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marie-louise

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Everything posted by marie-louise

  1. It's looking good! Inspired idea about the closet. My two cents: Whenever I look at this floorplan, I still see a galley kitchen w/ a little bump-out addition. Varmit, I love cooking in a tight space more than I tell you. It is so nice to be able to pivot and reach without taking lots of steps back and forth across a kitchen There's a reason most professional kitchens are set up this way! If this were my kitchen, I would delete that whole area of cabinets next to the driveway. It looks gratuitous to line each and every wall w/ cabinets. I'd put a window seat and a little table there, or an armchair and some low bookcases to sit and read, or a desk. On the blueprint, it looks like it wants to be its own little breakfast nook area. One last suggestion-I would line up one, if not both, edges of the "little varmit counter" with something. It seems odd-at least on paper-that it takes a little jag. I'd line it up w/ the edge of the Sub Zero plane. I'd also make it deeper-probably 3 ft. wide or so, and instead of the sink, square off the edge and have a piece of chopping block counter right by the stove. In other words, the entire counter that faced the living room would be one surface, and once it turned a right angle, there would be a chopping block. Actually, I'd think about one of those free-standing chopping blocks that are about 1 ft. thick & 24x24 I once had one next to a stove and it was a wonderful surface for prep work. I much prefer kitchens that are not lined with cabinets (I especially dislike over-the-counter cabinets) so forgive me for showing my bias in offering you suggestions.
  2. These things are bullet-proof. You couldn't damage one that easily. I'll have to look at a new one for comparison the next time I'm in a store. I wouldn't describe mine as shiny, but then they are all 5-10 years old. I think they do say to use no higher than medium heat on them, but I crank my 15,000 BTU Wolf burners up to high under these pans on a regular basis, and I've never had a mark I can't get out. You may indeed have purchased a rare defective one.
  3. How romantic-congratulations, you two! What would you have done if you hadn't been able to get reservations any time soon? I have visions of you sitting on the curb outside a taco truck...
  4. Sure, marie-louise for all you lucky US residents! Unfortunately, I am in Canada and between shipping, taxes, custom duties (if they would even ship fuel!) it's not so easy - but many thanks for the information anyway. ← They don't sell these in Canada??? I actually got mine at a department store (Macy's) cookware department. This could be a new business venture for someone up there!
  5. I'll let Jason or someone else come along to do the proper link, but FYI-these currently cost about $60. at Amazon (via cooking.com.) The butane cannisters are 4/$18.-which is about a lifetime supply.
  6. Another thought. Since you two love the Napa Valley, you two really should come and see it at least once it the winter. It looks totally different, but as others have said, it is just as beautiful as the other seasons. For those of you who live there-will the mustard grass be blooming by early February? I love the hills and vineyards when that's in bloom.
  7. I had one at my beach house-it looks similar to what you bought, Robyn, except it was called "Mr. Stove." I used it frequently during power outages; I once made a stew & simmered it for hours without going through the fuel. I could boil water & cook pasta. They cook surprisingly hot, but I used to cook right on a laminate countertop with it, and the countertop stayed cool. I've also used it for tabletop cooking. Hurricanes, power failures, earthquakes, Mongolian hot pot, party buffet table-pretty much everyone could find a use for one of these at one time or another. Hmmm, something else you never knew you needed until you read eGullet. eGullet, good for the economy.
  8. To take it a step further-perhaps they could donate them to our new eGullet Society. Sign up as a paying member & get one free (think pledge drive!) In exchange for a little discreet advertising, of course. And they DO make nice utensils-W/S used to sell their cooking spoons & spatulas. I've had a set for over 10 years and they still look great. I usethem all the time.
