Culinarily speaking... there are my dreams and then there's my reality

I am always discovering new recipes in vintage cookbooks, pamphlets, magazines, books and, now, on Pinterest. The thought of making culinary delights thrills something deep inside me and makes my heart skip a beat. I just got a new copy of Frances Mayes latest book The Tuscan Sun Cookbook: Recipes from Our Italian Kitchen and it seems that every page I read makes that flutter inside my chest happen.  It all sounds so wonderful... the process of making something with my own hands and then giving it to loved ones to enjoy and savor as we chat, laugh, and create memories while sitting around a big table laden with the dishes that once held my culinary creations.

There's just one problem... I don't cook.

I've resorted to creating a board on Pinterest called "Want to Try It (Food)" (which is really code for "Honey, can you make this?").

Hubby is a culinary genius in the kitchen. Early in life he aspired to being a chef and has the skills to be one of the best of the best. But he also dreamed of having a wife and family and made a conscious decision that being a chef would require hours away from that dreamed-of wife and family that he wanted more than he wanted the dream of being a chef. So he became a technology guru instead, and I (the wife that finally came along) now get to enjoy all his chef-i-ness for myself.

I'm spoiled. I'll admit it. I rarely have to cook dinner. And most of the time Hubby even plates my dinner like I've ordered it at a restaurant. His talent for creating a beautiful plate of food is amazing. I always want to photograph his plate after we've gone through the line at our favorite salad bar restaurant, because it's so beautifully arranged and colorful.

I guess we have a sort of partnership (at least I like to think we do). Like a bloodhound, I go out and find the recipes to inspire him, and then Hubby makes the recipe come to life in a mouth-watering way I cannot begin to achieve.

I've tried. I really have. I love Olive Garden's chicken fettucini alfredo. I found the official recipe for their alfredo sauce online through Pinterest. I decided I was going to make it. Hubby was skeptical (cream sauces are daunting). I charged ahead with a full head of steam and all the ingredients laid out on the countertop. How hard could it be? As long as I have the recipe, I'm golden, right?


The resulting dish didn't taste like Olive Garden's creamy divinity that I love. It tasted like eggs.

I gave up after that.

This last week, Hubby kindly made a bacon and cheese quiche recipe I had pinned on my Pinterest board. Well, actually he used the Pinterest recipe as the base for a recipe that he made up on the fly that would be more healthy for me to eat. In the end, it was beyond fantastic! I had never tasted anything better... until a couple of days later when he remade it with a couple more tweaks (the addition of swiss cheese and green onions). Holy cow, it was even better than the first one!

Oh yeah... I am SO spoiled!

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  1. "must be a good cook" was on my list of things a partner had to be when I was single and 'looking'. *grin* My husband is a good cook, but he's working too much and too hard to do any right now. That's okay. I warned him when I met him that I was a 'functional' cook. The things I made would be tasty, but they wouldn't necessarily look all that good and they would not be gourmet.

    Lucky woman, you are!

  2. Love your pictures! I am fond of anything vintage in the kitchen!

  3. Oh, I had to laugh! I'm much like you in that I'm always perusing recipes and dreaming of cooking and baking some exquisite creation, but I rarely get beyond the printing and collecting of, those the hundreds! I'm no longer allowed to purchase cookbooks. I have many, and rarely actually use them, except for baking cookies at Christmas. I usually don't have all the ingredients anyway, so just glance at recipes for ideas and create something similar of my own. I love cooking, and am pretty good at it, but don't have the time to be that "into" it. I do love eating though...and LOVE Olive Garden's chicken fettucini! That's my favorite too! I'd love to have my husband cook for me, but he's way too messy in the kitchen, and he's not nearly as talented as he'd like to believe. :)

  4. Carolynn--"must be a good cook" was on my list too! I'm like you. I'm a "functional" cook but definitely not as talented as Hubby.

  5. Robin--Thanks! I love kitchen vintage too. There's just something about it that I love.

  6. Lorie--I know the "sickness" of collecting cookbooks. I think Hubby is on the verge of restricting my acquisitions too. I'm the messy one in the kitchen (according to Hubby) and it makes him so nervous when I'm in there making something. He hovers like a worried mother hen.

  7. Cindy, you are one very fortunate woman, and the wonderful thing is that you know it...and appreciate it.

    I love food, and I love to cook, my husband thinks that I am always cooking "exotic" food, [read anything other then the ordinary].

    But he seems to appreciate it, and he eats it, so.....I keep cooking.

    I love the vintage kitchen utensils that you used in your perfect for what I envision your life, and house to be.


  8. Laughed and laughed AND jotted down the new cookbook by Frances Mayes.

    When I was in Cortina, a local woman told me that they refer to Frances as St. Frances of Cortina. She has really helped their economy.

    Sending food thoughts your way-keep cooking!

    Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

  9. Jen--I have to smile at your description of your "exotic" food. I've got family members that cook like that. It's always an adventure to say the least. And, you're right, the vintage kitchen utensils are a good representation of our home because I have way too many of them. ;-)

  10. Sharon--I didn't know that tidbit about Frances! That is really neat. Her writing has influenced my life significantly too. Our gardens have been shaped by the visions she created in my mind with her first book Under the Tuscan Sun. Hubby and I have an agreement... I'll grow it and he'll cook it.

  11. I love the vintage photos, Cindy. And, didn't I tell you from the beginning that he was a keeper? I seem to recall some lunch dates where we talked a lot about him! It's a good thing you listened to me. :)

  12. I gotta tell this story: When Cindy was growing up I tried to encourage her to cook meals. She wasn't too keen on the idea. Her one signature meal was Porcupine Meatballs. I asked her many times how she thought she could be a successful wife and cook. Her solution? marry someone who could cook! Way to go Cindy!

  13. Love that story Sue! She did choose well!

  14. Yup! Despite my mom's many attempts to get me to face the reality that I'd need to cook someday, I'd think, "Well, I'll need to marry someone that can cook I guess." And I did. *grin*


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