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  1. I've had this oven for more than 3 years, and it's the best money I've ever spent on an appliance. Big enough to handle almost anything I need an oven for, love the convection feature, everything comes out perfect, and as a bonus it makes better toast than any toaster or toaster oven I ever had. I got the cutting board too, and as others have mentioned, keeping it stored on top of the oven takes care of the hot top problem just fine. Only "issue" is the time limit on the controls, but since I've never done a braise in the oven, it's just something to note and deal with if I ever decide to use it for more than 2 hours. Definitely worth the money.
  2. Real Caesar Salad - boy will I second that!!! I got so fed up with the last "Caesar Salad" I was served - basically mayonnaise coated leaves with shaved Parmesan on top - no anchovies, no garlic, no taste, no nothing, that I went home and, next day, made my own. Anchovies - including both fillets and paste in the dressing - check! Coddled egg - check! Heck, I'd just use a raw egg yolk. Lemon juice - check! Worcestershire - check! Really good Parmesan, fresh-grated by me - check! Good croutons - check! Good oil - check! Fresh-ground pepper - check! Prepared in a large wooden bowl - check! Perfect hearts of romaine - check! I think I made a bathtub full - and I Ate The Whole Thing. I didn't even get sick ... Boy, do I remember those tableside preparations and presentations! Even as a little kid, it was one of my favorite dining treats. I swear, I will never order Caesar Salad in a restaurant again. It just infuriates me to have to deal with the pitiful plates of fake Caesar Salad that populate the food universe. Yes, I understand the legal liabilities with coddled or raw eggs. Newsflash - I understand that pasteurized whole eggs are available to the restaurant trade. But to leave out any taste or hint of anchovies (never mind the fillets; no one serves them w/o a request) or garlic or Worcestershire - just call it watery mayonnaise salad with Parmesan crusty flakes. That'll bring the dining universe to your doorstep, yessiree! And for my next trick, Steak Tartare
  3. Cutting open those !@#$%^&!!*& plastic clamshells that everything seems to get packed in these days. Like FatGuy, I have 3 different kitchen shears: poultry shears, regular "take apart" kitchen shears, and little red-handled shears. Sometimes, those plastic clamshells have to be tamed with the poultry shears; the regular kitchen shears just aren't tough enough. Idle question: how in the heck to folks get them open if all they have are regular scissors? But I digress ... As someone else already mentioned, I also use my kitchen shears to cut up pizza. Herbs - yep - the red-handled ones or the regular shears. And I'll snip stuff in a stew or soup, scissors right in the kettle, if my knife skills (such as they are) have left some things too untouched. Whatever works ...
  4. The 8 quart is what I got for a gift for friend. It arrived yesterday and I haven't opened it up yet to check it out Honestly, if the Staub had gone on sale before I got my large Le Creuset on sale at Amazon a couple of weeks ago, I'd have gone for the large Staub. I will confess to having gotten the chicken roaster for myself. I have a larger oval Le Creuset that I've had for years, but that smaller chicken was just sqawking out to me. I hope the chicken won't report me it if I prepare something other than chicken in it ... BTW, if you do a lot of shopping at SmartBargains, you can join their SmartShoppers club for $9.95 per year and all shipping then becomes $2.95 per purchase, regardless of weight. I've bought enough heavy stuff in the last year that it was worth it for me. Unfortunately.
  5. www.smartbargains.com No choice of colors (different for each piece) but I just picked up a birthday present for someone. coq au van 6-qt with rooster knob - 159.99 reg 220.00 (I don't know if this is round or oval - the picture and the description contradict each other) black enameled 4.5 qt chicken roaster - 129.99 reg. 200.00 (I just saw this one in Williams-Sonoma) also: 3 qt round cocotte - 99.00 8 qt round cocotte - 179.99 (2 colors - blue and yellow) (same price I just paid for my 7 -1/4 qt Le Creuset on Amazon ) 12.75 qt oval - 249.99 4.25 oval - 99.99 5 qt round cocotte - green with snail knob -129.99 there are some other pieces - frying pans and smaller cocottes. Usually only one color for each piece. http://kitchen-and-dining.smartbargains.co...d-dining&isrw=1
  6. Hate to ask a stupid question, but does "satin finish" mean that they are not enameled? I noticed that their list price is less that the Creuset's specifically labeled "enamled", and wondered why their was a difference. ← Yes, the piece is fully enameled. Only a few pieces are reduced in this color. Most are the same price or even more than the colored ones. The interior is their high temp enamel, which will hold up better over time and take higher temps without damage. The exterior is a different matte black enamel. It's very stylish if you don't mind all that black, and a great deal. Nice to not have to worry about the light interior staining or losing it's shine over time. If you look to the right on that page you will see cooking.com has it for $259.99 now, which is the usual price. It's quite a buy! ← The red 7 1/4 qt round oven is on sale again on amazon.com right this minute for 169.99. It was on sale late last night for 169.99 - and by morning it was 259.99 again. This has happened for several days. I think they only put it on sale after 10:00 pm or so EST and keep it on sale for maybe a few hours - but by midday it's always up again. So maybe this is a deal for chronic insomniacs. Mine came today; I haven't unboxed it yet...
