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It is a beautiful night in Charlotte. We ate dinner outside and now I’m set up with my computer blogging with a glass of wine, candles and music. So nice!

Similar to this set up but no fire tonight! We really enjoy time on our patio. 🙂

I started today with ashtanga. Ever since I wrapped up teacher training, my ashtanga practice has fallen off a bit due to not forced to practice several times a week. I felt SO tight this morning after only running for a few days. There were audible grunts and groans for the first 10 minutes. It actually sparked a little fire in me to renew my commitment to my ashtanga practice.

I had overnight oats at my desk for breakfast. They were not photogenic though…they somehow turned into an overnight mess.

I had an exciting lunch meeting today and grabbed a salad after.

Mixed greens, spinach, sunflower seeds, black beans, dried cranberries, white raisins, feta, tomatoes, roasted red peppers, carrots, apples and mandarin oranges. A kombucha on the side.

A salad was not enough to hold me over for the afternoon. Around 4 I hit up my desk stash.

A delicious snack for a peanut butter lover!

I worked until about 6 and then headed home to hang out with Brandon and Sullie. It was such a nice evening that I took Sullie out for an easy three mile run.

Brandon and I tag teamed dinner. He wanted to hang outside so he took charge of grilling a beer can chicken while I worked on our sides. While we were prepping dinner we broke into a jar of pickled okra.

Brandon put away a few jars of hot pickled okra last fall. I’ve never canned anything and was super impressed that he made these. They are so good!

Brandon coated the chicken with herbs de provence and melted butter and grilled it beer can style on his Big Green Egg with apple wood chips. It turned out so well! I made roasted broccoli and carrots and orzo with parmesan on the side. I love that we both enjoy cooking. The teamwork makes preparing dinner so much fun and low stress.

I’m also lucky that Brandon helps with clean up! I load the dishwasher while he clears and puts things away. We always knock the dinner dishes out in about five minutes. It’s awesome!

Does your significant other enjoy cooking? Do they help in the kitchen?

{ 29 comments… add one }
  • 1
    Kelly April 19, 2011, 11:21 pm

    Brad is such a great helper. He even completely makes dinner sometimes. When it comes to Mexi or Asian dishes, I totally trust him. He’s a great flavor combiner.

    • 2
      Jen April 20, 2011, 10:55 pm

      Oh yum…I love all things ethnic and it’s so fun to create your own flavor combos. Very cool that he has a “taste” for it! 🙂

  • 3
    Alaina April 20, 2011, 12:16 am

    I love cooking with David. 🙂 We have so much fun in the kitchen.

    I wish it was warm enough to eat outside here! The weather has been so weird, being hot-cold-hot-cold. I’m ready for the warmth!

  • 4
    Laura @ LauraLikesDesign April 20, 2011, 7:19 am

    Your salad and dinner look amazing! Cliff bars make for great snacks–I love the Cliff Z-bars…the kid ones! They have fun flavors like smores. 😀

    My fiance isn’t a fan of cooking but he does help me with dishes, so that’s a plus!

    Love your blog!

    • 5
      Jen April 20, 2011, 10:56 pm

      I haven’t tried the Z bars but the flavors sound awesome!

      Dish help gets two thumbs up!!!

  • 6
    Becky April 20, 2011, 8:06 am

    I can’t wait until it is warm enough to enjoy meals on the deck. Being outside at dusk is always so relaxing.

  • 7
    Lauren April 20, 2011, 8:10 am

    My husband doesn’t help too often in the kitchen, but that pickled okra picture reminded me I have some in the pantry from last year! Delish!!

  • 8
    Sarah April 20, 2011, 8:11 am

    That salad looked so good and dinner as well!
    Yes I am lucky, my husband doesn’t always help with the cooking but he almost always does the dishes. I never have to ask either! He just does them! Woohoo! It’s awesome.

    • 9
      Jen April 20, 2011, 11:01 pm

      Not having to ask is HUGE! You are lucky!

  • 10
    Brooke @ Veggie Table April 20, 2011, 8:33 am

    There are three things I love about this post – outdoor dining, kombucha, and pickled okra!!! Forrest travels and works..A LOT – so I usually already have dinner prepared in order to eat at a decent hour. We cook together on the weekends and have a blast in the kitchen together!

