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Big Joe the Pro

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Everything posted by Big Joe the Pro

  1. Patience is a virtue.
  2. That KA 600 seems like an OK deal, assuming that it works. I usually prefer to buy new myself though.
  3. Does anyone else find that it's odd that Aldi has a store brand called 'Benton'? That name really seems more appropriate for the behemoth from Arkansas. Did my once-a-month trip to Shop'n'Save to lay in some decent meat today. They have a nice $10 off $50 coupon that is hard to resist. It's nice to go to a proper market from time to time. Aldi drives me a bit buggy with their limited stock. For example, they only carry tuna helper (my son's favorite) once a year. Wow, brisket costs a fortune here! Ouch!
  4. One of my favorite supermarket items comes from Aldi; their 'Specially Selected' (store brand) Italian bread. That stuff is GOOOOOOOD! Less than two bucks, take it home and pop it in the oven for ten minutes. Don't forget the brushetta to slather on top. OMG!!! Crispy on the outside, hot and doughy on the inside. If you want to thank me, and you will, send a check to your favorite charity! The Trader Joe's brushetta is apparently the same as Aldi's BTW. Get some Two Buck Chuck while you're there.
  5. Aldi gets my business 3x a month. They impress me a lot, but if I weren't on a fixed income, I wouldn't go there. Their whole thing is logistics and moving stuff through their small stores. Here in St. Louis we are very close to Aldi's US HQ in the Chicago 'burbs, so we get good stuff usually. Those complaining about quality may live far from a distribution center? Some of their products are inferior. Their ice cream leaves a lot to be desired, and their Asian sauces don't look too good on the label. They probably taste ok, but I'll drive up to the ethnic markets myself. I rarely buy meat there, but what I've bought was adequate. The store nearest me was recently redecorated and is always very clean. Their employees are taken better care of than WM's. That alone is enough for me to shop there. Peace, Joe
  6. Thanks. I think that that's the British publication date. I've got it in my Amazon cart in the US and it says October 2016. We really do need to go metric on this side of the sink, don't we? Too bad it didn't stick when we tried changing back in the seventies. There's an episode of America's Test Kitchen Radio with an interview with Ms. Dunlop here: https://www.americastestkitchen.com/radio/202-cooking-lesson-the-secrets-of-cooking-brilliant-chinese-food-at-home-with-fuchsia-dunlop
  7. Ok, I took your suggestion and used the flat beater to start to mix together the wet starter and drier autolysed flour, and it worked pretty well. The flat beater was 'dirty' already from mixing the autolysed flour, so it's not even any extra washing up. It was kind of a pain to get that gluey dough off of the flat beater, but nothing is perfect. It didn't seem to strain the KA Pro 600 in the least, but I just do single loaves.
  8. Yes, I also start with the flat beater with completely dry dough, but I'm a little afraid to use it at the point of mixing the starter and autolysed dough together. Like you say; you could break something. I'll have to give it a try. I never ever get those extended warranties either. The companies obviously make a profit on them, so the odds are in our favor, right? I'll never forget KA's offer of five years of coverage for $500 though. It didn't instill me with confidence in my shiny new machine.
  9. The bowl shape is one main reason I preferred my Kenwood over my KA. The Kenwood mixed my rustic doughs together much better than the 6 qt. KA. I always have to stop the KA several times during the first minute or two and 'nudge' the wet starter and dry flour together. Anyway, it's a minor annoyance. The KA does a fine job on everything else, and I use it alot.
  10. This reminds me of the extended warranty offer I received from KA soon after buying my unit. I threw it away in disgust, but if I remember correctly they wanted US $ 500 to cover it for five years? Can you imagine? I think I only paid about $ 300 for the thing. Crazy. First-of-all, if it breaks within five years it's going straight back to Kohl's.
  11. I used to eat there a couple times a month when I first hit town in the late nineties. There weren't so many choices like there are today as I remember, and I hadn't yet gotten a decent apartment with an oven where I could make my own pizza. It was worth going to Pizza Hut to me and my friends just to watch the locals pile stuff on their plates at the one trip salad bar. I'll never forget some of those people walking slowly back to their tables carrying those huge pyramids of very intricately stacked vegetables. I wonder if they still do that.
  12. Durian pizza was something I never experienced in my 15+ years in Beijing, but it does say in the article that it is something that originated in Southern China. Go figure, it is a tropical fruit!
  13. I thought that this was an interesting article about Pizza Hut in China trying out Durian fruit as a topping: http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2016/03/11/china-real-time-tries-pizza-huts-new-durian-pizza-so-you-dont-have-to/
  14. I'm too lazy to look it up at the moment, but if memory serves there's only one other country of any size that is 110v besides the U.S. We're definitely in the minority.
