Decisions, Decisions

After our first 2-week trip in January, and as we ready for our 1-month trip to California, I’ve had to make some decisions…

For instance, I have long been opposed to using nonstick cookware, due to the chemicals that are known to leach from their surface, especially as the cookware ages. Yet, as I grappled with the challenge of cleaning melted cheese or baked-on pasta in the bottom of the stainless steel pot and pans — in Vanda’s small kitchen area — I decided to revisit what was available in cookware. I didn’t know if nonstick was appropriate to use on the induction stovetop for starters, and I was not up to date on the materials used to make nonstick pans these days.

It turns out that over the years there has been a big improvement in safety regarding the materials integrated into the nonstick surface, and there are plenty of choices for induction stovetops. I did my research, compared prices, and ended up with pots and pans made by Eslite Life. Two of the three sauté pans and two pots are now tucked into Vanda’s cabinets.

We took a quick overnight to Illinois yesterday, not only to enjoy lovely winter hiking, but also to test out the new pots and pans.

This incredible African peanut stew and rice was left over from a dinner gathering over the previous weekend. The meal was delish but more important, the clean up was SO easy! I basically only had to run a soapy pad over the pan, then rinse it! Yay! (full disclosure: tonight for dinner at home, I made home fries and scrambled eggs, topped with melted cheese, which was also very easy to clean! I am on to something here…)

Another decision I made was to switch from small reusable melamine bowls to these collapsable silicone bowls. Again, I have not used silicone in the past due to concerns I have about the materials used in making them, but after reading up on the newer products, I decided to go for it:

I bought three. This photo shows one popped open, the other still collapsed. They have a snap-on lid that secures snugly to the hard plastic ridge on top. I can use them for serving a hot dinner, or for storing leftovers, and their collapsable shape is so much easier to store in a cabinet.

TaDa! And as always, a colorful salad as shared side dish.

I’ve been rearranging the cabinets, after making the bold decision to jettison the toaster oven. We did not use it once on our 2-week trip to Florida; everything I would have put in the oven, I was able to cook slowly in a pan on the stovetop, and the toaster over took up so much space. Having survived 2 weeks without it being used, I’m confident I will not miss it. We shall see…

When Vanda is packed up for this upcoming, much longer, trip for which we leave in 10 days, I will share some photos of how I’ve moved things around.



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