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gragegrl's Profile

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Is Registering for a $2,400 Espresso Maker Rude?

Yes. It is rude, it's presumptuous and distasteful. Sure, your guests aren't required to buy it for you, but why put your guests in the position of feeling obligated to chip in for a pricey gift. I like the giving a gift that the couple can go, hey, "x" gave us that for our wedding. Otherwise it's just a big loot fest and what's the point? I"m all for registries because it does make it easier for guests to buy something that the couple will like, but I think the couple should be gracious when registering and register for reasonably priced items. If a gift-giver wants to go full boar and give them something outlandish, they can buy the couple a bunch of stuff off the registry, or hell, give them cash. I don't see much of a distinction between registering for a $2400 espresso machine and expecting that than expecting cash. And don't even think about that honeymoon registry- it's tacky too, it's a wedding, not a fundraiser for heavens' sakes.

Nov 04, 2011
gragegrl in Features

Melted/burnt external bottom of Creuset grill pan :(

I believe you. I have a vintage Tappan stove from the early 1950's and I messed up the bottom of my Le Creuset skillet. Mine doesn't have the ring like that but the edges of the bottom are pretty messed up. I'll take a photo tomorrow. I did the damage before I learned how to treat the pans, i.e. don't use them at high heat anymore, only medium.

Nov 27, 2010
gragegrl in Cookware

New Le Creuset cast iron skillet and grill pans - how to prep?

When I bought my grill pan a few months ago, I asked the manager outright about all the problems I had heard about cleaning the pan. He said that he often has customers complain about the pan cleaning and it is attributable to 3 very important points that he says people overlook when reading the care and use:
1- Don't use it at high heat, Medium is as high as the Grill Pan needs to be used. Do the water droplet test, if it sizzles up right away, it's too hot. (there's info about this on the website)
2-Don't use it with Olive Oil! Olive Oil's smoke point is too low and it will be a mess. I use grapeseed oil instead, and don't over oil it or it will be sticky when it cools.
3-Don't wash it with a grease cutting soap like Dawn. The manager said they are instructed to tell customers to specifically use Ivory dish soap. Apparently, even though it is enameled, a little bit of residual oil is necessary for keeping foods from sticking, so it does kind of have to be seasoned, but not in the same way that untreaded Cast Iron does.

I have the skillet too, but I don't cook eggs in it. I have one small nonstick pan that I only use for eggs, nothing else. It's just not worth it to me to deal with eggs in any other kind of pan. Maybe if I used a lot of butter, but I don't.

Nov 27, 2010
gragegrl in Cookware

Help Me Love My Le Creuset Grill Pan

Maybe you're heating it too high, that's my guess. And the oil, what kind are you using?

When I bought mine a few months ago, I asked the manager outright about all the problems I had heard about cleaning the pan. He said that he often has customers complain about the pan cleaning and it is attributable to 3 very important points that he says people overlook when reading the care and use:
1- Don't use it at high heat, Medium is as high as the Grill Pan needs to be used. Do the water droplet test, if it sizzles up right away, it's too hot. (there's info about this on the website)
2-Don't use it with Olive Oil! Olive Oil's smoke point is too low and it will be a mess. I use grapeseed oil instead, and don't over oil it or it will be sticky when it cools.
3-Don't wash it with a grease cutting soap like Dawn. The manager said they are instructed to tell customers to specifically use Ivory dish soap. Apparently, even though it is enameled, a little bit of residual oil is necessary for keeping foods from sticking, so it does kind of have to be seasoned.

Le Creuset grill pans - are any of them worth it?

I'm happy with mine! I have the square one with a handle in Carribean Blue. I got it new, but it's a second from the Outlet Store at the Citadel in Los Angeles. I got it for a steal, half off retail. I'm a vegetarian so your needs may be different than mine. When I bought mine a few months ago, I asked the manager outright about all the problems I had heard about cleaning the pan. He said that he often has customers complain about the pan cleaning and it is attributable to 3 very important points that he says people overlook when reading the care and use:
1- Don't use it at high heat, Medium is as high as the Grill Pan needs to be used. Do the water droplet test, if it sizzles up right away, it's too hot. (there's info about this on the website)
2-Don't use it with Olive Oil! Olive Oil's smoke point is too low and it will be a mess. I use grapeseed oil instead, and don't over oil it or it will be sticky when it cools.
3-Don't wash it with a grease cutting soap like Dawn. The manager said they are instructed to tell customers to specifically use Ivory dish soap. Apparently, even though it is enameled, a little bit of residual oil is necessary for keeping foods from sticking, so it does kind of have to be seasoned.

That's what I do, except, I don't use Ivory because I already use more natural, gentle dishwashing soap like Seventh Generation. I don't wash mine every time, only when it's crusty or very greasy. Usually I just towel it off or rinse it off, occasionally I wash it with a little bit of soapy water and I scrub it with a nylon bristle dish brush (oxo). I dry it by hand right away with my flour sack towel. I haven't had to soak it really.

