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Posts posted by MGLloyd

  1. I knew that old graduate degree in chemistry would come in handy some day. These are also useful for melting chocolate and making dessert sauces. Akin to the hollandaise made by the OP, making mayonnaise is also easy.

    I also used one of these and a 1000 ml. Erlenmeyer flask to make spiced cider for a Halloween party. The kids loved it, especially when I threw a couple chunks of dry ice into the flask for the vapor effect.

    These lab stirrers are surprisingly cheap, the Teflon-coated stirrer bar is pretty much impervious to anything, and clean up is a snap.

    I also experimented with it to use in heatgun/dogbowl coffee roasting, but the stirrer is best suited for liquids, emulsions or semi-solids. It did not stir a batch of green coffee beans particularly well.

  2. Whenever I drive from Seattle to Pullman, I love the smell as I go past the mint fields. And I think it is great that the local wheat farmers are enjoying some increased profits. I like to point out that there is more to Washington than making jetliners and writing software.

  3. In recent years, turmeric has gotten a great deal of attention from the Western medical research establishment in terms of an anti-oxidant, various skin problems, Alzheimer's and some types of cancer. It will be interesting to see how the research turns out. I have always heard that variations in color are usually the result of moisture content during processing.

  4. Stella Mia is not a formal restaurant. Casual is perfectly appropriate. It is very good food and attentive service. The owner of the restaurant is a local teacher who is a foster parent for many children from Africa. Many of the children work in the restaurant as their first introduction to the American workforce. They do a great job.

    From northbound 405, you will want to take exit 26 (Bothell/Mill Creek) and turn left at the top of the exit. This will put you on the Bothell-Everett Highway. Go south for just about a mile, and you will see the Country Village complex on your right. Look for the big chicken. Stella Mia is within this complex. They have an upstairs and a downstairs; downstairs is open for dinner. Upstairs is open for lunch. They have very good specials, and in the fall and winter, often have an excellent pumpkin ravioli with gorgonzola cream sauce.

    PS: I think McGrath's would be fine, if you lived in Kansas or the middle of Saskatchewan, where fresh seafood may not be as readily available as it is here. But for people who live on a coast, I am not impressed.

  5. For seafood, and bearing in mind keeping it near Alderwood or close to the freeway there, I have some suggestions:

    T&T Seafood restaurant in Edmonds, if you like Chinese/Asian seafood

    Anthony's in Edmonds or Everett on the waterfront

    Arnie's in Edmonds or Mukilteo on the waterfront

    Bonefish Grill in Bothell

    Tin Fish in Mukilteo

    I cannot recommend McGrath's Fish House at Alderwood.

  6. For Italian, and bearing in mind the restriction of keeping it near Alderwood or close to the freeway there, I have some suggestions;

    Romano's Macaroni Grill at Alderwood (my SO loves it)

    Bucca de Beppo in Lynnwood

    Amici Bistro in Mukilteo

    Stella Mia in Bothell

    Nana Carmela's in Monroe is too far for you

    Lombardi's at the Everett Marina

    il Bistro Vino in Everett

    My first two choices would be Amici Bistro or Stella Mia. I cannot recommend Capri in Mill Creek. Grazie in Bothell is merely adequate. If driving was no object, I would go to Nana's in Monroe.

  7. Not knowing anything about what type of cuisine you are looking for, Zinnia's, in Mill Creek, a short distance off of I-5 at exit 183, may be on point. This is about 5-10 minutes from Alderwood, depending on the traffic and route. http://www.zinniawa.com/Page1.html is the website.

    If you have a particular type of cuisine that you are seeking, please let me know and I may have some other recommendations. I live in the area and am pretty familiar with the local restaurant scene. As with most malls, chain restaurants predominate in the immediate Alderwood area.

  8. To give a brief report, Christina's for dinner was $ 145 worth of nothing special, Rose's for lunch was fabulous, Chimayo for dinner was quite good, Cafe Olga for lunch was good, we could not get into Ship's Bay, and the Rosario Resort for dinner was surprisingly good. Cell phones/Blackberries do not work in Deer Harbor and the road to Mt. Constitution was closed at Mountain Lake.

