Saturday, October 22, 2011

Meat Talk - Mussels

Yes, mussels! What lovely wonderful little pieces of joy. If you have only ever had these little bits of seafood heaven in pre-made dishes like frozen paella or some other sadly cooked dish and disliked them, you have every right to! However, if you have never had them other then in dishes like that, you are sadly missing out!

When made in those pre-made BS of things they go hard or rubbery. Worse yet, they aren't the best of the best. Now normally I'd suggest going to a well know seafood restaurant but you and I both know that is not the best suggestion for someone having to live gluten free. So instead I give you the suggestion that you get up the nerve to do something you might not normally do and go down to your well known fish monger and ask for a couple pounds of fresh mussels. I like the smaller French mussels myself but the type of mussels you will be able to get will depend on where you live in the world. If you are just going to steam mussels and eat them that way, any will do but the smaller ones have a much more intense flavour while the larger ones have more meat to bite so the pick is yours.

Today I'll be picking myself up a kilo of both. For today I will simply steam the larger Holland ones in white wine with garlic and then tomorrow I shall use the smaller French ones to make a wonderful cream soup that has a bit of onion and curry powder. I've made it before but it's been a while.

I have to admit the first time I bought mussels, I was intimidated by them. These hard shelled little annoying  things but once you do them for the first time you start to get a feel for them and what you should do with them. I find there is only one 'hard' thing about making fresh mussels but all in all the results are worth it. That would be the cleaning/prep part of it all. When you have 1 kilo (2.2pounds) of them, especially of the small ones, this can get rather boring and annoying while the larger ones are a little less of a pain. You need to do 2 things to 'clean' them and those are namely remove the 'beards' which they don't always have but you'll find along the flat side of the shell, just grab hold and pull in a downward direction (toward the point of the shell) to free it and then scrape off any barnacles or other stuff from the shell with a dull knife.

Most suggest using a towel to help clean mussels but if you've been following my blog since the beginning you'll remember that I have a best friend in my kitchen when it comes to pre-paring food.... powder free vinyl gloves (kind of like you'd find doctors using). These are a life saver of time when it comes to cleaning mussels and will save your towels and hands smelling of sea water. While cleaning your mussels you'll also want to pay attention to open ones. If you have some that are open, tap them with your cleaning knife on the shell.. if they are still alive, they should close up but if they don't respond, they are dead or dying and you should toss them out before even cooking them.

If you were smart while preparing these, you will have taken them from the container you were holding them in while cleaning and placed them in another clean bowl... with or without water, doesn't matter. What you don't want to do is clean your mussels, placing them back into your original bowl and then at the end 'pour' them into another bowl. Instead if you choose to do this, hand place the mussels into your clean bowl because if you just simply pour them into the new bowl, any pieces from the shells or sand that have fallen to the bottom will come with and end up right on top of your freshly cleaned mussels.... mussels + sand = gritty/poorly cooked mussels = YUK!

After this annoying and time taking task of cleaning, mussels are down right easy to prepare! Especially if you plan to eat them from the shell while only slightly more work to be had if you need the flesh only from them. Cooking is simple as what you really want to do is steam them. For this I use 1 cup dry white wine and a teaspoon or so of dry garlic granules (not garlic powder but a bit bigger pieces and still dry) or you can I suppose use garlic puree as well for every kilo (2pounds roughly) of mussels. Carefully add the mussels to the wine/garlic, cover and simmer for about 10mins. You'll know when they are done when the shells all open completely. This is also a stage where you want to be watchful and pick out any shells that have not opened and throw them out.

Most soup recipes will ask for the broth from the mussels to be kept and used.... DO THIS! It's fresh mussel juice, wine and garlic! It's a wonderful seafood broth. I wouldn't keep it more then 1 day though and most of the time I use it for my soup right away as I'll be using the mussels themselves for the soup too.

For now though, I'll leave you with some wonderful images that my husband took of the last batch of mussels we bought, steamed and turned into a different cream soup then I'll make this weekend (I've got a few of them). They look so wonderful don't they? And yes this is something that you won't be able to resist tasting as soon as they are ready to drain and personally I would even suggest you do!

Recipe - Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

It's recipe time again!! *ok, down Missy...DOWN!*. I've been cooking up such a storm these last few day that I am feeling just free and lively. Good food, home-made, knowing that it's as low in processed stuffs as possible and that it's all gluten free *yum*.

