Domestic Goddess

Alright, so anybody who has spent any time with me knows that I’m a little bit special when it comes to all things domestic…ok a LOT special.  I blame my sister Rosie for this.  We were roommates for five years, starting when I was in college, and she was a natural in the kitchen.  I was spoiled with good food and I never had to cook!  Her idea of a good time was spending the day baking pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, and I had no choice but to support her hobby by gobbling them up!  I mean, I couldn’t let them go to waste right?  Rosie always made our meals, and I “assisted” by chopping veggies for salad or cleaning up.  I guess it’s not totally her fault, after all she did try to teach me a few things, but I think she gave up when she saw how hopeless I was.


I didn’t truly come to terms with my handicap until Rosie kicked me to the curb to get married and I moved in with my oldest and best friend Kayce Stein.  Kayce is just as special as me when it comes to cooking.  The girl knew how to make two things, buffalo dip and no-bake chocolate peanut butter cookies!  Although delicious, neither of those specialties are exactly what we would call nutritious, and we quickly realized we would have to expand our repertoire if we were going to survive in our new apartment.  We soon discovered that Kayce was a GENIUS when it came to preparing salads and baking tilapia (She knows exactly the right combination of olive oil, lemon juice and seasonings.) and I quickly mastered baked chicken, roasted asparagus and peppers and cous-cous.  I am only slightly exaggerating when I say that we ate either tilapia or chicken with asparagus, cous-cous and salad every flippin’ day for a whole year!


Thankfully, the good Lord took mercy on me and paired me with Shea Brown for a husband.  He’s the man when it comes to cooking, cleaning and home projects.  He insists on making all his dishes from scratch and his desserts would make Paula Dean cry.  I was a bit intimidated when it came time for us to move in together.  I was afraid Shea might be a bit disappointed with the wifey the first time I set the kitchen on fire trying to fry an egg!  Thankfully, the boy is very patient, and he LOVES tilapia, chicken, salad, asparagus and cous-cous!!  I think the Browns keep the asparagus farmers in business.

Newlywedded bliss!

All of this to say, I’ve made some big strides in my first six months of marriage.  I’ve been trying a few recipes here and there, and only a few of them have totally flopped (Exhibit A: Gluten-free pizza made with almond meal.  Shea and I both spit it out immediately upon tasting!).  I purchased the World’s Healthiest Foods cook book after realizing that the recipes were all super quick and easy and healthy, and even I couldn’t mess them up!  I still leave the baking and entertaining to Shea as it’s still too risky for me, but I have become the DOMESTIC GODDESS of dinner at the Brown Manor.  That’s right people, there’s a new chef in town, and what she lacks in raw talent, she makes up for with sarcasm and perfectly matched accessories!

As I seek to incorporate new recipes in the coming months, I’ll try to share my triumphs and complete failures with you.  I’m thinking I’d like to take a stab at lettuce wraps in the next couple of weeks.  If you have any HEALTHY and SIMPLE recipes you’d like to share with me and our little community here, please do.  As Rosie, Kayce and Shea all know, I need all the help I can get!

More cooking adventures to come!


Filed under Rants and Cravings

4 responses to “Domestic Goddess

  1. Kayce Stein

    Genius is right…that tilapia, asparagus and cous-cous combo saved our lives!!

  2. Holley

    Hi Joanna,

    Love your blog. Today and yesterday it has been part of my lunch hour break! I wanted to share one of my favorite recipes with you because it’s so good and healthy. I usually make this for pot luck gatherings because it can be served hot, refrigerated or at room temperature.

    *2 or 3 sun dried tomatoes
    *1 clove of garlic
    *1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (you can find a can of this in the Mexican aisle in the grocery store. Try it with one pepper first, but I usually put two in there, because I like a little extra kick!)
    * 1/2 teaspoon or so of cinnamon
    * 1/2 teaspoon or so of cumin
    * salt to taste (1/2 teaspoon is probably good)
    *1/3 cup olive oil
    * 1/3 cup toasted sunflower seeds
    * fresh (or dried) cilantro
    *2 1/2 or so cups of cooked quinoa (I use a rice steamer on the same setting as brown rice.)
    *1 can of black beans (or if you’re feeling more domestic and want to
    decrease the sodium, soak dried black beans the night before and cook)

    Blend first 6 ingredients in a food processor until smooth. SLOWLY add the olive oil while the processor is running. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, black beans and sunflower seeds. Mix in chipotle sauce until is all the quinoa/black beans are coated. Toss in the ciliantro. Serve.

    Sometimes I treat it as a side dish, and sometimes I serve it on a bed of raw baby spinach as an entree. Enjoy!

  3. Leslie

    I have a simple one for you! Protein packed and tasty hot or cold, so leftovers are perfect for lunch.

    You will need:
    1 pkg boneless skinless chicken breasts
    2 lemons, sliced in half
    1 cup of quinoa (you can use white or red)
    1 jar of marinaded artichoke hearts
    2 yellow, red, or orange bell peppers, chopped
    Fresh spinach – a few handfuls
    Crumbled goat cheese (optional but I recommend it)
    Ground cinnamon
    Ground cardamom
    Red pepper flakes
    Salt (to taste)

    In a pan on medium heat, with a small amount (quarter sized?) of whatever cooking fat you choose (I usually do olive), add chicken breasts. As they start to brown up on the bottom, squeeze your lemon halves into the pan. When the chicken is almost cooked, but still a little pink inside, pull out of the pan, chop into chunks, and toss back in to finish cooking.
    Meanwhile, cook the quinoa. It is similar to cooking rice – a 2:1 water to quinoa ratio, bring water to boil, add quinoa, return to boil, reduce to simmer, cover, and cook for about 15 minutes or until the water is gone. In a small saucepan, empty the artichokes with the marinade and add the bell peppers. Add a few dashes of the cinnamon, cardamom, and red pepper flakes. Heat till the bell peppers are tender, but not soft. In a large bowl, mix the quinoa, chicken, and bell pepper/artichoke mixture. Crumble in some goat cheese (if using) and mix till slightly creamy. You should not have to use a lot of cheese. Finally, throw in the spinach and mix with the other ingredients so it wilts. Add salt to taste and enjoy. 🙂

  4. Thanks so much Holley and Leslie! These dishes look awesome! I love it that both of your recipes involve quinoa because I’ve been meaning to try it. I bought some a few weeks ago and it’s just been sitting in my pantry! A lot of our patients at Longevity are gluten-sensitive, so quinoa is a really good option for them. Hopefully I can ace these recipes and share them with the patients!
    I’ll let you know how it goes!

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