October 13, 2010

Houston - Heat, Houses & Pots

Thank you for all the kind messages about moving, selling our house and surviving the process. Our lives have been swept up in one whirlwind after another until last week. All our neighborhood research and house hunting focused in on a great house in a really lovely area. We put forth our best offer, but we weren't able to come to terms with the owner. So, we're back to the house hunt. 

While looking for that special house that appeals to all of us, we've been living in a furnished corporate apartment near downtown. It has been a lot of fun being so close to so much activity, great food, museums and more. Coming out of New York, we were driving everywhere, I'm sad to say...even four blocks down the road. The heat was more than our bodies could take those first few weeks, in fact our poor Sheltie hasn't stopped shedding yet.

We're settled in our apartment, although I'm having a bit of a challenge getting used to cooking in an apartment. The kitchen has a built-in microwave that also functions as a hood vent. I've discovered that it doesn't vent outside, it just filters whatever it pulls through and leaves this lovely greasy stain on the cabinets. It puts a real crimp in using the self-cleaning cycle on the oven as well, since the ceilings have all those well placed smoke/fire alarms and sprinkler heads. Needless to say, I've gotten friendly with the oven cleaner can again.

I packed up a mini-kitchen set up for the apartment, when we were packing up our house. Currently, we don't have any house prospects on our horizon, so it looks like temp living is going a bit more long term. In the kitchen equipment our leasing company provided, they gave us some Anchor Hocking baking dishes, but they gave us a set of pots and pans where the nonstick coating is very scratched up.

This is actually the opportunity I've been looking for...an excuse to upgrade my pots and to get a nice enameled cast iron dutch oven or cocotte. I've been looking at All-Clad, Tramontina, Le Creuset and Staub. Does anyone have a favorite set of pans or are your favorites based on the individual piece? Or on something different?