Eating in Sin

by Rachel on May 2, 2011

Since we’ve moved in together, Eric and I have been eating very well.

I’d been really looking forward to us living together because all I really want in life is someone to let me cook for them. I love being able to diversify my single-girl menu and cook a lot of new recipes. Every day, it seems, I’m putting something delicious on the table and I love it.

Here are some of the things I’ve been making for dinner!

This was a really easy dinner — the ham was pre-cooked so I just put it in the oven so it could heat up (it takes about an hour). While the ham cooked for its last ten minutes, I sauteed the green beans in butter and made the potatoes in the microwave and then topped them with butter.

This dinner started with bone-in chicken breasts that I topped with a really simple maple syrup and mustard sauce from Ellie Krieger’s Maple Mustard Chicken Thighs recipe in The Food You Crave. I baked them for about 45 minutes and then did sweet potatoes in the microwave (topped with butter) and green beans in olive oil on the stovetop.

I saw this Grilled Chicken and Orange Skewers recipe in Real Simple magazine and it was so simple, I had to try it. I marinated the chicken ahead of time in a mango-cayenne marinade and then threw it on the grill. Served over rice and black beans, it was a great dinner and lunch.

grilled steak with chimichurri sauce

Last night I made steak, garlic bread, and broccoli with butter from Ellie Krieger’s Steak with Chimichurri Sauce and Grilled Garlic Bread recipes in So Easy. I wasn’t sure how the garlic bread would taste but the second it hit my tongue, I was in heaven. It was perfect. The steak was great too — the chimichurri sauce is really simple to make and adds a lot of spice and flavor. Like the title of the cookbook implies, everything was so easy. This was probably my favorite meal we had this week and it came together ridiculously fast.

While this all looks good, there have been some fails too. Like last night, when I decided I’d roast a whole chicken for the first time in more than a year. Target didn’t have the roasting pan I wanted so I bought a cheap disposable one. Turns out, the plastic covers that come with those are meant to be put on after roasting — they are not, in fact, ovenproof. I learned this the hard way when I checked the chicken halfway through and the cover had disappeared and the chicken was looking really shiny and crispy. The steak was actually a dinner rescue mission!

I’ve been cooking more than just dinners too — I’ve been making real breakfast every day. It’s usually some variation on eggs…either scrambled with sausage and peppers in a tortilla, on an English muffin with bacon and cheese, or scrambled up with some of that leftover ham. I’ve been making a solid effort to make healthy, square meals that leave us both feeling full and happy, and eggs definitely do the trick.

Lunches are usually leftovers, but I’ve also made a few special lunches, like the Greek meatballs and quite a few different chicken salads. I love lunch foods so I try not to have only leftovers.

What I like about all the meals that I’ve been making is that the portions are easily adjustable. It’s easy enough to serve Eric more meat or an extra egg so he doesn’t go hungry and I don’t gain weight. But that means we have to buy more meat and extra eggs. Not gonna lie — I’m not used to feeding a guy full-time and the sheer amount of meat we’re buying every week is sort of blowing my mind.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lauren at Keep It Sweet May 2, 2011 at 10:03 am

I might make those maple-mustard chicken thighs tonight! I’m glad you didn’t try to eat the chicken with plastic melted all over it.

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2 Alli May 2, 2011 at 10:09 am

That maple mustard chicken looks amazing! Definitely bookmarked for future reference. I made a whiskey-maple glazed ham for Easter, and I need to have an occasion to make it again because it was delicious (and so easy….who would’ve thought?).

And I totally know what you’re talking about when living in sin = tons of new recipes to try. It’s fun, but also sometimes frustrating because sometimes I just want some quinoa and veggies for dinner…and the dude sees that as an appetizer, not a meal. I’ve really had to work on my portion control over the last year or so because, much as I’d like to, I can’t be matching a foot-taller, 50 lbs heavier guy bite for bite at every meal, you know?

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3 Manon May 2, 2011 at 10:18 am

I made braised brussel sprouts with a maple mustard sauce a couple of weeks ago….LOVE the combo!

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4 Erin May 2, 2011 at 10:21 am

I’m not officially living in sin, but I do cook a lot of meals with my boyfriend. My god, it blows my mind. Once when we were snowed in for many days, I just didn’t know what to do with his appetite and my waning food supply.
All those meals look so delicious and impressive. I can’t believe how many times you made a real dinner. It’s inspired me to make something besides salad, bread, and cheese for myself (well, in 5 days after finals).