    • 11
      Jen April 20, 2011, 10:58 pm

      I love making fun “special” things together on the weekends!

      YUM kombucha and pickled okra! 🙂

  • 12
    Kristy@RunTheLongRoad April 20, 2011, 8:52 am

    My husband loves to cook, which is great because I hate it. I like to clean up though so we have a whole routine worked out!

    • 13
      Jen April 20, 2011, 10:58 pm

      That is AWESOME! My dad was always the cook in our family!

  • 14
    Jaime April 20, 2011, 8:56 am

    NOOOOOO…my husband does not enjoy cooking…in any way shape or form. I even show him your blog & how your husband is the grill master hoping to give him some motivation. Not so much:( However, he will help me clean up, so I’ll give him that.

    • 15
      Jen April 20, 2011, 11:00 pm

      Hahahaha…this comment is awesome! Some people (girls included!) just really don’t enjoy cooking.

      The clean up help is key though – keep that going!

  • 16
    Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life) April 20, 2011, 9:45 am

    David wants a Big Green Egg so badly! I like when we cook together, and he does too, but I have a tendancy to be a kitchen control freak- I need to work on that 🙂

    • 17
      Jen April 20, 2011, 11:02 pm

      If Davide enjoys grilling then he must get a BGE at some point. They are amazing! Brandon has so much fun with his.

      You’re not the only control freak in the kitchen, trust me! 😉

  • 18
    Angie (Losing It and Loving It) April 20, 2011, 9:53 am

    Love the patio! Looks so relaxing. Never heard of the Big Green Egg, hubby might like that.

    As for the cooking…Kev does it all (although I do help him sometimes)! I don’t really cook though so I take over the dishes.

    • 19
      Jen April 20, 2011, 11:03 pm

      Angie – that’s awesome that your man likes to cook! My dad was always the cook in our family!

  • 20
    betty@runbetty.com April 20, 2011, 10:39 am

    I love the kitchen team work. I’m in charge of the cooking (most of the time) and the dishwasher (load/unload) and my husband washes ALL the dishes and takes out ALL the trash.

    Since washing dishes is my least favorite chore EVER, I think it’s a pretty sweet deal! 🙂

    • 21
      Jen April 20, 2011, 11:04 pm

      My husband takes out the trash too. I hate doing that for some reason.

      Love that you have a good system going!

  • 22
    Lori April 20, 2011, 11:29 am

    My BF, also Brandon, is a big help. But we don’t have a good grill and ALL he talks about is this Big Green Egg. Do you use yours a lot? I just wonder if it’s good for grilling everything.

    • 23
      Jen April 20, 2011, 11:05 pm

      Lori – YES! The BGE is good for grilling everything. We used to use a gas grill too but ours has been broken for about a year so we’ve been exclusive with the Big Green Egg. They are the best grills!

  • 24
    Nicole April 20, 2011, 12:24 pm

    Sounds like y’all make a perfect team!

  • 25
    Lauren April 20, 2011, 6:56 pm

    Thats looks so nice out there! We have such a nice big patio and the weather is so nice here in So cal…if only we could afford patio furniture 🙂 Saving for yoga teachers training comes first.
    My bfs idea of cooking is deciding together what toppings we want on the pizza we are going to order…which is the exact text I got as I wrote this. He does help clean up after eating breakfast together though. Gotta start somewhere.

    • 26
      Jen April 20, 2011, 11:06 pm

      Lauren – the pizza comment is too cute! 🙂

      Love that you’re saving for yoga teacher training! It is expensive but trust me – 100% worth it!

  • 27
    Meghan @ StruggleMuffins April 20, 2011, 8:01 pm

    Your salad sounds supremely delish – I love salads with tons of toppings thrown in, the more the better 🙂

    • 28
      Jen April 20, 2011, 11:06 pm

      Agreed! Pile it on!

  • 29
    Jen April 20, 2011, 8:01 pm

    Love your patio! Spence doesn’t leave work until 5:30, putting him home around 6:30 and with 3 kids, they are starving and ready to eat their arms off by 6 so it’s all on me. Poor Spence gets a plate on the table 😉

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