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Old 12-24-2012, 10:41 AM   #41
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The SodaStream is mine, everything else is Ms.G's.
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Old 02-15-2013, 06:16 PM   #42
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After reading this thread, you have all had a bad influence on me! I splurged today, and decided to replace my 27 year old pots and pans from Kmart. I ordered the 11 piece Gordon Ramsay Maze set by Royal Doulton. It's priced at $800, reduced to $400 on Ramsay's site and $500 on Amazon.

Gordon Ramsay by Royal Doulton | Royal Doulton® Official CA Site

Amazon.com: Royal Doulton Gordon Ramsay Cookware Maze 11-Piece Set: Kitchen & Dining

WTF, I hear you say? Has LBYM Meadbh lost her mind?

No. I had an old Air Miles card that I reactivated, and I found that I had just over the required 2650 points on it. So it's FREE including shipping and taxes.

Soon I will be able to *$#@+~^ curse like Gordon Ramsay when I cook!


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Old 02-15-2013, 06:25 PM   #43
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Three cork screws.

1 right handed, dual lever
1 left handed, dual lever
1 old style with wooden T grip.


Theay all work, no batteries required.
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Old 02-15-2013, 07:30 PM   #44
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I really love my Keurig coffee maker. Pizza stone and the thin plastic cutting boards are very useful. I use an Eze-Lap Diamond sharpening stick from the early 70s on all the blades and finish them off with a cheapo large ceramic stick. Am I the only one here with a genuine Bassomatic?
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Old 02-15-2013, 11:30 PM   #45
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Why would I spend any time or money on a knife sharpener?
So you can wound yourself badly enough to require stitches Maybe that would just be me. I like my knives dull and the hot water heater just above the vacation setting for my own safety!

I love my cast iron skillet the most! I also have 2 aluminum (or aluminized steel maybe) loaf pans that I couldn't live without - mainly for making banana bread.

I boil water in the microwave for coffee or tea but I like the idea of the electric water kettle. I would like a Keurig but the price of the coffee packs would be expensive with the amount I drink.

What I always wanted but don't really have the room for is a Ronco rotisserie. I would deliver to a business during lunch that had one and everyday they would have a different kind of meat in it and it always smelled and looked really good.
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Old 02-15-2013, 11:37 PM   #46
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Our American-made microwave oven preceded me in my husband's life - it must have been 30 years old. The plastic door handle broke off during a move a few years back, and after that it just seemed to get crankier, until it finally stopped radiating a year ago.

So we replaced it with a fine new Chinese-made one, which has already gone on the fritz.

Amethyst
A small appliance repairman once told me that it is almost always the fuse that blows and causes microwaves to quit working. Take it apart with a screw driver and you will find the fuse. Couple bucks to fix!
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Old 02-16-2013, 01:33 AM   #47
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I just this week bought a couple of paving stones for the kitchen. What?!! I've started experimented with making chocolate starting with cacao beans that I buy drying out on the ground in small villages in Sumatra. So far I've been hand grinding with a mortar and pestle, but it has really hurt my wrist. So now I've graduated to a homemade flat grinding stone, a lot like a native American metate. I've cleaned the stones off thoroughly (they are fine grained volcanic rock) and will try out my next small batch of chocolate this afternoon. I expect there will still be a little gritty texture to the chocolate (from the beans, not the rock), but I'm hoping that it will go faster and with less wrist pain. It cost me 5 bucks, so it had better work!
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:01 AM   #48
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I just this week bought a couple of paving stones for the kitchen. What?!! I've started experimented with making chocolate starting with cacao beans that I buy drying out on the ground in small villages in Sumatra. So far I've been hand grinding with a mortar and pestle, but it has really hurt my wrist. So now I've graduated to a homemade flat grinding stone, a lot like a native American metate. I've cleaned the stones off thoroughly (they are fine grained volcanic rock) and will try out my next small batch of chocolate this afternoon. I expect there will still be a little gritty texture to the chocolate (from the beans, not the rock), but I'm hoping that it will go faster and with less wrist pain. It cost me 5 bucks, so it had better work!
I nominate you for the "from scratch" award! Tell us what you do after you grind the cacao to make the chocolate.

I saw a cacao tree in a Chicago conservatory a few years ago with ripe pods on it and even the air around it was amazing. Big signs warning us not to steal the pods.
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Old 02-16-2013, 07:51 PM   #49
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Not much in terms of high tech kitchen items. The only mixer we have is a small handheld that was a wedding present circa 1974, it is avacado green. We also have a crock pot that is from the same vintage and we use it regularly. We are not into buying rarely used kitchen gadgets. No electric can openers or fancy cork screws. We did get up a Cuisinart panini grill a couple years ago that we use a lot.

In the not too distant future I would like to splurge on a high quality set of knives.
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:01 PM   #50
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We have a very well equipped kitchen as it is a priority for us. Our most important appliance is probably this one:


A Baratza Vario Coffee Grinder
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:13 PM   #51
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What? With all that tea that you also drink, how much is your caffeine and theine intake a day?
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Old 02-16-2013, 09:01 PM   #52
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Most-often used:
a GREEN Kitchenaid mixer, 4.5 qt: it no longer distinguishes between speed 2 and 4, but the food doesn't seem to mind. About 15 years old.
Wusthof santoku knife
some vari-colored cutting sheets, plastic
the Chef Choice knife sharpener--think ours is model 120
a giant All-Clad non-stick saute pan (it replaced a 20 year old Calphalon of same size & shape)
But there's not much in my kitchen that I don't love!
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Old 02-16-2013, 09:02 PM   #53
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What? With all that tea that you also drink, how much is your caffeine and theine intake a day?
Actually, I drink mostly coffee - and half-caff at that.

