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Le Creuset | Manolo's Basement of the Bargains
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A Starring (Casse)role

During the holidays, many of us spend a lot of time feeding more people than we usually would. Friends, family, co-workers, they’re all hungry, and they all know what a good cook you are. It’s possible, though, that you don’t have enough large cooking vessels to handle all that food.

Of course, you can always buy more. But if you can get top-quality cookware at moderate prices, that’s the way to go.

Enter Williams-Sonoma. They’re having a huge sale right now on Le Creuset  cookware.

Le Creuset Cocotte This is the four quart Le Creuset Cocotte. It’s a lovely oval casserole that will be perfect, whether you’re making a large casserole or a whole braised chicken. It’s available in three different colors that go from oven to stove top to tabletop equally gracefully.

Best of all, it’s a great deal at Williams-Sonoma. Regularly priced at $290.00, it’s on sale until 12/13 for just $119.96!

They cooked up the deal, now you can cook up a storm.

Creme de Le Creuset

Longtime readers know my passion for Le Creuset cookware. The enamel-coated cast iron is the perfect combination of heat distribution and non-reactive surface to make sure your food is evenly cooked without a metallic tinge to the flavor. It’s also attractive enough to grace nearly any table top, and so heavy that it makes a great impromptu set of weights for strength training, as well.

Unfortunately, the price can be just as heavy lifting as the pots…unless, of course, you know where to shop.

Le Creuset 2.75-qt. Round Enameled Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, Flame This is the Le Creuset Cast Iron Dutch Oven in the popular Flame color. It holds 2.7 quarts for perfect braising, stewing, or steaming on a larger scale. It’s safe for both stove top and oven. It can go in the dishwasher, though handwashing is recommended. Don’t worry, my Le Creuset pot cleans in a flash by hand, no matter what I’ve put in it. Oh, and it comes with a lifetime warranty, too. If you ever manage to find a way to break it, the company will stand by their word and take care of the problem.

And about that price thing, well, the recommended retail price is $160.00. Cooking.com usually gives customers a five-cent discount on that, which isn’t much of a difference as a general rule. Right now, however, they’re giving us a real break on the price. They’ve knocked it down to just $109.95! That’s a savings of more than $50.00, which is nothing to sneeze at.

Oh, and if you’re not wild about the flame color, don’t worry. It comes in seven other colors, all on sale. Speaking of which, there are a couple of other Le Creuset bargains going at Cooking.com just now that you may be interested in as well.

Bon appetit!

Wok This Way

I love Chinese food. I have all my life. I may come from the transparent peoples, but I’ve been eating with chopsticks almost as long as I’ve been eating with a fork. I have fond memories of the nights my mother would announce that she was going to do a stir fry; watching her chop the meat and veggies just so, carefully putting out ramekins with measured amounts of the right spices and sauces so she could toss them into the mix at the crucial moment without stopping to pull out teaspoons, hearing the oil start to sizzle as she added the meat to the wok…and then the scents rising from the stove.

Best of all was the moment when she would serve up heaping bowls of steamed rice and ladle up the goodies from her wok. I’d eagerly attack the fragrant dish with my chopsticks. When I was done with my portion, I’d always hope there was a bit more so I could have seconds.  On those nights, I rarely cared whether there was dessert. I just wanted more stir fry. I want to relive those nights, but in order to do it, I’m going to need a wok.

Le Creuset Wok I’m thinking I might want one like this one by Le Creuset. Regular readers of this space will already be well aware of my fondness for Le Creuset. It’s the best cookware I’ve ever used, it’s hard wearing, and it’s so attractive it makes great serveware as well.

As much as I loved my mother’s traditional iron wok, this one is super easy care, far prettier, and with its slightly flattened bottom, it’s stable on the stovetop without a special ring to hold it steady. Unlike so many modern woks, though, its shape is traditional enough that it works like the original article. All too many modern woks are really shaped more like slightly rounded saute pans, which just doesn’t cook the same way. The glass lid is also shaped correctly, but allows you to see what’s going on inside, unlike the classic ones.

If you’re looking to do traditional Chinese cooking in a modern world, this could be the perfect solution for you.

Oh, and did I mention the price? The retail value is  $225.00, but Williams Sonoma has it on sale in this fresh, cheerful lemongrass color for just $139.99.

Anyone else up for Chinese food tonight?

Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones, but Pots and Pans Excite Me

Have I mentioned lately how much I love Le Creuset? A whole lot, as a matter of fact. And that’s why I got so thrilled when I saw this deal at Williams Sonoma on a 6-piece set of the good stuff.

6-Piece Le Creuset Cookware Set The set consists of: a 5 1/2 qt covered Dutch oven, 10″ square grill pan, a 14″ x 10″ baker, and a 3 1/2 qt covered braiser. It’s shown in the Sonoma green color, but if you’re not wild about that, there are eight other colors to choose from, all at the same great price.

What’s the price? Well, the retail value of the set is $990.00, but right now at Williams Sonoma, you can get this amazing set for just $549.95!

Get Cooking!

Bargain alert! Bargain alert!

