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How to spend Williams Sonoma Gift Card?

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sailorblue May 12, 2008 09:39 AM

We were fortunate enought to receive gift cards to Williams Sonoma totaling $200 as wedding presents. In addition, because our friends and family know how much we love to cook, we were also given a blender, food processer, stand mixer, panini press and a hand-held immersion blender.... all of which we love! Any suggestions on how to best use the gift cards? Any appliance/equipment that you have that you can't live without that we should get? Thanks in advance for your help.

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    AMFM RE: sailorblue May 12, 2008 09:44 AM

    if you like to grill they actually have some great looking grill tools/accessories on there now. i just bought a grill tray that you can cook on, grill on, serve on, refrigerate, freeze (still serve on) and a sauce container with built in brush that seals (my third one - because the first 2 people i gave it to love it!). there are some other things that look good too. they're currently under favorite father's day gifts.

    1 Reply
    1. re: AMFM
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      sailorblue RE: AMFM May 12, 2008 09:51 AM

      Nice idea but we live in an apt in a city so grilling is out of the question

    2. NYCkaren RE: sailorblue May 12, 2008 09:47 AM

      Sounds like you got quite a haul!
      Do you like to bake? I love their collection of cake pans. I got a WS gift card for my birthday and treated myself to the sandcastle bundt pan. I've used it several times. The cake always comes out easily and looks so cute.

      2 Replies
      1. re: NYCkaren
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        AMFM RE: NYCkaren May 12, 2008 10:30 AM

        do you do anything special to get the cake to come out? i have it and have only used it once but... you don't really want to flour it because it changes the look of the cake! thanks.

        1. re: AMFM
          NYCkaren RE: AMFM May 12, 2008 11:00 AM

          I use Baker's Joy, the spray-on stuff that has flour in it. Works fine.

      2. MMRuth RE: sailorblue May 12, 2008 09:55 AM

        Do you have a Le Creuset Dutch Oven - if you don't, I'd get one of those. Otherwise, I'd just have fun buying things that strike your fancy. I've had good luck finding cookbooks on sale there as well. Another option would be to buy some Riedel wine glasses, if that's something that you need.

        1. Cpt Wafer RE: sailorblue May 12, 2008 09:57 AM

          How are you fixed for prep knives? A good chef's knife or maybe a santoku is a true delight.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Cpt Wafer
            MMRuth RE: Cpt Wafer May 12, 2008 09:58 AM

            Yes - I love the Henckel's santoku that I bought there with a gift certificate. Now use it more than any other knife that I have.

            1. re: MMRuth
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              ElissaInPlaya RE: MMRuth May 13, 2008 01:17 PM

              Second this recommendation I LOVE my Henckel's santoku, and also use my Henckel's chef knife all of the time.

          2. Gio RE: sailorblue May 12, 2008 10:01 AM

            Since you didn't mention a coffee pot, or pots and pans I'm assuming those necessary kitchen items were probably Shower gifts. Although you can't use an outdoor grill, a stove top grill pan is very useful. WS has several good ones for around fifty dollars.

            6 Replies
            1. re: Gio
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              sailorblue RE: Gio May 12, 2008 10:07 AM

              stove top grill pan sounds great! Also, a friend suggested that we get a pressure cooker or a slow cooker, neither of which we have. Does anyone have an experience with either? Would it be useful for us to have?

              1. re: sailorblue
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                AMFM RE: sailorblue May 12, 2008 10:31 AM

                advice in that direction - do like my grill pan but would probably have bought a square one if i were to do it again. hard to say why but it's sometimes difficult to fit things on the round one. just my opinion.

                1. re: AMFM
                  MMRuth RE: AMFM May 12, 2008 10:43 AM

                  I have a round one too, and I think that you are right that a square one is more practical in terms of fitting things on it.

                  I don't have a pressure cooker or a slow cooker and don't think I've ever eaten anything from either - just hasn't been something that I feel I need, as I usually make things that take a lot of time on the weekends.

                  1. re: MMRuth
                    goodhealthgourmet RE: MMRuth May 13, 2008 04:39 PM

                    another vote for the square grill pan [instead of a round one].

                2. re: sailorblue
                  Gio RE: sailorblue May 12, 2008 10:38 AM

                  Don't have a pressure cooker, but Do have a slow cooker...a 4 qt and a 6 qt and bought 2 Gourmet Magazine slow cooker cookbooks. I'm still trying to figure out the correct timing, but it has been a great way to cook and run. We start it in the morning and by about 6:00 PM-ish the food is cooked. I must say though, I don't use either size as much as I thought I would.... On-line recipes abound as do hints and tips about use. Have fun shopping!!

                  P.S. As for the grill pan... we have a non-stick/round one and other than a wonderful well seasoned huge sautee pan, and a wok, it's the most used pan in the kitchen. We cook everything from bacon/meats to fish, to vegetables....

                  1. re: sailorblue
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                    FallsChurch2 RE: sailorblue May 12, 2008 03:13 PM

                    Do get a slow cooker! I got one as a gift this past Xmas and have gone from skepticism to total conversion: I've cooked BBQ pork ribs; wine-braised beef short ribs; pots of beans, caramelized onions for French onion soup, used it as a humidifier with eucalyptus oil when I got a chest cold (January) and allergies (April), and am now using the crock to let my wet dough slow-rise (the Mark Bittman no-knead bread Rx) and to also bake the loaf. The All-Clad slow cooker will find much use in your kitchen. It's also a Cooks Illustrated Best Buy.

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                  RGC1982 RE: sailorblue May 12, 2008 02:54 PM

                  The answer depends on what you have and think you will use. I am a gadget and cookware person, so Le Creuset dutch ovens, or perhaps and All-Clad LTD double griddle come to mind. On the other hand, you may be short on linens for your next party and the sale bin has just the right items.

                  My advice, if all were even, is to invest in cookware pieces from either Le Creuset or even All Clad, as William Sonoma markets their full line. If you are fixed for cookware, consider bakeware. Quarter and half sheet pans are invaluable.

                  Finally, they have a great selection of utensils. I think I can never have enough locking tongs, or miniature ice cream scoops, etc.

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                    Pampatz RE: sailorblue May 12, 2008 06:27 PM

                    Put me firmly in the Le Creuset Dutch Oven camp. Got mine in the 70's and it's still one of the work horses in my kitchen. Gadgets come and go, but the Le Creuset lasts forever.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Pampatz
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                      AMFM RE: Pampatz May 12, 2008 07:07 PM

                      i really love mine too but i bought it at a le creuset outlet so it was a great value as well.

                      1. re: Pampatz
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                        Briner RE: Pampatz May 13, 2008 01:52 PM

                        ^^^^^^^^^ Agree completely

                        I often think "how did I cook BEFORE I got this baby?"

                      2. vvvindaloo RE: sailorblue May 13, 2008 05:14 PM

                        I would put all of the $ toward a large enameled cast iron pot. Le Creuset or Staub. They are incredibly versatile and you'll have them for many years. IMO, this is the perfect opportunity to make such an investment, if you haven't already.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: vvvindaloo
                          beauxgoris RE: vvvindaloo May 14, 2008 01:09 PM

                          ^^I was going to post the same thing. Either a 5qt or 7qt. enameled dutch oven. It will last you (with proper care) the rest of your life and has endless uses.

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