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Everything posted by AmyKay

  1. I love my crockpot(s)! Alex, your post has reminded me that I want to find a good source of Indian Crockpot recipes. Every time we get food of that genre I always leave with the intention of finding some good recipes so I can make it at home. I think that I have just found my answer to dividend's question. This Fall, I hope to be cooking some yummy Indian food in my crockpot!
  2. I spent the first 30 years in Texas, where Mac & Cheese was always a side in my experience.
  3. I am very interested in this topic, as we just purchased a home and are in the process of making changes to the kitchen. I have been thinking that we would replace the existing vinyl with tile, primarily because I think it generally looks nice. However, my very limited experience living with a tiled kitchen found it to always appear dirty (even right after cleaning it). I attributed this to the texture of the tile and the windy, open-space-adjacent location, so I don't know if this tendency is a universal truth about tile. So, as I read through this thread, I am wondering why Dave and others have chosen wood or wood-like :-) flooring instead of tile. Has this been largely a matter of personal preference? Or, is there a functional aspect that makes tile less attractive? Additional factors that we are considering are: 1) height, as we have a big refrigerator with limited clearance under the cabinets, and 2) child-friendly-ness. I don't know if child friendly flooring exists, but we are expecting our first child in December and now need to consider such things.
  4. I really appreciate all of your insight! This is really helpful!
  5. Thanks to everyone for your responses! This is all very helpful!
  6. You know, that is an interesting point about the wood floors. The home we are currently renting has tile floors that always, always look dirty, even right after I mopped them. Maybe we should be doing wood. I like the look of tile better (not our current tile, but others I have seen), but I certainly don't hate wood floors. Hmm . . . something else to consider . . .
  7. This is lots of great information. Thanks to everyone for your responses! I hadn't thought of the importance of an off-set drain. Maybe we will need to add that to our list. As far as the counter tops go, I am thinking granite because 1) we are not going to do much else aesthetically to the kitchen (with the possible exception of do-it-yourself tile floors), and I think it will make a big difference in the appearance of the space, 2) We are expecting to be in this place for probably about 7 years. I think that granite will add to the value of the home upon re-sell, and I want to be enjoying it while we've got it, instead of just putting it in at the end of our time there, and 3) I have always really wanted granite countertops. We don't have an endless budget, by any means. So, even though I want the granite countertops, I don't have the luxury of blowing money. There are a couple of comments about formica. Is the granite a total waste of money?
  8. Hmmm . . . so pull out sprays could put undue stress on the tap? Wouldn't have thought of that. Glad to hear that the single bowl option wasn't a bad thing for you, since we seem to be leaning in that direction. Thanks for sharing your response, Darienne!
  9. Thanks for your response, ChefCrash! I am so glad that you mentioned that about the width of the cabinet determining the width of the sink. We had not considered that & could have gotten ourselves into a jam. What are your thoughts about the different options available now with sink bowls/dividers? My SO says he wants one big bowl, with no divider, in order to facilitate washing large pans. I am not opposed to that idea, but I know that now it is possible to get a sink with an uneven split. That is, one bowl that is relatively large and one bowl that is smaller. I am curious about the utility of this design, and if others have found it useful or not. I know that this is not the most thrilling topic, but it is very much where my head is these days. Thanks again!
  10. We are in the process of buying a home. While we are not going to do any major renovations, we will need to upgrade and/or modernize some bits and pieces. We are not buying new appliances right now. Having only been a renter up to this point, I have never gone through this process before, and so have never really thought deeply about questions like which sink is best for us. Most of the folks who we have talked to about our options are sales people, so I am not really sure how much stock to put into the information that they share. In addition, most of our friends and family who have bought homes have not really pondered the details that we are wondering about. SO . . . I am hoping that egullet might be able to shed some light on our decisions. So far, we are trying to make decisions about what kind of sink we want, what kind of faucet we want, and if there really is a hidden down side to slab granite counter tops (as some dubious sales people have contended). If anybody out there has any thoughts at all on any of these topics (or other fixture upgrades that I haven't thought of), please share your experiences! Why did you get the sink that you chose, and do you like it? Do those faucets with the pull out spray end up breaking and permanently dangling two months after installation? Have you encountered any other similar conundrums & how did you resolve them? Thank you in advance for your feedback!
  11. Croissants!! A few months ago I learned (via egullet, of course) of the Croissants that WS sells online. You set them out to thaw and rise overnight, and then bake them in the morning. These have become a standard part of our special weekend breakfasts. They are so good!
  12. We ended up using GroceryIQ for our grocery list. In general, I like it. I don't really like how it tends to want to default to particular brands or products. We can get around that, but then the items aren't categorized as well. Still, it is pretty easy to use and more convenient than the excel spreadsheet and clipboard I used to use.
  13. What about White Castle? I have never been there, but have heard good things. Of course, from what I have heard about White Castle, their burgers don't really sound like the burgers that are being discussed. They sort of sound to me like sliders. So, I don't know if White Castle would count. Still, I am curious, is White Castle worth a stop if I ever am in the neighborhood of one?
  14. I clicked on this thread because I think it would be interesting to know something about the topic and, as you might guess, I know very little. Sorry I can't give an actual answer to your question. However, I am wondering how the history of the region might clue us in to the food culture. I am also embarrasingly ignorant of that, but I believe that there is/was a strong French influence in Haiti. I also wonder what role Haiti might have played in the slave trade and/or slave uprisings that led to pockets of freed people of color. Wouldn't all of these potentially speak to the food culture? Is there a tradition of voodoo in Haiti? If so, are their food traditions related to that spiritual practice? Sorry to answer your question with more questions. I do think it is interesting, though.
  15. I second HungryC's comment about the cup size. The sipping chocolate you are describing sounds delicious, but there is no way I would ever buy a 12-16 oz cup of it. I couldn't finish it, and the calories I would consume trying would just be too much. If I ever happened by your store, I would LOVE to sip on a smaller cup of it, though. Those are my two cents. Sorry I can't help with your more pressing problems. I hope your shop is successful - good luck to you!
  16. That sounds so cool! It also sounds kind of big-brother-esque (big brother is watching, he even knows where I am shopping). The phone that is on its way to our house will belong to my SO, who is very graciously offering to share it's gadgetry, but I really have ienvy. This app will go in the "pro" column for my eventual smartphone purchase.
  17. That sounds interesting, I will have to take a look at it. Thanks!
  18. Next week, we will finally have an iphone in our house. We are very excited, and we are looking forward to making use of all of the applications that are out there. The only problem is that I really don't know anything about which food related apps are good, great, or useless. What have been your experiences with food-related iphone apps? Have you found any that you love? Any that sound great, but ended up being useless?
  19. I am sort of in a similar position as some of the posters above. I found this thread over the summer, and started my extract in July. So, it has now been steeping in rum for five months. I think I have seen posters mention the 6 month mark as a point at which the vanilla gets "usable," so it seems like five months would not be that much of a stretch. However, I am not sure what to expect this vanilla to look, smell, and taste like when it has reached a good point. The color is a bit lighter than the commercial vanilla that I have, and there is still a distinct alcohol flavor and scent to it. This last bit is what concerns me the most and yet, it seems counter-intuitive to use a (presumably/hopefully) inferior product as a benchmark. Can anybody shed some light on what the vanilla will smell and taste like when it is ready? How would YOU feel if you received a five-month old batch of vanilla?
  20. AmyKay

