One unanticipated effect of living with a dude-fella is that I cook more. When I lived by myself, I cooked rarely, because there isn't too much point to cooking for oneself. But now that there is someone to impress and to look appreciative, well, I find myself going to town (on weekends, at least).
I don't like cooking the same thing twice, so I am constantly in search of recipes. So I have been getting more and more cookbooks. Also, I like to look at food-porn photos of gorgeously plated risottos and baskets of crusty italian bread situated on cafe tables in Edenlike garden terraces.
In recognition of (and perhaps in an effort to encourage) my newfound habit, Jeff got me a very heavy, photo-laden cookbook for Christmas, and as I was looking through it, I realized a funny thing about cookbooks edited or prepared by a single person. A few ingredients invariably show up far more often than random chance would dictate, thus betraying the specific tastes and textures with which the editor is entranced beyond reason. The woman who edited my new cookbook puts jalapenos, chickpeas, and segmented citrus fruit in everything. I have made three recipes out of the cookbook so far, and while I have thus far avoided the chickpeas (not that I have anything against them), I have had to segment two limes, two grapefruit, and dice four jalapenos.
She also has an unaccountable love of whole sardines, anchovies, and mackerels. Does anyone in the entire world eat those things? I would never cook anyone an anchovy. I would never invite people to my home and serve them a whole fish. That's getting way too much into the look/skill of the thing and too little into the eating. One of the reasons I wouldn't serve such a thing is that I actually don't know how to eat them. How do you eat a whole sardine? A whole mackerel? I'm not sure I really care to know. Despite that, I just spent five minutes googling video tutorials on the issue, but I will not subject you to any of them. They are, how you say, ew.
Instead, try these silly books. Summer With the Leprechauns: A True Story is my favorite.