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Now We're Cooking with a Ceramic Electric Range, Which I Hate

That title would sound so much better if I still had a gas stove, yes? Anyway, here's some of what I've cooked the past two weeks. Comment or email me if you want recipes.

Mexicali Stew - a lot like chili, but not quite and not very spicy.

Cuban Black Bean Soup - I make this a lot because 1) I make it in the crock pot, 2) it makes enough to freeze half and get a free dinner down the road, and 3) Owen loves it, which always surprises me because it is really spicy. Recipe is here, if you want it.

Fajitas - Another stand-by. My version is zucchini, yellow squash, red pepper, red onion and corn marinated in oil, cumin, chili powder, oregano, and lime juice.

Spaghetti - Still haven't gotten around to (always) making my own spaghetti sauce. This time we used organic, whole wheat Trader Joe's rotini, which was really good and doesn't taste like whole wheat at all (cannot say the same about the penne), and a jar of organic Trader Joe's spaghetti sauce, which was also good, but I did add onion and zucchini.

Eggplant and Zucchini Bake - Chris isn't a huge eggplant fan, but he does sometimes like it depending how it was cooked, so I tried this and it was good. Very simple - just grease a 9 inch baking dish and then add a layer of eggplant slices, a layer of marinara sauce, layer of mozzarella and a layer of zucchini slices. Repeat until you run out of ingredients or the dish is full and end with sauce and cheese layers.

Cabbage and Mushroom Curry - Halfway through cooking this I warned Chris that we would probably be ordering a pizza for dinner, but it was actually really good. Very spicy, and Owen ate half of mine and then demanded his own bowl.

Tamale Pie - We even got Mia to eat a little bit of this one. Sauteed onion, kidney beans, tomato and cubed tofu with chili-type spices in a baking dish with corn muffin batter on top and bake for 20 minutes.

Minestrone - Another thing we eat a lot, because Chris likes it. Super easy - can of tomatoes, can of kidney beans, a zucchini, whatever bag of frozen mixed veggies you have in the freezer, leftover pasta from the fridge, and some broth or water. Made all the better this week because Chris cooked it since I had been out all afternoon with the kids.

Now, wish me luck this week, you guys. I made a fairly ambitious (for me) meal plan including lasagna and my maiden attempts at both pho and pesto and it was only after I had chosen all the recipes and gone through the fridge and pantry and made the shopping list that Chris informed me that his schedule this week will include getting home 30 minutes after we usually have dinner every night. So I get to cook all these things with a two-year-old on one hip and a four-year-old on the other. Honestly, I don't understand how the Leave it to Beaver-esque women did it when they were expected to keep the children fed and clean and alive and entertained and also clean the house and cook all the meals and bake bread and cookies and brush their hair more than occasionally. Boggles my mind.

Comments (24)



Doug's makes our pasta sauce in huge batches and freezes it. I can get the recipe and email it to you if you want. Also, get a crockpot. Tomorrow's dinner around here, homemade tomato soup in the crockpot and grilled cheese sandwiches. Granted, Michael has gymnastics and we got home about 15 min. before dinner time, so I need something quick. But yes, crockpot.

And if I read closer I would see you have a crockpot. Ignore me.

Sounds delicious. I have no idea how the women of Leave it to Beaver times did it. They didn't even have colour tv to entertain the children! But you do.... :)

Did you previously have a gaz range? Why do you hate the ceramic?

We just moved in August into a place with a gas stove, and I LOVE it. I had no idea what I was missing.

I just made pesto tonight, as it is one of our favorite things, and don't worry at all! It is so easy! Seriously, you'll have it done in way less time than it takes the pasta to cook. I sneak in some veggies by making it with about half basil and half spinach. The kids love it.

Good luck with your meal plan this week!

I'm pretty sure I don't even know what pho is, but I too can attest to the fact that pesto is nothing to worry about :) Have fun!

We LOVE making pho and it is no problem at all. Of course, we use pho boullion (sp?) cubes and don't even THINK about making real broth. But it is as easy as pie. (Which, huh. Pie isn't particularly easy. Where, oh where, did that saying come from?! That fucking Mrs. Cleaver?)

A thought on your minestrone--throw in a cubed apple. Really.

It's because they all had help- don't you watch Mad Men?

THAT, and the Beave and his brother were totally off to school all day and then playing in the neighborhood= OUT OF JUNE'S HAIR. Imagine what we could accomplish with Help and Children Out Of Our Hair? But then, we'd probably be expected to shower every day, and change out of our pshaw. Never mind.

