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VitaMix Blender, is it worth it?

It's extremely easy. I always start with preheated liquid when I cook in my Vitamix because it's faster (and hence quieter). Just put everything in the container; I put the flour in last and let the vortex suck it down. Then just walk it up to either 10 on the G-Series dial (my guess is the preset for soup will do the trick as well) or to Variable 10 and then to High on the C-Series. It should be done in 4 or so minutes. Easy-peasy! Now, for cheese, I take it out of the container and just whisk in the cheese by hand because it's easier to clean. The bechamel is plenty hot enough to melt the cheese.

Dec 19, 2014
MacGuffin in Cookware

VitaMix Blender, is it worth it?

I'll check it out! I'm lucky enough to get real Italian Nutella here in NYC and while it tastes better than the stuff that's produced for local sale, I think yours is likely of higher quality. It's nice to be able to control the ingredients, which is what's great about an appliance like this.

Dec 19, 2014
MacGuffin in Cookware

irish whole meal flour

You got the real deal! I've used both the Coarse and the Extra Coarse. Since it didn't seem to make a whole lot of difference, I just stick with the Extra Coarse now, mixed with a bit of the Cream.

irish whole meal flour

That's NOT the real thing. If you're going to order flour by mail (including the steep shipping), you might as well order Odlums from the aforementioned foodireland.com . Irish flour is unique, white and wholemeal.

VitaMix Blender, is it worth it?

You will LOVE roasted cashew butter--raw's good, too, BTW. And I also suggest pecan-almond (I got the tip from a demonstrator several years ago). Use roasted, unsalted almonds and either raw or roasted pecan pieces, which I put in the container first because they're softer than the almonds. The demonstrator used half of each but I prefer ⅓ or ¼ pecans because they have a strong flavor and I like to taste the almonds, too. You can add a pinch each of coconut sugar and salt if you like. I promise you'll think you died and went to heaven. :)

BTW, did you use hazelnuts for your copycat Nutella?

Dec 18, 2014
MacGuffin in Cookware

VitaMix Blender, is it worth it?

Y'know, I've never been crazy about peanut butter (which puts me squarely in the minority). Have you tried cashew butter? If you do, go with roasted, unsalted nuts and go for pieces rather than whole nuts--they're considerably cheaper.

Dec 18, 2014
MacGuffin in Cookware

VitaMix Blender, is it worth it?

I like the Champion a LOT and used it for years (it still works like new); I now have a Norwalk but wouldn't recommend it for most newbies. If you want to discuss this further, we can take it here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4377... . There are other juicing/juicer boards as well, some to which I've contributed.

Dec 17, 2014
MacGuffin in Cookware

VitaMix Blender, is it worth it?

After all these years, I finally made nut butter (pecan-almond) yesterday to take to a party. A snap!

Dec 17, 2014
MacGuffin in Cookware

VitaMix Blender, is it worth it?

Well, semantics is pretty important--words DO have an exact meaning and if you want to put one over on your family, that's between you and them and more power to you all (what's important is that they're eating well). And the fact of the matter is that you're still sweetening what you're making, which is unnecessary with juice. Juicing accomplishes different ends than whole produce. Is one better than the other? Depends on your needs. And for every nutritionist who claims one thing, there's another who'll claim something else (if you want consistency, talk to dieticians instead).

Incidentally, fresh juice is not fiber-free. The insoluble fiber is removed, the soluble fiber (and most produce has at least some) isn't. I've experienced the benefits of both processes for 26+ years; I feel I get it all. The only reason it can be claimed that there's more nutrition in "whole juice" is that the juice often isn't completely extracted during the home-juicing process and some of it (and its attendant nutrients) remains in the pulp. Insoluble fiber has no nutrients; its function is to help to push food through the GI tract, period (not at all a bad thing, mind you). My juicer subjects pulp to enormous pressure and extracts the juice through cloth--what's left is so lacking in nutrients that even horses and rabbits won't eat it--resulting in a nutritional powerhouse that's unbelievably rich and delicious. :) Again, I get it all. I always recommend that those who toe the Vitamix party line expand their horizons and do both (although if forced to choose, I'd say to go with the Vitamix). A Champion juicer and a Vitamix make a nice duo (see Chef AJ's wonderful YouTube videos).

Dec 17, 2014
MacGuffin in Cookware
2

VitaMix Blender, is it worth it?

They really look cute. I wouldn't buy one because I still use my tall wet container for small amounts but it's a good workaround for those with a G-Series machine who want to blend <2 cups or don't feel like dealing with the full-size container for a small recipe.

