That Kitchen Chemistry

Sometimes it can be difficult to get into the mood to cook, especially after a long day at work, but the reward is worth the effort. For us it’s similar to exercise, hard to get going but once you have, it energizes you and feels good. 

If you have the same mentality/block on cooking as us, we suggest to adjust how you think about cooking. Instead of making it seem like a chore, think of it more as something fun and enjoyable.

Our Cooking Recipe


PREP TIME: 60 minutes on average

COOK TIME: Depends on recipe – 30 minutes on average

TOTAL BENEFIT: Immeasurable

Choosing the recipe: We like to choose something new to keep things exciting. We utilize online recipes or our cookbooks. Sometimes we steal a recipe from our friends and family if we’ve had a rather enjoyable meal with them. We’ve also tried out the mail to home cooking boxes.This year – I guess last year now – Kara bought her first non-hand me down cookbook and it’s been great! Especially since they have a focus on vegetarian recipes. We like to pick what to cook together, that way we are both excited about it.

Kitchen Chemistry, Kara's cookbook "Oh She Glows Every Day."

Shopping for it: Tim likes to snap a photo of the ingredients so he can pull up the picture at the grocery store. Our favorite place to shop for most of our food is Trader Joes. They limit the choices – which makes shopping less overwhelming. Does anyone else get decision paralysis? If we need supplemental items that they don’t have, we will go to another grocery store. We like shopping together because it’s a nice way to connect and plan out the week. We are a  team and both contribute.

Prepping/Cooking: Sometimes we cook together or on our own. Other times Tim will take the head chef while Kara sous chefs and other days we will switch. Kara would argue this is her favorite step because it gets us away from screens…tv and phones. Add in some smooth music and the mood is set. Cooking together is so rewarding because we are doing something with our hands and building something together. It gives us special time for each other. Or sometimes we will call family to “spend time” with them and catchup. It’s a time to shut out our to do list and focus on the here and now.

Sometimes Tim likes to go rogue from the recipe…and improvise. Kara does not like this 🙂 She’s a rule follower. Another enjoyable part in this stage is when we are in sync and have to navigate and maneuver around the kitchen. Plus chopping vegetables is a nice way to get out some frustration that’s built up over the day in a healthy productive way.

Eating: You get to literally eat the fruits of your labor. Sometimes we change where we want to eat in the apartment but it’s great sitting down together after the work of making the meal. Also, wine with the meal is always nice. The togetherness continues.

Cleaning Up: Boo…luckily Tim likes to clean so he doesn’t mind.

Left overs: One meal prepped for two people usually results in lunches for the next day. Which just makes life easier.

Kitchen Chemistry, date night meal cooked by the Married Explorers.

Kitchen Chemistry, cooking class while traveling.

Cooking while on vacation can be a great way to experience the culture where you are visiting. One way to do this is to stay somewhere that has a kitchen, such as an AirBNB. This will give you a chance to go grocery shopping – which in my experience has been different in each country. It’s a great way to do something the locals do. Another option would be to sign up for a cooking class. An instructor will guide you to make a local cuisine. Then you can bring this dish to multiple occasions once you are back home and share that special part of our trip and spread that country’s culture to friends and family.

Hey readers, we decided that you might want to be listeners too. For some fun we decided to film us writing this blog post. See our YouTube link for our second “Making of the Blog Post”. – Love Tim and Kara