When I was single, I cooked for myself. It was easy. I could live off of 2 home-cooked meals a week. I had my favourite recipes, and I cooked those quite often. Although I also would only eat a couple scrambled eggs for dinner or a frozen pizza because it was quick to make on a long day. This is not to say that I can’t cook. My mother has taught me well. I can cook, and my husband will testify to that!

Getting married and moving to England has brought an entirely new experience to my cooking. Things are a bit more different than I expected.

Cookies I baked at Christmastime

Some foods I loved in the US aren’t available here. If the foods I love are in fact available, they’re really expensive or only available during certain times of the year. For example, canned pumpkin and ranch dressing don’t exist. If I wanted to have tacos, nachos, or anything tex-mex, forget it—it’s too expensive!

The measurements are in metric! Before moving to England, I was used to cooking with cups, ounces, and  fluid ounces. I move to the UK, and all measurements are in grams, kilograms, millilitres, and litres. The first time I measured out flour for cookies in grams, it felt weird. Did you know that 100g of sugar and 100g of flour are two different amounts if you measured them in cups? (Side note: In the event that I do use measuring cups while cooking, the UK cup is about a tablespoon bigger than the US cup.)

Remember the two meals a week I mentioned? Yeah, I’ll never see those days again. Before Leon and I got married, my mother-in-law gave me this advice: When you’re cooking for you and Leon, you’re cooking for four, not two. Boy is that ever true! I’ll be honest, I really didn’t learn this lesson until we were settled here in England at the end of October (nearly three months after we got married). I always like to plan for left-overs at least once a week… those didn’t happen too often at first until my dear husband lovingly told me I haven’t been cooking enough food. :) I’m probably still learning how to cook enough food for just the two of us, but at least I’ve gotten better!

All differences and learning experiences aside, here are “a few of my favourite things.”

  • A lot of my recipes include tins of chopped tomato (in tomato juice).
  • I’m learning how to make curry in ways I never knew were possible. I think curry is one of my new favourite things to make!
  • We really like chilli con carne (“carne” pronounced “CAR-nee”). Especially in a pitta pocket with cheddar on top!
  • Pasta. Lots of pasta. Pasta bakes are brilliant! They have a pasta bake sauce I purchase at the store… add pasta, water, and cheese and you have dinner an hour later!
  • Two sites I visit frequently for recipes: All Recipes UK and Utterly Recipes

I still have some American recipes I have adapted so I can cook them here, and they still taste just as good, if not better. On Saturday, I’ll be trying an American recipe that is truly local to where I’m from: Cincinnati-style chilli!