    Turkey Brining

    For the last few Thanksgivings, I have brined a turkey breast following Alton Brown's recipe (which adds flavor, not just sodium). I have not been attentive enough to notice the sodium content on the breasts I've purchased, but I always by them frozen and they almost certainly have had some sodium added. They are always great.
  21. Has anyone had any success with recipe management software for a mac? Most of what has been discussed are windows specific. I have a mac, and I am thinking about getting "The Recipe Manager 3." Does anyone have any experience with this software? I am a home cook, and I am particularly interested in software that will provide nutritional info for my recipes. What I have read online suggests that The Recipe Manager 3 provides this, but there is not much in the way of user reviews online. I know this is an old thread, but thought it might be worth it to ask. Thanks in advance!
  22. Umm, I gotta ask . . . why must one "remove very carefully from the water so they don't tilt"? I ask because 1) I recently canned a bunch of peaches and I know that they got tilted on their way out of the pot, and 2) I want to can heirlooms when they show up at the farmer's market, and I don't want anyone to get hurt along the way. Are my peaches ruined? And, what will happen if I tilt the tomatoes when it's their turn?
  23. AmyKay

    Preserving Summer

    Well, glass top stove or not, yesterday was officially jam fest 2008 in my house. I made 7 quarts of peach jam. The water bath canner seemed to work fine - water boiled like crazy for the full processing time. By the end of the day yesterday I was pretty sure that it would be a while before I canned again. I was tuckered. Of course, that was yesterday and this is today, and now I am hatching a plan to convert a cranberry sauce recipe that my family loves into jam when cranberries show up in the stores. Also pears . . . maybe we will end up with some pear jam, too!! Good thing my S.O. likes jam!
  24. AmyKay

    Preserving Summer

    Look at the bottom of the pot - is it concave with just a rim of metal at the edge? If so, hardly any of the base will be in contact with the burner, if any at all (if the pot is very big and the concavity is wide). My old water bath canner is like that. ← Crud. I did not even think of that. I was just fixated on not breaking something. Oh well. I am also fixated on more peach jam, so I'll work something out. I can't wait until the farmer's market this weekend! Thanks for helping me figure out what I'm into!
  25. AmyKay

    Preserving Summer

    So, I have been haunting this thread for a few weeks now, reading all of the updates and information that you guys have been sharing. I have spent some time pondering the idea that I could possibly can some of the peaches that are showing up in our farmer's markets (without causing a pressure canner explosion or killing someone from botchulism). I have checked out books from our local library on canning, read through them, and allowed those ideas some time to simmer. Prior to reading this thread, my only canned goods encounters had been limited to stuff that was that way when I bought it. Finally, last weekend I was able to put it all together . . . I canned some freakin' peaches!! That was SO cool! In fact, it was cool enough that the next day I made a strawberry and basil jam. My boyfriend liked my peach jam enough that he wants more, so I have embarked on a project to provide him with a couple of month's worth of peach jam. He goes through a lot of it, so I want to give him a supply of several quart-size jars (because this is the size jar he is currently getting from Sam's, and because the man likes his jam). Because my current equipment won't easily accomodate jars of this size, we went out last night and bought a 21qt Granite Ware water bath canner. This morning, I noticed that the label says that the canner should not be used on a glass cooktop. I have a glass cooktop. So, I wonder what this limitation is really about. Am I going to damage the cooktop if I use the canner? Is this a "CYA" move on the part of the manufacturer? Can I safely ignore this restriction? I feel like this might be a silly question, but I don't want to damage the cooktop. Does anyone have any thoughts or experience on this??
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