Today comes cookies! I don't bake cookies too often because of 2 reasons really and they both tie into each other... cookies are a food I can not resist even if my life depended on it there for reason 2 for not making cookies too often is the fact that it has 1 or 2 full sticks of butter in them some where. 1 or 2 sticks of butter + no control = uhoh + gone in 24 to 48hrs... not a good combo!

But this is birthday weekend.... 4days of it and although hubby doesn't have to eat gluten free, an entire batch of cookies is still too much for 1 person so I took advantage of making a batch of my favourites. Believe it or not though, I was up until 1am making these. *shrug* strange schedule I guess. And would you believe it, this batch still didn't last longer then 48hrs. I had the last 3 this morning.... ummm is there such a thing as breakfast dessert??

Tip #1 - Having not wanted to wait for cookies to cool at midnight when making these, I choose to switch between my silicon lined baking sheet and a dark non-stick sheet. This brought to light a tip to share. If you use a light pan or lined pan such as I started with, the directions will work just fine below. However, if you use a dark non-stick pan you will want to turn down the heat a bit, lower the baking time and keep an eye on them. I don't know what does it exactly besides perhaps that dark colours cause heat to stay better but what ever it is, I just barely saved my 2 batch of baked cookies from the really done to over done mark by seconds.

 1 1/2 cups gluten free flour
 1 tsp baking powder
 1 1/2 sticks butter at room temp
 1 cup peanut butter (creamy or chunky is up to you)
 1/2 cup granulated sugar
 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
 1 large egg
 1 tsp vanilla
 1/2 to 1 cup semi sweet or dark chocolate chips

This is a fairly straight forward recipe. Preheat oven to 180c (360f) (see tip#1). In a large mixing bowl put both sugars, peanut butter and butter and with a mixer, mix until well combined and has turned to a light brown colour.

Add eggs and vanilla and give another quick mix to combine and return to it's light brown colour.

Now by hand and I suggest with a wooden spoon, add realizes just now that she didn't add her baking powder baking powder and flour to the peanut butter mixture and combine well. I tend to bounce depending on the time of day and what kind of weather it is as to how much flour I seem to use each time I make this. This time it was 1 1/2 cups, other times it is as much as 2 cups. Your looking for a batter that will stick to your spoon and stay together when placed on your cookie sheet but you will not get to a good batter like gluten filled cookies will have in order to make the old fashioned fork marks I'm afraid. I've tried a number of times and no go... the batter just doesn't hold up to it.

Final stage to batter, add your chocolate chips. I use dark chocolate chips and this one if up to you. Do you want a really load peanut butter cookie? Add 1 cup or more. Want a subtle hint of chocolate? Add a 1/2 cup. Mix with your spoon. 

Ditch the wooden mixing spoon and grab yourself 2 normal every day teaspoons like you'd eat your bowl of cereal in the morning with or stir your coffee (and no I'm not talking about the little itty bitty spoons meant for tea time!). Take a rounded spoonful of batter and transfer it to your baking sheet using the 2nd spoon to remove the batter from the first, leave 2 inches of room all around each spoonful as these cookies will spread out as they cook.

Bake for 15minutes for a light coloured pan or silicone lined pan. Remove from oven and let rest at least 5minutes. You NEED to let them rest in order to reclaim their firmness or you'll end up with peanut butter sand on your cookie sheet instead of a nice round cookie in your bowl.

Once cooled, transfer to some paper towels to sit until the next batch is ready. Store in an air-tight container for up to 4days (if they last that long!).

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

General Talk - Next Major Project

Another season is upon us and with that comes another selection of fruits and veggies along with some of my husband's wonderful friends at work having quite a surplus of end of season style stuff. Not long ago it was zucchini, then after that was fresh figs. Of course there were also a couple of squashes in there too but I am not (yet) overly found of squash so I didn't take any or do anything with any of them. Although I do hope this fall/winter to get my hands on some acorn squash, those I have a weakness for seeing as they were something I grew up with my mother making and it just reminds me of some nice times with her such as making a big Thanks Giving meal with them on the side *happy sighs* . And now just last night came a half dozen VERY large quince pears.

