Man Friend is the best fiance in the world. Okay, I’m obviously biased, but one of the things that makes him great is he loves getting busy in the kitchen! Busy making awesome food, that is. Often we’ll go out to eat and try something, and his first reaction is to ask, “I wonder how I could make this at home?”
I also love to cook, so when we’re together we like spending quality time whipping up tasty eats together. When he was visiting we only had about a week together with a lot of restaurants to try out along the way, but we still managed to squeeze in a couple of baking sessions.
The day after we got engaged, I was in the mood to celebrate, so we decided to kick off the morning with cinnamon rolls. I love this recipe from Outnumbered because it’s so quick and easy. We were out of eggs, but found out you can make a great substitute with whey protein powder and didn’t even notice the difference! Making it with Man Friend was even better because I had someone to clean the counters off after I got done rolling them out.
A little later in the week we had worked up a CRAZY appetite touring around, so we started devising a dinner plan on the way home (as I so often do). After a quick stop at the grocery store we came home and put together these amazing stuffed breads. They were SO good.
The crust was just Bobby Flay’s pizza crust recipe, and then we dumped all kinds of yummy things on top of/in them.
We have a ton of fun making food together, but it also challenges our ability to work together, express desires and expectations, and generally communicate. A lot of cooking habits are well-ingrained or things you just always do a certain way. So here’s my advice if you want to try it out!
- Begin with the end in mind
This may seem really obvious, but make sure you’re both on the same page about what you want to eat! If the other person suggests something and it doesn’t sound delicious to you, try to find a recipe you can both enjoy.
- Pick a head chef
Yes, you’re working together, but it’s easier to get things done when there’s one person who gets to make the final call or figure out what step to work on next. Man Friend and I switch off on this, depending on who’s more familiar with the recipe. The night we made the stuffed breads, I lead the dough-making, then we each made one bread however we wanted and worked together on the last one. They all turned out great, and the variety made it more fun!
- Start simple
The first dish we ever tried together was chow mein. We were actually in two different locations, so Man Friend picked the recipe and we skyped while we made it. This recipe didn’t have a ton of ingredients and only took about half an hour. It was a great first recipe to do together! Later on you can progress to crazy multiple course feasts, but at the beginning try out things that are easy or that you’re very familiar with.
- Be encouraging and honest
Not everything you try is going to turn out great. In fact, some of it may be just plain bad, but if this is something you want to keep doing together, don’t get discouraged! When your significant other hits it out of the park, tell them! Praise improvement and effort. If the food turns out less than ideal, be honest about it, but don’t belittle yourself or the other person. The longer you stay together and keep trying out kitchen adventures together, the more chances you’ll have to become culinary geniuses!
- Enjoy it to the end
My mom used to say that if you don’t have time to clean up, you don’t have time to cook. Tidying the kitchen is much more fun with a buddy! Don’t finish the meal and then dump your sweetheart with a massive pile of dishes. Split the tasks up based on preference, or use this as a chance to show your love by taking over the most tedious chores. Man Friend is pretty cute when he’s doing dishes, and it reminds me what a caring and hard-working person I get to spend the rest of my life with. Trust me, you’ll be reaping the rewards on this long after the last bowl’s been set out to dry.
Do you ever cook with others? What are your favorite tips?