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What foods have you made and then decided store bought was good enough, thank you, based upon cost, time, and taste?

I never meant to cause a squabble over brownies.

For me its not worth making them from scratch. The only place I could possibly get high end chocolate to make a super quality brownie is at least 30 minutes away in good traffic so it takes a lot of planning.

Then there is the convenience factor. I can have a box of brownie mix in the pantry from Costco and at a moment's notice be able to whip up a batch by the time the oven preheated. This is great when we make last minute plans with friends and need to bring a dessert.

Even my husband can't screw up these brownies (except when he used olive oil that one time).

The key is to under bake them. The box gives some ridiculous time but I think I start checking them at 35 min and they are def out by 39. Edges never overdone and the dead center is not runny but the perfect piece for my husband.

Jul 09, 2014
dobs737 in General Topics
1

What foods have you made and then decided store bought was good enough, thank you, based upon cost, time, and taste?

If I had the time to make raspberry jam in the last month I would have. I did freeze 24 quarts of raspberries so I will just make lots of raspberry dishes instead!

Jul 09, 2014
dobs737 in General Topics

Costco Food Finds - 3rd Quarter 2014

Thanks Ferret. You said they don't travel well. Is that because they are delicate like raspberries or so good you ate half on the way home?

Jul 02, 2014
dobs737 in Chains
1

Costco Food Finds - 3rd Quarter 2014

ferret, where are you located? I was hoping rainiers would be about the same price at my Costco. I'm in Ohio. Confession time, I've never had a Rainier cherry. I had cherries when I was a kid and remember hating them but I figured its time to step out of my comfort zone and try them. I will probably become an addict as they are kind of expensive with a short season. Go fig.

Jul 02, 2014
dobs737 in Chains

Please suggest a wedding gift

What a wonderful thing to do! A family friend started a hope chest for me when I was in high school. He didn't have children of his own so every year for Christmas he'd get me something for my "hopeless" chest as he called it.

Setting up a box for a couple who doesn't have many household goods is AWESOME. All that little stuff can really start to add up.

I come from quite a large family (dad is 1 of 11) and I'm on the older end of the spectrum of grandchildren. I inherited household goods for my college apartment from a few older cousins and as I have gotten married and upgraded my hand-me-downs are now going to my younger cousins. I think most every cousin has owned grandma's sunbeam mixer at some point in college.

Jul 01, 2014
dobs737 in Cookware

Leaving half doughnuts behind

You are a good soul.

Jul 01, 2014
dobs737 in Not About Food
2

What foods have you made and then decided store bought was good enough, thank you, based upon cost, time, and taste?

Based on cost and time 2 things that I'd buy over making from scratch are jam and brownies. I can't beat the 6 packages of Ghiradelli mix from Costco for $10.

And unless you have your own berry bushes making raspberry jam can get quite expensive.

Jul 01, 2014
dobs737 in General Topics

Women who don't eat much when among peers

There is nothing worse than being overly full and having to walk a distance in the heat. I'd get sick myself.

Also, If I'm catching up with a friend and we haven't seen each other in a while are are gabbing to much to really put away any quantity of food.

Jul 01, 2014
dobs737 in Not About Food

Please suggest a wedding gift

That actually isn't a bad idea. I like vintage items because the quality is usually better. They don't make things like they used to!

Jul 01, 2014
dobs737 in Cookware

Please suggest a wedding gift

I agree, blue is not my thing. The color blue actually makes me blue. Additionally I would need a pry bar to get another piece of cookware in my small kitchen so I would go to the basement in a box and go rarely if ever used.

Jul 01, 2014
dobs737 in Cookware

Please suggest a wedding gift

I apologize for stirring the pot so to speak. I promise I'm not a hector and really do try to avoid conflict and confrontation.

I was just merely trying to open some people's eyes to another viewpoint. I only registered for what I knew would be useful to my husband and I because we had both been out of our parents homes for years and had accumulated a lot of stuff already. When we got engaged we went thru all our crap and did a merge and purge to get rid of unecessary duplicate, triplicates, etc. 3.5 years later I find myself still purging stuff!