Dec 17, 2014
MacGuffin in Cookware

VitaMix Blender, is it worth it?

I used to say that my Vita-Mix and Norwalk juicer were like an old married couple that lived happily side-by-side on my kitchen counter . . . until I moved and they had to separate. :( Still, although they have several overlapping functions, juicing isn't one of them.

Dec 17, 2014
MacGuffin in Cookware

Stoopidest (sic) question ever: oatmeal

"IMO, it is the dust that makes rolled oats gluey. That's why the instant oatmeal is the worst and has that awful carboard taste and texture. The oats are too small and the dust created by chopping them up makes them pasty."

Oh, I don't know. Flahavan's Progress Oatlets are very small and twice-processed but somehow, the effect is an extremely creamy bowl of oats. I was surprised at how much I liked them. And FWIW, I like jumbo flakes, pinhead, steel-cut (Flahavan's over McCann's), various grades (I have some fine-milled that a friend brought back at my request for baking) . . . it's just how the mood strikes me. One thing I recommend, though, is dry toasting (carefully, they can scorch fast), then adding your cooking liquid, then cooking as directed. And a quick way of preparing non-rolled oats is this one I stumbled on: http://tallcloverfarm.com/977/steel-c... .

Dec 17, 2014
MacGuffin in General Topics

VitaMix Blender, is it worth it?

Smoothies would be more accurate. I had originally responded to CherylNorman's post that claimed ". . . better juice from a Vitamix than a juicer," etc. I agree with you that it's not juice.

Dec 16, 2014
MacGuffin in Cookware

VitaMix Blender, is it worth it?

My guess is that you're in the minority (especially given that Vitamix's recipes call for sweetener) but regardless, that's great. However, what you're drinking still isn't juice.

Dec 16, 2014
MacGuffin in Cookware

rice vinegar vs. rice wine vinegar

The problem with Eden's mirin is that it contains salt. They used to re-brand Mitoku mirin many years ago; it was salt-free back then. Mitoku has a fabulous artisanal product line, including (brown) rice vinegar; you obviously know your mirin!

Dec 15, 2014
MacGuffin in General Topics

VitaMix Blender, is it worth it?

You don't get juice from a Vitamix, you get diluted purée that has to be sweetened with something to make it palatable (so much for that "lower sugar"). Juice is by definition the liquid part of fruits and vegetables--if it includes "membranes and all," it's produce. I've been juicing for the same number of years that I've been Vitamixing--26 and counting. They're not the same and Vitamix's "whole juice" shpiel is the only thing about their marketing that annoys me.

Dec 13, 2014
MacGuffin in Cookware

Pepsi Throwback replaced by "Pepsi made with Real Sugar"

Pepsi has done it again. Sierra Mist, my go-to lemon-lime soda that was made with sugar and natural flavors has now replaced some of its sugar with [drumroll] you guessed it--STEVIA!!!! No, you can't get it anymore with just sugar. They already make a diet version--why the hell (and that's not the expletive my fingers are itching to type) couldn't they have left the non-diet version alone? Obviously, they lost this longtime customer.

Are we to believe that Pepsi's corporate morons who make these decisions are actually interested in selling their product? Because the available evidence doesn't support their taking into account the preferences of human consumers.

Dec 13, 2014
MacGuffin in General Topics

Vitamix pro series 750 vs. Vitamix Vita-Prep 3 - Opinions Needed

So do I! The little S30 is now available in candy apple red--I saw it at Williams-Sonoma and it's adorable.

Dec 13, 2014
MacGuffin in Cookware

Vitamix pro series 750 vs. Vitamix Vita-Prep 3 - Opinions Needed

Very true and no color choices either. :)

Dec 12, 2014
MacGuffin in Cookware

Vitamix pro series 750 vs. Vitamix Vita-Prep 3 - Opinions Needed

"Shorter/wider jar" is an advantage for under the counter but it has its downside. It's not practical if you need to blend <2 cups, which is often the case with me. I find myself as often as not using my Prep 3's container on the 7500 base unless I'm making soup or other recipes that exceed 16 oz. I also prefer the tall container for frozen desserts--I think the narrow base does a better job of blending them quickly and completely.

