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Posts posted by MGLloyd

  1. My fellow Pacific Northwest colleague beat me to it: eat hazelnuts grown in Oregon! I have not tried to make my own Nutella since I can get it for relatively cheaply from either Trader Joe's or Costco.

  2. Heinz Salad Cream is beloved in the United Kingdom. Any store that sells 'British' foodstuffs will likely stock Salad Cream. In my area north of Seattle, there are three stores within a 15 mile radius that sell it, along with many other British delicacies.

  3. Both my parents were born and raised in a college town in NE Arkansas and are MW devotees, but I was born and bred in the Seattle area. My wife was born and raised in Iowa, and she thinks MW is the Spread of the Devil.

    Sign me up as well as being in the camp of fruitcake and Velveeta. You cannot make a good Southern pimento cheese spread without Velveeta and MW. And I have tried many a dry and hideous fruitcake that could have benefited from some MW in the batter, much like those recipes for chocolate cake that call for mayo.

    Edited for Miracle Whipitude. And accuracy. Can't forget the accuracy.

  4. Small portable ovens, intended to be used on a stovetop, are commonly sold in camping equipment stores in the USA. REI.com or campmor.com would be websites that I would check for this. I have actually used one in a basecamp situation, and was surprised at how well they worked on a gas-fueled camping stove. I see no reason why they could not be used on a gas or electric stovetop.

  5. Typed below are the descriptions of the coffee makers. I am not posting the article due to copyright restrictions.


    Capresso MT500

    Coffee Maker




    QUALITY: Best Overall. Sleek machine quickly brewed in seven minutes, had the best range of features and produced a great cup.

    SHIPPING COST/TIME: We paid $16.99 for standard shipping, within seven days. Ours took three.

    RETURN POLICY: For replacement or refund, for any reason. Buyer pays return shipping, unless defective.

    PHONE/WEB EXPERIENCE: Site sells 40,000 kitchen items and has dozens of glass and thermal coffee makers. This was listed as a best seller.

    COMMENT: All the models recommend a periodic water-and-vinegar flush, to remove mineral deposits -- every eight to 10 months for the Capresso, longer than most.

    Espresso Zone

    DeLonghi 10-Cup

    Thermal Coffee Maker




    QUALITY: Best Value. A well-rated brew. Includes a reusable filter, pause function, automatic timer and double-wall stainless-steel carafe.

    SHIPPING COST/TIME: We paid $7.95, in five days.

    RETURN POLICY: For full refund within 30 days, in original packaging. Buyer pays shipping. Return authorization required.

    PHONE/WEB EXPERIENCE: Site focuses on high-end espresso machines and only carries DeLonghi drip makers. Customer service available on weekdays.

    COMMENT: Maker recommends decalcifying with water and vinegar every three months.


    Zojirushi Fresh Brew Stainless Steel

    Vacuum Insulated Carafe Coffee Maker




    QUALITY: Simple to use and attractive. Vacuum-insulated carafe kept coffee the hottest of the five. Features include pause function, auto shutoff and timer.

    SHIPPING COST/TIME: Standard shipping cost $14.80, in six days.

    RETURN POLICY: Within 30 days for coffee makers. Buyers must obtain authorization and pay for insured return shipping.

    PHONE/WEB EXPERIENCE: Dozens of glass and thermal drip makers are available here, including the Capresso for $169. You can also browse a buyer's guide and 360-degree product views.

    COMMENT: Delivery includes a free sample of Zaccardi's roasted coffee. Model makes up to 10 cups of coffee -- as do all but the Technivorm, which makes eight.

    Coffee Bean Corral

    Technivorm KBTS brewer




    QUALITY: Looks cool and emphasizes correct brewing temperature, but it had a lot of removable parts. No timer or automatic shutoff.

    SHIPPING COST/TIME: Ground shipping, at $7.39, arrived in five days.

    RETURN POLICY: Unless defective, within 30 days. Return authorization required. Buyer must pay return shipping and a restocking fee of 10% to 25%.

    PHONE/WEB EXPERIENCE: Site (with 13 makers, mostly Technivorm and Bunn) targets home roasters. Model is out of stock, expected back in early June.

    COMMENT: A Technivorm spokesman says the removable parts allow for easy cleaning, and adds the flat taste could have been from softened water or the coffee itself.

    Whole Latte Love

    Bunn BT10 Thermal Coffee Brewer




    QUALITY: Coffee brews in a speedy three minutes. Carafe retained the least heat after four hours, but was easy to clean.