I cooked my own meals in grad school and had lots of All-clad and Le Creuset and had mostly rounded out my cookware. The few items I did want / need in the year up to my wedding I did not purchase and just put them on the registry. I needed new towels in grad school and waited for a sale at Restoration Hardware for a color being discontinued. Between the two of us we already had 6 sets of sheets for 2 beds. These were all things I just did not need.

What we did want / need was some decent silverware and so that was a big thing we registered for. We registered for and received a pair of Waterford candelsticks from the most fitting giver because she is prim and proper and sets quite a formal table. I will ALWAYS think of her when I use those. The Waterford candelsticks are the only ones I will ever own because I don't see the point in having more than one pair (just clutter to me peronally and crystal, like diamonds, goes with everything). So, had someone given us another set of sticks I would feel guilted into keeping them due to the sentimental value of being a wedding gift.

I also personally believe that less is more, at least for myself. Some people find happiness in having a lot of stuff. A lot of stuff just looks like clutter to my and gives me an anxiety attack. I am happiest with less stuff and more memories / experiences. One of the gifts we registered for that I love is a Bocce ball set. We often play in the evening in the backyard as we are grilling dinner. Maybe some people would turn their nose up at giving us sporting goods but I really enjoy our evening beer and bocce.

That being said, I do love the idea of the Crepe pan downthread. We received a Waterford Christmas ornament from a very Irish family so it was quite fitting. My 11 year old cousin made us a photo album which I treasure.

The point I really wanted to make is that getting a gift off a registry can be personal if you pick a gift that really represents you. Fixer upper / woodworking enthusiasts gave us a shopvac. Irish people Waterford. Prim and proper gave us formal candlesticks, a short person who understands my plight gave me a two-step stepstool. All things I registered for, all things I use regularly, all people I think of whenever I use their gift.

Jul 01, 2014
dobs737 in Cookware
3

Please suggest a wedding gift

Agreed, schlepping gifts is the last thing the wedding party wants to be doing at midnight when you need to be out of the reception hall on time an need to tear down because you didn't have the budget to have a coordinator and did it all yourselves!

Jun 30, 2014
dobs737 in Cookware
2

best baking dishes?

Check out a tuesday morning if you have one around. I had registered for the Pillivuyt platter and I got the cake stand as a wedding present to myself. Then last month Tuesday Morning had a double discount clearance sale. The Pillivuyt was already about 45% off retail, then had a 20% tag off that, then the double discount was an extra 50% off of clearance. I got them for less than $20 a piece!

Whatever you get, skip pyrex and make sure it is broiler safe and possibly grill safe. I'm making a casserole on the grill tonight in my Pillivuyt.

Jun 30, 2014
dobs737 in Cookware

best baking dishes?

No, you are correct. I would transfer it into some rubbermaid for anything mroe than overnight.,

Jun 30, 2014
dobs737 in Cookware

Patterns for everyday and china dinnerware

Yes, Ebay. I've been selling vintage dinnerware on ebay for a fraction of replacements, inc.

Jun 30, 2014
dobs737 in Cookware

Ice Chests...Yeti versus Pelican versus Brute Box

I have no experience with any of these to offer. I just wanted to let you know I saw Pelicans at Costco if you decide that is an acceptable alternative to the Yeti.

Jun 30, 2014
dobs737 in Cookware

Using a gas grill as an oven? How far can I take this?

Absolutely use that grill as an oven, especially in the summer. If it is 80 degrees on our main floor it is 90 upstairs so I rarely use the oven in the summer. I use the grill, take the crock pot to the back patio, or take the Breville Smart oven to the back patio (love that thing).

When we first bought our house (a forclosure) we had no oven and went without one until we could find a nice one on craigslist for cheap. We didn't want to sink a lot of money into an oven when we plan on redoing the kitchen in a couple of years.

Cast Iron is great - both regular and enameled. I also have a cast iron le creuset roaster which was a god send using my gas grill as an oven. I would not use pyrex at all. Use stoneware or pullivuyt or apilco. The last two are porcelain that are fired at over 2000 degrees so they can handle the grill.

Those options could get pricey for the college student. Does anyone know if the old school corning ware that can be used on the stovetop safe for a grill? Those are typically cheap finds at your local goodwill.

