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  1. Thanks Nathan, _john - I you come across that article again, I would love to read it - please post. With the batch of LN2 ice cream I observed, we started with about 4 cups of a pretty standard vanilla base in the the metal mixer bowl. Turned on the mixer, and started adding the LN2 gradually - a bit at a time over the course of about four minutes. Everything quickly firmed and fluffed up, the room we were in looked like a haunted house. With the leftover LN2 they went out back with the Kitchen Aid mixing bowl a hammer, and a selection of things they were interested in freezing and then smashing. - a whole onion (more impressive in theory - the core didn't seem to get cold enough, and it didn't really shatter the way I imagined it would) - leafy herbs (kind of interesting - they ended up very dry, brittle, and flaky) - a cigarette (similar to what happened to the herbs - the wrap around the tabacco got dry and brittle) -h
  2. I was at a party the other night where someone brought a large tank of LN2 to make ice cream. Some shots of the process, and detail shots of the consistency below. It was wonderfully smooth - soft-serve style ice cream meant to be consumed immediately. Mid-mix Ready to eat -h
  3. From Janet Fletcher's Grain Gastronomy, "remove the bran and germ from a kernel of hard durum wheat and you are left with the endosperm, a.k.a semolina. When ground, it yields high-protein, high-glluten semolina flour, the basis of Italy's dried pasta and the basis of couscous." From Recipes from the Old Mill by Sarah Myers and Mary Beth Lind, "Durum wheat is a hard spring wheat used almost exclusively to make pasta. Semolina is refined durum flour." I've been using whole stone-milled durum wheat flour in combination with other flours for homemade pasta - trying to up the ratio of nutritionally intact ingredients vs. refined...a 1:1 ratio of APF to the durum wheat flour makes for a nice flexible multi-purpose pasta dough. All durum wheat flour and it gets much more hearty, textured....rustic. Hope that helps, -h
  4. Thanks Paula, I'll let you know what I find out. -h
  5. So, here is one of the sources that I came across focusing on the nutritional aspects terms in relation to the terms semolina/durum/pasta... Paula, thanks for weighing in on this. I guess I'm trying to figure out - is semolina (regardless of whether its is a coarse, fine, med. grade) always missing the bran and germ portions of the grain? Was the semolina you worked with in the Meditteranean considered whole - or would it be processed in some way so that only the starchy portion of it was used for things like, say - couscous, or pasta? -h
  6. So it seems like the labeling when it comes to semolina/durum is a mess. My understanding was that the term semolina does not necessarily refer to the texture of the flour, although that is how many people define it. My understanding is that whole durum wheat flour is the more nutritious version of semolina. It is a whole grain flour where the germ, bran, and endosperm are still a part of the final flour. I've been able to find whole durum wheat flour that is yellow, fine in texture, and looks very much like what many people consider 'semolina'. Semolina on the other hand is the refined version of the above. Essentially the starchy endosperm, stripped of the bran and germ. I heard someone once call it 'Italy's white flour'..... Can anyone weigh in definitively on this? I get asked about this all the time and really want to get it straight. -h
  7. Hi all, On the close-up question... Some of the point and shoots also have a macro mode - I used to do all sorts of "macro"-type shots with my Nikon Coolpix 990 way back when...I loved that camera. It took what I thought were fantastic results - especially at a time when I didn't have use for the bigger files sizes needed for print/commercial use, great for web use. I haven't researched the current batch of point+shoots, but I am sure there are some out there with good macro modes. Cherry pic taken with inexpensive camera set to macro. (circa late 90s? - 2000?) I have a 100mm macro lens that I sometimes dust off to use with my DSLRs. It is actually a nice lens, takes beautiful shots - the downside, heavy and large. I avoid travelling with it if necessary, it takes up quite a bit of real-estate in a camera bag I try to keep small, which in turn keeps me mobile. -h
  8. I can't see many disadvantages to the single lens reflex digital cameras, except price and bulkiness. ← Bulkiness is a huge factor for many people. If you aren't willing to lug around an SLR regularly, a pocket camera might be a much better option. It is important to be realistic about what kind of camera you will actually use. A small everyday camera that is always onhand (or in pocket) will teach you more about photography and light than a digital SLR collecting dust. I'm just saying that an SLR system isn't for everyone...for ex: one of the huge advantages, of course, is interchangeable lenses. The downside -- you get to carry them around. I would just encourage people to be realistic about what kind of camera will work best integrated into their lifestyle. Some people love to carry around a big camera and a bag full of gear, lenses, flash units, and extra batteries. I know when I go to purchase equipment, I'm not one of these people. So I always look for the most compact system that I can find that will get the job done, and get me the look I am after - for example, on a trip, I will often pack up two little fixed lenses vs. the bigger, heavier zooms. Smaller systems are also less intrusive and obvious -- when shooting people you will get a much different reaction with a smaller camera than if you show up with the Canon 1Ds Mark II.
