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FOOD
January 3, 2007 | Leslie Brenner
We've had our flings with one-handed spring-loaded peppermills and push-button peppermills with built-in flashlights. But in the end, there's nothing like a Peugeot. If anyone makes a better pepper grinder, we've never found it. The 196-year-old French firm has some experience with mills: It began life as a grain mill in eastern France and made its name as a manufacturer of hand-cranked coffee mills. And yes, it's the same company that makes cars. Why is this peppermill so good?
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FOOD
December 20, 2006 | Amy Scattergood, Times Staff Writer
Attention, procrastinators! It's not too late to pick up some terrific gifts for the food lovers on your list. A gorgeous Parmesan cellar, a cunning hot chocolate pot, a reissue of a classic cookbook -- here are some terrific ideas to suit any budget. --- 1. BOWL 'EM OVER Our lady of the ladle: Revisit Julia Child's groundbreaking "French Chef" TV series with these two DVDs, each of which contains 18 episodes of her first PBS cooking show.
HOME & GARDEN
December 14, 2006 | Jake Klein, Special to The Times
AT Growing Wild, a go-to destination in Manhattan Beach for unusual flower arrangements, customers clamor for seashell wreaths this time of year. Intricately woven pine and maple branches are decorated with beautiful tropical shells. Owners (and twins) Lee, above left, and Lisa Hoven, say the pieces lend a breezy, beachy, distinctly Southern Californian air to the holiday home. "Because of our proximity to the water," adds saleswoman Scottie Wells, "the seashell wreaths just make sense."
FOOD
December 6, 2006 | Betty Hallock
It's amazing what they can do with Plynyl these days. These woven vinyl, easy-cleanup place mats created by New York designer Sandy Chilewich come in ever more colors and patterns. "Engineered squares" are produced with complex gradations of color -- green, orange, turquoise. A "spun" vinyl has swirled strands that conjure some kind of industrial lace. Other textures evoke sewn-together ribbons or bamboo or cool steel mesh. About $15 each.
HOME & GARDEN
November 30, 2006 | Jeff Spurrier, Special to The Times
SOMETHING is happening to the house. It's vanishing. First it was the paneled dishwasher and refrigerator, which seamlessly concealed themselves amid the kitchen cabinetry. Then pantry shelves began hiding in pullout walls, and knife blocks took cover in carefully camouflaged compartments. Now, the humble microwave oven has been banished to an under-the-counter drawer.
HOME & GARDEN
October 12, 2006 | David A. Keeps, Times Staff Writer
"PEOPLE who are coming of age now completely missed out on the vintage vibe of cocktail culture," says Joe Keeper, owner of Bar Keeper in Silver Lake. His tonic? A cool blend of furniture, stemware and party accessories with a twist. Along with contemporary items including Mexican hand-blown double old-fashioneds, plates emblazoned with skulls and shatter-resistant crystal Tritan wineglasses from Schott Zwiesel, vintage wares fill Keeper's shelves.
HOME & GARDEN
October 5, 2006 | David A. Keeps, Times Staff Writer
THOUGH she has French cottage furnishings and folk art stalls at the Wertz Brothers Antique Mart in Santa Monica, Tauni Brustin's Topanga home is where her heart is. Brustin, in the mirror above, has transformed the terraced backyard into an enchanting garden filled with antiques, a complement to her nearby storefront Main St. U.S.A.
FOOD
July 26, 2006 | Amy Scattergood
It looks a lot like the kickstand on your kid's bicycle, but it's a bar gadget: a muddler, used to crush fresh fruit, herbs and spices -- such as are necessary for some of the best summer drinks. The idea is to release the oils and juices before shaking or stirring with other ingredients. Although traditional muddlers are wooden, stainless-steel ones are often favored by chefs and bartenders because they're cleaner.
FOOD
July 26, 2006 | Betty Hallock
The tabletop pickle pot: It's fun just to say it, and for those who don't speak Japanese, easier than pronouncing "shokutaku tsukemono ki." The small plastic container makes quick pickles of cucumbers, carrots, cabbage, eggplant, burdock root, radishes, matsutake mushrooms ... an endless variety of tsukemono. Traditionally, vegetables for pickling were placed in wooden or ceramic tubs, weighted down with large stones -- no room for those in the kitchen.
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