In the past few years I have learned that major life changes cause major kitchen changes. A few years ago it was a move to Africa, then temporarily living with Mom and Dad, then the move to the big city. With each change came new challenges that forced me to grow as a cook and modify my style. The latest challenge is—this week I’ve started a new job and I’m not much motivated to cook in the evening.
It used to be that I could plan dinner in the morning, go shopping in afternoon, and then spend a good chunk of time leisurely prepping and cooking dinner in the evening. That luxury was long gone, but I also knew the rhythm of weeknight cooking would come back to me, I just needed to find a way to ease my way back into it.
So I got the creative juices flowing by daydreaming about dinner when I was at work. Dreaming about what I wanted to make during the day helped me to get excited about cooking at night. The recipes weren’t elaborate and often it was just flavors and textures that I wanted to use. And it worked. Cooking didn’t feel dutiful; it felt like the fulfillment of a personal project I had been planning all day.
Earlier this week I dreamed up this Israeli Couscous with Artichoke Hearts, Cherry Tomatoes and White Beans. It wasn’t until I shopped for it, prepped and cooked it that I realized how easy it was to make. The meal came together quickly and Andy and I both enjoyed the summer flavors alongside the couscous which I served just hot enough to melt the smoked mozzarella. It was even better the next day for lunch.
In short, I think I’m back. And all I had to do was dream my way here.
I love that that your dinner is quick, satisfying, beautiful one-dish, quick. You did good! Keep day dreaming…
Thanks for the recipe and the story. I struggle with the same things–no motivation to cook when I’m wiped out after work. I only tend to cook on the weekends or holidays when I’m free to use my time as I please. It’s one of my favorite things to do when my housemates are gone! But then I don’t have anyone to share the bounty with. I am getting married soon, and I imagine my cooking habits will take a turn–I hope for the better! At least there will be someone else whose stomach is rumbling whom I will feel a little worse about feeding popcorn for dinner.
Mags…this sounds gooooood. I love Israeli couscous, it has such a cool texture. The addition of smoked mozzarella just take this dish to a whole new level. NOMZ!
Lovely Alice from LA says
That sounds delicious. I’m going to try that trick of thinking of what I might want to make for dinner while working throughout the day. My brain can’t seem to come up with anything when I’m standing in the kitchen at 6PM , so we usually end up going out. Hope all is going well. Good luck in the new job!
oh, yum, wish all my daydreams were as productive! 😉