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  1. Don't forget you can get Oster mini-blend jar to use with any standard Oster blender, which makes it much like the Magic Bullet. The smallest containers hold about 1 cup, and come with their own lids so they can be put in the fridge. They also have some larger ones, Oster Blend-n-Go cup, which holds 2 cups, I think. You can also use regular Mason canning jars, pint size ones are great, as are the ones with handles. Just don't use it for anything real hot, since there is no where for the steam to escape. This blog post covers it pretty well. As for immersion blenders, Braun has one of the smallest separate food chopper attachment, like others mentioned. A lot of other ones that have seperate food chooper attachments tend to hold 2-4 cups, which probably wouldn't be as useful in this case. If you know someone who shops at thrift shops, they can even watch out for extra Braun food chopper attachments- I know I picked up 2 or 3 for the Braun immersion blender I bought for my sister that way.
  2. Shoreline Fruits, out of Michigan & northern NY have unsweetened regular dried cranberries for $52 for 4 pound box. Their organic sweetened cranberries are only $29 for a 4 pound box, so it looks like unsweetened ones are going to run a lot higher (their sweetened, regular cranberries are only $19 for 4 pounds). I use their dried fruits all the time, since they are a local company to me. When I get the chance, I love to stock up directly from them in northern Michigan; otherwise I have to rely on what Meijer's grocery/dept stores carry.
  3. Little early yet here in Michigan I'm afraid...I'd have to shovel through a couple feet of snow just to get to my garden areas-lol. Shops are just getting their seeds in, so I did break down and buy some tomato seeds to start inside in another 5-6 weeks. I was very disappointed they didn't have much else out yet other then seeds & few starter sets, so I couldn't even start planning & dreaming, since this is the first year I've done much gardening in over a decade.
  4. I keep liquid lecithin in the fridge, and I'm surprised as often as I grab it...though I have to admit, half the time is for making skin care recipes-lol. I think from using it there so much, I've started thinking where to use in cooking & baking more often. With all my allergies, I can't use no stick sprays to prepare pans, but I found straight oil, butter, etc just didn't cut it. Especially on my waffle iron- it seemed like it needed to be oiled after every couple waffles. I finally mixed up a concoction of butter with coconut oil and a little liquid lecithin, which works great- I only have to grease the waffle iron every 8-12 waffles or so, using a silicone brush with short cut bristles to spread it around. For baking, I use the same basic mixture, with a little flour added. Here is some more info from Bob's Red Mill: http://www.bobsredmill.com/recipe/detail.php?rid=564 Can't help you on the Xanthan Gum- its grown on corn, so its out for me...to bad I didn't realize that before I bought a bag of it, which is still sitting here by my computer because I don't have the heart to throw it out.
  5. I have a slightly different Wolfgang Puck immersion blender- its the same wattage, just a little different style. I've been very happy with it- I just used it to make homemade soymilk this afternoon, and was pleasantly surprised at how there wasn't any waste to speak of, as it processed the cooked beans finely enough to pass through an extremely fine reusable gold coffee filter. I'm making ricemilk right now, and its handling processing the thick rice mixture with no problems, and that's with very little extra water added yet (because somehow I always forget how much rice swells up & how starchy it is compared to other grain or bean based milks-lol). I picked my WP immersion blender up at Big Lots before Christmas- and I liked it so much that when I saw one on markdown for $15 after Christmas, I picked up a spare....some days in the kitchen its just nice to have a clean processing head to switch out to.
  6. I you- I've been wanting some of those silicone pinch bowls for a while, but I have a couple extra silicone cupcake pans that will work perfectly. They came in a 9x13" silicone cake pan I bought for a couple bucks at GoodWill, which has turned out to be the most perfect pan for making marshmallows in, since they don't stick to the silicone. I'm on the lookout for another large silicone cake pan, so I can make larger batches of marshmallows or make my currant size batch shorter, as sometimes they turn out to be 2 1/2-3" thick. I've cut up some of those rubbery silicone baking mats to use for various things, especially since I now have almost enough Silpats for all my 1/4 & 1/2 sized sheet pans. I've been tempted to try to cut a new gasket for my Oster blender out of some of the silicone stuff- I have a lot of extra carafes for my blender, but the rubber gaskets don't hold up very well.
  7. One of my favorite things about silicone pot holders & mitts is that I can wash them so easily. How often do we end up sticking an oven mitt right into whatever food stuff we're handling, and if they are not silicone, you're stuck with food goop until laundry day, at the least. And judging by some of the oven mitts I've seen at peoples houses, a lot of don't ever get washed. With my silicone pot holders & mitts, I can wash them in the sink, dry them off and go back to using a clean mitt in a matter of minutes. Maybe I'm OCD, but I especially like to be able to wash the inside of my oven mitts- I hate to think what all might be inside some of those cloth mitts people have. I also like that silicone gives more grip, since I don't have the best hand strength. There are many pans I would have dropped if I tried handling them with a typical mitt. I grab my silicone mitts for opening jars or other jobs where I need a good grip.
