Maternity Leave + Paternity Leave = Gourmet Cooking!

I heart paternity leave. Big time. You heard me. Paternity leave. Having Dave around for the past four weeks has been wonderful. As much as I love him, I can't imagine being at home alone with Ben at this stage when he's so small and we're just trying to figure him out.

Dave is bonding with the baby and me in ways that he wouldn't be able to if he were at the office - he has had the time he needs to get to know Ben, to get comfortable consoling him, figuring out what will put him to sleep, or pique his attention. The benefits of having Dave home are many, not the least of which is the extra set of hands. Hands to bring me water when I am nursing, bottles when I am pumping, to take the baby when he's inconsolable and I have tried everything, to play with him, and watch over him when I am busy. Rather than being exhausted (okay - we are both still a bit tired) and overwhelmed, we are happy and doing well.

Dave and I have always loved food and cooking, but one of the best parts of having family leave together has been that we are able to cook dinner together and we have an excuse to stay in! Since Ben's birth we have made a point of experimenting with new recipes, and made a ritual of setting the table, lighting a candle. Here is what we have experimented with and loved:

Delicious salmon with garlic, lemon and dill.
Fennel, quinoa and pomegranate salad (top image).
The best herb roasted lamb chops I have ever tasted.
Pan roasted chicken with harissa chickpeas (image above).
The Plumpjack Balboa burger with pickled onions.
Sausage and broccoli rabe fritatta.
Baked cod wrapped in bacon.
This pasta sauce that we saw on a chalk board at Brooklyn Larder: 1 tin of Matiz sardines, 2 cans of peeled tomatoes, chili de arbol, and some garlic (this was our own addition) over fresh pasta.

PS: We're making an effort to eat more responsibly these days, so all of the meat we have cooked has been local and free range / organic.
PPS: If you are looking at these recipes and worrying about our arteries, here are our philosophies on food:

PPPS: First two images (and most recipes!) from Bon Appetit. Image above from the Print Shop by Alexandra's Kitchen.

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