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    the foot of Mount Diablo, CA

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  1. would never even occur to me to ask for a taster (though I do occasionally play with the idea to ask for ketchup if I ever make it back to the French Laundry, just for fun...). I don't think I'd even put the disclaimer on the menu, never saw it anywhere. I'm sorry, we can't offer samples, with a nice smile should be plenty.
  2. you can buy (or make) all kinds of simmer sauces, be it Italian, Thai, Indian, Mexican, etc. Those could be frozen (or canned) and then you could cook up a bunch of chicken breasts for example, freeze those in portions and he could just take out a portion of chicken, any sauce he feels like today, heat it up in a pot or nuke it. Add some frozen rice and done. Not sure you can make your own frozen rice w/o turning it into a glob, but places like Trader Joe's have several different kinds that come in nuke in bag pouches. He could have dinner in 10 min and with different sauces he might like, he could decide on a whim what to eat that day. Or just make a sandwich with some of the precooked chicken etc.
  3. I don't use a tight system, but have them somewhat organzied into 'countries', famous chefs/restaurants, meat, bbq, baking, pickling/preserving, etc. No particular order within those areas on the shelf. A book on Korean bbq would most likely be in bbq, so specialty books go into that section, Korean cooking would be in countries. Books like Joy etc are in a 'general' area, next wo which is a small area of vegetarian. lightly organized chaos always works best for me, I usually remember where I put a book last time I used it.
  4. I have the cuisinart pictured above, works fine. I make pesto in it, hot sauces, things like that. Does what it's supposed to do and is cheap. Before that I had also a Braun (I think) which was a bit smaller overall, also worked great. Eventually the blade part broke on the inside, where the stick that goes to the motor goes. Was easier to just buy a new machine than try to find the kinve and order it back then. I like having these small machines, for smaller amounts I don't like using the big machine and it would not do a good job on smaller amounts anyway, the blades would just fly over what ever I put in there.
  5. yelp is pretty much useless now, since people can pay to have bad reviews removed. I don't use it at all anymore, but would if I were in town for a pizza, great idea :-)
  6. thanks. The one I saw once you could put your pot(s) anywhere and it detected them, but now I'm not sure anymore if it was induction. I think it had some kind of honeycomb grid of small elements. Back then it was pretty expensive but seemed interesting, if not necessarily necessary :-)
  7. I have to decide about this eventually myself too, I don't have gas in the kitchen but under the house. Been cooking with a crappy Jennair with those open coils for some 18 years now. I like the idea of gas, but the idea of cleaning all those grates and areas underneath is not very appealing to me. At all. And yes, I'm sure I'd set things on fire for a while, as I'm not use to having a flame. Heat is an other issue, my kitchen gets pretty warm in summer already. I'll be reading up on induction for sure. Do they still make the 'flexible' ones where the surface detects your pot and the pot size? A while ago there was one that did that for quite a number of different size pots.
  8. interesting idea, I'd check it out. I won't throw out my SV, but if this works as they say it seems like the first real set it and forget it that might actually work. And take less planning than SV or BBQ, the later being my favorite way to cook, but there's not always enough time. And for a family of 4 it should be able to cook enough meat. I signed up for their e-mail list and might even consider contributing to a kickstarter or something like that. Early bird discount? :-) Always nice to see new innovations or improvements of old things.
  9. all seem a bit forced to me, cappucino doesn't even sound like anything I'd want to try, I like coffee, but only in a cup, not in a cake/rub/anything and with chips it sounds downright evil to me, LOL I'd try the wasabi and mango, but am not curious enough to buy a whole bag. bacon mac & cheese sounded interesting until I read about the lack of bacon flavor above, doubt I'll buy that either. I would love to see a hungarian paprika flavor though, as they sell in Germany. No chip in the whole US comes close to those, unfortunately. Or fortunately I guess ;-)
  10. I often use the sear and then oven method with just cold steak, very little grey banding if any. Sear one side, flip and put in oven at the lowest possible temp (never measured what that actually is). Works well. Might try this if I feel like cooking a steak and did not defrost one. I'm not gonna do the freeze open then pack step, a splatter screen will do fine. And the slightly longer cook time can be handy too, pressure cook some potatoes or make some other side during that time and get a salad ready. I often buy steak in bulk at cosco, never found a difference between fresh and frozen. Maybe side by side I would, but I doubt I'd care one way or the other.
  11. no, it's my kitchen (when I'm cooking) and I blast my music to make that statement clear :-) I can't stand it if things move from where I put them, suddenly they're in the dishwaser or sink or used for something else. Besides, I hardly ever cook from a recipe, the ideas form and sit in my head and pop up at random when needed. If I'd cook from a recipe I could divide things up but I'd give the boring tasks away (start the pasta water, add oil to pan, set on high, etc) and keep the fun parts to me (chopping, spicing, finishing) and that would be no fun for anyone. I prefer to fly solo in the kitchen and my wife can do something with the kids or read and they can all set the table. Also, she has not cooked in years and it would take longer to explain/show something that it takes me to do it when I need it. I guess it's my "me" time, where I can get into the zone and move at my own speed.
  12. I use it to reheat things, melt buter, boil water quickly, things like that. Don't use it much but sure would replace it if it breaks. With such infrequent use the "plastic melting into your food' thing is a non issue to me, less healthy to sit 30 min in traffic I'm sure. I do not reheat coffee in it though, I'd rather never drink an other cup than tasting MW reheated coffee ever again, actually makes me gag. As does luke warm coffee for some reason, can't get it down.
  13. I don't have junk food or anythign premade in the house. I don't think my 7 year old ever even set foot into a fast food place, if, it's been years ago. I cook healthy foods and that's what's for dinner, no extra things, eat what's there or don't eat. Nobody ever starved in front of a full plate. Everybody gets the same things on the plate, don't like something? Leave it, but occasionally I insist on an other try (oh, look! Potatoes do taste good all of a sudden!) I make healthy lunches for them, we never once bought any of the crap from the school offerings. There's very limited access to sweets too. So they can either eat healthy things or nothing. Usually they go for eating. Limited meat (family of 4 we share one steak or two to three chicken breasts etc), vegetable, bread, always a salad. I do not cook things I know they don't like at all or make sure I have more than one thing, my daughter does not like beans, so I'll also have some bread and the salad. My boy was picky for a while, fine don't eat then. Now he eats everything. And my girl is coming around too. Snacks are fruits, nuts, cherry tomatoes, things like that. But if there's no junk in the house they can't eat it.
  14. really interesting idea! I'll keep my eye on this machine, don't really need a second one, but the cooling option certainly is interesting. Thanks for jumping in here with answers to questions and concerns!
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