Cooking is the one thing I look forward to all day. It has been my only creative outlet among the many highs and lows of the past few months.

Matthew asked me to marry him- yay!

Not everyone in my life was thrilled about this. In fact, one key person was downright depressed, hurtful and angry over it, my Mother.

Clearly this was not my dream of how engaged bliss is supposed to feel. But my non-traditional life choices have typically been wracked with guilt.

The proposal happened in Niagara Falls- on our trip to Buffalo for Christmas. Even though he is a meticulous planner, Matthew was thoughtful enough to pop the question on my turf so I could celebrate with friends and family.

The roller coaster began. Claws were out. Familiar territory.

We arrived back in Melbourne, shell-shocked. I turned 30. We went back to work.

Wound so tightly I could not breathe or laugh I needed something. Going to the gym helped but I craved creativity. With work and social life in the warped-speed mode that comes with an overseas proposal- I had little time betwixt the scheduled smiles and hand shakes.

I always finish work before Matt so I found myself stopping in the grocery store on the way home (this is usually a loathed-chore we share). Rather than turn on the TV or taking a nap- I found myself preparing complicated recipes while waiting for him to arrive home.

Being able to make a delicious, healthy meal for myself and my fiance every night is something I take pride in. If I were eating alone, I’d be far less interested. Cooking for an ‘us’ is something I am able to relish and develop and I’m happy to think about how this is going to become our little family tradition.

Last night for Valentines Day Dinner I made:
prosciutto-wrapped broccolini spears (they were out of asparagus at the supermarket), topped with a fried egg, extra virgin olive oil, Parmesan and a balsamic reduction.

I marinated and tenderized Organic Scotch, Eye-Fillets in garlic/ chilli steak seasoning and sauteed a few shrimp to make it surf and turf.

For dessert, quinoa, chocolate-chip peanut butter cookies. They were a bit crumbly so maybe next time I’ll add an egg.

None of the recipes were followed exactly- I like to get ideas and act on instinct. It was delicious and satisfying in more ways than one.

Now if I could just figure out a way to slice through and devour all this family drama.  Maybe I just need more comfort food.

Author: dawnrieniets

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