Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Improvised Cooking

Last week our gas was turned off. We first noticed that something was wrong when our central air stopped working. The next night I attempted to cook dinner, only to find that the sweet potatoes I put in the oven for 45 minutes were still hard and not hot to the touch. I then tried to turn on the stove, but the burner's wouldn't light. I started screaming (because that is a good way to make the stove work) and at that point AJ figured out that our gas was not working.

For the last two months we sent a check for the gas bill to our landlord because initially she was unable to close her account and we were unable to open a new one because her name is not on the account and her husband is deployed. Well apparently the gas company finally closed it, but no one informed us. Awesome.

Luckily the weather has cooled down quite a bit and not having central air isn't a big deal. The cooking aspect, however, initially resulted in a lot of eating out. The night we figured out the gas was off we ordered pizza, the next night we ate at Zaytinya (which was absolutely delicious, BTW...and we got to see Mike Isabella from Top Chef!) with my parents, and Saturday night we ate a Mexican restaurant. I guess Friday doesn't count since we were with my parents and we would have gone out anyway...but, still. We rarely eat out three nights in row and I wasn't about to make the streak longer.

So I improvised....

Sunday: I pulled out the crock pot and made salsa chicken tacos. This is the easiest crock pot recipe known to (wo)man. Put a few chicken breasts in with enough salsa to cover the chicken, add a few dashes of chili powder or taco seasoning, and cook it on high for 4-6 hours. As the chicken starts to cook you break it down into shreds with a fork. We used the leftover tortillas from our Chipotle night and added some cheese for an easy meal.

Monday: We made burgers on the grill and paired it with rice pilaf cooked in the microwave. I was also going to steam some asparagus with balsamic vinegar in a Ziploc Zip 'n Steam bag, but the Asparagus was bad.

Tuesday: Thanks to a suggestion from Sara I made Greek salads (lettuce, tomato, cucumbers, onions, feta, and olives) with pre-cooked chicken that I heated in the microwave. Last night I also cooked ground turkey in a frying pan on the grill in preparation for today's meal. It took a lot longer to cook the turkey than it normally does on the stove, but it worked...and that is all that matters!

Tonight: Using the ground turkey I cooked last night, AJ is making crock pot chili. I merged a few recipes and decided to use two cans of diced tomatoes, one can of tomato sauce, one can of kidney beans, one can of chili beans, and 2 tablespoons of chili powder. Nom nom nom. This will be our first chili of the fall/winter season!

Our gas is supposed to be turned on this morning, so hopefully I can get back to normal cooking in the coming days!

17 comments:

  1. Ugh...what a pain in the butt! But you've done such a great job of cooking without the stove. Go you!!!

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  2. That's so McGyver of you guys to improvise cooking meals without gas!!

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  3. How annoying of the gas company! Ugh utilities people are always a pain in the butt.

    But the meals sound really yummy! I might try the crock pot salsa chicken tacos tonight.

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  4. How annoying!! But so impressive with the creativity!! Everything sounds yummy!

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  5. What a pain! Good thing you know your way around a kitchen. That crock pot salsa chicken sounds yummy and easy...will be trying!

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  6. i know it's not the point of the post but this makes me so excited about moving! we're having a gas line run into the kitchen and changing to a gas stove... i can't wait!!
    but back to your post... sounds like some great meals even without the stove!

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  7. Great job with the improvising! I'm definitely going to try that chicken taco recipe!

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  8. Good thing you have a grill (and a crockpot)! Hope you get your gas back soon.

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  9. I love my crockpot in the winter! The chicken recipe sounds great - cant wait to try it. I have a really good pulled pork recipie that is delicious on rolls or wraps!

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  10. I need a crock pot! All of your recipes sounds delicious!

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  11. I'm impressed that you're still cooking at home at all, we'd be in big trouble.

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  12. Wow, that is amazing! I would have been flipping out and harassing my landlord to get the gas turned out without thinking about compromising and coping with the situation!

    The crock pot, however, is always a lifesaver! Do you have a lot of go-to crock pot recipes?

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  13. Good for you for improvising! I'm so impressed!! I'll remember this if it ever happens to me, these all look delish!

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  14. the meals sound really yummy! I might try the crock pot salsa chicken tacos tonight.
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  15. hey - i'm definitely impressed. i can't cook that well WITH a stove! :)

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  16. Ok, um that would make me sooooooooooo angry! grrrr.

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  17. OMG! can I just tell you that I'm so relieved to find out I'm not the only one who didn't like that book!! PHEW :)

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