    SHIPPING COST/TIME: Free ground shipping. Items shipped within 48 hours, for arrival within five business days.

    RETURN POLICY: Within 30 days. Buyer pays return shipping and must receive authorization.

    PHONE/WEB EXPERIENCE: Site has many models, including Capresso for $169. "Compare-O-Matic" page showed that the Bunn had good customer reviews.

    COMMENT: Panel thought flat-bottom paper filter left a bitter taste. Bunn spokeswoman says filter "is designed for more even extraction," and that styling is a "classic look."

  6. Pre-cooked and cooled potatoes, cut in 0.5" dice, a generous amount of oil in a hot pan: toss in potatoes, stir quickly to coat in oil and leave them alone until they get crisp on one side. Quickly stir again and let crisp up on the other side. Repeat as necessary until crispy enough for your needs. If the pan is not hot enough, there is not enough oil, you stir them too much or the potatoes are too mushy, then you won't have good luck.

    And thanks for the offer, but Mrs. Lloyd here frowns on me sleeping with people from the boards. Go figure.

  7. From: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/loca...33_cake27e.html

    Recipe: Rhubarb Brown Butter Almond Cake

    Serves 6

    3/4 pound butter (to reduce to 6 ounces)

    1 cup almond flour

    1 2/3 cup powdered sugar

    ½ cup all-purpose flour

    5 1/3 ounces egg whites (5 large eggs)

    1 pound rhubarb, chopped into ¼ inch pieces

    A little apricot jam, melted and brushed on as a glaze

    1. Brown the butter. (Stay close to the stove while it is browning. It burns easily. You want it golden brown.) Strain it and discard the solids left in the pan and strainer. Let the butter cool, but don't let it harden.

    2. Sift the dry ingredients together. Add the dry ingredients to the egg whites, mixing well. Fold in the brown butter. Refrigerate at least one hour or as long as a week.

    3. Chef David Jue used individual ring molds to bake the cakes for the presidential dinner, pouring ½ cup batter into each mold. Sprinkle about two ounces or ½ cup of the finely chopped rhubarb pieces on top. Lightly push them into the batter. Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until light brown. Jue suggests home cooks bake the cake in a loaf pan, like a banana bread. If you choose that option, expect it to take 30 minutes to bake.

    4. Let rest. When cool, brush lightly with a glaze made of melted apricot jam.

    From pastry chef David Jue

  8. This takes me back to my chemistry school days, in that some of our labs had tables with Fireslate tops. If I recall correctly, it is a mix of Portland cement, silica sand and fillers. I can say that in the environment of a chemistry lab, the tops stained terribly, showed scratches and nicks and generally looked pretty distressed. On the upside, it was essentially fireproof and pretty chemically inert to most solvents. Unless I was building a rustic villa in Tuscany, in which case the look would blend right in, I personally would not choose this as a counter top in a food prep area.

  9. I have used several of the TJ private label chocolates: the 70% cocoa mass bittersweet chocolate and the milk chocolate and some others that I cannot recall. I have only used them for cooking and baking, and not eating per se. Both of them were tasty, had a nice snap upon biting, melted well, tempered well and seemed like an excellent value for the price. I thought that the 70% bittersweet was easily comparable to some of the expensive chocolates I have used, such as Valrhona or Scharffenberger. I routinely shop at the two TJs in Snohomish County, and as was pointed out earlier, inventory can vary by store.

  10. Marlene, does the Miele whole bean system actually make true drip coffee, or does it actually make an Americano: espresso diluted with water? Many people call an Americano coffee, although I tend to think of it as diluted espresso.

  11. Although my Coffeegeek sensibilities are bruised by making this suggestion, I wonder if BG may be just the sort of person for whom superautomatic espresso machines are made for. Unlike Owen and myself, for whom fussing with coffee and espresso is a hobby unto itself, BG strikes me as a person who wants espresso with minimum fuss and bother, if she wants espresso at all. There is also the possibility of using a single group espresso machine that accepts pods.

    BG, a superautomatic espresso machine is one that does the grinding, tamping, and brewing automatically at the push of the button. Some of them even froth milk automatically. The built in Miele that you were originally thinking about is a superautomatic in a fancy shell. They can range in price from $ 500 to $ 2500. If the learning curve of a conventional machine is not something you want to pursue, and you want to trade off convenience and slightly increased cost for a slight diminishing of espresso quality, probably imperceptible to most, then give some thought to a superautomatic or a pod espresso machine.

    Perhaps you can find a trade on Craigslist or something.

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