After a few years of unpredictable oven temperatures and nearly singeing off my eyebrows a couple of times while lighting the stove top, I decided the old dragon had burned its last dish. Our new range was delivered last week, and I couldn’t wait to play with it.

I ran to the farmers market Saturday morning to fill my bag with goodies to cook over the weekend.

Fresh yellow squash, eggplant and farm-raised chicken came together to create a nice dinner. I tweaked my typical chicken recipe to make room for the squash.

I Eat La.: Recipes for Baked Chicken & Squash; Eggplant Crisps with Cherry Tomato Sauce

Our little garden is prolifically producing cherry tomatoes, so those had to have a place on the plate, too. If you don't grow your own, the market has lots of them.

I Eat La.: Pickling adds a crisp, light touch to boiled shrimp and roasted beets

For our side dish, I made some crispy eggplant rounds topped by a sauce made with those tiny tomatoes. The eggplant is just as good without the sauce, but it really adds something special.

The menu tested all the features of my new appliance and resulted in a full, colorful plate.

I Eat La.: From farmers market bounty comes summer on a plate

While it's not fully in place yet (a hidden cabinet issue is still to be resolved), the new range is just beautiful.

My daughters say I'm a nerd about kitchen tools, and they are right. The new range survived her first run, and I hope we have many years of cooking local food together ahead of us.

Teresa B. Day is a local food writer and author of the “I Eat BR” blog. Contact her at