Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday Five: Teamwork in the kitchen

It's Friday, and I find myself staring down a very empty calendar for the first time in ages.  For months, Matt and I planned to visit Annapolis, Maryland, for the weekend to enjoy a trip with friends and the Pitt football game versus Navy.  However, Matt learned he has a swim meet this weekend, making travel impossible.  Though we're bummed we'll miss the game and visiting friends in nearby Arlington (Hi, guys!), we know there will be more chances in the future for weekends like those.

With nearly everyone we know out of town for one reason or another, it looks like we'll have a quiet weekend in the city.  I'm so glad we did all of the major fall cleaning on Sunday, so we can enjoy ourselves this weekend, chore-free!  I want to head outside for a long run (fingers crossed the rain stays away!) and do some baking while Matt's coaching.  But, when he gets home, it's date time!  He made reservations at Root 174, a local restaurant we've been talking about since it opened, for dinner.  We also want to see the movie Gravity in the theaters and hope to do a little furniture shopping, but TBD.  Three cheers for room to be spontaneous together!

One thing we'll surely make time for at least once this weekend is cooking together.  It doesn't happen often due to our schedules, so I really love the moments we're in the kitchen together.  I've found that certain dishes are much more enjoyable to prepare as a team.  In that frame of mind, here is the latest edition of Friday Five, featuring some of my all-time favorite dishes that are way more fun to make with a sous chef.

1. Homemade fish sticks -  Any recipe that calls for breading and frying is a great one for two cooks.  Even when I'm blogging about a specific recipe, I often need Matt's help to photograph since my fingers are a sticky floured mess.  Fact: The only time I've made onion rings at home, we did it together.  It's much more fun to make a mess and coughdothedishescough with someone by your side :)

2. Chicken enchiladas - Another assembly line dish that's perfect for multiple sets of hands; in fact, it comes together much faster, which means you'll be devouring them sooner!  We made these recently, and both wondered why we don't make them more often.  Cheesy, comforting, and good!

3. Shrimp and asparagus risotto - Not necessarily a messy dish, but it does require some patience and a little time for the add broth/stir/repeat cycles.  I think time would fly by if you added good conversation to that cycle.  Also, share the stirring responsibilities with your spouse/friend.  It's quite an arm workout!

4. Cookies - Any kind, any flavor.  If there's one person who loves cookie dough more than me, it's Matt.  He always manages to find a way to sneak some, so I've just learned to invite him to sample it, no ninja stealth required.  Whenever I decide to make cookies, it's pretty much a given that I won't be alone in the kitchen.  I'll see if I can put him to work this time!

5.  Breakfast - It happens rarely due to my habit of waking up super early, even on weekends; I just can't wait 3 hours for food after fasting all night!  (while sleeping but still...)  But, if I go kill some time running and gently wake up Matt before I shower, he'll be alert enough and hungry that making breakfast together sounds appealing.  Smoothies are great if we have a busy day ahead of us, but pancakes are my personal favorite.  The sour cream in our fridge is begging to be used for a batch of Edna Mae's pancakes this weekend...

Have yourself a great weekend cozying up to your most favorite people, have fun in the kitchen, and hail to Pitt!

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