I've NEVER had a quince pear before and don't know the first thing about doing anything with them. My husband has shown me a few web sites and I have been reading up on them. The first thing is that they are 100% a COOKING pear! They are very tart and very hard. So hard in fact that people all over the web warn you to be very careful when preparing/peeling/coring and what not as it is not hard at all for a knife to slip when doing this. So if you go with me on my journey into this unknown realm of quince pears in the near future, I will do the same, BE CAREFUL WHEN CUTTING THEM! I know I know, 'but you haven't even prepared them yet, how can you be sure we need to be that careful??'. I have them in hand already without any photos yet as I just took them out of their bag a couple of hours ago plus I want to wait until I start to pre-pare them tomorrow to take my photos but I can tell you now, only 6 large ones of these pears weigh almost 3kilo (about 6 1/2pounds) easily and the fact that I can feel how hard they are without even getting close to cutting it tells me that it could be dangerous with sharp knives.

So, my first intentions are to go about pouching them. From what I've read so far, even though the flesh starts out as white as most pears, something that is in this pear when it is cooked causes them to turn very pink... the longer the cooking, the deeper they become. I'm looking forward to photographing this part of it! What I will do with them after is a whole nother story though. I do have plans though to make some of them into a chutney with some fresh cranberries that I bought yesterday to go with a duck breast that I have stored carefully away in my freezer for this weekend.

You see this weekend is my husband's birthday... well actually Friday is. I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that it's impossible to buy for your mate when they don't give you any ideas what you should get them or even what they 'might' want. So this year, with my new oven in place, I decided I would cook yummy things never made before all throughout the weekend. Not only does it give him something wonderful to give him comfort over the change in weather that comes with his birthday but I know I'm cooking 100% gluten free and 100% good for you foods. The start of that was last night with the new soup posted before, tonight will be a new fish pie recipe that calls for a mashed potato topping along with a crab/corn chowder for a soup side and some fresh steamed cauliflower to go with it for veggies. And I suppose to a typical Belgian (not sure on that one yet) my husband in all my cooking abilities and glory has requested eggs, fries and pea/carrot mix for his actual 'birthday meal'.... so eggs it shale be but the then Saturday comes right after (gives off that evil witch type laugh) and then I plan to make duck fajitas with the home-made quince/cranberry chutney and home-made (my style) tortilla shells. I'm pondering on if I should just make a simple rice dish to go along with it or if I should think about something more rich like an au-gratin potatoes or mac & cheese, not sure yet. And of course I can't forget that there is Sunday to think about something to make too.

Some where in between all the 'main meal' type things, I've also planned some breakfast items if I manage to get my lazy butt out of bed in time to make them but I have french toast planned (made with a gluten free bread that I found that has some hold to it) and at least some home-made waffles made in the still brand new still in it's box completely unopened waffle maker that I got at least 3months or more ago... *sigh* where did my summer go??

So that is my most recent cooking challenges and plans for this coming next few days at least....
 ~ Exploreing/cooking/pouching/creating things with Quince Pears
 ~ Quince & Cranberry chutney
 ~ Duck Fajitas with home-made GF tortillas
 ~ Au-Gratin Potatoes or maybe white cheddar mac & cheese or new basmati rice dish
 ~ Posh Fish Pie with mashed potato top made with white cheddar for it's cheese part
 ~ figure something else to do with the other part of the pouched quince pears
 ~ French Toast (easy one as the bread is already cooked!)
 ~ Waffles (a bit more of a task but I LOVE waffles! I'm starting to wonder how warm quince pear jam/jelly might taste on them too)

Geee's what a weekend hey? And still have to make sure some where in between that I do up all those dishes I'll end up making a mess out of while I do this! The things us woman do for our loved ones isn't it? But hey, at least I know he's getting good food, good for him, no 'added' crap to it all and made with the all the love in my heart for his special weekend. This will be 10years of his birthdays we'll spend together.... it has to be special. In fact this year brings a lot of 10year occasions... my birthday, our anniversary, christmas, new years.... aaa so many wonderful winter ideas coming to me! And I'm sure some where in there, a night or 2 will be spent with candle light dinners to top it all off.... I think especially with the duck dinner.

Oh and BTW some of those other 'winter' ideas...
 ~ apple/cinnamon sauce
 ~ spiced apple cider (non alcoholic)
 ~ apple butter (think I found a 'smaller' recipe then 4pounds worth of apples... I'd be eating apple butter til next winter if I did that)
 ~ attempting to make granola without oats but with buck wheat & quinoa flakes along with all sorts of other yummy/good for you stuffs like sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and more

There are more in my head some where but those are the ones that spring to mind when I think fall/winter. This year we're also going to get a nice fresh ham from the local butcher and have a nice christmas meal together. It's been a couple of years due to all the things going on with my mother-in-law so this year it's time to show some attention to my own parents before time runs out.