Jun 30, 2014
dobs737 in Cookware

Apilco and Pullivuyt in San Francisco?

Jun 30, 2014
dobs737 in San Francisco Bay Area

Please suggest a wedding gift

A LOT has already been said on this thread that I gleaned over so I apologize in advance for any redundancy as I read, and then started to quickly ready. I may have missed some stuff.

I have been married for 3.5 years. I got married when I was 28 and had been living with my fiance (oh the shame!) for 6 months prior to our wedding. We did have a registry at Amazon, BBB, and WS.

In my opinion stick to the registry or write a check. I know your intentions may be wonderful but going way off the registry says "I know your situation better than you and I know what you need better than you do." It can be perceived as paternalistic and quite a ballsy stance to take. The couple carefully added items to the registry they knew they will use. Also, often when I use an item I received as a wedding present I remember that person / family which leads to a text or phone call to just say "hi, how ya doing, just thinking about you."

There are a few exceptions to the rule though. If they registered for the cheap $2 basting spoon at walmart and you upgraded to the all-clad that is fine. If they registered for a crock-pot and you get them a SV, not so fine. It can be frustrating for a "keep it simple, less is more" bride to receive gifts she knows she will never use, but feels guilty de-cluttering and getting rid of a gift simply because it was a wedding gift.

When we first wed we were renting a house in our hometown. Job layoffs necessitated an immediate and unexpected move to a big city where we needed to find housing quickly so the first apartment we rented was very small with the world's smallest kitchen. There was no room for a crock pot let alone a stand mixer or food processor. Take into consideration how much space the couple currently have. Keep in mind that the burden of student debt is delaying homeownership as young people are less able to save for a down payment so they may not have much room for quite a while. Will they need to move frequently like a military family would? Then perhaps the ultra fragile crystal may not be the best gift for them.

We asked for a shop vac because when we first wed we rented a house and my husband did a lot of woodworking. It had to stay at my parents when we lived in an apartment but now we are homeowners once again. That shop vac came in handy when we had to suck up 180 gallons of water in our basement on Christmas eve and dump it in the sump pump because the sewer system backed up. However a person in a high rise condo probably has no use for a shop vac. Just think carefully about the couple's situation.

While I stick to the registry (or write a check) I do try to go for things that are long lasting and not trendy. No home decor as taste change. Go for something like a nice knife or skillet if they have registered for that. They will use it daily and thank you. If they have registered for a set of cookware that is out of your budget you can get them 1 piece that is contained in the set. Many sets go unpurchased off of registries because they are pricey. Get them once piece so the bride can use the store credit towards the set.

The thank you notes I just received make me feel like I made the right choice. My ultra tall cousin and her ultra tall husband were very happy for the check - it went toward a king bed and they now can sleep comfortably. My other cousin is happy for the Yamazaki silverware he registered for as it is quite the upgrade from the Wal-Mart silverware of his college days. As with any gift, whatever you do remember to get something the recipient would want, not what you would want the recipient to have.

Jun 30, 2014
dobs737 in Cookware
4

Color of Apilco and Pullivuyt similar?

My friends, parents, and in-laws usually go for another adult beverage with dessert, not coffee. I'm in Ohio.

I got some Apilco cereal bowls from WS when we lived in a condo to try them out to see if I liked French porcelain. Then we moved into a fixer upper and so I can't justify dropping $$$ on a lot of dinnerware to put in a kitchen that is last on the list to fix up. Plus, I don't have much cabinet space so I am using plain white Corelle. But, I have picked up a few Pillivuyt baking dishes at Tuesday Morning and already had a Pillivuyt cake stand and platter. The differences in color between Apilco and Pillivuyt are nearly imperceptible and you would probably need Emmy Award Winning lighting in your kitchen and dining room to tell any real difference. So feel comfortable moving ahead mixing and matching based on color. The only difference will be in the shape and edge of the dinnerware. I popped into goodwill and saw some coupe style dinner plates in the classic gray white color of French porcelain. They were Schonwald made in Germany. I bought them and they are a perfect match in color to my Pillivuyt and Apilco.