  7. You made your purchase just in time! As of right now, the 7.25 quart is back up to $259.99. It looks like the price is going up and down every other day. ??? ← It looks like the price goes up and down about every 12 hours. Go figure. I snagged one very late last night, after missing the deal the first time and then unsuccessfully arguing with myself that I'd been satisfied with the smaller 5 1/2 quart model for decades. I've bought almost no kitchen/cookware stuff from Amazon since they discontinued the $25 off purchases of $125 or more deal they used to offer. I'm glad I don't actually need to buy anything kitchen-related. It's gotten noticably more expensive in the last couple of years - and good deals on things you'd actually want to have in the first place seem fewer and farther between. Not surprising to me.
  8. I redid my kitchen 2 years ago. The original kitchen had a double-bowled sink in a corner - two square sinks on either side of a 90 degree angle with the faucet in the middle. The two square bowls were so small I had to wash larger pots in the bathtub! (I live in a condo and don't have a laundry sink) - shades of college! So when I redid the kitchen (a lot was cosmetic - I kept the old cabinets as much as possible and resurfaced them - along with spiffy new countertops, an extra cabinet, and roll-out storage everywhere - there really wasn't much I could do as far as reconfiguring the kitchen space) I shifted the sink to one side and opted for a huge, deep, single sink. I don't remember the brand -- nothing fancy -- but I swear it's the size of a small bathtub. I asked the designer to put in as big a sink as possible, even if it ended up being slightly off-center to the design. I got my great big honking sink! I'm in heaven. If I want to wash greens or something, I have an over-the-sink-colander thingy that I just set to one side of the sink. One bowl or two, it's just nice to have one bowl large enough that I don't have to wash kitchen stuff in the bathtub anymore. How much more grown-up can you get?
  9. I've dealt with cookware n more on several occasions and my experience has been that they're topnotch with customer service. If they can't find a "second" that they think you would like they won't ship it. And they'll proactively call and/or email you about your order if there are any issues. (They've called me to ask about alternatives if there is something I've ordered that isn't in stock) And twice a year they have an additional 20 percent off on single orders of cookware - no need to buy 4 to get the extra discount. IIRC those sales are in November and March. If you want All-Clad, IMO they're the only place to go. What makes the pieces "seconds" are cosmetic blemishes so small (think a wee non-gouge scratch on the outside of the pan the size of your little fingernail) they'd probably occur naturally the first time you used the cookware anyway. I haven't bought any cookware recently - simply because I now have Everything In the World and I have no more space to store anything! I wouldn't buy All-Clad any other way. Certainly not at full retail!!
  10. Ooof. I've had a real issue with OXO Not the "tool" -- a set of wee kitchen measuring cups -- but the "tools" who saw fit to package them in a blister pack so bulletproof that it took my poultry shears to disassemble it. Oxo, originally I guess, prided itself on its adherence to Universal Design principles -- oh look! They still do: What We're About I guess that doesn't include packaging that can be opened by a human being without resort to poultry shears or tin snips. Or a chain saw. Or explosives. I was really very, very angry and disappointed with OXO and I sent of an email to OXO *gently* pointing out the apparent discrepancy between their mission statement and their packaging practices. Did I ever get a reply? No. Just an observation YMMV.
  11. I have all kinds of high end stuff, but if I am just dumping for frying or some kind of quick dressing, I use the 365 stuff from Whole Food. It's good, it's cheap, and has the convenient spout thing that keeps me from pouring it all over the stove when I am multitasking. ← The Whole Foods 365 is my #1, for all the reasons you mentioned. I sometimes think I buy it like laundry detergent The 'high end' stuff goes rancid long before I've even begun to use it up. Trying to keep a few small bottles in the fridge right now, which causes its own set of problems.
  12. I just used mine to help scrape off stubborn wallpaper! Multitasker ...who knew?
  13. Ok ... I confess ... I ususally don't make the horizontal cuts either. Why bother? I opt for radial and then perpendicular to the board. If for some reason I *do* bother (notice I didn't say "for some *good* reason") with the horizontal cuts, I do them first, after the onion has been halved along the axis but before the vertical/radial cuts. I'm such a slacker
  14. This is exactly what my Uncle does with his pans and stove grates. Puts them into a small bucket with the ammonia solution, seals the whole works up in a garbage bag and lets it sit in his garage. Apparently it works like a hot damn. ← Back in the days before self-cleaning ovens (but after the invention of the television) I once watched a local news guy give a tip on how to make cleaning your oven easier: fill a small pyrex bowl with ammonia and leave it in the oven overnight. I tried it (and no, you do not turn the oven on ) and it actually, truly, really softened up the gunk on the oven walls. I was surprised ...
  15. Plop a generous dollop of it in a big, tall glass of iced tea. My neighbor used to do that. It's actually quite good.
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