Recipe - Creamy Garlic Potato Soup - Version #1

You know the only thing about making all these new recipes and 'playing around' in my kitchen? *sigh* all the darn cleaning up afterwards! I can't wait until hubby and I are able to move and have a place we can trust to hook up a dishwasher too.

So yesterday started out a lot like today did... it feels cold (actually it is cold at only 47F (8C) at just past 11am) and raining. Yesterday it rained on and off until past noon but today, not sure. It wants to rain but then the sun comes out and then it rains some more so yea odd weather again. With the weather starting the way it did yesterday I set out to make soup this week. This one I take some pride in as I didn't follow a recipe at all, just a gut feeling of what would be good in it and went with it.

This is also a low cost/low budget type soup. Most soups are if you stay clear the say the seafood style ones like clam chowder or others that call for expensive cuts of meats. Soups are a wonderful way to get your daily dose of veggies too without breaking your budget or causing unwanted calories. Take into mind how you make them though. Such as this recipe, it calls for cream but if you choose to put in a tiny bit more money to get the light or low fat version of it since it doesn't need to be whipped, your waist line will thank you as well! Most 'cream' soups like this work VERY well with light creams and unless you go side by side with a full cream based one you won't notice the difference either. You'll also have the enjoyment of being able to sit back and enjoy your soup in almost any amount you want without the worry of it being 'bad' in any way, shape or form! And while I'm posting this, you can even make soup so hearty that you don't even need anything but it for your main meal. Adding beans and even lean ground meat to a soup will make a wonderful main dish all on it's own and still not being a burden on your budget.

Only tip I have for this recipe is cut your potatoes into small cubes/pieces about 1/2inch to 1inch pieces because it will reduce cooking time and it will also make the addition of reserved potatoes much nicer for eating.

 4 to 6 large starchy potatoes, skinned and cut into small chunks
 4 cups chicken broth
 1 cup light/low fat cream (I again use my ever loved Alpro 5% cream)
 2 TBS garlic puree or 3 to 4 garlic cloves very finally minced
 3 TBS fresh parsley finely chopped or 2 TBS dried
Salt & Pepper for seasoning (optional) 

Make sure that you have your potatoes chopped correctly. This is most likely the only real make or break part of this dish. Cut them into 1/2inch to 1inch pieces.

Boil your potatoes by themselves, do not boil them in the broth you'll be using for the soup. You want the creamy texture the potatoes will give without all the added starch from the water they boil in.

Drain the potatoes, put about half to 2/3rd of them into the 4 cups chicken broth (making sure your pot is big enough to do some blending work and addition of the left over potatoes and cream), add the garlic puree (or cloves) and use a stick blender to puree the entire mixture together. If you don't have a stick blender, a normal blender will work just as well... just transfer the ingredients into the stand blender first instead of your cooking pot.

Once well mixed, put back on stove top and add 1 cup light/low fat cream and parsley. Heat through again to warm the cream. I suggest not putting it higher then a low heat. It takes a little more time but you won't have a chance of burning the potatoes/cream this way.

Taste and season to liking. We found it to be a wonderful filler to our meal yesterday while still being light and low in fat. The addition of the left over potato pieces left whole were very needed but if you just want a nice creamy potato soup, perhaps a bit thicker, add all of the potatoes at the blending period instead.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Meat Talk - Salmon

Lets start the ball rolling with talk about some more yummy foods before I go into more recipes. Just to get things started here again properly after my mind break down of not having a functioning oven!

If you are like me who has had to turn to this life style not having known much about it at all, not having grown up having to eat this way or some other reason that you had to start eating gluten free then most likely in the beginning you also had a 'down spell' as well. What do I mean by that?? Simple, I want all the things I can not have any more... worse though is that I know for a fact that if I even slightly ingest something with gluten, I will have some nasty and very unwanted effects from it.

You know, I've started to learn to live with this but not with the thoughts of 'oh I just can't have that any more so I won't and I won't think about it again' but now with the mind set of 'I want that, I know I want it, I know it being made the normal way I can't eat it so now how do I make it and make it so I can eat it?!' mind set.