The tea - I have at most 3 afternoons a week.

That Vario is what my personal barista (DH) insisted upon since he makes my daily coffee.

Um, I eat a lot of dark chocolate too. All those wonderful antioxidants!
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Old 02-16-2013, 10:26 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by tinlizzy View Post

What I always wanted but don't really have the room for is a Ronco rotisserie. I would deliver to a business during lunch that had one and everyday they would have a different kind of meat in it and it always smelled and looked really good.
I have one. I was on the treadmill at the gym and the infomercial was playing and next thing I knew I was the proud owner of a Ronco rotisserie . It actually is great for chickens plus you can put the veggies in the pan on top and it really is set it & forget it.
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Old 02-16-2013, 11:27 PM   #55
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I love kitchen gadgets but my kitchen is not huge so I have to keep it to a few things that I use frequently:

1. Electric tea kettle - I like coffee in the morning and herbal tea at night. I use this to heat the water to the specific temperature I want for each. Then I use one of those ceramic pour-over filter thingees for my morning coffee - tastes great compared to my old drip mr. coffee maker.

2. Blender - I use it often to make soup, smoothies, marinades, dressings...anything that needs, well, blending.

3. Rice cooker - I eat a lot of rice and this makes it a breeze.

4. Food processor - For various jobs, mixing, slicing, chopping, especially shredding. When I make pizza, I use the shredding blade on this to shred the cheese...takes under a minute and tastes much better than the bagged pre-shredded cheese.

5. Cuisanart Griddler - This is a really nice indoor grill/panini maker. I do love me a good panini

That's all really. I have a cheapo old toaster that still works, and a microwave that is equally ancient but also still works. Tools like knives and cookware I try to buy quality over quantity.

The one item I feel like I'm always searching for is good quality containers for leftovers. I can never *quite* find a set that I really like. Since I'm single, most weeknights I'm cooking for myself, but I always make extra to bring for lunch, etc.

That SodaStream thing looks cool...but probably don't have the counter space for it.
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Old 02-17-2013, 04:30 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by Bestwifeever
Tell us what you do after you grind the cacao to make the chocolate.
It's a pretty simple process, but quite time consuming.
1. Buy the beans drying on a tarp in someone's front yard.
2. Roast them in the oven for a half hour or so til the house smells like a mix of roasted coffee and chocolate (the best part of the whole process!).
3. One by one, remove the papery husk on the outside of each bean.
4. Put the remaining "nibs" in the food processor to grind them up to coarse sand sized particles. unfortunately this is as far as normal kitchen machines will take the beans.
5. Grind these particles to a silty texture with a stone mortar and pestle.
6. Add powdered sugar, cocoa butter, lecithin, and powdered milk (last two optional....for milk chocolate). Heat slightly and mix.
7. Grind all this mixture as fine as your patience allows using a mortar and pestle or (in my case now) two flat volcanic rocks. The final results, with my limited patience, is still a little gritty, but quite tasty.
8. Warm up the chocolate a little, place it on the countertop, and work it around folding it over and over with a spatula. Then put it in whatever form you want. So far I have just been making a big flat chocolate bar and scoring it when it starts to harden up in order to make it easier to break into pieces.

My first attempt using one kilo of beans made about 1-1/2 kilos of chocolate in several batches and took about 20 hours over several weeks to finish. This last attempt started before Christmas with 2 kilos of beans, and I'm about halfway through them. The hand grinding is a very tedious and messy business, and has led to carpal tunnel-like symptoms. Thus the new approach with the new flat grinding rocks. I have made some chili- and cinnamon-flavored chocolate so far, and will experiment with other flavors as I progress. Any suggestions for flavors to try?
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Old 02-17-2013, 07:34 AM   #57
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Finally, after all these years, I have found a can opener that really works. Was actually looking for a manual opener that you could put away in a drawer when you were finished using it. Found a small battery operated opener at WalMart that works great. It's called a OneTouch. Try it.
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:28 AM   #58
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I got something for Christmas i never knew i needed.
A stove top smoker, not only does it do a wonderful job of smoking just about everything but it leaves the house with a nice aroma of whatever wood chips i use..
The Original Stovetop Smoker
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Old 02-18-2013, 05:00 PM   #59
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We tried a Ronco set-it-and-forget-it. It did cook well, but the cleanup seemed like a major chore to us, and it took up a lot of counter space.

The infomercial was good, though.

Ron Popeil could sell ice cubes to Eskimos.
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Old 02-18-2013, 05:46 PM   #60
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I love to cook.
My most used and loved items in my kitchen:
- the Bertazzoni range/oven we put in last year. No electronics... just a dumb, range and oven. We hang a thermometer in the oven to verify the temp.
30 Four-Burner Gas Range | Professional Series | Ranges | Bertazzoni

- My slowly growing collectin of vintage le creuset cookware. Every so often I check ebay and craigslist to see if there's anything interesting. This is enameled cast iron cookware. The stuff is WAY to pricy new... plus I like the patina of the 30-40 year old cookware I've been buying. My favorite is a wood handled fry pan that is the perfect size and shape for soooo many different dishes.
I've also got some regular cast iron cookware that I picked up at garage sales and good will.

Most used appliance besides the coffee maker is probably the very inexpensive hand mixer. I have an old mixmaster - but it's so bulky - that I pull out the hand mixer most of the time.
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