Cook's Hideout: A Review and Garden Update

July 16, 2010

A Review and Garden Update

This post has been long overdue. This space has been quite for a while as we have family visiting us and it’s been fun spending time with them and showing them around the New York Metro area. We have been enjoying a lot of yummy dishes made by my MIL, will post about them some soon.

Product review for CSN stores that I had mentioned in my previous post is finally here. It took me almost forever to decide on what to get as they have such a wide selection of products to choose from. After almost 2 days of browsing, I decided on this Calphalon Stainless Steel Pan. I’ve been thinking of buying stainless steel cookware for a while but I was always skeptical. I was worried that food is going to stick to the bottom and it will be difficult to clean. So I decided to try the pan and see how I liked it. I also ordered a Jelly roll pan. Thanks to CSN Stores for this opportunity to review the product.

Order arrived within 2 days and I was so happy to see my shiny new pan and the baking sheet. One of the main reasons I chose this pan is that it is oven safe upto 450ºF, very convenient when you are making a dish that needs to be finished in the oven. The sloped sides and flat bottom makes the pan look small, but I made a curry for a family of 4 with some leftovers.
The Stay Cool handles makes it easier to handle the pan even after long stove top cooking. Since it is stainless steel, I can use any utensil, but for now I prefer my wooden spatula. I especially like the see-through glass lid making it easier to see what’s going on in the pan and also it fits perfectly avoiding any moisture to escape.
The first dish that I made is this White Pumpkin Gravy Curry. Gravy is same as the one I posted here; instead of Chayote I used white pumpkin (Budidha Gummadikaya).

Coming to the garden: Since this is our very first year having a house and a back yard and since we are extremely new to gardening, we decided to take baby steps and plant only few plants. So for our first attempt we planted: White & Red Potatoes, White Onions, Dalias in the ground (bought all of these at BJ’s for a reasonable price); Cherry tomatoes, cayenne pepper, green bell pepper, eggplant, basil, arugula in the container garden.

We harvested our first potatoes yesterday and it was such fun to search for these tiny beauties in the dirt. We ended up with about 12 of them. Don’t mind my dirty hands; I was too excited to take the picture that I didn’t wash my hands. Here are some of the other plants from my garden.
Cherry Tomatoes

Budding Green Pepper

Dahlias in full bloom


  1. I miss gardening so much, I hope to be able to do it again soon. There's nothing like growing your own food.

  2. Loved your garden clicks....the last flower is it a dahlia?...thought it looked like a lilly


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