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Cooking Blogs and My Cooking Binge

Our kitchen got a nice makeover in the past few weeks. Last year, Hubs replaced our refrigerator… so the fugly faded fridge now is moved into this room-converted-from-the-garage… which leads me on a whole new rant.

We live in Silicon Valley. People here are generally engineers…. especially in the area we live. I’m willing to bet that nearly everyone around us are engineers of some sort… or at least people with degrees. Therefore it is a good assumption to make that people here on the Peninsula are fairly educated. Palo Alto specifically. Yet… pray tell… when a previous owner wanted an extra room, they split the two car garage in half to make it into a bonus room. Honestly, I think it’s a fantastic idea. Any emo teenagers can go in there to mope… it can be converted into a business room, hell, if the Hubs wanted to rock out, he could put his drum set in there and go to town. Except this genius of an previous owner split the garage in half, across the garage. WTH. Who seriously does that!?!?!? It makes NO LOGICAL sense whatsoever. So now, we have a very shallow and wide garage, and this long skinny room. Seriously. If they split it down the middle, then at least we could park 1 car and have one bonus room. Now, we have one bonus room, and I think I could fit a Smart car in the remainder of the “garage”… if I drove onto the driveway really fast and Initial D-style-drifted it sideways in. Ugh.

Anyway… so that long skinny room is now used as an office and we dragged our old fridge in there to use as our spare/beer/drinks/frozen foods from Costco fridge. We got this beautiful stainless steel fridge in our kitchen. When my mother in law was visiting before Christmas, she realized that we were cooking on this old school Jenn-Air stove that was in THEIR first home….  that they bought before Hubs was born. She and my father in law generously gifted us a new GE Cafe gas stove for Christmas. Yes… we chose a gas stove, even though our kitchen had electric. So we found some guys to come in and install gas and after a huge hole in the kitchen, lots of tile dust everywhere, we now have a new stove installed. And it is beautiful. Absolutely BEAUTIFUL. It has a duel convection oven and 5 gorgeous gas firing cooking areas. I’m in love.

Since now the fridge and the stove match, Hubs felt the need to swap out the dishwasher too. Which was a good idea, since we were using it as a glorified dish rack. I found the bottom and sides so old and stained I highly doubted the old dishwasher’s ability to actually clean my dishes.

So now, everything matches this brushed stainless steel look. I love it. Which put me into this crazy cooking binge. Over the weekend, I made a bunch of stuff… that resulted in all the burners being used and nearly every piece of Le Creuset cookware being dusted off and shown some love.

I regularly stalk a handful of cooking blogs and I finally worked up my guts to try out making a plethora of pork belly dishes. I kept coming across the Momofuku pork belly recipe and while I was reading up on that, I came across the Cantonese style Crispy Roasted Pork that we usually order from the Chinese BBQ places that serve roasted duck. I went to Ranch 99 and armed myself with a two gorgeous pieces of Wilbur and got to work.  Momofuku’s recipe was really easy and now I have a nice hunk of pork belly chilling in the fridge waiting for me to slice and tuck into the buns. The crispy pork turned out AMAZING… Better than the restaurant version. I’m a happy camper. :)

I’ll get to pictures and recipes soon but in the meantime, here’s all five burners and my Le Creuset working hard away!

20120312-172121.jpgSpeaking of which… Le Creuset decided to discontinue Cobalt Blue. ARGHHH!!! I purposely registered for it since it seemed like a classic color… that I hoped to build up my collection over the years. Now I’m scouring the web to find all the pieces I really like before it completely disappears!

March 14, 2012 - 4:12 pm Connie - Yay an update of both kitchen and blog! That's too bad about the garage haha.

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