It’s Valentine’s Day and I wanted to write about my new love – a gorgeous stainless steel electric range I’ve been eyeing for months and finally decided to commit to.
Why did it take so long? Because when I moved into my house a year and a half ago, the kitchen had an old drop-in oven and replacing it with a more modern freestanding/slide-in version was going to be a lot of work!
So I went into a cycle of shopping around for the option I liked best, checking in with service folks to try to get an estimate of time and expense for replacing one type of oven with another, then holding off and wondering if the whole complicated thing was even worth it.
But then several things happened all at once, setting off a “perfect storm” of factors that pushed me to finally move ahead. The current stove, which always had a terrible problem of not completely turning off for up to an hour, took a full 2 hours to shut down one night. The stainless steel beauty I had had my eye on went on sale. And I found out that a wonderful friend had both the carpentry and electrician skills needed to make the switch. I was sold!
I bought the new stove from Lowes, along with a new stainless steel microwave and was ready to get cooking. And the microwave was delivered and installed almost immediately. But delays due to shipping problems and weeks of crazy, snow-filled weather kept the oven away for quite a while.
Finally, the delivery truck showed up last Saturday. Yay! I had them leave the stove in the middle of the kitchen, to wait for the full install process. And then on Tuesday, it all finally came together.
My friend had to tear/lift out the old drop-in stove, and we moved it to the garage to wait for donation. Then he had to cut out the area’s bottom wooden section and top/back laminate section so that the new appliance would slide all the way back. Did I mention that I knew it was going to be a lot of work? It was but I am soooo grateful!
A little less than 3 hours later, my brand new GE oven (with 5 burners – because everyone needs a warming burner, you know!) was installed and working beautifully. And turning off in a very short time. Whew!
So what does all of this have to do with travel? Well, the new oven means I’ll now be better able to whip up favorite dishes I discovered during my journeys. For quite a while I’ve been collecting recipes of what sound like the most authentic versions of these tasty menu items. And I’ll post photos once I cook up each one.
But for now, here are links to my top 3 “can’t wait to try” dishes:
1. I discussed falling in love with Vienna’s decadent Sacher-Torte in an earlier post. Here’s Wolfgang Puck’s version that he first introduced on the Food Network episode, Secrets of Viennese Pastry: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/wolfgangs-sachertorte-recipe.html
2. Another dessert that was super popular in Vienna, and that I ate several times while there (hey, don’t judge!), was their apple strudel. Here’s a recipe for what sounds like a time-consuming but incredibly wonderful sounding version, the Altwiener Apfelstrudel: http://germanfood.about.com/od/baking/r/applestrudltrad.htm
3. And finally, here’s a recipe for Barcelona-style chicken paella that’s very close to what we ate while there. Note: directions for including other, more traditional meats are included at the end of the recipe: http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/paella.aspx