Well it’s been an interesting past few weeks with a new job, new time schedule and a no more working from home luxury. It was a nice 4 year run so to speak! All of which means less time in between finishing a design project and waiting for approval to work in the kitchen!
And I mean it was a very nice luxury. I love working from home and am very disciplined in meeting deadlines and truth be told, ended up working more hours actually than when I was in an office. So the posting has been slacking as I have come home after traveling through stop and go traffic to take my dogs Kodi and Oliver out for runs in the park and catching up on bills, emails etc.
Here is a pic of the boys and me up in Mount Laguna. One of my favorite places on earth and where Dave and I take them hiking.
I didn’t realize how much I was also taking care of while home all the time. Besides errands, appointments and the occasional signing for a delivery – thinking and strategizing blog recipes, shopping, prepping, cooking, baking, stylizing, photographing, serving, cleaning, photo editing, writing, editing and posting daily. That was a crazy schedule, and I did it straight for almost a complete year. That is a lot of recipe posting, but I LOVE THIS BLOG and want it to succeed. It truly is a labor of love and if you can’t handle the heat, get out of the kitchen, right? So needless to say I have been making my favorites for us and nothing new to post actually. But there was also another fun reason, too.
The other reason for my lack of postings has been due in part to a few kitchen equipment updates, namely a Bosch 36” Induction Cooktop Benchmark™ Series – Black NITP666UC. I am not being paid by Bosch to endorse, this is just my own experience and the cooktop we found to be the next best thing for us. I was not all too connected to the idea of a induction cooktop. I have always been a gas fan, I like to see the heat, ya know? But this has sold me.
It has a learning curve for sure and I have already had a few mishaps, but overall it is consistent, energy efficient and quick. Did I mention it’s quick? Like immediate heat and boiling a saucepan of cold water in a minute fast. My first night had a boil over in getting used to the heat numbering…
Good old Wikipedia has a better and more informative description of induction cooking and the cooktop here:
Induction cooking heats a cooking vessel with induction heating, instead of heat transfer from electrical coils or a gas flame as with a traditional cooking stove. For nearly all models of induction cooktop, a cooking vessel must be made of a ferromagnetic metal such as cast iron or stainless steel. Copper, glass and aluminum vessels can be placed on an interface disk which enables these materials to be used.
In an induction cooker, a coil of copper wire is placed underneath the cooking pot. An alternating electric current flows through the coil, which produces an oscillating magnetic field. This field induces an electric current in the pot. Current flowing in the metal pot produces resistive heating which heats the food. While the current is large, it is produced by a low voltage.
An induction cooker is faster and more energy-efficient than a traditional electric cooking surface. It allows instant control of cooking power similar to gas burners. Other cooking methods use flames or red-hot heating elements; induction heating heats only the pot. Because the surface of the cook top is heated only by contact with the vessel, the possibility of burn injury is significantly less than with other methods. The induction effect does not directly heat the air around the vessel, resulting in further energy efficiencies. Cooling air is blown through the electronics but emerges only a little warmer than ambient temperature.
The magnetic properties of a steel vessel concentrate the induced current in a thin layer near its surface, which makes the heating effect stronger. In non-magnetic materials like aluminum, the magnetic field penetrates too far, and the induced current encounters little resistance in the metal. At least one high-frequency “all metal” cooker is available, that works with lower efficiency on non-magnetic metal cookware.
One thing I forgot was that my deep fryer was an aluminum one and I decided to take the plunge and get an All-Clad one with D5 technology on sale this Memorial Weekend at William Sonoma. Look at that all ready to get to work!
The previous gas range was a different base size and Dave had to make the granite cut out at least 2 inches larger in both directions. I helped a little, hehe. It was quite the undertaking with the plastic tarp up, dogs running around, granite dust and angle grinder buzzing away. I held the shop vac to suck up as much dust and debris as possible as he rounded the granite cut out. And it fit perfectly.
So I am learning the different number states for my simmers and rolling boils and having a blast again, it’s been a while.
The timing was right in between jobs and evenings to make a few other house updates. This included 2 new Toto Comfort Height toilets. The previous has run their usage after 12 years and there are great deals out there! It also helps greatly if you are married to a General Contractor!
Also, for the kitchen we decided on a new Bosch 24″ Bar Handle Dishwasher SHX9PT75UC Benchmark™ Series- Stainless steel. With a selling slogan of “The quietest dishwasher in North America” I am here to tell you it is SILENT and extremely energy efficient.
No heating element to dry, but it uses the heat contained from the water to dry after the washing cycle. And believe me, things are completely dried in there! The technology blows me aways, plus they have really thought out the interior for storage with the sliding tray and there are 3 of them! We also got a new garbage disposal and hot water dispenser to finish off the kitchen.
Another item that needed some attention was the door door that the boys had literally almost completely knocked out of the wall. When they hear a bird or other dog sound, be it live or from the TV, they race out that door like mad devils and it had stripped screws and cracks. So Dave installed a new, more durable model that is a little more heavy duty to stand a little more then a two year stint. Strangely it has clear plastic magnetic mats for the doors and the dogs are a little perplexed to go through it. We have tried a bit of training and bribing and I think they get it now. I think because it’s clear they think it’s like the sliding glass doors they know they can’t go through. I’m sure they will get it soon enough.
I have been thinking I will be doing a lot more healthier recipes as the days move forward. In September we are going to Dave’s niece’s wedding and I am wanting to lose some weight – a terrible side effect from taste testing and indulging in these recipes. And since we got the dogs my daily bike rides have gone by the wayside, too!
It has been a little troubling to me as the older I get the harder it seems to lose weight, so our yearly Master Cleanse to jump start and clean the inside pipes is due, and a better, healthier cooking is on the rise here!