Friday, March 16, 2012

Traded blogging for cooking...

I must have been the last person on Earth to find out that nonstick cookware is bad for your health.  I had been using a set of pans that my mother gave to me on my wedding 8 years ago.  They were nonstick pans but the nonstick surface was really scratched and peeling.  They still did a great job of cooking and I had NO CLUE that once the nonstick coating was damaged, dangerous fumes can be released during cooking. 

So here I was thinking that I am cooking my family healthy meals when really I was serving them chemical laden carcinogens!  OK, a bit much, but I'm still mad that I had never heard about the dangers of nonstick!

In one swift move, I dumped my beloved nonstick cookware and have restocked my kitchen with cast iron and stainless steel.  And if keeping my family safe from the chemicals released with nonstick cookware wasn't enough.... with this new cookware has made COOKING SO MUCH MORE ENJOYABLE for me!

I have literally been spending every evening either cooking or planning what to cook for the next day.  I have been making a recipe every night from my favorite cookbook in the world.  In the past month, I have only made a recipe that wasn't in this cookbook three or four times.  Now that I have proper pans in the material and size that many of these recipes call for, my cooking is SO much better.   I used to use the same size pan for every kind of cooking I would do.  For instance, I would crowd chicken breasts into a soup pan to brown or I would "ignore" the cookbook's suggestion to use a pan with a very heavy tight fitting lid...and wonder why my recipes never came out quite right.

Now I know! 

I warn you though, this has become quite addictive.  I used to catch up on posts from my favorite bloggers at night but this month I have been scoping out forums like Chowhound or browsing the home and kitchen section of!  I am very happy with the new collection of pieces I have acquired this month and am committing myself to get back on the blogging train and stop the insanity of researching every combination of pot and pan I can collect!  If I don't, a cookware intervention may soon be in order!

I'll share with you the new pieces of my collection starting with the pieces I use most often:

1. Le Creuset Dutch Ovens
These two dutch ovens have become a permanent fixture on my stove top (aren't they so pretty?)  The red one is a 7 1/4 quart dutch oven and the chocolate brown one is a 2 3/4 quart.  I bought the large red one first and have used it almost every day.  Le Creuset cookware is enamel coated cast iron.  It is made in France and can be used for a lifetime.  It is very heavy but not so heavy that I can not lift it while it is full.  I have used it to make sauces, soups, rice...and nothing sticks.  Deglazing is also a dream in these pots.  The smaller brown one was purchased at a Le Creuset factory outlet store for 60% off the original price.  I use it every single day to make oatmeal.  It also cooks 2 cups of rice perfectly without a single grain sticking to the bottom.  Really, it does.

2. Cast Iron Pans
These two pans are actually pans that we had purchased months ago but I hated.  I could not understand how people could rave about cast iron when I found them heavy, sticky and impossible to clean.  Well, I am so glad that I gave them a second chance because now that I know how to care for them they are virtually nonstick! 

This 12 inch skillet is made by Lodge and was not expensive at all.  After learning how to season and care for it, look at it's beautiful smooth shiny finish!  I can literally fry an egg on this and slide it right off.  I also purchased a lid for this which is very handy when I prepare skillet dinner recipes.

This is my husband's griddle which he uses to make the best pancakes every weekend.  The surface looks discolored, but is really a smooth nonstick surface now.  This is also made by Lodge.

3. All Clad Stainless Steel Cookware
In my excitement to replace my nonstick cookware, I jumped the gun and bought a set of stainless steel cookware.  Don't get me wrong, the stainless cookware is's just that in the end, I probably didn't need a set.  I bought a three piece set that came with a 3 quart saucepan, a 3 quart covered skillet and a 10 inch fry pan.  The last two pieces can basically be replaced by my cast iron above.  The 3 quart saucepan, however, is fantastic.  The stainless steel is so thick and heavy that you don't have to worry about watching food every 2 minutes while cooking.  The heat is so evenly distributed that it eliminates the need for constant stirring and adjusting temperatures. 


So there you have it why I had temporarily traded blogging for cooking. Logging on to my blogger account today felt good...just as good as shining my cookware after a successful dinner ;)

1 comment:

  1. Nice to see you blog again! And, wow, you have been busy with cooking and your new cookware! Awesome! :-) I host a linkup every Tuesday called "Try a New Recipe Tuesday." If you ever post a recipe and want to link it up, you are more than welcome! The new cookware looks great!