Our first kiss. September 23, 2001. Los Angeles, California. We had known each other for almost four months. Ryan had just moved back to USC for his sophomore year of college after a summer break in Portland, spent chatting together for hours every night over aol instant messenger. We had been on several casual dates since his return, and the only physical contact was a friendly hug at the end of each evening. But this night was different. Little did we know, as we sat nervously on the couch in Adam’s tiny Los Feliz apartment watching the Ken Burn’s Jazz documentary, that this night would be the beginning of a relationship that would eventually turn into a lifelong marriage. Neither of us ever had a boyfriend before, so this was all new territory and somewhat daunting. Ryan was feeling brave, and before getting together at the apartment that night he proposed a big question over the archaic dial-up internet connection, “What’s the deal with us?” And for good reason: we had been on a handful of dates, and didn’t go a day without speaking on the phone, sometimes for hours on end, but there was still no sign of a kiss. Well, cupid must have had perfect aim that warm Sunday evening, or perhaps there was some particularly romantic jazz music playing in the film, but whatever it was, we found ourselves moving closer and closer on the couch. Miles was wailing on the trumpet and Art Blakey pounded on his drums, while cupid pulled his arrow all the way back, further than he had ever pulled before, and using all his concentration and focus, he let go—never taking his eyes from the arrow as it shot through the air, pierced both of our hearts, and our lips touched for the very first time. Five years after that fateful night, we were married in front of 150 of our closest friends and family, and we have never looked back.
Last night, Ryan was supposed to appear on television. When we are not cooking in the kitchen, he frequently goes out to audition for tv shows and commercials, and recently he booked a role on the new comedy Powerless on NBC. We alerted our friends and family to let them know the episode was airing, heated up some food from a photo shoot, got cozy on the couch, and waited the big moment. But by the end of the first scene, he realized it wasn’t the right episode, even though all the online tv listings said it was. We’ll figure out when it’s going to air, and let you know when you can see it. Over the years, he has played everything from a demon slave on Angel to a homeless thief on CSI who gets caught breaking into a stranger’s home and raiding their refrigerator. Hopefully, his sporadic audition schedule fits around our new weekly show on Instagram. Every Friday at 12pm PST, we have been going live from our kitchen and making a new recipe. Today is the fourth episode of Friday Live With Husbands That Cook, so please join us as we make this delicious treat: crispy smashed potatoes with herbed yogurt.
Our relatives in Spain couldn’t stop laughing when we showed them the photo of our skinny young avocado tree. Just a year old and not even four feet tall, its trunk was as slender as a thumb. But it wasn’t the tree that was funny, it was the large pink umbrella set up next to it, protecting the poor thing from the blazing midsummer southern California heat. It hung on for dear life, but didn’t survive the brutal days of September when Los Angeles makes its annual transformation into a walk-in pizza oven. So we replaced the torched avocado with a tropical loquat tree that loves the sun and has been generously producing plump, juicy fruits these past two years. Eventually, we’ll find a shadier spot and plant another tree where it can flourish and make millions of avocados for us. Considering they sell for two or three dollars each in the store, one could save a lot of money owning a tree, especially if you’re a fanatic follower of this fantastic fruit like we. You may have questions at this point: Where is this going? And what the heck is broccamole? We promise this is leading somewhere… and of course, it happens to be somewhere incredibly delicious. To learn more, simply scroll down to the next paragraph…
Everything is going to be fine. You’re cooking tonight’s Valentine’s dinner, but still haven’t decided what to make. First, take a deep breath, and realize you’re not the only one browsing the web for “romantic home-cooked meals” right now. We’ve gotcha covered, and have definitely been there before. There was the time we waited to buy champagne on our way to a New Year’s party, only to learn the store was sold out of everything bubbly. And the time we tried to buy eggs on Easter morning, finding the dairy case completely empty. Sometimes procrastination works, and sometimes it does not. But no worries: your Valentine will never know you were browsing our site at the last minute on this intimate holiday. In fact, from the very first sip of the evening’s cocktails, it will seem as though you’ve been planning this special night for a long time. And when you bring out this first course, pan-seared artichoke with an aioli trio, and see the smile on your date’s face, it can be our little secret that you just discovered it today.
Being a vegetarian in Spain is not easy, but if you know what to look for you can eat like a king. Ryan has family in Bilbao and we have been fortunate to visit them a few times together over the years. Our first experience was in the summer of 2011, and while the trip was amazing… getting there was not. Thanks to weather and other delays, our sixteen-hour travel time turned into an unpleasant (and uncomfortable) thirty, leaving us exhausted and worn out by the time we arrived. But the huge hugs and warm welcome we received from all the relatives waiting at the airport made us forget the ordeal we had been through, and for the next four days we had the time of our lives. We had planned our trip to overlap with the city’s annual festival, Aste Nagusia, or “big week.” From morning till night, there were tens of thousands of locals and tourists partying in town, with colorful floats, jaw-dropping fireworks, and delicious street foods on every corner, and this is where Adam tried churros con chocolate for the first time: thin, extra-crispy churros dipped in a cup of rich, thick melted chocolate. Ryan’s family showed us all their favorite local bars and restaurants, took us to the Guggenheim Museum of modern art, and we basically spent the entire visit eating and drinking our way through this lively Basque city. At times, it was tricky to find tapas that we could eat, but almost every bar had a few classic dishes we could enjoy, like traditional Spanish tortilla de patatas, roasted pimientos de país, and the crispy, spicy, dangerously addictive potatoes known as patatas bravas.