I don’t like cooking. I just don’t think I’m very good at it or that I ever will be for that matter. Obviously that’s a bit of negative self-talk, but I do find cooking frustrating. I enjoy baking, and 98% of the time things come out just as I’d hoped. However that’s normally not the case when I cook, even if I follow a recipe exactly.

I am happy to admit that Gabe is a far better cook than I am. He watches a lot of cooking shows and is always trying to learn new techniques, be it to improve flavor or just an easier way to cut a vegetable. The other night we opted to do cook Indian food. I had chicken and a jar of masala simmer sauce from Trader Joe’s sitting in my cupboard just waiting to be used. We picked up some veggies, including tomatoes, a red pepper, and an onion. We also made a stop at the local Indian grocery where Gabe hoped to get some tips. He wants to eventually be able to make his own homemade sauces rather than buying premade ones. The woman was very helpful and gave us a few items to try first telling us to come back and she’d teach us how to cook delicious Indian food.

After that, we headed home and got to work. It was pretty easy and quite delicious. Here’s what we did.

I started by seasoning the chicken (salt, pepper, and a nice spice mix whose name I don’t recall). I then seared them in a skillet in olive oil.

You don't have to cook it all the way through just yet.

You don’t have to cook it all the way through just yet.

Meanwhile we started cooking the onion and red pepper in a pot with a little olive oil and garlic.


You don’t want to add the tomatoes this early as they cook very fast and are quite a watery fruit (yes, they’re a fruit…they have seeds).

After the vegetables had cooked a bit, we poured in the masala sauce and added the chicken. We covered the pot and let this simmer. This finishes cooking the vegetables and chicken. Tomatoes were also added at this point. I had a picture of it all in the pot, but it was blurry so I’m just going to show you the delicious simmer sauce from TJ’s instead.



A few minutes before it was ready we threw some Naan in the oven to heat and then it was ready. It’s honestly a pretty quick meal when you’re working with a premade sauce. Here’s the final product.


Staying with the theme of cooking, yesterday we headed to the Boalsburg Farmer’s Market. It’s a pretty nice market with stands by farmers, a goat dairy, vineyard, bakery, pasta, and tacos at the El Gringo Taco stand. We grabbed some peppers, plums, a mini pie, yellow beans, and some lettuce. Gabe was in charge of the protein for our dinner and he settled on shrimp.

This was a really quick and easy meal to prepare too! We blanched the beans in boiling water and then sauteed them in a little bit of butter with some onions. For the shrimp, after peeling them (already deveined) we boiled them in water, vinegar, and old bay. It only takes a few minutes to cook them. Here was the finished plate.

Delicious and healthy!

Delicious and healthy!

So I have to say both of these meals went quite well. They were easy to prepare, and quite tasty. They also really didn’t require any recipes, just a basic knowledge of how the items cook and how long. I think I’m making some improvements. Do I want to cook every day? No. But the more successful I am, the more I enjoy doing it.

If you have any questions, just let me know 🙂


One thought on “Improving

  1. Jennifer Hessert

    Albeit your feelings of “failure” when it comes to cooking, I am continually impressed by your “adventuresome spirit. . . !!!” Kudos to you (& Gabriel), my friend. . . !!! : )

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