Thursday, October 05, 2006

Cooking for couples

Whether you are newlyweds or just reinventing your relationship, you may find cooking together an enriching experience. If you play your roles right, this can be a therapeutic exercise for your marriage because it opens an avenue for teamwork. By cooking as a couple, one learns how to give way while his or her partner leads, and the result is a harmonious interplay between two loving individuals.

This harmony, of course, takes quite some time to master. When my husband and I cooked together for the first time, I went close to hitting him in the head with the skillet he asked me to wipe. I thought to myself, WE are supposed to be cooking, not cleaning kitchenware! Why was I the one left to do menial things while he had all his creative juices running?

I wiped the skillet, beat the mixtures, and measured the ingredients albeit against my will. All afternoon that we were cooking, I was grumbling like the devil.

But one appetizer, two entrées and one dessert later, we were a couple again. He, the food scientist, created a sumptuous meal. Had I let my pride get the best of me, we would not have finished in the kitchen, and our guests would have starved to death.

I realized that it was not easy for him to see me struggling the way I did either. I was then an amateur in the kitchen, while he had been practically making a living working in it. In all fairness, he warned me before we cooked that the kitchen has room for only one chef, and one of us had to give way and be the sous-chef. When it was my turn to be the chef, he so politely did what I asked him to do—without any devilish grumblings in the background, mind you.


How to cook as a couple:

Start with simple meals. If it’s the first time for both of you to cook, start even simpler, like breakfast during weekends or a stir-fry meal for lunch. A pasta entrée makes for a good division of labor; one of you can take care of the pasta while the other cooks up the sauce.

About three cookbooks that have different menus for different occasions and seasons should be enough. (We have Italian, Asian, Simple Pasta, and Old-fashioned Holiday cookbooks at home). The Web is rife with recipes of sorts, but I suggest finding Web sites that would best suit your needs and lifestyle. They also have to be sites that were recommended by those who have tried and "tasted" them. Most of my recipes were lifted from Unilever Food Solutions and Unilever. These two sites have a multitude of recipes that range from special holiday meals to everyday dinners, and were contributed by an army of seasoned culinary experts. Plus, I never have a hard time looking for the ingredients in their recipes. That is a definite bonus especially if you and your partner have little time to run to the supermarket.

Here’s a simple entrée you and your partner can try together.

Shrimp Creole

2 tbsp. I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter
2 tsbp. all-purpose flour
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. green pepper, chopped
1 tbsp. red pepper, chopped
1 tbsp. celery, chopped
1 jar (16 oz.) Tostitos salsa (mild or medium, depending on your palate)
1 can (8-oz.) tomato sauce
1 tsp. soy sauce
1 ½ shrimp, cleaned, deveined

1. Heat butter and flour in a non-stick saucepan until brown, stirring constantly.
2. Add garlic, green pepper, red pepper and celery. Sauté for 2 minutes or until tender.
3. Stir in salsa and tomato sauce. Mix evenly. Simmer for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Stir in shrimp. Cook for 7-10 minutes or until shrimp are pink and cooked through. Stir in soy sauce and simmer for one more minute. Serve warm over rice.

Note: The adjective "creole" refers to a type of food prepared with rice, tomatoes, peppers and sometimes, okra.


Photo credits:

Pot and veggies: at

Shrimp creole: at


ExoticPrincess said...

hey there, thanks fr stopping by my blog. You have some nice tips. I don't know if he can cook all the times but he will do little things like sandwich or omlet. Also, I was wondering...Do you have any vegeratian recepies? Thanks Gal....Keep it up.

Overwhelmed! said...

Okay, first of all, I love the introduction about how to cook as a couple. I must confess, Oronzo and I never cook as a couple. Part of that is usually because one of us is minding Snuggle Bug while the other cooks, but even before we became parents we didn't cook together. Perhaps we could work on that.

The Shrimp Creole recipe sounds divine!

Thanks so much for participating in my Holiday Cooking, Blogger Style recipe exchange. I sure do appreciate it!

Anonymous said...

hey thanks for the recipe. i will try it out. Also I will convey the b'day wishes to him. You have a good weekend.

Irene Tuazon said...

I really must learn to cook. In the meantime, I am happily grateful that my husband is a whiz in the kitchen! c",)

Magi said...

I love shrimp creole. Thanks for the new recipe.

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