Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tuesday Thoughts

I think I might be in a blog funk. Lately, I haven't been very interested in blogging. In fact, I've been considering quitting. I'm not sure why. On the one hand, I can't really imagine not taking photos of our food every time we make something. And we'll always be interested in going out and trying new restaurants and re-visiting favorite restaurants, and I'll want to share because we enjoy it so much and I always return home and think oh I have to blog about how great/not great this place was!

On the other hand, it's just the two of us, so whatever we cook on Sundays usually lasts the entire week. Add in the number of dishes we like and make frequently, and the number of interesting, new post options declines. I don't want to repeat myself, yet I feel bad if I don't post something besides the weekly CSA post, so I end up repeating myself, and I feel... not good. Plus, we are at a point in life where we enjoy cooking, and we experiment a wee bit with deviating from recipes/making up our meals, but again, given that it's just the 2 of us and that we have a lot going on (long work hours, family events, seeing friends, date time, other hobbies we enjoy) we don't like to experiment as much as when we were younger because if something is an epic failure, it really throws a wrench into things. If we make a casserole and it turns out disgusting or if we spend 3-4 hours roasting/braising something that then tastes gross, there might not be time to make something else, so we end up making frozen pasta and eggs all week, which leaves us both unsatisfied.  I really admire those food bloggers who come up with their own cupcake recipe or chicken recipe idea and then have the time and patience to test and test and test until it's just right.

Maybe my funk is because we are still ovenless, and as I posted last week, we've been slammed with a lot of unexpected expenses since finishing the major flooring project last April. Being an adult can be really stressful!

As for the ovenless part, we spent last week going out after work to appliance stores to look at options. Then we'd come home and do research. Then we dithered. Rather, I dithered. SP can be OK with making decisions quickly, but I need to hem & haw and fret about if it's what I really want for the next 10 years and by golly it better last 10+ years! I just 'know' when I am ready, and it took a week of pondering and measuring. I'm sure SP rolled his eyes every time I brought out the measuring tape! Our oven slides into the island and while the width is a nice, standard 30", I was concerned about depth and height. We have 'adequate' space between the island and the along-the-wall-cabinets, but can't really afford to decrease it, especially since as it is I sometimes manage to wedge myself/the wheelchair in between the dishwasher & oven. Yup. I get stuck. So if the oven is deeper, well, there could be issues. Minor issues, but issues.

Also, most slide ins have a 'lip' that sits on the edge of the counter, but the one we fell in love with isn't a true slide in, it's a free standing, so there's no 'lip' and that will be quite different for us since now we have a true slide in with lip on the counter. I started worrying about food and spills getting down between the oven & counter since there's no lip to catch stuff, would the height be OK or would it look too short or too tall, what did the back of the stove by the vent look like and would any 'ickiness' be visible in the center of the island, are our counters in good enough shape to have those edges under the lip exposed or are they all beat up and ugly, is a stupid stove going to turn into one of those domino effect things where you just want to fix one thing and suddenly you're fixing lots of things at a huge cost (what if the old counter edges exposed are ugly & beat up, then I'll want pretty new counters and then do we add a backsplash or not and where does the backsplash start/end and does it also go under the glass door cabinets on the other side of the kitchen?).

Plus the previous owners sometimes did things in ways that, as my brother put it about his own place one day when we were talking about odd things previous owners did, "It ain't wrong, but it ain't right." I am still nervous about our gas line and electrical outlet in the island being 'good enough' for the new oven!

So we set out Saturday morning to purchase the oven. We didn't get out as early as we would have liked. So we didn't get to have breakfast at Sugar Cafe or Bob's or First Watch as we planned. Instead, we had a quick Panera breakfast:
SP had egg & cheese on whole wheat toast. I had egg, cheese, and bacon on an asiago cheese bagel:
SP had  a few bites of mine. It was pretty tasty for a quick breakfast.

Then we went and made our big purchase! The new oven is ordered and should be here in about a week, then delivery will be arranged. So we are probably ovenless for another 7-10 days. After our big purchase, we walked over to The Pie Place. I had an Entertainment Book coupon for The Pie Place and since we are rarely in the area, we decided to treat ourselves. Plus, it's not like we could bake anything at home! We ended up with an oatmeal cookie for SP, a cinnamon biscotti for me, and 2 mini tarts, one mixed berry and one apple. I only photographed the half of the mixed berry tart that I ate:
It was tasty, but the raspberries and blackberries were a little too seedy for me. I like the apple tart better, even if I thought that apples were a little too sweet. The biscotti was good, but it had raisins in it and I don't like raisins.

Our meals this week are nothing new. Nothing exciting. About 3 of our dinners this week will be grilled shish kebabs: beef, lamb, scallops, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, and green peppers. Along with the shish kebab, SP sauteed the CSA kale with the CSA eggplant and he cooked the corn. We bought an olive flatbread at Costco as a side, and voila! Quick non-oven dinner.

While he did all that, I made our other meal for the week: pasta salad for me and quinoa salad for him. We will get 3, maybe 4 meals, from these salads. Here's his quinoa salad:
This time, we added artichokes, kalamatas, carrots, tomatoes, cucumber, feta, basil, thyme, chives, parsley, roasted red pepper, and, for SP, capers. I used shells for my pasta - so that's new since usually I use bow ties!!!
Hopefully, next Sunday will also be a nice grilling day in case we don't yet have our new oven! Maybe once we have it, I'll feel more motivated about blogging and try some fall-ish recipes (pumpkin, apples, etc.). Right now, I'm not yet really ready to embrace fall even though it's my favorite season. However, I am ready to embrace a new oven!


  1. I hear ya - being an adult IS tough. And it's not always fun. No matter how many times you hear that as a kid, no one listens until they get older.
    Good luck getting a new oven... and as for the blogging thing, just know that [I think] everyone goes through that at least once. Personally I wanted to quit several times... but then I started my 365 Project and found something to look forward to every day. Now I pay more attention to minor details for things that may be the highlight of my day. Perhaps you just need some motivation (which I'm sure a new oven would provide)! :)

  2. Lindsay - Thanks!I'm hoping the new oven and the upcoming holidays will inspire me.