Two Cooks in the Kitchen: Dishing up quick and easy
dining ideas for newlyweds
(ARA) - "The first time my now husband ever cooked for
me, he fried eggs in about three inches of bacon grease. I
was absolutely mortified," says former newlywed Andrea
Alexander, who is now a chef instructor at The Art Institute
Combining two different cooking approaches into one kitchen
isn’t always easy. Even professional chefs have to adjust
their kitchen attitudes when they get married. But it can
be done. With a little patience and coaxing, Chef Alexander
was able to convince her husband there was a better way. "Now
we eat poached eggs on polenta, lots of fresh vegetables and
as much fresh seafood as possible," she explains.
Whether you're a two-cook, one-cook and one helper couple,
or both culinary-challenged, the chef instructors at The Art
Institutes have created a few simple ideas for dishing up
harmony and delicious meals in the kitchen.
Start with what’s correctly called "the most important
meal of the day." According to Chef Peter Weeren of The
Art Institute of Washington, "newlyweds are notorious
for skipping breakfast, and when asked, will often say they
don't have time to cook anything 'worthwhile' during the week."
So, for a quick solution to the "no time for breakfast
problem," Chef Weeren suggests preparing extras on the
weekends. Make double portions of pancakes, waffles or French
toast that can be cooled, placed between wax paper, popped
into plastic storage bags and then frozen. To give you and
your spouse an added nutritional boost, try using whole grains,
and add fresh berries as toppings.
Says Chef Weeren "next Monday, instead of running out
of the house on coffee alone, grab one or two of those pancakes
or waffles, toss them into the toaster and in just minutes,
you have a solid foundation upon which to build your weekday
without the fuss."
How about the end of the day? After a long 9-to-5 grind, most
couples don’t have the energy to turn out a big meal,
even though they’re hungry. Instead of elaborate meals
that require a lot of preparation, Chef Benita Wong of The
Art Institute of Washington says "try something new and
simple, like tapas."
Chef Wong likes the Spanish tradition of tapas, which are
an array of small plates of food that are meant for nibbling.
Loaded with flavor and texture, tapas are, according to Wong,
"a freewheeling nibbling and noshing concept that can
be a wonderfully exotic and entertaining meal to enjoy with
your better half."
The appeal of tapas for newlyweds is they can be easy to prepare.
For example, olives, hummus with pita bread, or cured meats
can all work for tapas. You can pick up more ideas by browsing
around the prepared food section of your local grocery store.
Small plates of many foods create the perfect array of diverse
taste and flavors. Says Wong, "you can either make these
dishes ahead of time or spread out portions of the week's
leftovers with some healthy delicious snack foods." She
also suggests accompanying tapas with a great glass of Spanish
wine to turn Friday night wind-down into a romantic evening
filled with an assortment of flavors.
Another great way to smooth the path to mealtime for newlyweds
is a well-stocked pantry. All our chef experts agree that
well-chosen foods in the pantry can save time, money (you’ll
eat out less!) and will make cooking more enjoyable.
Here are their suggestions for a well-stocked pantry:
White or brown rice
A variety of pasta (semolina or whole grain)
Canned tuna or chicken
Variety of beans (pinto, navy, chick)
Canned tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes
Brown and granulated sugar
Good olive oil
Vinegars (balsamic, red and white)
Courtesy of ARA Content
EDITOR'S NOTE: For more information, contact Barbara Vilanova,
The Art Institutes at (412) 242-0796 or Jeff Durosko at (412)
562-0900 ext. 7232.
The Art Institutes system of 29 education institutions is
located throughout North America, providing an important source
of design, media arts, fashion and culinary professionals.
The Art Institutes system of schools has provided career-oriented
education programs for 40 years with more than 140,000 graduates.
For more information, visit The Art Institutes website at