Thursday, May 10, 2012

Vitamix Now In The Mix!

We are always looking for products that are useful, powerful, and save space. This new Vitamix blender looks to score in all of those areas near and dear to our hearts. We purchased a Blendtec, as you know if you've read our review, and we love it. Would we have made a different choice had this Vitamix model been available? Hard to say, but it sure would have been in the running.

Designed to fit under most kitchen cabinets, this simple-to-use and versatile blender is a fantastic way to incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet. This blender is a workhorse in the kitchen for chopping, creaming, cooking, kneading, churning and more, like making smoothies, hot soups and frozen desserts in a flash. A favorite brand of ours for year, all Vitamix products are proudly made in the USA. QUIETER MOTOR With a more efficient motor for less overheating and longer life, this machine is built for outstanding performance and unsurpassed durability. Blender features full variable speed and pulse for more intuitive control, and is 40% quieter than the Vitamix CIA with 7 db of sound reduction.COMPACT SIZE FITS UNDER CABINETSThe latest design is built to fit under most kitchen cabinets so unit can stay out of your way and take up very little countertop space. IMPROVED CARAFE The 64-oz., BPA-free, virtually unbreakable Eastman Tritan? carafe is perfect for family meals and entertaining, with a handy pour spout for fast, clean pouring, and a wide, ergonomic handle and base for faster, finer blending. Unit cleans itself with a drop of dish soap and warm waterjust run on high for 30 seconds. Includes a cookbook full of chef-tested recipes, "Getting Started" guide, and an easy-to-follow DVD cooking class tutorial. Seven-year warranty. Carafe is 64 oz.; Blender is 12 1/2 lbs.; 17" hx 7 1/4" lx 8 1/2" w. Made in the USA.

American Quality: Sur La Table products made right here at home!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Sur La Table

Valentine's Day is approaching, and if you are racking your brains on what to get your special person this year, we suggest you take a look at Sur La Table. We have bought some of our favorite cooking items them including Maria's marble cutting board and rolling pin and our adjustable grilling grate and poultry roaster. We always enjoy browsing their stores in Walnut Creek and San Francisco, but searching online is a lot of fun too!

Shop The Valentines Day Store

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Model Trains and Fine China

It's a dreary day in mid January and we are into non sequiturs. First, we wanted to tell you about our latest page that documents our attempt to construct a Z-Scale Train Layout. You can check it out here: Z-Scale Train Layout 

Then, to go in a totally different direction, if you enjoyed our Christmas China page, you might enjoy checking out the latest offerings from Villeroy and Boch. Villeroy and Boch has been around for over 250 years and they have a special place in our heart and our home as they are the makers of our wedding china. Enjoy!

Villeroy & Boch Tableware Modern Grace Pattern


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Chipkos - Merry Flip Flops!

Maria:  One of my favorite presents this Christmas arrived just in the nick of time!  But they were worth the wait.  When the package finally arrived at the door late on Christmas Eve, Gary popped a bow on it, and handed it to me.  I opened it and found my first pair of Chipkos!  What are Chipkos?  Glad you asked!  Chipkos are basically flip-flops, but I would have to say they are the most comfortable flip-flops I have ever worn.  I have had them a week, and other than going to work, or putting on shoes because of the rain, I have basically been wearing them non-stop.  So, how did Gary find these?  I will let him explain.

Gary: The idea came to me in an e-mail from Chipkos (sometimes the best ideas just fall in your lap). I had never heard of them, and I personally am not a fan of flip-flops, but I know that you are, so I was intrigued. They were new, different and looked cool. The price was right and the fact they protect 100 square feet of rain forest with each purchase was a nice bonus. So I picked out a pair of white ones for you for Christmas and left the rest in Santa's hands.

Maria:  So, why do I like my Chipkos so much?  Well, first of all, they feel great!  They are light yet substantial feeling, if that makes any sense.  The foot bed is made from sustainable raffia fiber, and something about it just feels so good on my feet.  Cool and comfy.  The straps are a nice width - not too wide, not too narrow.  They are made of canvas and, again, very comfortable.  According to the Chipkos website, the midsole is made from something called "FormCush" which molds naturally to your feet.  Whatever it is, it feels great!  I also like hearing the "thwack, thwack" sound they make when I walk.  Of course, looks are important too.  The most distinctive thing about the Chipkos is the square toe.  I think it looks really cool, distinctive and appealing.  The materials all seem to be very high quality.  Of course, I've only had my pair for a week, so I can't say yet how durable they are,  But I am confident I will be enjoying them for a long time!

Gary:  They do look really good on you sweetheart. Like we are on vacation at a nice resort!

Maria:  A vacation at a nice resort!  Sounds like the perfect way to start the New Year!

Gary: Yes, well I am afraid we will need to content ourselves to living vicariously through your Chipkos for now. As a gift giver, I am very pleased with my choice. Chipkos really came through for me. Now, to be fair, they did have some shipping issues. I ordered the Chipkos on December 5, received a shipping confirmation on December 6th and then didn't see or hear anything for two weeks after that. I sent an e-mail to Chipkos customer support and heard back from them immediately. The package arrived just is time on Christmas Eve (we open our presents on Christmas Eve) so all's well that ends well.

Maria:  Yes, Chipkos must have a direct line to Santa!  I was so happy my gift arrived on time.   They were the perfect thing to wear on Christmas Day.  We have the family over for Christmas dinner, and with all the people and cooking, it can get warm.  I stayed nice and cool in my red skirt and white Chipkos, and I think they looked very festive too.  All, in all, a great choice, Sweetheart.  Good job!

398627_Chipkos Approach

398627_Gift that Saves the Planet.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Christmas China and Nativity Sets

With Thanksgiving and Black Friday behind us, we are officially into Christmas season. If, like Maria, you are a fan of Christmas China, then you might want to take a look at our Christmas China page for a rundown of all the special table settings available. We also have done a page on Nativity Sets - there are many beautiful sets on the market over a wide variety of price ranges.

For those of you with a barbecue or grilling aficionado in the family, check out our "Have a Merry Barbecue Christmas" page where you can find gift ideas that will fit any budget.

And finally, for a little Christmas fun, how about casting your vote on our "Santa vs The Angel" page where two of the all time great Christmas movies square off.

Yes indeed, it is beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

398627_Chipkos Footwear - Protect Rain Forest with every Purchase - Use Promo Code AHIMSA for 10% off.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sounding off about Blenders

It's Thanksgiving week and we thought this would be a good time to revisit the great blender debate: Blendtec vs Vitamix. You might want to check out our Blendtec review to see why we like the Blendtec, but we think the Vitamix is a great choice too. Check out this video (one in a series of 10) which compares the noise levels of the respective blenders. We found it interesting and we think you will, too.

Meanwhile, with Christmas fast approaching, check out our latest page on setting your table with Christmas China.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Grass Fed vs Grain Fed Beef

This week we take a look at the pros and cons of Grass Fed Beef versus Grain Fed Beef. They look different, they cook different and they taste different. So, check out the story on our new page Grass Fed Beef versus Grain Fed Beef . We aren't saying one is better than the other, but we do believe you should know the differences.

Meanwhile, is it true that grass fed cows are better dancers than grain fed cows? Check it out!