I love to make pesto. LOOOOOOOOOOOVE fresh pesto. Will never buy prepared pesto ever again. Haven't bought it in years. LOVE. I could eat it with a spoon. Am I overselling? Because I'm not lying. (If you're adventurous and have it on hand, throw in a spritz of lemon juice. LOVE.)

(PS- June also had a gas range, I'm sure of it.)(I ALSO HATE OUR ELECTRIC COOKTOP. close parentheses)

I covet The Gas. Ceramic is so damn frustrating. I'm currently fighting with The Flatop - which is impossible to keep clean.

Yummy recipes! If all squash and zucchini weren't out to kill me dead I'd probably try some of them. :)

There are pho bouillon cubes?! Must find.

Ooh, I have a super-easy lasagna recipe I just tried from my crockpot recipe book, and it was fantastic! My (very picky) 4-year-old ate an entire adult-size serving, and I ate twice as much as usual. It's even meatless ... I'm totally loving the "Fix It and Forget It, 5 ingredients or less" cookbook for tons of crockpot recipes recently. I haven't made lasagna in years because it's such a pain, but this was so easy I'm adding it to the rotation immediately. I can send you the recipe if you like!

our new-to-us house came with a top-of-the-line gas range/stove and I never knew what we were missing all these years using electric. Oh my it's lovely. And the convection option is amazing.

I need to meal plan. That would make things much easier...

I absolutely hate my ceramic electric range too! I so want a gas one, but since I don't plan on being in this house for too many more years I'll live with it. Besides next on my appliance list is a new washer and dryer. Mine is archaic and it takes me a half a day to dry one load!

Mrs. Cleaver baked slabs of meat then boiled two side vegetables, *maybe* seasoned with a spice or two, but often not. Just add salt, lots of it. But today's stay at home parents are expected to be gourmet cooks.

I do a meal plan, but only make three meals a week and the family has leftovers every other day. Mostly, I use the crockpot now, which does make life easier. We spend about $500 a month on groceries, my husband's lunches, and Saturday night pizza delivery for a family of three in New Jersey. We're about 75% vegetarian, and we try to get organic, mostly local foods (so meat is a weekly treat, 'cause yeah... expensive).

We're very lucky to live in an area with plentiful yuppies = plentiful choices and farmer's markets. We're very lucky to be able to afford all this. As a single, I used to live in a Mexican neighborhood on the south side of Chicago, which entailed walking a mile each way to the local grocery store. It's not fun to carry a week's worth of groceries through a mile of unplowed streets in the winter. So I never blamed people in that neighborhood with kids if they wanted to say the hell with it and head over to the McDonald's two blocks over.

Mrs. Cleaver sent her kids outside to play with the neighborhood hooligans, unsupervised.

They don't let us do that anymore.

I just read that (supposedly) today's WOHMs spend just as much time with their children as the SAHMs of the 1960s. I think, as others have said, that's due to the kids being shooed outside to play for hours, unattended, as well as the frequent employment of cribs/playpens. I really don't think that most of the SAHMs of the '50s and '60s spent nearly as much time interacting with their kids as today's moms are expected to.

Guessing, it was cocktails.

Good luck. Can you get the kids to color or do puzzles while you cook? Just a thought.

Making your own spaghetti sauce can be easy. I got an excellent recipe from a friend for homemade sauce that you make in the crockpot. It makes a lot so you can freeze half.

First, I totally agree with you about the 50s housewives... don't know how they did it.

Second, another easy eggplant recipe - coat baking dish with a little olive oil, layer eggplant slices, onion slices and tomato slices. Bake covered at 450 for about 50 minutes. Cover with grated mozzarella and bread crumbs and bake for 10 more minutes (I prefer to bake covered as I don't like it to get crusty but the original receipe said to uncover for the last 10 minutes). All the juices will come out of the veggies so eat it with bread to soak them up. Yum. Best part - you can make it ahead of time, either in its entirety or slice everything and assemble and then bake later.

did not know pho could be vegetarian, but I guess that makes sense. Please post that recipe if it works out, I'm a pho-aholic. Which makes me sound like a fake alcoholic (faux-aholic) but whatevers.

I HATE my electric range. HATE. IT. It's so damn unreliable. I cooked on a gas range (at my folks) for YEARS and then when I bought my house I was either burning things or things weren't cooking fast enough, or any other problem you could have, I had. I would LOVE to switch it to gas. Gonna go try waving a magic wang now...

Yeah...that should say "magic WAND". Although...

That all sounds DELICIOUS! A couple of weeks ago you posted a link to a chili recipe. If you have it, could you e-mail it to me? I'm searching your site, but I can't find it anymore (plus the distraction; finally catching up on your stories! )

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