Inertia is my middle name now for this blog that I've been neglecting for quite some time. Sound like a broken record don't I, as I had said the exact same word 'neglecting' in my last post, which dates back to...oh... last November?
I have many reasons (which I will not name all) for my omission. Since last fall, I've experienced a significant loss of energy and motivation to blog, from an overwhelming load of work from my day job. Gotta get the business rolling. I have partly myself to blame. In fact my busy work schedule has only led me to regain energy through much needed restful sleep, casual reading and eating. Of course, I have to cook to eat, but I was only able to cook quick and simple stuff, which are already posted in my blog, to nourish my mind and body. At the time, it was the only way I could get through the storm of busyness right before the holidays. At last, on Dec. 24th, I could only feel relief and joy to finally take my long merited two-week vacation.
During that time, I kid you not...I hibernated and thought of nothing for 5 straight days. The remaining week of my vacation was highlighted by on-line shopping, which I had never tried before but heard so much about it from friends who can only now live by it. One of my christmas presents was an extremely generous gift certificate from my parents and brother to amazon.ca. I had no idea what to get then. The only thought that traversed my then-feebled mind was to order books or DVDs....until I browsed through the site a little longer and stumbled upon a jaw-dropping sale (of 75%) on Italian cookware. They're still onsale, but not as good as last month.
I had read so much about Paderno cookware and its debates on the location of its manufacturing making a difference in the quality of the product. For example, Paderno products made in Italy are said to be of higher quality than the products made in Canada. To verify this, I found a few consumer reviews stating that when they bought Paderno cookware sets made in Canada, they were very happy with their purchase. I thought, I couldn't go wrong with a deal like this, going from $599.99 to $149.99 for a 10-piece artistry Paderno cookware set. The purpose of this installment is not to promote Paderno cookware, but to let you know that if you browse carefully online, you may find a jewel. In my case, I found the most amazing high quality cookware that I've ever owned! Ever! My old pots and pans were becoming a tad old and dangerous. The handle of one of my sauce pans would sometimes come off. Not good when boiling water and trying to lift the pan over to the sink, while one of your pets runs between your legs. Endless cursing and agony right there.
I also wanted to share with you on how satisfied and happy I am with this purchase. The items were delivered within a week with free shipping. Already, just from holding one pan, I felt that my new pots and pans were not made in China. They had a really good grip, as well as a great stainless steel finish and silicone covered handles. A very practical pan to use both over the stove as well as in the oven. Plus, the stainless steel finish is really non-stick as they say it is. I insist on the 'really' because I had purchased Lagostina non-stick pans in the past and they were all but non-stick. A nightmare and mere frustration for an avid cook.
Surely, there are far better cookware sets out there. Last month, I've been looking around retail stores for high-end cookware and chanced upon reputable Chef's cookware sets which were, in my opinion, ridiculously expensive unless you were a restaurant owner or a cookware set collector maniac. One sauce pan alone was priced at CAD499. Mind you, that sauce pan was quite something. It was without a doubt a high-end pan that a professional or Celebrity chef would own. The stainless steel finish was somewhat more robust and the handles were designed with a fine grip. Nonetheless, I'm quite content with the new set that I have. I would even have to say that at that price, this brand is definitely the best I've ever owned. It's affordable, practical and its luxurious finish makes your food look incredibly good.
And what is Asian cooking without a stunning Paderno wok! This one is my favourite as it heats up fast as it should and makes excellent presentations.
I've been cooking with this set non-stop since I received them by mail last December and am feeling a gradual incentive to blog again. It might not be as frequent as I used to before last fall, but it's a beginning. Just to give you a glimpse of what I cooked recently is this fabulous paella with chicken and shrimps. A great basic recipe from Magnolia and the rest is all yours to play with. The recipe will be available in my next post. (The picture is not great as I took it with my phone in very dim light. Sadly, I broke the lense of my SLR....another reason, I haven't been taking pictures to blog, but that's another story).