I love cooking. I love the smells, the magic of it all coming together (chemistry rules!), and the taste of something I made myself. Home cooking is always better than restaurant food, especially chain and fast food, even if just for the personal satisfaction of it all. This doesn't mean I don't eat out, because I do and I enjoy it, but home cooked is better. Plus, the time spent around a table with friends or family eating something you've prepared for them or with them is time well spent. And yes, I AM a foodie. I'm so grateful my parents taught me my way around the kitchen and encouraged us to learn to cook and prepare full meals.
Now, I don't cook something brand new and spectacular every day. One, it's expensive. I'm okay with making one or two family sized meals a week and eating leftovers. This also helps the time factor, reason number two. Leftovers are very convenient. Three, I don't have anyone else to cook for very often. The only time that's a perk is when a new recipe fails and I'm the only one disappointed and hungry. I like feeding other people, and there are some things that just aren't worth making for just me. I'd have more people over more often, but, Four: I only have half a kitchen.
I have a toaster/mini-convection oven instead of a full sized oven - 6 cupcakes at a time here. Two burner stovetop (like two hot plates) on my counter, with a very slow heating left burner. A microwave. And a George Foreman grill. (I also have a toaster and a blender, but those aren't as versatile.) My counter space is also very limited, and the one time I had the toaster oven, microwave, and stove going simultaneously, I blew a fuse.
Considering some places I looked at when I was apartment hunting tried pass a microwave on top of the dryer off as my "kitchen", I lucked out having as much as I do. The toaster oven came from a co-worker who knew I was apartment hunting, but didn't know I was also researching toaster ovens. She just popped into my office one day and said "Hey, do you need a toaster oven?" "Yeeess . . ." "Good, my husband bought one that I don't really like, so you can have it." It was perfect!
It's not ideal, but it's working out really well. One pot/pan meals are awesome. I'm getting really good at mise en place and timing my meal preparation appropriately. And I can still make some really yummy food!