  8. Can I say I'm jealous? Hopefully one of these days I'll come across a RC in decent shape with a reasonable price, but for now I'll be happy with my $2.50 DLC-10E, complete with all standard attachments/blades. And its older sister, a $5 DLC-10E that only came with the chopping blade & grating blade. I'm just so glad to be rid of the el'chepo Black & Decker food processor I bought back when I was in college 15 years ago.
  9. Check your local Bed Bath & Beyond- I picked up a Bonjour Culinary Laser Thermometer on clearance for $29.99, marked down several times from its original price of $89.90, just like this one from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/BonJour-Culinary-Las.../dp/B0001K18B4/ Even better, I used a 20% off coupon to bring it down to $23.99 I've seen them at a couple BB&B stores in different cities, usually in the kitchen gadget section, on the shelf way back in the corner, almost always nearly on the floor or practically hidden under other misc kitchen gadgets. I keep it out, stored right under my microwave, which sits in an exhaust/light unit for the stove. Having it handy right where all the cooking goes on makes it easy to grab to check the temp of a pan or waffle iron or even sugar syrup when I make marshmallows. I've gotten to the point with my marshmallows where I pretty much don't need to use a candy thermometer, which I only put in for the last couple of minutes when its really boiling. One thing the laser thermometer is good for is to double check the accuracy of other thermometers in a jiffy- it let me know one of my candy thermometers was way off at sugar temps, even though it pretty accurate when I tested it in boiling water.
  10. I've been finding some great stuff at local thrift shops the past few weeks. The one I'm happiest about was finding a complete Cuisinart DLC-10E food processor, with all its attachments for $5. It got even better when they passed out coupons to change the color of any one item to the color of the week, making it half of, especially since the Cuisinart was the only thing in my cart that wasn't the sale color- $2.50 for a Cuisinart food processor-lol. I already had another DLC-10E I have picked up for $5 that only had the metal chopping blade & a grating disk- I plan on keeping it, since its nice to have a second work bowl set at times. Some other good finds have included a Pampered Chief pizza stone for $3; a Squeezo food mill for $5, an older model Food Saver that lets you manual override to seal whenever you want for $3, 3 rolls of Food Saver bags for $2 & several Food Saver containers for $1-$2 each; a 3-4qt Romertopf clay 'stuffing baker' that they no longer make for $5; an electric Brisker- http://www.fantes.com/brisker.htm - for $2.50, which I'm toying with the idea of using as a proofing box by adding humidity; an Oster blender for $1.50 because it was missing a push button- but the glass carafe looks brand new, as does the blade, which of course fits my Oster blender; and 2 Salton yogurt makers for $1.50 each, one is the smaller regular size & the other is the larger family size. Now I just need to find a couple larger waffle irons, so I can make more at one time- I just can't bring myself to buy new waffle irons when I know how often they show up at GoodWill & the like...I'd rather save my money to buy a new immersion deep fryer.
  11. What size KA mixer do you have? I picked up an extra paddle at GoodWill that unfortunately doesn't fit my old style 5qt, narrow bowl lift mixer...it was worth a try for the price.
  12. Anna- don't you just love your IR thermometer? BB&B had them on clearance before Christmas, so I picked mine up when I returned the silicone baking cups a friend gave me for my birthday (great idea, but I use silicone cupcake pans-lol). I love using it to check temps on various things- from checking water before adding it to a recipe to how warm is the rice sock I just nuked for my ear ache. For Christmas, I got a microplain grater & the grain grinder for my Kitchen Aid mixer...now I have to figure out exactly which grains I want & get my storage set up- I lucked out that there is a an organic farm/grainery less then 1 hour from my house. After Christmas, I took some of my holiday gift money & hit the resale shops, where I found an almost brand new, digital 6.5 quart crock pot for $7, a Squeezo strainer/food mill for $5, about 10 dozen pint sized canning jars for $12, another American Harvest food dehydrator w/temp control for $6, and some other misc stuff. Pretty good for $30!
  13. What about a soft banana oat type cookie? That would be good for those who have difficulty chewing. There are tons of different recipes you could try. Another thing you might want to consider is making one or two types of diabetic appropriate cookies, using Splenda for baking or something similar- so often at the holidays everyone forgets to bring any holiday treats for the diabetics in the nursing homes.
  14. Just an FYI- Good Eats has a new episode airing next week, called Puff the Magic Mallow, which shows the 'science behind homemade marshmallow'. According to Sony iEPG listings, it will be on the Food Network: December 3: 8:00PM December 4: 3:00AM December 13: 8:00PM December 14: 3:00AM All times listed are EST I figure for those of us like me, who are fairly new to marshmallow making, it should be interesting to see the actual sugar technique. My corn syrup free marshmallows have been turning out just fine, as long as I invert some of the sugar first. My pumpkin spice marshmallows turned out great for Thanksgiving...next up, I want to make black currant marshmallows, using strained black currant preserves with the gelatin and some of black currant sugar syrup from the Polish part of the international food isle.
  15. There are also some books on sourdough only- I picked up a couple older ones recently. One is Sourdough Jack's Cookery and Other Things (1970), which has a decent assortment of bread, waffle, biscuit, etc recipes, along with a lot of history of sourdough in the West & Alaska. The second is Best of the Herman Sourdough Herald 1980-1990 (1990), which has more sourdough recipes then you could ever make, along with numerous different recipes for sourdough starters.
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