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  1. All your pictures fill me with jealousy! Mine arrived last week but is dead out of the box. The temperature sensor is locked at thinking the oven's 613.8 degrees inside, so heat never turns on. Now I'm stuck waiting three more weeks for a replacement. Not the best first impression for me, but I have your pictures to tide me over until then.
  2. To those who buy the pre-peeled Costco stuff, do you freeze the cloves laid out on a tray? Or are they dry enough on their own that you can just toss the bag in the freezer. I suspect the latter would work, but I don't want to end up with a giant garlic block if I'm wrong.
  3. I'll have to keep an eye on how it works for you all - maybe I should give it another shot!
  4. I had one of these a year ago and returned it. Glad it's working well for you all! I found it generated very little steam once it had preheated, even when using one of the steam settings - although while preheating with the heating elements going full bore, it injected a good amount of water into the oven that turned to steam. Like one of the posters above, even after running it for 2 hours I'd still have well over 2/3 of the tank remaining. And crispy skin, to me, is a sign that it's not really generating any significant steam, or else the moist environment should keep the skin from crisping. As just a toaster oven it was fine, but not deserving its relatively high price for a toaster oven - I thought it had relatively cheap construction, and not many heating elements which made the heat in the oven uneven. And the internal baking space is quite small compared to its footprint. A great idea, but I thought the execution was lacking.
  5. I've actually had very good success with those cheap-o heaters. You have to make sure the curly parts of the heater are fully submerged in water, or else they short out as some sort of safety mechanism. I have three of those hooked up to my self-built system and they've been going strong since 2009.
  6. I had my Smart Oven completely die on me, but my interactions with Breville's customer service were unparalleled. They were extremely helpful and paid for me to send mine back, then sent a replacement right away. Really a great experience, so I'd suggest giving them a call and seeing if they help you out before you junk it or do something locally.
  7. I'm about to try the mac and cheese recipe, and it looks like the results have been pretty good from others. When I was comparing the recipe to that in Modernist Cuisine, I saw that the iota carageenan isn't used in the At Home version. Any thoughts on what that adds?
  8. I've always wished the Thermomix would go just a little hotter. Current Varoma temperature is just below nut or spice toasting range, an application which I'd think it would excel at.
  9. Thanks for the thoughts, I will look them over!
  10. Yeah, thankfully she has a wheely check-on bag that is otherwise full of clothes and shouldn't be near the weight limit. You're right that I'm looking at ones not available in the same form via Amazon.com. (Ones where the weight measurements have been obliterated for the U.S. market are fair game).
  11. My sister is in London for the next week and luckily has a bit of free space in her bag on the way back. Any recommendations for great cookbooks available only through Amazon.co.uk? I could always pay to ship them here any time of the year, but having them hand-delivered without paying to ship overseas is more fun! Plus there's no VAT on books within England, so you don't even have that savings from shipping overseas.
  12. I'd be interested if you hear anything from the U.S. rep. The shipping quote I got was when I emailed the store on Rakuten directly.
  13. As an update, it's apparently 6600 yen to ship to Connecticut. That is $85 on top of the machine cost.
  14. I'm getting confused looking at all the miscellaneous Rakuten pages, but according to their US site (that actually ships directly) it's now about $100 plus the $50 ish shipping cost. I thought it was $30 less this morning but maybe I was looking at the Japan page. Does this thing come with a lead weight that lead to those kinds of shipping costs? Too bad I won't be going to Japan any time soon!
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