The 411: For couples going through a rough patch, there’s hardly a better form of therapy than cooking together, and the proof comes from Maria and Josh Lichty, the creators of the extremely adorable and uplifting blog called Two Peas and Their Pod.
It all started with coconut cupcakes.
When Maria and Josh Lichty first met eight years ago, she invited him over for coconut cupcakes, and they’ve been together ever since.
Now with two kids and a successful cooking blog, Two Peas and Their Pod, not only do Maria and Josh get to share fresh, easy and family-friendly recipes, but they also get to share their charming stories and helpful tips with other couples.
So what are some of those recipes and tips? Maria was kind enough to take us through them.
1. Cooking encourages teamwork
When couples cook together, it teaches them how to communicate, compromise and multitask.
Let’s say you’re making pizza (like the mouthwatering one pictured below!). While your partner is working on the dough, you can start the sauce or chop up the toppings.
Not only that, but dinner gets on the table faster and cleanup doesn’t suck as much. Let’s admit it — no one, and I mean no one, actually likes doing dishes, especially by themselves.
“It’s fun to bounce ideas off each other. I’ll say ‘Let’s make this cake,’ and he’ll say ‘Oh, let’s try it with this frosting!’” Maria said. “I think it keeps us creative and trying new things.”
2. Cooking gets you to spend real time together
Instead of sitting on the couch next to each other surfing through Facebook and not actually talking, cooking allows you to really get to know each other, as well as your friends and family.
What started as a way to save money for their wedding has now turned into bonding time for Maria and Josh and their loved ones.
“We spend so much time in the kitchen together. The kitchen is the center of our home, the center of our relationship,” Maria said. “Not only do we love cooking for each other, but we love cooking for friends and family. It’s where everyone always gathers when we have people over.”
3. Cooking helps you overcome obstacles
While there’s always going to be a bad day or two, cooking helps couples learn to work through their issues in the kitchen and in their relationships.
“I think having those struggles in the kitchen and out of the kitchen helps us learn how to work together and how to communicate. When there are those disasters, we just have to remember to laugh about it and try to problem-solve together,” Maria said. “It’s kind of the same thing in our marriage, too. When something doesn’t work, you have to try again, figure it out and talk about it.”
4. Cooking promotes romance
Is there anything sexier than making (and eating!) something delicious with someone you love, especially when it’s dessert? Maria and Josh think not. (One of their favorite romantic recipes is dark chocolate raspberry cookies!)
And while shopping, chopping, sauteing and cleaning may not seem very sexy, there are things couples can do to make the process go smoothly so they have more time for romance.
Here are Maria’s five tips for doing just that:
- Create a list of recipes you want to try, and go find them online.
- Make it an event by going to the store and picking out ingredients together.
- Set the mood. Put fresh flowers on the table, light some candles and turn on your favorite music.
- Don’t make anything too challenging, especially on your first try. You don’t want any disasters — you want nice, memorable experiences.
- JUST GET IN THE KITCHEN! You’ll never know what it’s like unless you get started, so make it happen. Find out where you both succeed and where you both could use work, and go from there.
“We find out what we’re good at, we work to those strengths and then we come together and make a delicious meal,” she said.
Now it’s your turn!
Maria and Josh crank out new recipes all the time, including weekly meal plans that are easy to follow, so you really have no excuse!
“Every Saturday we share Weekly Meal Plans on our site — giving people ideas of what they can make for dinner during the week. We want to encourage families, single people and everyone to get back in the kitchen,” Maria said.
To learn more about Maria and Josh Lichty and discover some of their amazing recipes, visit twopeasandtheirpod.com. Your relationship and your tummies will thank you!