  9. My favorite method is still to rub the room-temperature roast with oil, salt and seasonings, sear it in a preheated 450 degree oven for for 20 minutes, and then turn down the oven to 325 degrees for and continue roasting 15 minutes or so per pound. I have a thermometer stuck right in the middle of the roast to monitor temperature. I generally pull the roast out at 120 degrees and let it sit for about 20-30 minutes before slicing. This gives me a nice crusty exterior and juicy pink interior in the middle. Lovely.

    PS: edited to add: the others in the house generally like their meat more well done than I. Because of this, I have found that pulling the roast at 120 degrees will give a more well-done end, that they like, and a still acceptably rare middle for me. If I was roasting just for myself, I would probably pull the roast at 110 to 115 degrees.

  10. Hmm, The SO and I are heading up to Deer Harbor for a few days after Christmas. It sounds like Ship Bay, Christina's and Rose's will be on the list. Any other suggestions? The last time I was on Orcas was about 10 years ago, and I know some places have closed or changed hands in that interval.

  11. Some of my favorite coffees are the North Africans (Harrar, Sanini and Yirgacheffe) which are known for their smaller beans. I have done a couple batches of them, and found about 15-20 beans that had escaped the mesh and landed on the chaff collector. I imagine that if you have a small peaberry batch, more of them would fall out of the cylinder. I will be buying the smaller-mesh cylinder when it becomes available.

    In terms of chaff cleanup, I open the door at about three minutes in the cooling cycle to cool down the beans quicker. Some of the chaff escapes when this happens. For the remaining chaff in the edges and corners of the machine, I give it a couple shots of my Dust-off compressed gas computer duster. I then clean up all the chaff and I am done. Just because I like to keep things sparkling, I wipe down the interior and exterior of the machine after each use with a damp microfiber cloth.

  12. So far, I have only made two batches for espresso, one batch was a quarter pound and the other a half pound. My two favorite espresso blends are Liquid Amber and Malabar Gold. The Behmor did a fine job with both of those, bearing in mind that any blend will have different levels of roast within the same batch. I tend to take my espresso blends to a Vienna roast.

  13. That is a really good looking roast. I am routinely roasting full one pound batches to full city plus (30 seconds into second crack), using the P-3/D profile with no problem. I have read on Coffeegeek of people roasting quarter and half pound batches to French/Vienna. I think the concern on doing a French/Vienna roast with a full pound batch is that the risk of the batch running away and catching on fire is higher.

  14. A couple of suggestions: make sure that all packing material is removed, and do the 'dry burn' referenced in the manual to burn off all manufacturing and packing residues. Some people even do the dry burn twice. The drive shaft on the right side of the cylinder may be a little tight sliding it into the motor drive. If there are any burrs on the drive shaft, a few swipes with a file or emery cloth will take care of it. If you have a vent hood available, I would recommend that you put the Behmor under it while roasting, if possible. This is particularly true if you are roasting one pound batches to city or full city.

  15. I am really enjoying it. My roasting odyssey began with a Hearthware Gourmet, then proceeded through a hot air popper, whirly-pop, Caffe Rosto, heatgun/dogbowl and stovetop. For the past four years, I had been doing the heatgun/dogbowl and stovetop exclusively.

    For me, batch size was not the attraction for the Behmor, since I routinely do one pound batches via HG/DB and the stovetop. The evenness of the roast and the repeatability of the Behmor is what appeals to me. The cooling also works better since my former cooling method consisted of pouring the coffee between two colanders.

    So far the P3 profile is my favorite. Although there is little visible smoke, it can still set off the smoke detectors, so I use it sitting on a large cutting board on the stovetop under the hood. I run the hood during roasting. You have to think ahead on the roast and hit the cool button several seconds before you desired roast level. Since the beans are somewhat hard to see clearly, I roast to my desired level by the sound of the cracks. My favorite roast level is generally a City to Full City plus, and the Behmor does this with aplomb.

    I like it. The build quality is excellent, and if the machine is more durable than most home roasting appliances, we can really have a winner here.

  16. I have assembled a 100 bottle wine rack in the corner of my living room using the VacuVin click-clack wine rack. This works just fine for me, since houses in the Seattle area rarely have basements, and the living room is more temperature controlled than the garage.

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