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Topic: Cooking without a stove: tips, please

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Subject: Cooking without a stove: tips, please
Date Posted: 9/24/2008 9:38 AM ET
Member Since: 3/3/2007
Posts: 36
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My gas range went out and it was old, old, old.  Avocado green, and  no electrical ignition like all the new ones have.  There's not an electrical outlet within 12 feet of where the range has to go in my tiny galley kitchen, so until I can afford an electrician I'm stuck using the microwave, double hotplate, and the George Foreman grill (or noshing healthy raw snacks, which suits me fine -- but, I have two kids in college nearby who still eat here a lot and they like real meals). 

Anyone have tips to offer?  I'm not a very good cook, except for my specialty - baking, of course.  The one thing I can't do at home now.  I thought about getting a toaster oven, but even the high-priced models seemed flimsy.   I have a Kenmore roaster but it doesn't work very well.

ed:  I have a slow-cooker with a nonremovable liner.  I hardly ever use it since it's a hassle to clean.


Last Edited on: 9/24/08 9:40 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/24/2008 11:30 AM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
Posts: 1,930
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I would be firing up the slow cooker most days! They make disposable liners now. I haven't tried them but worth a look if you have a hard to clean slow cooker.

Let us know what types of dishes/meals you want to make and maybe we can provide recipes/alternatives with the appliances you have.

Look at it as a challenge - maybe you will discover some new recipes your family will love :-)

Subject: Thanks for your answer, Sheila
Date Posted: 9/24/2008 12:19 PM ET
Member Since: 3/3/2007
Posts: 36
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We like Mexican, Italian, and Chinese food, meatloaf, chicken and rice, pizza, any kind of chips, bread, croutons.  Pies, cakes, cookies, cobbler.

I'll eat almost anything.  The kids don't like:

sausage, bell peppers, beans, peas, green beans, raw tomatoes, iceberg lettuce, nuts.

Our favorite extra ingredients are:

bacon, mushrooms,  broccoli, cabbage (and sauerkraut), brussels sprouts, melons, citrus fruit, peaches, plums, berries.

Date Posted: 9/24/2008 3:17 PM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
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I can vouch for the disposable slow cooker liners. Our first slow cooker came from the thrift store and was all one unit. I don't think we would have ever bothered to use it if it had not been for the disposable liners.

Date Posted: 9/25/2008 9:58 AM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
Posts: 1,930
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Here are a couple of ideas:


I’ve made meatloaf in my slow cooker. Just roll up some balls of foil and place in the bottom of the slow cooker. Then put the meatloaf on top of the foil (you need to make it a little dryer than the kind you put in a pan so it retains its shape). The grease drains down through the foil. Depending on how deep your slow cooker is it can be a bit difficult to lift out the meatloaf to serve it. I usually cut mine in two (I have an oblong slow cooker) and lift it our in two pieces with a large spatula. Or, if you use lean meat, you can just put it in the bottom of the slow cooker and dispense with the foil balls.


For Mexican, you can put chicken breasts in the slow cooker and cook for a few hours (till done). Then shred the meat (two forks work well) and add salsa to it. Then you just need tortillas and the toppings (lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, sour cream, onions). We like to spread some refried beans on the tortillas before loading them up.


Subject: Toaster oven
Date Posted: 9/25/2008 10:45 PM ET
Member Since: 7/6/2008
Posts: 84
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I got a refurbished toaster oven on Amazon for $40 a few years ago, got free shipping & a year warrenty. It is a DeLonghi, and does pretty well. My previous one only lasted 3 years, and I was going to get it fixed but it was cheaper to just get this one. It can do quick breads, roasts, and has a broiler function that my husband likes. Plus it can make toast. Some of the newer ones are pretty large, but you wouldn't really be able to do more then 6 muffins. It is what I use during the summer, instead of the full oven. But you really have to watch baked stuff, sometimes they burn on top. Meats are fine.

Date Posted: 9/30/2008 9:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/14/2008
Posts: 3,574
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I would like to second ( or third) the crock pot suggestion. If you don't have one, get to the goodwill post haste.
  While you are there, see if you can locate a triangle food machine. (a grilled sandwich grill - everything comes out of them triangle). In addition to the grilled sandwiches these were made for, they make fine fried eggs (triangle, of course). They also do muffins just fine - with your favorite recipe or mix, just fill the triangles, close the lid, in about a minute pop the lock up without opening the grill (because with the lock down the muffins don't have time to rise) when the rising muffins cause the lid to lift slightly, tug gently at the handle - if it comes easily open, separating easily from the muffin - then test it with a toothpick, just like you would from the oven, and if they are done, pick them up with a fork, pop them in a basket, and serve your triangle muffins. You can do frozen hash browns in the triangle pods, too, if you grease them well first.
  Rice cooks GREAT in the microwave. Just put the correct amount of water and raw rice together in a bowl with a little seasoning and some butter, seal some plastic wrap over it, and cook it for about 5 minutes for instant or 10 minutes for whole, then check it and stir it, recover it and put it back in. It should take about 10 minutes per cup, total, for whole raw rice, half that for instant. Instant potatoes, baked potatoes and baked sweet potatoes, and rice a roni or betty Crocker style potatoes boxes do fine in the microwave, just keep an eye on them. Ramen noodles work fine in the microwave, too. Just put them in the water cold, and microwave it. Then drain, or stir the packet into the water without draining, depending on your Ramen preferences.
  I love my Foreman, can't use it enough. I personally do not like meat in the microwave unless it is a casserole or otherwise covered in sauce, although hotdogs work fine, i guess.

Subject: idea
Date Posted: 10/1/2008 3:48 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2007
Posts: 195
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   You can always get a Roasting pan electric and put it on somethng near by to set it on ,where you have an outlet. Nothing is said that you have to cook in a kitchen . We make do when we have too.


                                Dolores H.

Last Edited on: 10/1/08 3:50 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
niffir - ,
Date Posted: 10/8/2008 6:33 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2008
Posts: 495
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You mentioned Mexican food, so how about quesadillas?  They are super simple to make.  You take a tortilla, put cheese (and a slice of ham or something else if you like) on one half, fold the other half over top of the filling, and heat until the cheese melts.  They could easily be made on a hot plate and then garnished with salsa, sour cream, and/or guac if you don't want to eat them plain.  You can use any cheese and any kind of tortilla.  I prefer to use the Mexican style white cheeses that many grocery stores carry now and corn tortillas-- makes them taste like the ones I get in Mexico :)