Wow! Thanks all for your replies. Now to try to respond to them all!
Regarding alcohol, ever see the movie The Water Boy
with Adam Sandler? If so, you recall how Mama said pretty much everything was "ub duh Debil." So is DWs view of alcohol. Flavor content, alcohol burning out, and whatever else be d@mned, it's "ub duh Debil."
What does she like? It's rather tough to put a finger on. Believe it or not, she makes a curry chicken I love, but it's best described as a creamy curried chicken, as the curry powder is mixed with sour cream and cream of mushroom soup. The pork chops I spoke of (and am making tonight) don't specify the quantity of ground mustard, S&P, and worcestershire sauce, but I do use less then I would otherwise so she likes it.
I understand the comment about her maybe not liking the southwest spices, as I do, but even simple basic spices mixed, or even independent are not liked. I always try to use as little as I think I can get away with to see if it is met with approval. A pinch of garlic powder in a pound of ground beef for burgers is an example. Regardless of how small that pinch is, she tastes it. Yet garlic in the Fettuccini Alfredo is fine.
I do tend to like bold flavors, but I'm also far more adventuresome (sp?) when it comes to food. I like trying different flavors of ice cream, with all of the "exotic" stuff in it like nuts, marshmallow, carmel, peanut butter, fruit, or whatever. Her ice cream choices are Cookies -n- Cream, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, and Chocolate Chip. Mind you I have no problems with those flavors, but not constantly! Most restaurants we go to, I can always predict what she is going to have, because it's pretty much one dish at each specific place. She doesn't even need to look at the menu. Mind you I have my favorites at specific places, but there's more to the restaurant then that one dish!
As I said, I am (hyper)sensitive when I try to sneak spices in, using them with great moderation when cooking for us both. Time is also a difficult thing to overcome, as usually after work there is little to no desire on either part to do more. Obvously this has to be overcome, but at the same time, I'd rather not make a deeply detailed dinner after work.
Maybe I should invest in Rachael Ray's 365 day/30 minute cookbook. I've watched the show and found some possibilities.