I read something recently about the many ways in which we express love. Without a doubt, FOOD is the number one love language in our home.We talk a lot about ‘joy moments’ and share tons of pretty pictures on our blog, like here and here, but cooking, which always brings big smiles to us and our guests gets left on the back burner – pun intended. Last week I had a very satisfying personal experience in the kitchen and am still smiling about it, so why not share it with you. After all, celebrating the little things is one of the basic tenants of happiness, right?
Cooking is a hobby that we cultivated together during retirement and our roles are very well defined at this point. We plan the menu together, he shops, I set the table and arrange the flowers and we divide the kitchen duties. He does most of the cooking and I keep the kitchen tidy. It is a system that works well for us and we enjoy this creative time together.
It is rare for me to take the lead in the kitchen for a company meal, but with Malcolm’s birthday coming up and wanting to celebrate with a few friends without asking him to pitch in, I did just that; how hard could it be?
The short answer is, “Hard”! and it made me appreciate him all the more for his culinary talents and organizational skills. I missed working side by side with him in the kitchen but, I have to say I did a credible job overall and I never felt stressed. Granted, the meal itself is fairly basic, but there was shopping and prep work, and table setting, and flower arranging, and clean up, and, and….still smiling??
My goals for this meal were not lofty. In order of importance, hot, tasty, and pretty on the plate seemed realistic! Oh well, two out of three is progress.
I started the evening by serving a baked Brie, fresh apple slices and some crusty bread. Of course there was a signature cocktail and this one is aptly called, “the Oriental.” It set the tone perfectly for the spicy food to come. Caution, sip slowly…..
The first course was a small bowl of steamed Sake mussels (not pictured), followed by an Edamame salad with fresh baby spinach (not pictured) and the main course was Spicy Salmon Teriyaki with Steamed Bok Choy and a side of Jasmine rice. I am not a huge fan of Salmon, (it’s Malcolm’s favorite fish) but the sauce elevates the dish to a whole other level. It is spicy and flavorful and pairs perfectly with a glass of Chardonnay.
I think this would make a great ‘date night’ meal without the other courses and you can make it from start to finish in under thirty minutes.
If you can boil water, you can cook rice, and steaming Bok Choy requires little or no talent. Consequently, those directions are not included. 🙂
This dish is a ‘keeper’ for me and I can imagine the sauce going well with shrimp also. If you try it, please let me know what you think.
I am sharing this over at Trent’s World for his Weekly Smile series which is guaranteed to make you smile! Check it out and attach your own joy moments post.