Somehow, somewhere, I developed an affinity for cooking. This has surprised no one more than me…the possible exception being the friend who gave me Baking for Dummies for my 16th birthday. This semi-recent interest in the culinary arts probably stems from my not-so-recent interest in all things edible and/or from innumerable hours of Food Network viewing. Regardless of influence: consider me charmed.

So it follows that one of the nicest things about being home is having a full sized kitchen in which to cook. You saw the food-cooling device that was somewhat functioning as a refrigerator in my old apartment, but what you did not see was a) counter space, because it was non-existent, or b) the oven, because it was microscopic. Half of my dishes, sheets, and pans wouldn’t fit in the oven. That’s how small we’re talking.

But at home…there’s a brand new oven! And a Kitchen Aid mixer! And a real freezer! And SPACE! The fact that my parents just finished remodeling the kitchen is nothing to sneeze at either. Basically, having full use of this kitchen leaves me sneezeless. (I’m now dying to know where the expression “nothing to sneeze at” comes from. If anyone knows, please fill me in asap.)

So far this week I’ve made full use of the kitchen in the way of the following recipes:

Vegetable Lasagna

Feta-Stuffed Chicken

Caprese Pasta Salad

Banana Muffins

Please, please, please make the banana muffins. And add chocolate chips.

Another nice thing about being home: revisiting all of my favorite places to eat here. I know I went on ad nauseum about missing a few Rochesterian establishments but there’s some pretty sneeze-free options on the eastern side of the state too (I promise to cease and desist with the sneeze descriptors after this post). Over the course of the next month I will be hitting up the Putnam Market for lunch, Home Style for dinner, and Villa Italia for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and any occasion in between.

The rare moments that are not spent making or consuming food will be filled by watching it, ala my favorite Food Network programming. And can we talk about how beautiful it is to have Cake Boss and Top Chef…on demand? I can watch it anytime I want? Does this gift also come with a million dollars because that’s the only way it could possibly get any better? Time Warner Cable, thank you. Thank you so much.

All in all: home = food = good. It’s my favorite math equation.

Advertisements