  9. This is an incredibly romantic place to stay (it was one of our choices for our recent 25th wedding anniversery trip.) You can get some nice off-season deals here. http://www.cottagegrove.com/page-01.htm The Cottage Grove Inn also has winter packages with this spa (call the inn for details.) http://napavalley.com/cgi-bin/new_mont_fra...nderhillspa.com Not your traditional thick mud bath, but a wonderful romantic experience nonetheless. In addition to the mud bath, we both had great massages and I had a nice facial. As an added bonus, the day I was there the spa was giving away 15% off coupons for the Coach outlet store down the road. In case it's raining, that will kill another hour. So, between eating, drinking, and enjoying your romantic cottage, who needs to golf?
  10. You can take BART right on up to Chez Panisse! Monday night is "locals night"-a cheaper, more casual menu downstairs. Or Oliveto or Pearl (at the Oakland Rockridge station) You can also take BART into SF, of course. Driving time from Oakland airport to downtown SF is anywhere from 20 minutes to more than an hour, depending on just when you call dinnertime. Don't even think about eating anywhere near the airport...
  11. What a deal! Good luck on the move, and I'm glad you liked the book.
  12. Have the ferrets been bathed yet? PS Welcome, Mom! Tell us more...
  13. I love this thread-I'm so glad it has been revived. Over the years, I've learned to never arrive too hungry if I am not sure I'm going to be fed well. Does anyone else besides me have a little late afternoon snack before heading off to someone's house for the first time?
  14. Disclaimer: I am NOT much of a baker. However, I once had this problem when I used the recipe from Cook's Illustrated. Seems they decreased the amount of flour from the standard recipe. Any chance your recipe was from them? (And like you, I was doing a practice test-for my friend's 60th birthday party.)
  15. The Bamix from WS (see my post above.) It's on sale!
  16. The Braun I didn't like was 5-10 years old. It had a bell-shaped device that covered the blades. There were slotted holes in this bell-shaped device, but not enough so that the device didn't create its own suction and stick to the bottom of the pan. I never quite mastered the coordination of turning it off & lettling come to a complete stop before lifting-so I was ALWAYS spraying myself w/ soup. (Plus, it was a pain-in-the-ass to have to keep stopping it.) The Bamix has prongs instead of this bell-shaped device, so enough air gets around the blades to prevent suction. Hopefully, Braun has fixed this flaw by now.
  17. The Williams-Sonoma ad also shows a picture of one of those Batter Pitchers, and mentions other uses for the blender: vinaigrettes & batters. I have the older version of that pitcher-mine doesn't have measuring lines-but that would be a real fast way to make pancakes, popovers, and more. Damn-now I want I new Batter Pitcher. Don't 'ya just hate when they improve things like that? Anyway, the rest of you should buy both with the $$$ you saved by buying it on sale.
  18. Nope... Not me... Not this time. I actually don't have one now. When the son moved out, he took it with him. He is a buttless string bean and we got the thing for him to make these disgusting protein shakes. Of course, I appropriated it for soups and such. I miss it. That is where the true magic is and I would buy one just for that. You have great control over texture, all in the same pot, and no hot soup geyser blenders. I will probably need a new toy under the tree. ← I'll step in for Fifi (we're a team here at eGullet, right?) I just use mine for soups, but I agree, it is so much easier than repeatedly spooning small amounts in a blender, FP, or food mill that it's worth owning this tool if you ever want to make pureed soups. At someone's suggestion here, I recently bought the made-by-Bamix Williams-Sonoma version to replace my old Braun that either sprayed me or stuck to the bottom w/ suction. Wow-what a difference. It works much better. It costs about $100. but I bet it goes on sale now and again. I highly recommend it. I think the real Bamix is about $150. Edited to say that the real Bamix is $125 at Sur La Table but ta-da... Williams Sonoma has the one I like on sale for $69.99 (regularly $99) http://ww1.williams-sonoma.com/cat/pip.cfm...95164&cmsrc=sch You need one.
  19. I am in one of those real restaurant cities [areas] and I lower my standards for new restaurants. It's unfair to expect them to have everything down for a few weeks. Except if they are snotty-that is something that only gets worse as they get more successful. Which reminds me, I need to give that new neighborhood Japanese restaurant another try...