I haven't had any trouble with the quality of this pan as far as the enamel goes, but I haven't had it that long. I haven't had any experience with grill pans from other manufacturer's, I do own one other le Creuset frying pan and the paint on the bottom of it has flecked off the circular base but I think it's from my naive handling when I first got it and my electric burner stove (I probably used it at too high a temp). I've been much more careful with this new one. I honestly love the colors of these pans which is why I went with le Creuset again.

America's Test Kitchen recommended aluminum grill pans over cast iron, but there is no way I'm going to cook in aluminum if I don't have to, particularly at a high heat, there's just too much uncertainty around the safety of aluminum at high temperatures.

Nov 27, 2010
gragegrl in Cookware

Le Creuset grill pan - anyone use theirs?

I'm very happy with mine, but I'm a vegetarian and I don't have easy access to a grill. When I bought mine a few months ago from a Le Creuset outlet, I asked the manager outright about all the problems I had heard about cleaning the pan. He said that he often has people come in and complain about the pan and it is attributable to 3 very important points that he says people overlook when reading the care and use:
1- Don't use it at high heat, Medium is as high as the Grill Pan needs to be used. Do the water droplet test, if it sizzles up right away, it's too hot.
2-Don't use it with Olive Oil!! Olive Oil's smoke point is too low and it will be a mess. I use grapeseed oil instead, and don't over oil it or it will be sticky.
3-Don't wash it with a grease cutting soap like Dawn. He says at the stores they are instructed to tell customers to specifically use Ivory dish soap. Apparently, even though it is enameled, a little bit of residual oil is necessary for keeping foods from sticking.

That's what I do, except, I don't use Ivory because I already use more natural, gentle dishwashing soap like Seventh Generation. I don't wash mine every time, only when it's crusty or very greasy. Usually I just towel it off or rinse it off, occasionally I wash it with a little bit of soapy water and I scrub it with a nylon bristle dish brush (oxo). I dry it by hand right away with my flour sack towel. I haven't had to soak it really.

Nov 27, 2010
gragegrl in Cookware

Know any Milwaukee area restaurants open on Thanksgiving or take out- VEGETARIAN

I'm visiting my family in my native Milwaukee this Thanksgiving, I visit there a few times a year but this is the first Thanksgiving there in many years. My small family has decided at the last minute not to go out but to instead stay home with a pre-prepared, store-bought meal. I don't eat meat and I follow a whole grain, low fat, Mediterranean style diet and I think what I'm going to have to do is pick something up the day before or the morning of. Does anyone have any good recommendations for somewhere I can get good take out that I can reheat that will still be tasty? I don't know if I'll just be stuck with Whole Foods' pre-made counter, or even what the selection is like there for vegetarian food compared to what I'm used to on the West Coast.

Any vegetarian restaurant suggestions, better yet, restaurants that have good vegetarian or vegan options in addition to a regular menu would be really helpful for my week long visit since there will be lots of eating opportunities. I've been to Lulu's, the Palomino, Hi-Fi, Beans and Barley (not that impressed). Is there somewhere in the 3rd Ward I'm missing, perhaps?

Thanks so much!

Nov 22, 2009
gragegrl in Great Lakes

Pesto- Pasadenda Porta Via Foods

Hi all,

This post is about the Pesto you can buy in the take-away fridge at Porta Via foods, it's delicious and I need help figuring out why-

I am trying to figure out just how Porta Via Foods in Pasadena makes their wonderful Pesto, it's bright green and the flavor is equally bright. I have never had pesto (not the take home variety anyway) that is that good. I make my own from our own homegrown basil and mine is never that bright green color, it is always a dark green and slightly bitter. I use Basil, Olive Oil, Lemon, PIne nuts, salt, and I usually thin it with the starchy pasta water

Has anyone else had it? Any ideas on why it is so good?

Oct 14, 2009
gragegrl in Los Angeles Area

The Freshest EGGS in Los Angeles ...

here, here....i'm looking for eggs from pastured chickens too. I live in Pasdena so the SM farmers' market is too much of a haul but Hollywood on Sunday might be doable.
I'm lucky to have a friend who raises a few in her backyard but they're corn fed and don't produce that many eggs and can't rely on it all the time. I would LOVE a tip on where I can get pastured eggs. I was just at Whole Foods and the only thing I saw were eggs from...NEW ZEALAND! Unbelieveable. They were $4 for a half dozen, and there's no way I want to support eggs flying in from anywhere.

Jun 16, 2009
gragegrl in Los Angeles Area

Sprinkles cupcakes

I love the Sprinkles cupcake as well as the Auntie Em's Red Velvet. The Sprinkles cupcake is the only white cake I've ever liked. Dense, moist, delicious. Yes, the frosting is sweet, but not in that grocery store fashion. I did only try a white with chocolate frosting, and on other occasions have had the red velvet and the peanut butter. All delish.

Dec 18, 2008
gragegrl in Los Angeles Area

grassroots market & cafe in pasadena - reopening?

Update- It's December 17th and the store is open but not the cafe. They say another three weeks, hopefully. They're just waiting for the Health Department Inspection.

Dec 17, 2008
gragegrl in Los Angeles Area