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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Stove, Grill, First Cooking & Tuna Salad

This is a mish mash post consisting of an update on our stove and grill, the first couple of meals and my tuna salad. Readers are interested as to how we are settling in, our kitchen renovations and many are looking for tried and true recipes. I will be adding labels to the earlier posts to help with the searching for those interested. Recipes and pictures along with chit chat as we renovate the kitchen will be appearing on a fairly regular basis now things are semi-back-to-normal.

I actually cooked on the ancient stovetop here. Two burners were working so I made pasta with homemade meat sauce from the freezer then topped with sauteed mushrooms. It was a simple meal that wasn't too taxing on the electrical problem. Recall that when we moved here there were electrical problems causing the microwave not to work properly, ancient built-ins and the gas grill connection unsafe to use. The crockpots and campstove were buried under so much stuff that I still haven't found the campstove!

It took a good couple of days to rewire and get the cabinet ready for our stove. The stove finally went in yesterday so I was pretty pleased. The downdraft is not connected yet but everything else works. Near the top of the backsplash there is a black dot that is the wiring from the old fume hook. The backsplash and countertop will look rather funny for the next week as we move the sink (almost touching the stove) to where we want it.

Oktoberfest Sausage

There was a natural gas hook-up for the grill however it was not secured properly and ended at the elbow (bend at the top painted black). This meant we had to secure the natural gas line itself then provide the connections from the elbow to the grill. Thanks to a family member the grill was up and running a week after we moved. If you want to see how we made the corrections please vist my homemaking blog where information will be posted.

You would think our first grilled meal here would have been steaks along with the ice wine bought special to celebrate our new home. No, it ended up being ocktoberfest sausages. The weather was warming significantly with rising humidity levels so octoberfest sausages made for our first bulk cooking session here. We grilled up a large batch for dinner served with sauteed mushrooms, onions and honey mustard on grilled buns then froze the rest for later quick meals. We sat by the water eating our simple meal on the water felt wonderful. It was homecooked!

The temperatures have soared here yesterday with it hitting 95ºF with extremely high humidity levels and smog warnings. It was not a day for cooking or grilling so I used a package of the pre-cooked seasoned ground beef I've talked about in previous posts to make a taco salad. This is an easy, quick to make, ideal summertime recipe. The winds shifted in the evening blowing in cooler air so I put a pot of pasta on for tuna salad for the tonight's dinner.

Tuna Salad

I make a lot of pasta salads during the summer. Most invole a pasta, vegetables and homemade viniagrette. Tuna salad is different as this is an old family favourite from our newlywed days. It is a wonderfully quick to make and cool to eat salad for those hot summer days. It can be made ahead for those busy hot days. It travels well for lunches too.

Tuna Salad

shell maccaroni
light olive oil
1 tin tuna fish packed in water
radishes, quartered then sliced
cucumber, peeled and quarters
green onions, chopped
Miracle Whip
salt to taste

This is more of a method. Bring water to a boil in a large sauce pan. Add a dash of oil and good pinch of salt. Stir in the pasta. Cook until el dente. Remove from heat, strain and cool. Place into large mixing bowl.

Prepare the vegetables. Open the tuna and drain then flake. Mix the tuna and vegetables into the pasta. Spoon Miracle Whip a couple of tablespoon at a time, mix. Continue until you get a creamy salad consistency. Sprinkle with salt then mix well. Spoon into a serving dish. Chill at least one hour before serving. Garnish with a sprig of fresh parsley.

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