  9. One of the cameras I use is the EOS Rebel, and for the money it is a great camera - I just recommended it to my sister. I think I wrote about it a while back on one of the other camera threads....One step up, the d20 is also super, but a lot of people don't need/use the extra features - larger files, etc. The vast majority of shots on my site were shot with Canon SLRs (film or digital). I've heard great things about the comparable Nikons as well. There is a pro/prosumer comparision chart of all the different digital SLRs in this months PDN Magazine the issue with Jude Law on the cover. They compare 14 different cameras (the high-end canons, nikons, kodaks, olympus, mamiya, etc).... The pricing of the cameras in the chart ranges from $1000 on up. If you make a jump from the point and shoots to the digital SLRs, you then have to start thinking about what lenses are right for what you want to shoot and all that. Hathor, if you any specific questions about the Canon Rebel or 20d, put them out there, I think a lot of people are curious and in a similar position with the prices on these big camera coming way down. There is quite a big difference between shooting with a powershot vs. a digital SLR - with advantages and disadvantages to both. -h
  10. Well said Pim, Pizzetta is one of my very favorite local gems as well! The only thing I'll add to your write-up is that it is a great place for a lazy lunch. I always go there mid-day vs. evening when it can get more crowded, parking is usually really easy during the day. Pim, let me know next time you want to head over there, I would be happy to swing by and pick you up - It doesn't take much to get me motivated to drive a few miles for my favorite pizza ;) -h
  11. Thanks for the offer Sandra, I think I'm going to go for the hard candy lollipops this time around. I'll let you know how they turn out :) -h
  12. I'm going to skip the holiday cookie boxes this year and try something new. Right now I'm tossing around the idea of doing little bouquets of homemade lollipops (a handful of different flavors/colors)....and/or little vintage jars of preserves/syrups. Toffee isn't really up my alley, but I tasted a delicious black licorice(!) toffee yesterday at the market - she also had black cherry and citrus infused toffees for any of you thinking about giving your toffees a bit of a twist. -h
  13. heidihi

    Le Creuset

    It looks like you are in the Bay Area....It is really worth the effort to check out the Le Crueset outlet(s)...I signed up for the mailing list at the one in Gilroy a couple years back, and a couple times a year I get a postcard about their 50% off sales. Some great deals to be had. I think there is also one at the Nut Tree in Vacaville but I haven't been to that one -- might be closer to you. -h
  14. You could set up a pizza 'bar'....and people could make their own individual pizzas with whatever toppings/sauces/flavorings they want. Alternatively, but along the same lines: roll you own spring rolls.... or make your own tacos. A big pile of different kinds of panini sandwiches is also any easy way to have a variety. Anyways, good luck! -h
  15. My current favorite is Eduardo's brand. It is made here in San Francisco (I think), but available through Amazon's gourmet section. Hand-made, hand packed, all natural. I love it. -h
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