yes, I am enjoying it, because it's not just for me.

I have never liked to cook. Probably because I haven't really tried that much. Sure, I've helped my mom out, but that's different. She guided and directed everything. And I do love to bake delicious items such as cookies and cupcakes. But I guess we can't always eat cookies and cupcakes. What a shame. During the past few years I've relied on highly nutritious foods such as Bagel Bites and Ramen noodles. Although Jordan does enjoy Bagel Bites, I am not planning on making that one of our staple meals. Therefore, I am now learning to cook for us through experience, and I know it will be a trial and error process!

Before we got married, the one time that I cooked for him was when I was having a really bad, stressful day, and I knew the best way to make it better would be to do something sweet for Jordan. It always cheers me up to do something for him that I know he will like. Well, I didn't know he would like my cooking but I was feeling confident for some reason and just went for it. I grilled some chicken and made some bread and salad. It was not too bad If I do so say so myself. I'm sure it encouraged him so he didn't have to live on faith alone for our household cooking future.

Last week, the first home cooked meal that I made was the classic but tasty dinner of tacos!

I was rather pleased with how they turned out. Not that tacos are difficult to make in any way, but it was a great start. The husband thoroughly enjoyed them and also ate the leftovers the next day. (Leftovers are awesomeee!)

So, obviously, I'm not trying to jump into any crazy fancy recipes immediately. That would probably be a bad idea. I'm just taking baby steps and soon I will be the master chef of the Shelley family. (Jordan is a great cook...he has cooked for me multiple times...so I have to work hard to pass him eventually!) 

Tonight I will be using the aid of Hamburger Helper. Apparently, through conversations with many of my friends, Hamburger Helper has been eaten a lot in their lifetimes. I, on the other hand, have NEVER had it. Ever. So I am eager to see how it turns out. I am thankful for any help, so a box that says "helper" sounds good to me. I will let you know how it goes! Hopefully Jordan will like it after a long day of traveling and climbing! (He modifies and climbs cell phone towers if you didn't know that.)

Any advice or encouragement from any other newlyweds, or oldlyweds, is appreciated! I am thankful for my mother and mother-in-law who are excellent cooking examples for me, and will gladly soak up any advice from anyone else! Thank you, and God bless you and your kitchen. :)


  1. Way to go, Mrs. Shelley!

    I would recommend checking out http://thepioneerwoman.com/. She has some amazing recipes. Some are more difficult, but many are pretty simple. :) Check it out if you get a chance. Good luck!

  2. Good for you! I love your excitement over serving your Jordan! Here is a great go-to,easy recipe my family always loved!

    4-6 chicken breasts
    1 large jar spaghetti sauce
    1 bag grated cheese
    Parmesan cheese

    Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Lay chicken in baking dish. Cover with 1/2 jar of sauce. Cover with parmesan cheese. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Turn chicken over. Cover with remaining parmesan cheese and cover that with shredded cheese. Bake 30 more minutes. This is easy and tastes great!!
    P.S. If your chicken breasts are not real *fat and thick* just do 20 minutes on each side! Let me know if you try it!!

  3. http://www.amazon.com/Everyday-Food-Great-Fast/dp/0307354164/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1302033721&sr=8-5

    Hey Girl! You have to get this cookbook! It's my fave. Yummy, quick and easy recipes that make you seem like a gourmet chef. And the best part, every recipe has a full page photo which is surprisingly helpful! You and your hubby are too adorable by the way! Miss you!

  4. Another yummy & easy chicken dish (Which also happens to be my hub's favorite!)

    2-4 Chicken Breasts, provides enough for leftovers if you do 4:)
    1 can Cream of Chicken
    1 pack of sliced Mozzarella (about 6-8 slices)
    1 bag Pepperidge Farm bread crumbs- provides enough to make this dish MANY times

    Preheat oven to 350. Pour Cream of Chicken over and around chicken breasts. Top with Mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle bread crumbs (amount to your liking) over the top of the cheese. Bake for an hour.

  5. Oo! i love cooking :) still kathleen...ha i can't figure out how to change it!

    I like this website www.skinnytaste.com. Basically, she makes all of your favorite recipes healthier! I love it. Plus, most of them are easy and don't require a ton of ingredients.

    I know you are going to be the best cook!! The secret ingredient is Love ;)

  6. I can cook, but I learned through the same way you are... experience. lol I never enjoyed cooking and Steve truly didn't marry me for my meals. (I am thinking after reading this I need to post my first main meal of our married life on my blog. It was COMICAL.) However, as life has gotten busier with the kids and work, Steve has actually taken over the role of cooking at home. He is such a blessing and I tell him that OFTEN. But.. that is what marriage is about... completing each other and helping out in ways that are needed. Looks like you are doing a great job learning how to do that in your first two weeks. :) I would give you all kinds of recipes, but, alas... I may disappoint you. However, I do have a killer creamy chicken enchilada recipe I will have to share sometime. :)

  7. First, I loved the "Santitas" bag because that it's totally the best deal on chips! $2! :) Tacos are definitely one of our staples...chicken tacos to be exact. An easy side is frying one pound of hamburger and draining it, stirring it into a jar of cheese dip, and warming it up in the microwave!

    Second, somebody gave me the Betty Crocker cookbook and it is AWESOME! I use it all the time! It has basically anything you would want to cook ever!

    I was in the exact same boat...it's fun to be brave and try new things. And, if all else fails that little hamburger/chicken helper glove guy is there to save the day. :)

    Glad you are having a blast being married...it only gets better! Let me know if you need anything!

  8. allrecipes.com is my favorite website. Thanks for being such a great wife for Jordan! And getting him to eat vegetables!!! YAY!!! Love you! Mom Shelley



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