  15. St. Louis is a fine city. It has problems and no-go areas like any other metropolitan area in this world. Don't take my word for it. 'The New York Times' put St. Louis on their places to visit list this year. http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/01/07/travel/places-to-visit.html?_r=0
  16. Yes you are correct. Parts, service (and price) are all important considerations. That's why I went with KA here in the States, and it's working out OK so far. Besides the fact that I thought the Kenwood was a better mixer, I really like the Kenwood attachments. I should have just brought the ones I had in Asia back to the States with me, but I didn't. I sold them along with the 220v mixer. Which opens a whole another can of worms; when is the U.S. going to join the rest of the world and go with 220v appliances? I was in Sears awhile back and noticed that they were selling Kenwood brand standing mixers. Anyone know what's up with that?
  17. Interesting thread. Please let us know how your repairs turn out. The Cuisinart mixers sold in the US are made by Kenwood BTW. Is that common knowledge? I bought the KA Pro 600 here in the States to replace a 220v Kenwood Chef I owned in Asia. The KA Pro 600 is ok, but the Kenwood is a superior machine IMO.
  18. My local library had both of these books to my pleasant surprise. The memoir was OK IMHO. It's tough to live up to Bourdain's praise on the cover. Perhaps if I were female, I might have gotten into it a little more. I skimmed through some of it, perhaps to revisit at another time. The cook book on the other hand really speaks to me. I'm not saying that most cook books should be like this, but I love the design and quirkiness of it. Some of the recipes look great too. I am going to break my sweetbread cherry on one of them. Check out "Mind of a Chef" season four. She's one of the featured chefs.
  19. Chris Kimball was a great host, and ATK is my favorite cooking show. The show and CI magazine have taught me so much. Unfortunately, he doesn't seem to have as much spring in his step as he used to. When I heard that he'd been ousted, I vowed to never watch the show again. However, choosing the two ladies, Bridget and Julia, was an inspired choice IMO. I'm sure they will continue to do the excellent job they've been doing.
  20. This is good news, thanks. A friend of mine used to take me to a Ningbo cuisine restaurant in Beijing. A lot of seafood, and sweet, especially when compared to the dark, salty and savory dishes typical of Beijing and Dong-Bei (North-East) region. It was one of my favorite restaurants. Hopefully Ms. Dunlop can help me recreate it.
  21. Really, why? I just rewatched it in it's entirety and it might be my least. It's too touchy-feely for me. It reminded me of Oprah (or at least what I imagine Oprah was, I'd never seen it) or **gasp** a reality show. Give me some interesting competitions (without going over the top), some food knowledge, a stew room brawl or two, some nice shots of Padma and a beer and I'm a happy camper. Sorry but I really don't care about the chef's personal lives and starting from the first episode with Jeffery and his lover, well, it just seemed to go downhill from there. If he had made it to the final I might have been interested but not before then. Regarding Richard being arrogant; I just rewatched a few episodes of season eight and I can see how some could perceive him as arrogant but I guess I just like the guy so I personally never noticed it enough to let it bother me. Also, Jen Carroll was so blatantly arrogant and cocky in what little screen time she had that everyone else seemed to be on their best behaviour.
  22. Well, I don't know. Is it fair to characterize someone from what we're given on Top Chef? We're not privvy to the question normally and a lot is left on the cutting room hard drive. One of the first things that comes to my mind when thinking of Chef Blais is the fact that he went out of his way to help his competitors out on numerous occasions. Could you give some specific examples of the basis of your dissatisfaction of him? Preferrably with season and episode number as I've got every Top Chef episode right here in my office, catalogued for easy access. Personally, I try to be forgiving of people's little quirks and if I find that hard to do then I put myself in their shoes. He's got a wife who looks hard-to-please, two young daughters and money into several ventures. I'd be blowing my own horn at every opportunity myself if I were him. If he's outwardly overly egotistical (which is something that's gone under my radar) perhaps it's to compensate for his inner doubts? I don't know, I'm no psycologist, his presence is a welcome one to me.
  23. A 'Top Chef Winners All-Star' show? That sounds like a great idea.
  24. Well I guess I know now why I was so unsettled when Kristen got eliminated; it was her destiny to win! That was really a lot of challenges she won on LCK to get back into contention. It's a little unbelievable that she did it. The new format didn't do much for me either although it might grow on me (maybe about when Padma needs dentures). Like others have said; best to cook and taste all the dishes then discuss and judge them. Any viewer half-sober/awake knows when the show is going to end. What's with the Blais-bashing, jealousy? I always found him to be an intelligent and sympathetic person myself.
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