Recipe Roundup No. 6: New Stove Joy


In case you’re keeping tabs: my stove works.

After, Oh, I don’t know…four or five years of working periodically, unpredictably, and dangerously, it works at last!

All the stoves in our building are electric, which is kind of unusual in San Francisco and definitely takes getting used to.  As an added bonus, our old stove (which, for the record, was an old stove), had bent coils that refused to lie flat, meaning that our pots and pans slid around on the stovetop unless you positioned them with the handles just so, balancing the weight of the pan against the weight of the contents of the pan.  Also, everything in the pan would slide down to the lowermost point, meaning that half of anything you were cooking was basically deep-frying, while the other half was dry-pan cooking.

When you rent (and more specifically, when you are lucky enough to be rent-controlled in the most expensive rental market in the U.S.), you make peace with the flaws in your apartment — the heater that clanks in the night, the sink water that never really runs cold, the guy upstairs who does his P90X at 10pm, the people with four dogs next door.  When you cook enough, you learn your stove and you work with it.  So we adapted, though I continued to fret about the safety hazard posed by hot pans sliding all over the place with little children underfoot.  Over the years, I called Building Management and left messages about the coils, and how I was worried about my kids, and they would send someone up to look at the stove and kind of poke at the coils and try to bend them back and then leave, and moments later…boinnng!  The coils would pop back up because — let’s be honest — the stove was broken.

And then a few months ago the oven stopped heating past 375 degrees.  I began to notice that meals I made on the reg — roast chicken, chickpea flatbread — were taking basically forever to cook, and then, to make matters worse, the oven started sounding an alarm and actually shutting off if you tried to preheat it to 400 degrees (or, God forbid, use the broiler).  So I called Building Management and they came in and of course found nothing wrong with the oven, because it is Murphy’s Law that things that are broken tend not to act broken at the exact moment that you need them to.

After all of this civil back-and-forth with the Building Management, I am honestly not sure what made me snap, but on the Saturday of the July 4th weekend I was halfway through roasting a chicken (which was already going to take 50% longer than it should) and we were readying the kids for bed when the oven started shrieking its overheating alarm and the chicken-roasting process ground to a halt and I kind of LOST. MY. MIND.  I picked up the phone and left one of those messages like a drunk college girl might leave on her ex-boyfriend’s phone, screaming about all the times the building had failed me and my family, and how I was going to start documenting in writing every time I had to complain about this, and how this was tenant discrimination, and how if my children ever got burned by a pan falling off the broken stove I would sue them.

48 hours later I had a new stove.  It’s beauuuuutiful!

Listen close, kids, because of the moral of this story is this: If you don’t get what you want when you ask nicely 200 times over five years, you should definitely throw a giant tantrum.  It works.


But on the plus-side, cooking is so fun on my new stove!  And so safe!  So without further ado, here is this week’s Recipe Roundup for your summer meal-planning pleasure.

Sunday: It’s corn season at the farmer’s market, and my friend Lauren makes the world’s easiest corn salad (recipe below).  Simple grilled chicken (we use organic boneless-skinless thighs) with corn salad is pretty much summer dinner, perfected.

Monday: Corona beans tossed with crispy pancetta, arugula (leftover from the corn salad), and lemon.

Tuesday: My favorite grainless pad thai is kind of a riff on this almond-butter version, but this month’s Cooking Light has a cashew-cream raw-food pad thai that warrants a spin.  I don’t have a spiralizer (should I get one??  hmmm) so I’ll use shredded cabbage, and I’m throwing in a little bay shrimp meat.

Wednesday: Gwyneth Paltrow’s brown rice noodles with tuna, olives & capers.

Thursday: This five-ingredient asparagus recipe (also from Cooking Light) caught my eye.  It needs some heft to make it a main, so we’ll toss in some roasted chickpeas for protein.  (See this post for the roasted chickpea recipe.)

Friday: Friday is the one day of the week that I like to play by ear a bit, see what sounds tasty and Friday-ish.  Maybe burgers with a caesar salad?  Or chorizo & beer-steamed mussels with Acme bread?

Happy weekend, happy cooking!


Easiest Grilled Corn Salad

2-4 ears of corn, depending on how many people you want to feed
Generous handful of cherry tomatoes, quartered
Good-quality rice vinegar
Olive oil
Sea salt and/or dried herbes de provence blend

  1. Husk corn and brush with olive oil and salt and/or herb blend
  2. Wrap each ear of corn in foil
  3. Grill on medium heat for approximately 30 minutes, rotating every 7-10 minutes to avoid burning
  4. Cut corn from cob
  5. Toss corn kernels with rice vinegar & tomatoes
  6. Chill & serve

Photos by Lauren Hemmingsen



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