Is Cooking Important to Dating?

When I first started this little blog, one of the main reasons was because I was single and had a passion for food. Part of me thought that showcasing my mad cooking skills would help me find a lady.

Dating and Cooking

Look at the perfect couple… [puke]

Ironically enough, I met a girl shortly after I hit “publish”, but it had nothing to do with this site. Awesomely enough, she’s a great cook and sharing our love of food is one of the things that has made us work so well together. (Awwww….)

We were talking recently about whether or not either of us could date someone that doesn’t cook or have the same love for everything culinary. I had an ex that had a difficult boiling water, and she shared a story about an ex that loved Applebee’s. But, I don’t think I could date someone that didn’t know how to make something more complex that sauce-out-of-the-jar spaghetti or just-add-meat Ready Meals.

For me, cooking is a hobby and stress relief. I’ll spend hours watching the Food Network, reading cookbooks, reviewing restaurant reviews, and also putting together meals. Some say that food is fuel, which is true, but cooking is about sharing. That’s really what I want to do, is share cooking with someone.

What are your thoughts? Could you date someone that doesn’t cook?


Mushroom Risotto Recipe

Wild Mushroom Risotto

Not risotto...

On a recent date night, I decided to really pull out the stops and make risotto as part of the meal. Having never actually made a risotto before, I was a bit nervous since it is always talked about in hushed tones, as if it is The-Dish-That-Must-Not-Be-Named.

But, I was fearless and remembered that Alton Brown had once made it on an episode of Good Eats. Thanks to the power of the Internet, I found his risotto recipe and a clip of the show to help me.

I did make some changes: I didn’t use asparagus, mostly because I didn’t want to have to deal with stinky pee for the night. I also didn’t use the nutmeg, lemon zest, or fresh parsley… mostly because I forgot to pick them up while grocery shopping.

Also, because I was only cooking for two, I only used a cup-and-a-half of rice and only needed 4 cups of broth (I actually used stock – again, a shopping issue). In retrospect, I would reduce the amount of wine used in the future.

But, the end result was fantastic. The risotto was creamy, the rich was perfectly cooked, and the flavors of mushroom, cheese, onion, and wine were well balanced. Plus, it really impressed my date.

Here’s the clip from Good Eats:

Date Dinner: Sushi

Okay, so this one isn’t about a cooking, but it is about a date.

I’m a fan of sushi and also a fan of women that like sushi. Now I won’t say no to a sushi-hater, but being adventurous enough to eat this Japanese treat gets you points in my book.

There are just so many good things about sushi: it’s outside of most people’s ability to properly prepare at home, it still has some air of sophistication (even if you can buy cheap stuff at  the grocery store), and I always laugh when I read “Spicy Red Snapper” on a menu.

Sushi Boat for Two?!Plus, it’s a great time to sit around a table with friends, order one of those ridiculous boats, and drink sake. I’ve actually made it a tradition to go out for sushi and Scorpion Bowls on Christmas night, after spending the day with my family. (This tradition is much more entertaining when you have the next day off.)

So, I was happy to hear that an attractive young woman was open to the idea of meeting for sushi recently. We went to Mint Bistro in Manchester, NH, which is probably the best sushi I’ve had in the state. The Boss (Ichiban) roll is by far the best on the menu (which makes sense, since “Ichiban” means “first” or “number one” in Japanese). The roll is tempura shrimp wrapped in rice, seaweed, spicy tuna, avocado, and 3 kids of caviar.

Because I was feeling like a fatty, I also ordered the Celtics roll, but Mint’s menu is updated online. But, it was also awesome, and I’m pretty sure it had tempura crab, avocado, and other stuff. (God, I’m so descriptive sometimes.)

This combination makes for an awesome eat experience, but also presents an interesting problem when on a date. You see, because these just aren’t your average little maki rolls due to multiple layers of fish and rice, the roll is pretty substantial.

Now picture me, not always the most graceful eater in the first place, sitting across from an attractive woman, trying to hold an adult conversation, and then shoving my mouth full of delicious sushi. That’s not exactly flattering, but then you have to do the whole chewing bit, which means silence.

So, to level the playing field I made sure not to actually ask her a question until her mouth was full of Iciban.

Sully – 1, Sushi – 0