I too like the finer look of china and had considered the Apilco Tuileries. You should also take a look at Pillivuyt Valencay which is similar in price to their Sancerre line but much finer like the Tuileries. My local porcelain shop was able to order me a sample so I could see it because the line is not carried in the US, only Europe. They just called up Pillivuyt in MN since Pillivuyt USA is based out of MN so it should be pretty easy for you. Go to their website to find Pillivuyt retailers close to you who can help. If they aren't helpful call the porcelain dealer I used, Caterina Ltd. 571 South 3rd Street Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 224-7224. and you can order and have shipped to your house and I think that way you avoid sales tax.

If you are close to a Tuesday Morning check it out and just look for the classic grey-white hue in the dinnerware section. Last month they had a clearance sale going on and I scored Pillivuyt baking dishes for under $20 a piece!

Jun 30, 2014
dobs737 in Cookware
2

Costco food finds - 4th quarter 2012

Interesting. What is the price and how big was the package?

Oct 08, 2012
dobs737 in Chains

Costco Strategy For Ist Experience

Things on coupon / rebate do tend to be cyclical. For example, we were out of semi sweet chocolate chips and I was waiting for the November coupon book because they are a couple of bucks cheaper in November. And I'm waiting for December to stock up on Nutella.

Oct 08, 2012
dobs737 in Chains

Costco Strategy For Ist Experience

Sorry, I meant each individual package in the bunch is 1/2 kg.

Oct 08, 2012
dobs737 in Chains

Costco Strategy For Ist Experience

Columbus, Ohio

Oct 03, 2012
dobs737 in Chains

Costco Strategy For Ist Experience

I'd say my family of 2 does most of the grocery shopping there. We buy the big bags of spinach and lettuce and salad fixins there and though only 2 people it forces us to be a little healthy and have a salad every day to eat up the fresh produce before it goes bad.

It all just depends what is on sale at the various supermarkets and what we have in the freezer and what we could fit into the fridge after a costco trip. I'm fortunate to live in a city with Kroger, Meijer, Giant Eagle, and other independent stores so there is a good bit of competition for grocers.

Oct 03, 2012
dobs737 in Chains

Costco Strategy For Ist Experience

Sorry, this is a long response...
Welcome to the club! First off, if you are looking to browse and can go on a week day please do so. On the weekends it can be a suburban nightmare. We were there last night and it was not crowded but I know on Friday nights it can be a little busy.
I second getting the coupon book.
And if you want to see what was on coupon in the past to know what to expect coming up, go here: http://www.adamcos.com/

Dehydrated hash brown potatoes, quick and easy weekend breakfast.
Sun Dried Tomatoes
EVOO - Kirkland Signature Brand
Kirkland Signature whole bean coffee - roasted by Starbucks.
Milk prices are competitive
Kirkland signature egg beaters
Balsamic Vinegar
Nutella - Will go on coupon in November for the holidays
Stacy’s pita chips - double thick only found at Costco. These go on coupon regularly.
Garofalo pasta - we get our spaghetti noodles here. Each pack is 1kg which equals about 17 ounces and change versus the downsizing of many packages to 14 and 12 oz.

Jullian Waffles - these are in the front near the dry goods and non bakery bread racks. They are in a clamshell package possibly on an endcap or near the cookie section of chips/junkfood isle. YUM! Heat in microwave or toaster oven and put a scoop of ice cream and you are in heaven. These are liege waffles so a little different from what you are used to but the closest thing to a true liege waffle without going to Belgium. A MUST TRY!

Torta Rolls in the back bakery section make great sandwiches

Pumpkin pie and apple pie are very solid. I've brought the 14" apple pie to a family gathering and the package almost looked like it was licked clean. Not a crumb to take home. The pumpkin pie never made it to a family gathering but it seemed to disappear and it is only the husband and myself!

Spinach, romaine lettuce are always at a decent price

Dog food - we used the puppy food and that was good. Now we use KS Nature's Domain salmon based formula which is similar to Taste of the Wild and much cheaper.

Pizza crust – for a while in the summer they were carrying a 3 pack of Boboli crusts with sauce for $7 ish. I haven’t seen them in a while but 1 pizza crust at Kroger costs $5. Makes a quick and easy dinner on a night you are too busy or tired for anything else. Now they are carrying

Mama May’s brand on an endcap. 4 think pizza crusts with sauce for under $5. We prefer the boboli but this works in a pinch too.

Cheese - don't ever buy cheese from a regular supermarket again. The KS brand is comparable to kraft and beats most prices I've seen that combine sales and coupons. If you want something higher end Costco has that too.

KS tortilla chips.

I'm also including some non food good things that Costco has:
Garbage bags - KS brand.
Flowers - 2 dozen fresh roses for $16, a great way to spoil yourself. The price for mother's day and Valentine's day is $16 for one dozen but still that is pretty reasonable for these holidays as flowers are more expensive then.
Borghese Makeup brushes are very similar to MAC brushes. These will come out soon for the holidays about $25 for a set of 10 brushes.
Cutting boards - Kitchenaid brand, good deal through this weekend. 3 for $16 in the center home goods section.
Light bulbs - right now they are ridiculously cheap in Ohio due to AEP Ohio rebates. Perhaps a similar rebate is going on in your part of the country.
Kirkland Signature Sheets - if/when you need your next set, try these first as you can always return them if you don't like. This is the first set of sheets that I have bought since 2001 that I actually like. They are crisp and of good quality. The run about $60 maybe but go on sale for black Friday I think. Comparable sheets would be a couple hundred dollars.
Parchment paper, $6 for a 15" x 164' roll. Awesome price!
Flameless candles, on coupon through Sunday.

Things we weren't so hot on:
Apple muffins back in the bakery section - stick with the chocolate or the blueberry.
The European cookie assortment is ok, but I probably won't repurchase. I prefer Milanos or other shortbread cookies instead and with the holidays coming one has to be choosy on how to spend their daily calorie intake.
Kirkland Signature Macaroni and Cheese

Oct 03, 2012
dobs737 in Chains

Costco food finds - 3rd quarter 2011 [old]

I love to stock up on these when they are on coupon!

Jul 29, 2011
dobs737 in Chains

French porcelain vs bone china - can't decide!

I had a store order this for me from France. The Valencay line is limited, but I love the plates so much. They are thinner and take up less space in the cupboard. The look more formal than the thicker Sancerre line so I feel like I can use them on formal occasions and everyday casual. I plan on matching them up with other sancerre pieces for my whole set and the color will still match because it is all Pillivuyt.

If you are worried about the color, you could always use light bulbs that were a warmer white versus a cooler white.

Apr 20, 2011
dobs737 in Cookware

Torn between Apilco Pillivuyt and Revol for my wedding registry. Please help.

Thanks all for all your comments! You have really made me feel good about choosing french porcelain for my wedding registry. We are going for a very plain plate with a rim. The biggest challenge will be making sure we get plates that fit in the dishwasher. I'm not too concerned about them fitting in the cabinet since my wonderful fiance will build me a deep hutch to store my new porcelain.

I am soooooooo excited for my new plates. Hopefully I won't get those disgusting knife marks like I have on my pfaltzgraf. And maybe with those sales at bridge kitchen I will be able to replace my pyrex with more porcelain!

Aug 10, 2010
dobs737 in Cookware

Torn between Apilco Pillivuyt and Revol for my wedding registry. Please help.

For anyone who was experience with all three brands, what are your thoughts? Which one did you like best.

These will be my every day dishes and probably my fancy occasion dishes for a while.

We are looking at Apilco Tuileres which is a little thinner than Apilco tradition. Here is the link:
http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...

We are also looking at Pillivuyt Valencay which is a little thinner and lighter than Sancerre, but has Pliienium added to the clay to make it withstand thermal and mechanical shock.

And finally Revol Plain white plates from SLT or BBB.

In your opinion, which of the three are best? Which has the best glaze? I hate when plates get scratches from sliding against each other when getting one out of the cabinet.

I was looking at Wedgwood white, but with my fiance's appetite we will need something larger than 10.75 in diameter plates for everyday.

Aug 06, 2010
dobs737 in Cookware