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Saturday, January 26, 2008

A new cooktop and a new aggravation

Last week we got a new cooktop. Our old one, an electric coil cooktop, pretty much quit working. I had two working burners (both in the back) and one of those was touchy. It was 12 yrs old so it lasted a long time. I thought it would be best to get another coil (we can't run gas to the stove or else I'd have that) because it seems like the smooth ones have too many rules. You have to use pots with flat bottoms. Don't let stuff boil over and don't put wet cookware on it and on and on. It scared me. While we were looking Steve decided a smooth top would be better. He thought part of the problem with the coil top was that the coils move a little when you put a pan on them, so they don't last as long. With less moving parts, a smooth top is sure to be better. Yeah. So we got a smooth top. I really wanted the one with the dual burner, because the others, from what I could see, said to use 'similar size' pots and pans on the burners. Well they had a 9" and 6" burner and I have a 12" pan I like to use. That's not similar to 9 or 6 inches. I found the dual burner one online for less and Home Depot very grudgingly price matched it (even though their website says they match online stores). We got it installed and I proceeded to try to cook something. It turns out my most-used pan is NOT flat on the bottom, but very warped. Without that pan I have a much smaller range of recipes to choose from. It was the pan I used for boiling pasta, mashed potatoes, chili, NO BAKE COOKIES! A true tragedy. So I shopped online, shopped offline, and finally ordered a new pan. I think I might need all new pans now that I think of it-but those will have to wait. I checked my 10" skillet, which I also use a lot, and it's not perfectly flat either. But it doesn't rock like my 4 qt did so I think it'll be ok for now. Until my 4 qt gets here I am still limited in what I can make. Here's what I made tonight.

SOS (it's not as good as my mom used to make but since I have to make it myself now, it'll have to do. It's actually quite good. Oh and if your spouse is/was in the military you might want to check with them before you make this. He or she might be sick of it already.)

1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup flour
2 cups milk (add another 1/4 cup if you need to, depending on how thick you like it)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp beef bouillon granules
pinch pepper
1/4 tsp worcestershire sauce

Brown ground beef and drain. Add flour and stir well. Cook over medium heat until flour is all absorbed. Add remaining ingredients. Stir and bring to a boil. Lower heat and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes. Serve over biscuits.

Here's an easy biscuit recipe. It's a bit heavy because of the whole wheat flour-if you use all white it's probably lighter.
1/2 cup white flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 tbs sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 cup buttermik*

*if you don't have buttermilk (who really keeps that on hand??) put 1 tbs of vinegar into a measuring cup and add enough milk to equal 1 cup. Let it sit for about 5 minutes and apparently, this is just like buttermilk.

Heat oven to 350°. Mix dry ingredients. Cut in butter with a pastry blender. Add buttermilk and mix just until combined. Don't overmix! Drop onto a cookie sheet (I use the big cookie scoop from pampered chef-if you don't have that I think a big spoon should work) and bake for about 15 minutes. Serve under SOS.


Lizette said...

I want to get a smooth top stove but I'm scared too. After reading your blog I sure feel a little better. Maybe someday when this stove cacks I get a smooth top. Hopefully ...
Great blog btw !

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