I have yet to find a task that if I really want it that I can't hit head on and in full force. But that takes me back to why I choose to talk about salmon... it's simple, it's fresh, it's 100% gluten free if you buy fresh (no deep freeze, no pre-herbed/processed or what not. If you choose to buy frozen or seasoned READ THE LABEL! There are hidden things in processed foods even as simple as being processed in a place that makes other wheat/gluten items!). Today's photos show that I even have a piece from a fresh fish monger that he has prepared with white pepper corns and parsley.

There are so many countless ways to prepare salmon in the form of dishes that you can make, ways to seasons it, ways to cook it. It's an untamed piece of meat that is just waiting for your creative juices to flow! What about a lightly fried piece with just a light sprinkling of fresh (or dry) dill added just at the end? How about cutting it into fine chunks, flash fried to cook it and add a crunchy texture so that you can add it to a gluten free pasta dish with cheese sauce? What about thinly sliced (paper thin mind you, ask your fish monger about this) pieces marinated in a citrous mixture and placed on top of gluten free toast or crackers spread with cream cheese? Key thing here is that citrous (lemon, lime, grapefruit ect) will cook the salmon! Ever bought a piece of fish that is still fresh that day but pre-wrapped like you would buy say beef or such from the local grocery store and it have a lemon piece resting again the fish? Remember pulling that lemon piece away to see that the fish under has changed colour? Yep, you guessed it, the lemon piece has started to cook that part of the fish.

Ok so I'm getting all over the place. Simply put, salmon is healthy, again full of the Omega 3 fatty acids that we are all told we should have more of and there are just so many ways to prepare it. This is also a fish that if prepared properly, the skin (as long as it has been scaled) can be eaten and should be as it also contains a number of good for you things!
A tip for all that like to pan fry... use a pan fit to what you are making. Don't use a pan overly small for your item/s but also don't use a pan that is overly big for it either. The reason for this you ask? Simple, the more area you have to heat in your pan, the more the heat will spread out and not centre on cooking the meat that is in the pan. Same thing for too small of a pan, your meat will either not sit against the bottom so it doesn't cook properly all over or it'll stick to the sides where you don't want it cooking either. You wouldn't put a pan that is too big on a small burner or a large pan on a burner too small would you? The same goes for the meat that you add to your pan. Make sure there is enough room to let the meat rest completely on the pan bottom. If you are frying more then one piece at a time, make sure you don't over crowd the pan because then some pieces will cook/brown quicker then others and they will stick. Just a tip, you'll find that it works well. Another small tip on preparing meat... if you are preparing a meat where you will want to de-glaze the pan afterwards (in cases where you want to make gravy lets say) use a pan that does not have a non-stick coating. You will want to 'scratch' at the bottom of the pan in order to get all the wonderful meat pieces and flavours off of it and no matter what you go scratching with, you'll end up marking your best non-stick pan so go for a good ol' favoured, old fashioned steel pan with no coating. They can also handle a much higher temp and deal with de-glazing better too.

The best way to prepare a piece of salmon... that is really up to the person I think but here is what I do. The piece I have shown in this entry has skin. When you cook it with skin, you want to start cooking it skin side down, this one is never up for discussion if you are looking to present this as a beautiful piece of art to the mind and taste buds. If no skin then it doesn't matter which side you start on.

Simply pre-heat a pan to a medium-high heat, use only a VERY small amount of olive oil in the pan as the salmon will release it's own fats/oils almost as soon as it hits the pan and drop the salmon (skin side down if you are using the skin) carefully into the pan as it will start to spit. LEAVE IT ALONE for at least 3 minutes. Do not turn it, do not move it, do not flip it, do not 'peek' under it or anything... simply leave it to be for 3minutes. The reason for this is if you start to wonder and mess with it, the more chance you have that it'll either stick to the pan or not cook evenly across the skin for that golden finish you want. Once you see the salmon start to change colour about 1/3 to 1/2 the way up, this is the time that you want to flip it. Again, leave it alone. I can't stress how much you should just leave your meat alone and either use a timer or your normal gut feeling on when to turn it. Meat loses a lot and you can cause a lot of un-wanted damage to it if you start to do more then 'wonder' about it.

Remember salmon if fresh from a well known fish monger can be and is eaten raw... so you don't want to over cook this meat. It's like pre-paring fresh tuna. You want seer the outside while leaving the middle hot, moist and even a bit more pink then the outside.

Go on now... go find your local trusted fish monger and ask him/her for a wonderful fresh piece of fresh salmon. Come back to me and tell me what you've done with it! I would LOVE to have some suggestions or ideas on what to do with it! I'll get to posting some of my own recipes but for now, I just wanted to share a wonderful piece of meat that is at least a bi-weekly if not weekly meal in this house.

