Monday, December 28, 2015

Lodge Cast Iron Skillet

For most people who know me, one of my dreams is to be a chef or a very good home-cook, or at least to master the art of baking. You have no idea how much time I spent watching Wolfgang Puck , Rachel Ray & other chefs do their stuff on TV, willing myself to be like them some day hahaha! And trying to savor their dishes from the comfort of my home. Lakas ng imagination di ba? 

But I didn't get enough practice (my fault) and it was one of my hesitation before getting married. As in I thought, "how would I feed my husband?!?" Hahaha..I'm really scared of getting burned by pans or crackling hot oil so I thought if I used an oven, perhaps our food will be healthier and I don't risk getting burned every time. I definitely lurked in most blogs trying to see which we would get and we decided on a convection oven.

Since I received the Imarflex convection oven as anniversary gift last year, I've been on and off trying recipes which hopefully, my family would love :) For a time we made banana bread thrice in a week, healthy baby food, pasta, etc. etc. I was okay with my simple-beginner-amateur tools until I landed on Sally's Bake Blog and found a delicious pineapple upside down cake recipe. To be more specific, after reading a comment on her site which recommended cast iron skillet in baking it. Suddenly, I wanted to stock pile those cast iron pans (plus a bigger oven perhaps, Daddy A?).

My first ever Lodge Cast Iron Skillet *happy dance!*

BUT!! They are expensive, I mean for pans. They also require special maintenance -- yep, there is such a thing as having to "season" your pan with salt (as needed), it's also a different story having to oil your pan after use. Another is NO SOAP! You don't have to use soap in cleaning it after use. Kakaiba di ba?

So after taking a couple of looks at Gourdo's, reading up other blogs and with my hopes of ehem, having better tasting dishes, I finally decided this was gonna be my Christmas gift for myself, and my family! Hahahahaha :D 
DISCLAIMER: Yes I know, my hubby already told me pans and pots don't necessarily make one a better cook. Hahaha..but if it helps even a teeny weeny bit? Why not!?

Merry Christmas from my skillet to yours! :p

I finally took home my first ever cast iron skillet, the day after Christmas. I can't say for certain at this point but what I'm feeling right must be love!!! Hahahaha..actually, I'm not sure if it'll fit inside my oven (crossing fingers here). Luckily, I was able to try it when I was over at my parents' house and the cake, to my chef-wannabe-self, looked sooo beatiful, I kid you not!

Prepping the Pineapple Upside Down Cake in this gorgeous cast iron skillet

I'm so excited to make many more dishes (baked or not) with this. As the label says, it's the "right tool to sear, saute, bake, broil, braise, fry". Stove to oven, no problem. I just love, love, love, love it! :)

Next on my cooking to-do list: cornmeal, more upside down cakes, and a properly-done steak! Yay! :)

Some things you need to consider before heading out to get yourself a cast iron pan:

  1. Size / Type: Well, there are lots! I started with a 9 inch skillet and hopefully I'll be able to move up to a bigger casserole and griddle in the future. Think of the things you plan to do with this as well as the size of your current stove, grill or oven. Will it fit? If my oven size was not an issue, I would have dove straight into the 10 inch skillet (or bigger) since the bigger ones have an assist handle.
  2. Weight: Since this is cast iron, this definitely is some heavy stuff! The bigger size you choose, the bulkier and heavier it gets. For the uninitiated newbie kitchen warriors (like me!) this might take some getting used to.
  3. Maintenance: Do your research on how to properly season and take care of a cast iron pan. It's not exactly high maintenance but it's quite different from how you would handle typical cook ware.
  4. Cost: The cost can run pretty high but consider this as an investment. It's really sturdy and fairly flexible in terms of use. I'd even want to plan a camping trip just to be able to use this over a bonfire!
  5. Longevity: I've read accounts that cast iron pans outlast their owners. Some are handed down from generation to generation and some sell theirs later on. Just make sure it is cared for and it'll really be something you & your family will treasure for years! Of course, given the choice, opt for brands you trust with sourcing and manufacturing process. 

Check out this link for more Lodge Cast Iron Products. Let me know your skillet size and please share your signature cast iron dishes! :)

Party planning...sort of

It's not even the new year yet here I am ultimately wasting away time to plan for a party we might not even hold..ha! Well, that's if dearest hubby A would approve :p

Sandbox Party!!! (Image courtesy of Pinterest)

I know, I know...we kinda promised that after Z's 1st birthday bash, we won't have anything grand until maybe her 7th birthday. We were so decided to just have a very very simple 2nd birthday celebration. You know, "tayo-tayo lang na family" ang peg. Hahaha.. :D For the most part of the year I really did not bother to think or plan on anything. Promise! 

BUT!! There are so many fun ideas for a kiddie party! If only budget wasn't a concern, di ba mommies? AND, they are only young for just a short while!!! I'm really torn now. Gaaaahh!!!

So here are my options thus far:

1. The very simple celebration with our immediate family at home. Home cooked meal, little pretty cake and make a wish!

2. Rent a small function room, hire a budget caterer [and maybe DIY styling]. No hosts, no backdrops, just plain get-together for a sumptuous meal and photo-ops for the birthday girl. O siya, tayo-tayo na rin ang photo/video! Hahahaha :D

3. Do it in a resto that's in a mall (one that has steaks, ribs, the works!). Shop afterwards. Ooops, did I say that out loud??

4. Book a suite just for the three of us. Room service all day! With massage please! :)

5. My dream: an outdoor party (I already have a theme!!), a fiesta of some, drinks, lounge on the pool, kick some ball....ohhhh isn't it amazing?

So what do you think?? Eeeeeeppp!!! Less than 2 weeks to go!! Wish me luck! :)


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