  20. Holy shit, Ben! Some people's idea of adventure at Thanksgiving is making the sweet potatoes with fresh instead of canned! My only advice is to PM Varmit and beg for help. Meanwhile, here's a good read, including how to brine a pig in a Jacuzzi... http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showto...it++pig++pickin
  21. I'm not sure about a gourmet place in Olema-I think that's kind of a stretch- but there are some good places in Point Reyes Station. Call the Cowgirl Creamery & see how late they are planning to be open: http://www.cowgirlcreamery.com/aboutus/ (they are just off Highway One, in town) Their cheese is fabulous!!! In Point Reyes Station, right in town on Highway One, is a GREAT bakery-the Bovine Bakery. Perfect sourdough to go w/ your cheese, plus good cookies for after a hike. (Please tell me you are hiking.) Across the street from the bakery is a good grocery store-lots of organic fruits & vegetables, plus the full line of Strauss Creamery products. (there's a difference) If you shop at those three places, you will feast at Christmas. You will be driving out Sir Francis Drake Blvd.-you'll pass lots of towns with good places to eat. Fairfax is the last one-they've got a number of good spots, including a Thai place that escapes me at the moment. Mill Valley Market is also great, but I doubt that it will be much fun to shop at on Christmas Eve. Point Reyes will be less crowded.
  22. In general I don't go back, but it depends... I hate places w/ a snobby, condescending, or just plain rude atmosphere. They are off the list no matter how good the food is. I hate to wait much past my reservation time. Just like I hate to wait at the doctors. Places that don't take reservations annoy me. Bad but apologetic service I can usually forget about by the time I'm walked to my car, assuming the food is good. Rude service/ good food=still off the list. Bad food, it depends. One bad course, I don't hold it against them. Who's to say it's not my taste that's off? A sloppy meal, well, that's harder. For instance-there's no excuse for the well-known restaurant I ate at a few months ago serving crunchy pinto beans-at 9pm. There are so many great restaurants around here that I don't fret about whether I'm being "fair" or not; I just move on down the list.
  23. I do like the jailhouse look. The 10'/11' to the wall in the DR is free. We don't have a proper dining table even. I am not sold on cluttering that room up with a large china storage unit as the last owners' made that room seem smaller and also I do not have china (I am 26). If you go counter depth then you are almost forced to go stainless steel which I have been resisting. I will shop around... I have home depot, lowes, sears, ajmadison all in brooklyn. Maybe I will find a nice on sale banged up piece. -mjr ← Think about various options in the dining room as you cabinet shop. For instance, a tall but 12-inch deep pantry cabinet w/ a low counter in between to use as a buffet. Or a free-standing piece from IKEA that coordinates w/ the cabinets. You can store LOTS more than china & glasses in there-the big pots you don't use very often, extra paper towels, platters, baking sheets, 12-packs of beer, etc. GE Profile makes 24-inch deep side by sides in colors other than SS.
  24. I think 24-inch deep fridges make a room feel MUCH more spacious. Shop around-people seem to find impressive bargains when they do that. Of course the counter height is dependent on the chair height-it's just that the classic barstool/ bar height is 42-inches (I think.) I'd probably choose to have one flat surface, but the height is something to contemplate. I wouldn't worry about resale too much. Kitchens are so personal that chances are the next person will want to change something. Make it what you two want. If you already have gas and don't have 220V, then here's a place to save some money. But the new electric ranges are much better than the stoves of 10-15 years ago. So that wall beside the kitchen that goes to a window-how deep is that? Do you already have the perfect piece of furniture there, or could that be used to store your dishes? PS You can never have too many cabinets. But they cost money, and you can get creative at storing seldom used things elsewhere. Also-Martha Stewart likes soapstone, for whatever that's worth.
  25. Tis the season... Nothing makes a better crust on a baking pan of stuffing than a Le Creuset rectangular enameled cast iron baking pan. Or two.
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