Where Do I Start?

My mind is reeling... I have so many ideas and I keep getting more and more every day. Now that I have my new oven, the world is my oyster (and I'm going to make those too!).

Today I sit here doing something I shouldn't.... stumbling through the food/cooking subject in FireFox Browser's 'Stumble' add-on (GO HERE to get the add-on if you don't have it already, you'll thank me for this later!). It leads to all sorts of naughty dessert thoughts, new pasta recipe ideas, what I can do with items I have in my house that I have no idea what to do with yet like the wonderful chunks of white cheddar I recently found on a shopping trip with my mother (mac & cheese have come to mind today and earlier deep dried cheese balls came to mind... going from good to bad Missy).

I also have this wonderful little book, it's quite actually 'little' as it's only about ooo 4-5inches wide and high but it's also a good 1inch thick... it's all soup recipes from hearty soups to cold soups (sorry cool summery soups, you'll have to wait until next year I'm afraid) to meat soups and meatless soups. I came across one I'm interested in and it's an almond with grapes one. Not sure if it's cold or hot yet as it's also in Nederlands. I can read a lot of it but when it comes to breaking apart a recipe properly I rather have my husband here to translate before I go messing something completely up and ruin the desire to want to taste it properly!

So I have these ideas floating through my head....
1. mac & cheese made with fresh white cheddar (perhaps adding bacon but not sure)
2. just a few cheese balls made with the above mentioned white cheddar (can't use 1 pound just mac & cheese.... can I??)
3. Peanut Butter Cups (I have all the ingredients and have yet to use that wonderful mini muffin pan that I posted about like 2 months ago now)
4. quite a number of soups from watercress to mussel with sage to that almond with grapes one. Cook books are the devils work I swear!
5. bolognese sauce with ground turkey, fresh bell pepper and properly made with a nice hearty red wine (of course to go over some nicely cooked rice based spaghetti pasta!)
6. chocolate souffles (after making lava cakes last night, I have a mood for the 'lighter' version now)
7. new stew... my Italian style stew is really nice but I have to admit 2 winters of it later I think it's time to invent a new one
8. egg fu yung (the ways of doing this and the things you can put it in it are just endless!)
9. taco omelets (long story on how I got onto this btw so better for another time)

So you see just this afternoon my mind is swimming with all these ideas. First though I have to finish the roasted veggies for dinner tonight and the other 2 lava cakes for dessert and then I can start to think about what new to make. For now *sigh* I sit here with just the stuff I have already made and wondering what I should post about next. I have so many wonderful and colourful recipes/photos on hand that even that is a question now.

On to the GOOD stuff! What should I make?! Coming to think about it, there are also all those things that I want to re-make not only because they were really good but so I can get some much better photos of them such as spinach souffles, chocolate dipped macaroon cookies (the coconut style ones but the almost powder types), corn bread muffins, au gratin potatoes, mini apple fritters with icing.... the list is endless. I have photos, I've made the items but I want to perfect them and I want better photos. Good gravy (mmm that too!), I'm glad blogs aren't ending any time soon, I think I'll be very happy here for a while!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

My New Oven *YIPPEE!!!*

I know it took a while to get but I'm happy to say that I have finally gotten to replacing my oven! It should of been the landlord's problem to fix or replace the one that broke but trying to point out that this problem was simply a problem with the oven itself was next to impossible and I was not about to go through the hassle, not to mention the wait, of it all.

So just a bit of time to save for the new oven and we found a great deal at only 266euro that included delivery up 2 stories and installation. And what better to have as an oven name then 'Candy'. So without farther wait, let me introduce you to my newest piece of kitchen equipment... Candy!

Today 'Candy' is getting her first official work out too! I've already made a nice pork roast the day she was installed (will post about it later with photos of course) but today she has been on and going strong since about 2pm and as I come to a close in this post it will be past 6pm with her having to run another couple of hours. I have prepared some wonderful cinnamon/sugar cashews and almonds which are already finished. Then after, I turned the heat back up and am now in the process of letting a nice big batch of veggies roast away. And after all that there will of course have to be some sinful but so needed dessert in the way of lava cakes with fresh raspberries mixed in. And of course I've taken great care to take photos of every thing for later posting! Well, not the lava cake yet... those still have to be made!