Matt and I have been cooking some recently. Tonight, we tried a modified form of April's cornbread. I had some jiffy corn mix, and we sauteed onions and green chiles to add into the dough before cooking. Quite delicious. To accompany this, we also made salsa chicken and red beans and rice. The salsa chicken is simple but good -- simply brown the outside of the chicken in a pan on medium heat then turn the heat to med-low/low, smother the chicken breast in salsa, and cover. The red beans and rice were from the delicious New Orleans style by Vigo.
This week, Matt also made me spaghetti with homemade sauce, and last night we had salad with Walla Walla sweet onion dressing (my favorite) and chicken breasts cooked in a sweet onion marinade.
Somehow, I always cook better stuff when someone else is eating with me. For myself, I don't worry so much about what I'm eating; my main goal is to not be hungry any more. But when I know that someone else will be eating the meal -- or when I have someone to cook with me -- I become much more concerned with putting something flavorful, healthy, and tasty on the table. As a side benefit, I also get good lunches for work; leftover spaghetti is much tastier than my typical PBJ or canned soup.
This holiday season, I'm definitely counting my blessings of good relationships and good food. I also enjoyed quite a number of great meals while at home (highlights: my mom's roast beef, finally satiating my sushi cravings, and custard). I'm lucky to have good friends who share recipes, a boyfriend who helps me try those recipes, and a family that has always valued the sit-down meal.