Jillian R.
Many may not know that I love to cook. In fact, I went to college to learn cooking techniques and may have picked up a few recipes along the way, like the very hearty mushroom soup which I never get tired of making.

Anyway, living with my parents for the first few years after graduating made it difficult to experiment with different cuisines. One reason being my dad has hopelessly-Chinese-taste buds and would only eat Asian food. His most "daring" venture into a non-Asian dish is any kind of pasta in a tomato based sauce - WITHOUT the Parmesan (or any kind of cheese). Once, Eric made my parents some spaghetti and meatballs and my dad drizzled soy sauce all over his pasta. Eric's eyes almost popped out of their sockets. And the other reason? Well, my mom usually cooks whatever suits the family (meaning my dad), so I grew up eating my mom's Asian dishes at home and whenever I crave the occasional pizza, or anything other than home-cooked Chinese food, I ate out.

Oh, my mother has a broken full size oven that was never fixed for about 15 years (and counting). So I sometimes baked batches of cookies at my parents' house with a toaster oven which was never used for years until my sister found it nesting among all the other unused electrical items in our storeroom - no one knew how it got there or who had bought it. 

My passion for cooking really started when I got married and moved to Korea. However, there was only one major problem; Koreans don't bake (in general) therefore stove tops don't come with an oven attached. They do sell ovens separately but these were so overpriced it made it completely senseless buying one since we never intended to live in Korea permanently nor have any room in our tiny apartment's kitchen.

If you don't feel like clicking the link above, here's a picture of Eric standing in the said kitchen;

Yeah, there was NO way to fit a full size oven in there, was there? So I made do with a little toaster oven that we picked up from one of our trips to New York.

(I could see what a weird angle this is...but trust me, the toaster is rectangular)

Yes, the toaster was little, but it was the little toaster that COULD! I made countless recipes in it. Yes, I had to half the recipes and often had to bake in several small batches, but everything came out just fine. I loved that oven. I would still use it as a toaster now if only it didn't need a step-down transformer to function (it uses 110 V while the voltage here is 220 V). The transformer takes up as much room as the toaster. So I tucked it away.

So here we are; from my parents' Chinese kitchen to my little toaster oven in Korea AND Oman, we arrive in Abu Dhabi where I finally have a working full size oven. I now plan to share some of My Kitchen Adventures with you.

Stay tuned for more of these;

(Pictures of dishes I've made over the years. Visit my Facebook page For more details on the name(s) of each dish.)
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