Dec 12, 2014
MacGuffin in Cookware

Vitamix pro series 750 vs. Vitamix Vita-Prep 3 - Opinions Needed

Hey, lean away. I own both a Prep 3 and a 7500 so you can pretty much take what I'm telling you to the bank. I also own a 5000 which the Prep replaced because I got a terrific deal on it (long story, not germane to this discussion). The Prep 3 is LOUD. All Vitamixes are loud but the Prep 3 is a LOT louder than the 5000 or the 7500 (which is noticeably quieter than the 5000). Should you screw up with your Prep OR if there's a manufacturer's defect, it ships back and forth at your expense, not Vitamix's. The Prep's warranty is 3-year/one-year--call the commercial division about it--and it covers less than any of the household warranties, e.g. the bearings in my blade assembly were stripped under warranty and Vitamix picked up the tab. That same part is covered under a ONE-year warranty on the Prep and YOU pay to ship the replacement. A book of commercial recipes ships with the Prep and it's pretty much assumed you know how to use the machine because you're familiar with it from culinary school (and yes, there's a learning curve--ignore it at your peril). No household recipes, no DVD tutorial, no BPA-free container (they don't hold up to commercial use), no easy-to-remove lid. And I'd also add that if you MUST have a commercial machine, why not go for a Prep 2? It's a lot cheaper than its louder sibling and it performs exactly the same. I reiterate: that extra HP powers the fan so that the machine runs cooler longer with less risk of tripping the overload protector--if you don't believe me, pick up the phone and call the commercial division.

I agree with the comments below. If you're concerned about price, go for a refurb. And since you're so impressed with the Prep, and it lacks the 750's pre-sets, go for a household model that doesn't have them--why pay an extra $100 or so if you're "really leaning towards the Vita-Prep." I would NEVER recommend that anyone buy a Prep for home use. The only time I use mine these days is if I need Variable 1, which is quite a bit slower than 1 on my 7500.

Dec 12, 2014
MacGuffin in Cookware

rice vinegar vs. rice wine vinegar

Probably more than anyone wanted to know about this subject but seems to indicate that they're indeed different: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rice_vin... . Note that if one clicks the "rice wine" link, rice wine isn't, "strictly speaking," wine (any more than, e.g., soy milk is milk).

Dec 08, 2014
MacGuffin in General Topics

Perfex Pepper Mill Problem

It's a matter of taste, I guess. I use salt so sparingly that it's unlikely any flavoring in such a small amount would be a turnoff. I wouldn't bother using this or regular Maldon in a mill because it crumbles so easily but if you want to grind damp salt, i.e. sel gris, Kyocera has a mill that can handle it.

Dec 05, 2014
MacGuffin in Cookware

Perfex Pepper Mill Problem

No, it wasn't I who broke my Perfex (knock wood). And I have both the salt and the pepper; my pepper mill dates from back when there was no P on the chute because Perfex only manufactured pepper mills then. Both are 4 ½".

Just for the hell of it, I'm going to check to see if Zabar's still sells Perfexes. I don't have a sales slip but the mill is still in its original box and it has a Zabar's sticker on it. I wonder if they'd honor a warranty if need be.

Dec 05, 2014
MacGuffin in Cookware

Pepsi Throwback replaced by "Pepsi made with Real Sugar"

The corporate mentality really is lacking, isn't it? I wonder if anyone at Pepsi bothers to read boards like this. My guess is, "nyet."

Dec 05, 2014
MacGuffin in General Topics

VitaMix Blender, is it worth it?

There's really no "best." With the exception of the two-speed model (NOT recommended), the only differences are the cookbooks (which have a lot of overlap with each other) and the pre-sets which are a matter of preference and have no bearing on performance. And yes, with the exception of the motors in the home-use machines, they're still made in Cleveland. :)

Dec 05, 2014
MacGuffin in Cookware

VitaMix Blender, is it worth it?

"but after I started paying $5/day for fresh smoothies at work, I realized I could super easily do this at home with a super blender.

Any your own likely taste better than what you paid $5 for, too. I started making smoothies when I got my first Vita-Mix in 1988 and quickly got creative with them. There's no way something bought on the outside can be as good as what I make at home.

Dec 04, 2014
MacGuffin in Cookware

Best website to buy tea?

Try tasting them for a REAL turnoff. :O~

Dec 03, 2014
MacGuffin in General Topics

VitaMix Blender, is it worth it?

I was recently a victim of office theft, too. To add insult to injury, I'm certain it was a security guard making rounds.

Dec 03, 2014
MacGuffin in Cookware

VitaMix Blender, is it worth it?

People don't realize you can actually cook white sauces--no lumps, no scorching!

Dec 02, 2014
MacGuffin in Cookware