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Cooking Adventures

With the new house came new pots and pans. We'd had the same set since we'd gotten married in 1994. (Yes, I've been married for a while.) On the advice of the Restaurant Widow I bought a Kirkland set from Costco. They are stainless steel and I think the core is copper and aluminum. Cooking has been quite an adventure here with the switch in cookware and method. I've grown up using electric and the stove/oven in this house uses gas.

As you can imagine I end up with a lot of burnt food. The Bon Ami has been doing a good job at keeping the pots and pans newish looking but every now and then is a stubborn mark that I need to really work at.

I made a variation of the Dragonbreath Chili recommended by themosh. I forget what kind of chili I used but I poured boiling water of it to make the pepper juice and didn't use the chili garlic sauce. Hubby was stirring it now and then so I thought he had it under control. During the last 20 minutes or so no one touched it. The chili powder never got added. At that point it was decision time "The bottom stuff is burned so do we eat that or do we throw it all away?" Since it was New Year's Eve and close to 11pm or so we ate what we could. Even with the added smokiness it was really tasty.

Another night I made Herb-marinated Grilled Chicken Paillards with Pan Sauce (which is a fancy way of saying chicken breasts with a sauce) along with the roasted potatoes from the same Gourmet Next Door episode. I used two chicken breasts instead of four and used only Yukon golds for the side dish. The chives had been purchased the day before but I'd foolishly left them in the cupboard instead of in the fridge so there weren't many nice green pieces. I didn't put enough oil into the pan so the breasts were a little bit burnt. I didn't use the white wine with the sauce (I don't remember seeing it on the episode) and I'd made a similar pan sauce before so I kind of eyeballed all of the ingredients to make it. I used a nonstick spatula that's supposed to withstand 500 degrees to get all the crispy chicken bits off the bottom of the pan. It's slightly bent now so I'm thinking the pan or the sauce was superhot. Overall, it was tasty. The biggest burn victim was not the chickens. Or even the spatula. It was the wooden cutting board I had used to chop the herbs. One burner had the teapot on it and the other two were kind of taken up with the pizza stone so I set the pan on the cutting board. It was a cutting board given to me as a birthday gift from my brother and sister-in-law. (One year they got me a little basket with crackers, cheese, wine and the board.) I threw away the glass one from the old apartment. You know how they have four little plastic knobby things to keep it off the countertop? One had melted off and I just haven't found any I liked.

And of course there is the night I got the call about Sammy and let the Skyline boil over.

We had a Christmas potluck at work and I brought my famous chocolate chip cookies. The first batch... well... was extremely pale and barely cooked. This was the first time I'd made anything in the oven. There is a thermometer stuck to the side and I need a flashlight to read it. The rest of the cookies after that were good. It takes forever for the oven to heat up so anytime I know I'll be using it I turn it on and give it at least 20 minutes to heat up.

Getting a new stove/oven is one of the things we'd like to do in the kitchen sooner rather than later. It seems a decent gas stove can be had for a few hundred dollars. Our stove is self-lighting but sometimes likes to stick and the burners don't come on right away.

With the house came a microwave oven installed above the stove. One of my standbys when I'm having a Crohn's flare-up is a baked potato. The old microwave had a baked potato setting that was awesome. So far I've not been able to make a decent one with the new microwave. It has a baked potato setting but comes out not fully cooked. Maybe it's meant for a regular potato from one of those bags and not a baking potato that I picked out for an especially yummy treat.



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 22nd, 2008 01:56 am (UTC)
Ew, my condolences! I loathe gas stoves. So many of my rentals had gas stoves so I learned how to use them, but I still prefer my electric stove. One of the things I love about this house is my glass-top stove (which is electric, obviously). If it had a gas stove, an electric stove would have been high on our list of major purchases...after the fridge but before the couch.

Jan. 22nd, 2008 03:14 am (UTC)
I figure I'll probably get better with the next stove since it will be newer and (hopefully) easier to use. Gas is always what I see them use on the cooking shows.

In our last apartment the stove had one big burner and three little burners. It seemed like the only one that really got used was the big one and it would go on the fritz a lot. We got a new refrigerator one year because the original one died while we were on vacation (my poor neighbors!) but the landlord should have gotten us a new stove while we were there too.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )