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Your experience with grinding spices in a mortar and pestle?

Hey, using a silicone trivet is a great idea, thanks, iyc_nyc!

Oct 06, 2012
togijiru in Cookware

Your experience with grinding spices in a mortar and pestle?

This is super specific but I like to use a tiny ceramic one for saffron. It's pretty useless for anything else but just perfect for saffron. I'm Iranian, though, and use saffron very frequently in Persian cuisine.

Oct 01, 2012
togijiru in Cookware

Alternative to Vitamix blender

Ah, ok -- well thank you, I'll keep an eye out for other deals anyhow.

Sep 18, 2012
togijiru in Cookware

Alternative to Vitamix blender

Blondelle, I don't seem to be able to find the Sur La Table cashback offer you mention, would it be too much trouble to re-post? I'd have to do the math to see if it would work out better for me but it sounds like a nice offer. Thank you!

Sep 18, 2012
togijiru in Cookware

Alternative to Vitamix blender

Thanks for the tip!

Sep 15, 2012
togijiru in Cookware

Alternative to Vitamix blender

I think that once I add a dry grains jar and blade assembly (I'm currently seeing it for $143.95 on Amazon) that puts the 300 out of my range, alas. I'll have another look on the Vitamix website and see if I can determine a clear reason for choosing one of the other models you mentioned over another. Thanks!

Sep 13, 2012
togijiru in Cookware

Alternative to Vitamix blender

Hey MacGuffin, just wanted to say thanks for all the detailed info -- I found a pile of 'points' on Amazon (presumably some kind of credits for past purchases or transfers of credit card points) that I'd forgotten about and I have enough for a new Vitamix -- I am a little bewildered by the various options, though. What do you think? I would not be using it for batter -- I primarily want to use it for very fine purees of soups, smoothies, etc. and for grinding flour and nut butter. I may want to do more once I learn what it can do, but those are my current needs that are not well met by my existing equipment. Do you think I should swap it out for another model? Thanks a lot!

Sep 12, 2012
togijiru in Cookware

5-burner vs 6-burner cooktop?

The Amazon reviews do seem pretty spotty, but many suggest the alternative workaround of removing knobs from the stove and bringing them out as needed. Clever parents finding ways to work around toddler curiosity!

Aug 19, 2012
togijiru in Cookware

5-burner vs 6-burner cooktop?

It's not a huge issue -- my very tall nearly 3-year-old can actually reach the controls already on the cooktop with knobs on top -- but if there are ways to make the kitchen a bit safer I'd love to know about them. Thank you!

Aug 19, 2012
togijiru in Cookware

5-burner vs 6-burner cooktop?

Ah, that's a great idea, thank you. Maybe I'll just bring a cardboard cutout of the widest part of the pan, some of these showrooms look unlike any place where they'd let you set a pan down, haha!

Aug 18, 2012
togijiru in Cookware

5-burner vs 6-burner cooktop?

Supervision and education are the ultimate childproofing, of course.

Aug 17, 2012
togijiru in Cookware

5-burner vs 6-burner cooktop?

Oh, I didn't know that was an option -- like the car doors? I will look into it, otherwise as dcrb says below, yes, safety will have to take precedence over ease.

Aug 17, 2012
togijiru in Cookware

5-burner vs 6-burner cooktop?

Ah, you know, I was looking for burners in front for ease of cleaning, had not thought about the safety issue - and my toddler is tall. Thank you!

Aug 17, 2012
togijiru in Cookware

5-burner vs 6-burner cooktop?

That's a huge help, actually. It's a bit tough to imagine why I might prefer one of two products, neither of which I've used before, but your description does give me food for thought. As much as I would *like* to make my own stock, and keep intending to, I somehow never get around to it, while I make breakfasts like the one you describe with the griddle pretty frequently, and have noticed before that having to rotate things out of a limited number of pans to keep things warm & cooking has resulted in a plate with one item served not so warm as the others. It sounds like the 6-burner would suit my cooking style a bit better. Many thanks!

Aug 16, 2012
togijiru in Cookware

5-burner vs 6-burner cooktop?

Apologies for a naive question, but what are the differences between a 5 and 6 burner cooktop in the way they're used? I've never had anything but a 4-burner and now that I have a (small) family and cook 2-3 times a day I am finding it gets crowded on there. The cooktops I'm looking at are either 5 or 6 burner in the same 36" space and I'm not entirely clear on how that translates into cooking practices. Many thanks!

Aug 16, 2012
togijiru in Cookware

Alternative to Vitamix blender

Thanks MacGuffin and scubadoo97! That's great to know about the warranty -- will have a look around for used/refurb. We never signed up for a wedding registry because we didn't need anything at the time, but now with a kid and our first home, maybe a 'rich uncle' will come out of the woodwork!

Aug 15, 2012
togijiru in Cookware

Alternative to Vitamix blender

Thanks so much for this helpful post! I have a KitchenAid blender (and have recently been using a friend's Cuisinart while mine is in storage between moves) and neither gives a puree that's smooth enough for what I am trying to make (for my taste). Interested in a Vitamix but the price gives me pause.

Aug 15, 2012
togijiru in Cookware

ADVICE ON BUYING NEW FRIDGE (in USA)?

Hope your new fridge works out well! I've noticed that whenever anybody asks an appliance question, people will pop up and say that "Brand X is crap, I had one (or two) and it had problems X, Y, Z". But what if you ask everybody you know how old their fridge is, for example, and when they last had it serviced? I tried this and what I found was that I knew a few people who'd had a memorably annoying problem and were very vocal about it, while the vast majority simply never thought about their appliances because they worked unremarkably in the ordinary course of things. Hope that helps give you a bit of peace of mind!

Aug 12, 2012
togijiru in Cookware

Help me choose a new dishwasher

I would love to have a Hobart in my home kitchen ... in my dreams. Great info, thank you!

Aug 01, 2012
togijiru in Cookware

Selecting a new range

Do you mind sharing the details of what model you bought? We are in the process of trying to buy and the house we want will need a good bit of kitchen work. What you describe sounds very much like something that would work well for my cooking style. Many thanks!

Jul 31, 2012
togijiru in Cookware

Tell me, what utensil do YOU use to cut shortening into pie dough?

I have used every method mentioned here except the popular two-knives method, will have to try that. I use the pastry cutter for the best combo of speed, ease of use, and ease of cleaning.

Jul 22, 2012
togijiru in Cookware

Favorite Kitchen Fixtures and Features, etc.

Just a quick note to say thanks for all the great tips, I've gleaned some cool ideas from this thread. Would love to hear any more that come to mind!

Jun 30, 2012
togijiru in Cookware

Favorite Kitchen Fixtures and Features, etc.

Nothing to be embarrassed about there! Looks nice and clean and super functional. I'm (about to be) a first-time homeowner and also hoping IKEA will give me some real functionality and usability for a price I can manage. Would love to know how your countertop holds up, especially around the sink.

Jun 30, 2012
togijiru in Cookware