Baby Steps: 3 Easy Meal Ideas for the Man Who’s Never Cooked For Himself!

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While many men know how to slap a steak on the barbeque, they may feel a little awkward in the kitchen. The reality is that if you can cook on a barbie you can cook in an oven, and if you can read, a recipe is actually pretty easy! Since cooking on a barbecue is so fool proof guys seem to keep there culinary skills strictly at the barbecue. These skills can be translated directly to the kitchen, and what better time of year to take that leap of faith than around Valentines Day! In fact, the modern barbeque is becoming more and more like an outdoor kitchen where you can cook almost anything! Check out these awesome barbecues at BBQ’s Galore and see just how amazing some of these new up and coming contraptions can be! Why not treat yourself with a new barbecue AND spoil your significant other with the great meals you will make on one of these beauties!

Keep reading for a few easy meal ideas for the man who’s never cooked for himself but wants to make a big impression this Valentines Day!

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San Francisco!

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One of my dearest friends Rachel has lived in San Francisco for the past two and a half years. She is packing up and moving back to Santa Barbara, so Nathan and I decided to visit her for one last hurrah in the city, and help her pack up of course! I LOVE this place! The eclectic vibe has excited me these last few days in a way it never did during past visits. I am so enamored by the detailed architecture, heavenly food scene, and overall energy that lies in the city’s streets. Here are a few pictures I have taken thus far.

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[Rachel and I on her stoop! She lived in the most adorable neighborhood.]

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[We walked the streets of China town on Chinese new years!]

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[Nathan and I went to dinner on Fisherman’s Wharf, Nathan enjoyed crab bisque and I went for caprese.]

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[We visited The Embarcadero farmer’s market! I loved all the gorgeous flowers.]

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[We got lunch at what I would call the BEST sandwich place in the world! I have visited this place every time I have been in San Fran. They put 4, yes 4 avocados in my ten inch sandwich!]

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[My cheese and avocado sandwich]

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[Nathan’ s roast beef!]

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[We decided to take the 1 home to enjoy the breathtaking views!]

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Bittersweet Chocolate Tart

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I think a rule of thumb when it comes to being a great hostess is always having something delicious on hand for unexpected visitors. Whether you have some good cheese and crackers, assorted olives, or even something sweet, you will be sure to impress your guests! I recently got the gorgeous Sweet Paris cookbook and came across this chocolate tart. The description reads, “I frequently make this sumptuous chocolate tart as my ‘wow’ factor dinner-party dessert. It’s relatively easy and nearly always elicits the desired amount of ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ from my guests.” This description had me sold. Let’s face it, we all love a little positive feedback, especially when the recipe is easy! This tart is undoubtedly beautiful, yet somehow tastes even better. The easy process was fun and I think it is something gorgeous to have on hand! I can imagine putting it on my counter on a fun cake platter, serving it to my friends, a little decadence is so fun and goes a long way! This will quickly be a new regular in my rotation of desserts!

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Beef Stew and Mashed Potatoes

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This day, this week, this month, perhaps, has been less than ideal. I felt on edge about something and I can’t put my finger on it. However I love this blog because the entire process for me is therapeutic. I love to make pretty food that makes family and friends happy. The photography process is a fun artistic release and the entire editing part is mindless, yet rewarding and fun for me. Today felt particularly funny, so I was ready to dive into something with quite a process, which brought me to beef stew. I love what a man’s man meal this is, I feel like its something Americans have been eating for years. Good old mashed potatoes and a chunky stew filled with beef, what could be more simply delicious!?

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Vegetable Soup

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I love soup because it can contain nearly nothing and be so completely fulfilling. This hearty soup is filled with tons of healthy ingredients and is the perfect guilt free meal for a cozy January night. Since this soup contained virtually nothing to feel guilty for, (i.e. heavy cream, butter…..), I decided to add a hunk of fresh mozzarella on top and a few slices of avocado for some delicious creaminess! So simple and yummy, enjoy!

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Kale and Feta Salad with Creamy Avocado, Lemon, Garlic Dressing

ImageI love eating salads but they quickly loose their appeal. I can only handle mixed greens and balsamic vinaigrette so many days in a row before I loose my mind. I recently discovered that making your own dressing is so easy and far more satisfying! When you eat a salad, it’s to be healthy, but often dressing is filled with so many mystery ingredients and calories, and you are ultimately doing your body a disservice. Another bummer about salads is that they are often so bland, lacking any kick that leaves you craving more. This dressing has that kick and creaminess that makes you totally feel like you are indulging! Whenever I eat this salad I feel like I am being bad but really I am being oh so good! Not only is the dressing amazing, but this salad is packed with nutrition! The kale adds another kick in itself because of the slight spice kale has. Added with a little crunch from cabbage and sweet peppers – and of course some feta – this is the end-all-be-all of salads! Enjoy.

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