We cook because it’s something we can do together even when we are stressed and busy. – Stephanie & Josh
Kitchen Heroes Stephanie and Josh prove that splitting the cooking responsibilities makes cooking a whole lot more fun! These newlyweds have figured out how to keep it fair game in the kitchen by playing to each other’s strengths. Cooking together saves them time in the kitchen, but most enjoyably, it is a time that they can bond and try new dishes together, even when they are stressed and busy. Read more about their cooking journey together in the Hero in the Kitchen story below.
Names: Stephanie & Josh
Age(s): 29 & 33
City, State: Lafayette, Colorado
We cook for: Just us! We are newly married.
Outside of the kitchen we: always try to explore the mountains as much as possible. We backpack, ski, hike, play in adult sports leagues (soccer, softball, and kickball). We brew beer (although that still happens in the kitchen…) We love and adore our 75 lb puppy named Mila. Josh is a Product Quality Specialist and Stephanie is a Music Production Engineer.
Our all-time favorite snack is: yogurt or granola bars.
We cook because: it’s fun, but also therapeutic. It’s something we can do together even when we are stressed and busy. It’s also saved us a lot of money since we aren’t eating out all the time. We also want to eat healthier and reduce waste.
Favorite Cook Smarts meal so far: We’ve made over 200, so that’s way too hard to narrow down. Here are some we always come back to: Chicken with Honey Lemon Butter; Teriyaki Meatballs; Baked Ziti – always a great meal that is very cheap to make; Chicken Sausage Penne – we use spicy chicken sausage for more flavor, but it’s so simple and easy to make; Chicken Taco Salad – I’m in love with anything that uses adobo sauce now; Steak Au Poivre – we like to make this one for guests. They are always impressed and love the potatoes.
HOW DID YOU LEARN TO COOK?
We both helped out in the kitchen at a young age. We were naturally curious and drawn to it. Josh helped his mother cook for a large family of 6 boys! My earliest memories were with my Aunt Kathy. She had an endless garden of vegetables and herbs. She taught me how to pick each one. Then she would tell me what she needed for dinner and I would run out and get it!
How do you guys split the cooking duties?
We try to be as fair as possible. Each week we switch who buys the groceries. Josh is very precise with chopping vegetables and making sauces. I’m better at butchering and cooking meat. So we mostly stick to what we are comfortable with. However, we don’t always cook together every night. If it’s been an exhausting day for Josh, I’ll cook for that day and vice versa. We’ve found a very nice balance.
WHAT’S BEEN YOUR BIGGEST COOKING CHALLENGE?
Keeping it healthy. I tend to sneak in a lot of extra butter or salt and Josh will always double the cheese!
Cook Smarts has made it so we don’t accidentally make more than we need.
How has your cooking routine changed since starting Cook Smarts’ meal plans?
It has changed a lot. We didn’t really understand portions. We would make huge meals and then plan on eating the leftovers, only to throw it all out later. Cook Smarts has made it so we don’t accidentally make more than we need. The biggest change is only going to the grocery store once a week! Before we went about 4 times a week and we weren’t always sure what we were going to buy for dinner that night! We were able to cut our grocery bill in half.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROUDEST KITCHEN MOMENT.
We made the turkey for thanksgiving and it was AWESOME. We rubbed butter under the skin . . . what could go wrong? Now everyone asks us to do the cooking!
WHAT ARE YOUR TIPS FOR HEALTH AND SUCCESS IN THE KITCHEN?
- Alternate the workload if you can.
- Do the prep work and dinner will be quicker than driving to your takeout place. If we both have a tricky week we make sure we do the prep, otherwise we will be too exhausted and order takeout.
- Always use a sharp knife. I’ve always been scared of using knives in the kitchen. I’m a musician so losing a finger would be devastating. We regularly sharpen our knives to avoid any injuries.
- Be willing to try new things and don’t be nervous about making mistakes. A lot of the best foods from around the world were made by mistake! When we mess up we just laugh about it and are glad that we attempted something new. The first and only time we tried to flambé, it was a Valentine’s Day dinner. The kitchen cabinet above the stove caught on fire! There was a black streak left on the cabinet, but we did get the security deposit back.
Thanks for sharing your cooking story with us, Stephanie and Josh! Your tag team cooking is goals. We loved getting an inside look on how you two split the cooking responsibilities, and we think it’s awesome that you guys focus on what you are good at. Such an efficient way of cooking! (P.S. We totally feel ya about the whole doubling butter and cheese thing . . . it happens! 😉 )