Loving and Loathing my Kitchen

So it has been awhile since I’ve posted. Like everyone else daily life has been hectic and I kept telling myself to post something relevant. Well, for the past several months I have been between loving and loathing my kitchen. If you’ve ever been to my home, I’m sure some of you wonder how I could love my kitchen. Yes, it is small and there is no cupboard space and I don’t have a real oven but that’s what I love about it. All those quirky things make me realize that I don’t need a rockstar kitchen to be a top notch cook or baker. But then there are times when I open my cupboards and want to scream because I can’t get to that skillet unless I remove half the dishes that are blocking it. Sounds frustrating right? Well, yes and no. Sometimes I just have to laugh and yes other times I am royally frustrated and want to sink every dime into remodeling the kitchen.
So you may wonder why haven’t we remodeled? Well, for one I don’t know what I want and two we live in Japan. It is super expensive here to remodel or change anything. So I really want to wait to make sure I know what we want. Plus there are other things more important than a fancy oven. As long as my kitchen is clean and functional, I will deal with loving and loathing!
Recently I cleaned out and organized my cupboards. It may not look like a huge difference but I don’t have things dumping on my head anymore.
Let me know about your kitchen and the cool quirky or irritating things you have to deal with. Sometimes sharing makes those difficult times easier.

Just the basics
Just the basics

This is actually is better than before
This actually is better than before

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Rustic Puff Oven Pancake

I love cooking in cast iron. I’ve really only begun but I feel like I’ve really done something special every time I use it. Cast iron is really easy to use and it doesn’t take a lot of special care. My cast iron is from Lodge Logic from Amazon.com. It came preseasoned for under $40.00 with FREE shipping! The lid flips over to be used as a skillet and the Dutch oven holds 5 quarts. You just can’t beat it. Basically, after cooking, clean the cast iron with water, no soap, wipe clean, hand dry and then oil with canola or even olive oil. I’ve had no rust issues and it cooks and bakes beautifully. So you’re asking, what can I make in cast iron? For starters, cornbread, puff oven pancakes, Irish soda bread, stews, soups, and pretty much everything else. Cast iron will last forever, check it out on amazon and check out my photos below.
Click on the cast iron pot below to take you to Amazon.

My puff oven pancake followed by the recipe.
Puff Oven Pancake

Ingredients

2 tbsp butter
2 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup milk, room temperature
1/2 cup flour
Fresh fruit, sautéed apples, cinnamon, maple syrup, or other desired toppings

Directions
Preheat oven to 450°f.

Be sure your eggs and milk are at room temperature. In a blender or food processor, combine the eggs, milk and flour. Blend until thoroughly mixed. Set aside.

Place 1 tbsp butter in each 9 inch round cast iron skillet or cake pan. Place the skillets or pans into the oven and heat until the butter is melted. Remove pans from the oven and swirl the butter to cover the bottom of the pan.

Pour half of the mixture into each pan. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Do not open the oven during the bake time or your pancakes will not puff.

Remove from the oven and immediately garnish with fruits and syrup. Serve immediately in the skillet or transfer to a large plate.

A Long Way To Go

Well, I’m working on getting photos with all my recipes and let me tell you between my jobs and the weather I feel like I”m getting no where. I know it will all come together but my goal is by the end of year. Yes, I realize we are not even half way through the year but I have tons of photos to take. That means I have to make all those dishes, get great lighting and take great photos. ODDS: slim! But I’m going for it anyhow.
Below are my latest: Shrimp Avocado Salad and White Chocolate Cranberry Pistachio biscotti

The wasabi adds a nice zip to the overall dish
The wasabi adds a nice zip to the overall dish
Just enough sweetness. Great with tea or coffe
Just enough sweetness. Great with tea or coffe