|The OLD wall oven, can you guess what era this was from? Harvest Brown with Avocado and Chrome handles. Note the bungee cord holding the oven door closed...yeah, it had problems.|
The back-story: In February/March of 2012, we had a leak in an upstairs bathroom, it actually became evident way before that though. Marty could not find the leak. It wasn't the toilet, and it wasn't the pipes. We never did call in a plumber, but he wouldn't have found the problem either and would have charged for his visit.
We could tell that the moisture was coming from under the tub after showers, so started thinking perhaps it was the tub's drain. To make a long story short, we decided to call in a contractor and have him look at it since it appeared we'd have to be tearing out some tile and walls and/or the tub to find the source of the leak. Marty had already pulled up the linoleum and we could see that the underlayment wood was very wet and had buckled some.
|After removing toilet and linoleum trying to find leak.|
The project became one of gutting both bathrooms and putting in a full shower downstairs, which previously had only a toilet and vanity. Between the toilet and vanity were the three walls that formed the wall-oven cavity from the kitchen just on the other side. To put in said shower, the wall-oven had to go and the oven cavity along with cupboards above and below had to go in order to make room to move the toilet over to fit the shower in.
|Having added a full shower; toilet not yet installed. And no oven wall cavity!|
The old one was a nice large toaster oven that included a built-in rotisserie and convection features. I liked it but it had a problem with one of the elements that had warped and was looking a little too much like an "S" and had some bright glowing spots. I dared not leave the room when it was on as I feared it would start a fire. I knew it had to be replaced, but when I began looking for a replacement, I didn't want to spend a fortune, and I didn't know what brand was considered good. The one we had previously, was an odd brand and no longer available. Marty had seen one that he thought might make a good Christmas gift for me in 2012, but he wanted to run it by me and after looking it up on the internet, I decided we just didn't have the space, and reviews said it got too hot on the outside, so didn't get it. It was also several hundred dollars more than what I was willing to spend!
|with racks and drip pan, oven door open|
|The extent of my right-of-sink counterspace|
It will likely be quite some time until we get our kitchen remodel with a big oven, so in the meantime, I'm learning to cook all things possible in the toaster oven. The first and most frequently made is the toast we have for breakfast nearly every day. That's an easy one.
I've decided that I will attempt to create a weekly post on making something in my toaster oven that I might normally have cooked in a full-size oven. There will obviously be space limitations. I cannot put my turkey roaster in this oven, but that doesn't mean I can't roast turkey. Nor can I put a full-size cookie sheet. I will learn to adjust pan sizes and cooking times, some of which I've already experienced are different than when cooking in a 'normal' oven.
These posts will be on Tuesdays. Some things may be very simple, others perhaps a bit more complicated. Of course if I find I've overwhelmed myself, I
For now though, beginning 07 January 2014, I will begin posting Toaster Oven Tuesday every week - AND, as I will be using my toaster oven, I cannot vouch for how any recipe or pre-made frozen food item might turn out in your toaster oven, nor will I specifically recommend that you even try them in yours, especially if you do not have a large capacity toaster oven; I know there are some things that say on their packages "not recommended for toaster ovens". For those things, I will either not make them, or determine if the warning is due to the container it comes in and perhaps swap containers and try to cook.
I receive NO compensation from the makers of Oster and am not specifically recommending or endorsing this product. It just happens to be the toaster oven we have, the price was right for our budget at the time, and it's working well for us. It does not have the rotisserie feature as our old one did, but it does have convection cooking. While the old one had convection, it was always on and with the Oster, it has to be selected, so I'll be learning.
I'm sure Marty and Nick will appreciate this lofty goal of mine as I may be cooking more, or at least with more variety.