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5 Lauren May 2, 2011 at 11:02 am

I’ve been SO crazed at work that I’ve been rushing out in the morning and eating some form of kashi or special k every morning for bfast (luckily we have this stuff free at the office), but am thinking I need to get my ass out of bed 30 mins earlier and go back to eating healthy real square breakfasts…I really think it makes a difference!!

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6 Natalie @ Scarlett Notions May 2, 2011 at 12:58 pm

You’ve inspired me to get my butt in gear and do some cooking this week! :)

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7 Liz @ IHeartVegetables May 2, 2011 at 1:02 pm

Woah, look at all those delicious dinner!!! Yum!

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8 Sable May 2, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Isn’t it great?!!? I’m pretty sure I never bothered trying to cook *tasty* things when I was cooking for just me haha. I love having a fellow taste-tester and I *really* love when my guy gives me new recipe inspirations/requests!

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9 Yvonne May 2, 2011 at 2:31 pm

Wow, it all looks so yummy! This post reminded me of (years ago, pre-husband) when a new boyfriend came over for breakfast and I had bought a whole package of bacon for just the two of us…he ate it while I cooked it – the whole pound! Leaving my bacon-and-eggs breakfast to become just plain eggs! LOL – those guys can eat!

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10 Yoonmee @ MoveLaughAloha May 2, 2011 at 3:02 pm

I was salivating at all the food pics…. and then I read about how you melted the plastic cover while trying to roast a chicken! hahaha Awww, sounds like something I’d do. Well, you win some and you lose some. Cooking is a journey. Looks like you’re doing great!

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11 Chandra May 2, 2011 at 7:17 pm

I really love this roast check recipe:http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/perfect-roast-chicken-recipe/index.html … and it doesn’t require any covering :)

All four of those meals look delicious and easy enough for busy weeknights!

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12 Chandra May 2, 2011 at 7:24 pm

check=chicken :)

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13 Jessica @ Stylish Stealthy & Healthy May 2, 2011 at 8:20 pm

There’s nothing better than cooking a delish meal for your lovah and them fawning over you all night and telling you how good it was. (This usually requires me asking “did you like the dinner” multiple times, but its the ends, not the means.)
You should try chicken enchiladas- they’re my husbands favorite meal and pretty sure why I think he married me :)
http://stylishstealthyandhealthy.com/2011/02/14/my-hungry-valentine-chicken-enchilada-recipe/

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14 fattyfile May 3, 2011 at 9:48 am

I can relate to this so much. When my now-husband and I first moved in together, we cooked up a storm and we ate like kings. We also had ginormous grocery bills. My hubs (then my boyfriend) was/is a freaking bottomless pit. I have since learned how to satiate his appetite and put out great meals but not blow our budget: I trick him. Check out the Food Matters cookbook by Mark Bittmann for great tips on how to make meat the flavoring in the meal as opposed to the centerpiece. This is way more budget friendly but it’s also just, personally, the way I/we want to eat/live these days.

I can also relate to the excitement of impressing your sweetie at the dinner table. I’m not gonna lie, though: I had a total meltdown one night because he hadn’t yet proposed and I was feeling the pressure and I may or may not have yelled out, “I feel like I’m rehearsing to be your wife and the rehearsals never end!!!!” I had put way too much pressure on myself. I wish I could go back and tell myself to take a chill pill.

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15 Rachel May 3, 2011 at 10:50 am

Oh, I believe meat should be the centerpiece! I mean, I want veggies there, of course, but fat and protein is the main part of my diet!

And OMG at what you yelled out! I definitely haven’t been pressuring myself to impress him…cooking impressive meals for myself is enough, I just need someone to help me eat all the food!

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16 fattyfile May 3, 2011 at 4:10 pm

Yeah, I was doo doo doo doo under pressure (I’m singing that song). The pressure was entirely put on myself (although friends constantly asking about his intentions did not help at all). You sound like you have a healthier perspective. And woo hoo for meat!

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17 angela May 3, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Those look great! I have a husband and daughter to cook for every night, and it can be fun, but it can also get me stuck in cooking ruts, especially with how picky they can be sometimes. So last weekend we had my inlaws over for dinner and it was completely awesome cooking for a new audience for a change! We had so much fun making a great meal for them.

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