Today is a great day to shop at Williams Sonoma. Why? This is why:

LeCreuset 6-piece Cookware Set Williams Sonoma has an exclusive deal with Le Creuset on this incredible six-piece cookware set. The set includes: a 5 1/2qt covered Dutch oven, a 10″ square grill pan, a 14″ x 10″ baker, and a covered 3 1/2qt braiser. That’s enough to get any serious cook off and running!

The retail price for all of that would be a steep $990.00…and it would be worth every penny. But why pay what it’s worth when you can get a great deal? Right now, through this exclusive deal, you can get the whole shebang for just $549.95!

I’m crazy about this lucious, citrussy yellow called ‘Citron,’ but you can have the same deal in eight other fabulous shades, as well. And if the six pieces aren’t enough for you (or you have an extra couple hundred dollars lying around), be sure to check out the nine-piece set and the twelve-piece set.

First You Take a Little Pot….

Friends, I have moved up in the world. A few days ago I put my money where my mouth has been all this time and bought my first ever Le Creuset cooking pot. Here’s the one I got:

Le Creuset 2.75-qt. Enameled Soup Pot, Cobalt Blue Okay, mine is red, but you get the idea. It’s a lovely 2.75qt soup pot. It goes on the stove top or in the oven. And while it’s designed to make soup, it works for a variety of things. I cooked last night’s lentil stew with sausages in it, and not only did everything cook perfectly, clean up was a breeze!

Of course it doesn’t hurt that there’s a hell of a deal on it at Cooking.com. Yes, that’s right, it’s on sale. The regular price is a whopping $164.95, but it’s on sale at just $99.99.

Le Creuset for less than a hundred dollars? I’ll eat to that!

Great Cookware to the Nines

Regular readers of this space already know what I think of Le Crueset enameled cast iron cookware. It conducts heat perfectly, will go from cooktop to oven with ease, looks great on the table, cleans easily, and provides a great iron-pumping workout when being transported. In addition to all of those great features, it’s also some of the sturdiest cookware on the market.

Of course, there is a downside. That would be the fact that the pricetag puts it into the realm of fantasy for many of us.

That’s why this deal at Chef’s Catalog makes me so happy.

Le Crueset 9-Piece Cookware Set The 9-piece set includes: one 3 1/2 qt Dutch oven and lid, one 1 1/4 qt saucepan and lid, one 9″ skillet, one 6 qt stockpot and lid, and one 1 1/2 qt round casserole and lid. The set comes in your choice of the following colors: cherry (as shown), cobalt, or Caribbean.

If you were paying full price for this set, you’d probably shell out some $625.00. The good news is, you’re not going to pay full price. You’re going to head over to Chef’s Catalog and pay the extreme discount price of $399.99! That means you’ll save $225.00.

Spend the savings on a grand feast for all your friends.

Friday Finds Under Fifty: Food-Related Finds

Let’s face it. The economy’s in a mess. The holidays are coming up. The cost of living the superfantastic life isn’t going down anytime soon. And so it is that I’ve decided to add a new feature to the Basement of the Bargains: Friday Finds Under Fifty. Drop by each Friday to see a new set of superfantastic luxury goodies marked down to the sorts of prices you’d expect to pay for not-so superfantastic items. Give them to birthday boys and girls, be generous to new brides and grooms, wrap them and put them under a tree, keep them for yourself…just don’t miss these deals!

For our first article, I thought I’d go seasonal. After all, it’s November. Thanksgiving and a lot of other holidays that lead to big dinners with family and friends are on their way.

Our first deal is from Cooking.com on a beautiful and practical set of baking dishes by Le Creuset:

Le Creuset Baking Dish Set Cherry The set includes one 12″ rectangular baker and one 9″ square. Whether you’re baking a casserole, roasting root vegetables, or making a batch of delicious brownies, you’ll be set. Choose from four different attractive colors to fit your holiday table. The sturdy stoneware is great for oven or microwave and cleans up in a jiffy. It’s also pretty enough to grace any table.

The regular price on this set is $74.95, but right now Cooking.com has it for a mere $49.99.

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Le Creuset? Le Great Deal!

Regular readers of this space are well aware of my long-standing love of Le Creuset cookware. It’s versatile, hard wearing, and gorgeous to boot. What’s not to love?

Okay, I’m not in love with the price tag. I don’t begrudge it, you understand, because it’s worth every single penny. What I don’t love about that price tag is how it’s all too often well out of my budget range when I need new cookware.

And that’s why I’m excited about the Le Creuset deals going on right now at Sur la Table.

Le Creuset Soup Pots, Red and Blue This handsome and practical enameled cast iron soup pot, for instance, is a $150.00 value. Well, it’s on sale now for just $99.00! $51.00 off a pot that’s going to last you the rest of your life even if you make soup every single night is a great deal in and of itself, but there’s more for the savvy shopper right now.

If you spend $250.00 on selected Le Creuset items at Sur la Table, you’ll also get a red qt. enameled steel stockpot (retail value, $70.00) absolutely free!

If you love to cook, or you love someone who loves to cook, then you owe it to yourself to check out this incredible deal! And don’t forget, top-notch cookware makes a superfantastic gift to any enthusiastic cook on your holiday list.

Souped Up

A slight chill is in the air, even here in sunny California, and my mind turns inevitably to the joy that only a hearty soup can bring. Of course, looking at superfantastic soup pots also brings a glow to my face and a song to my heart. Take a look at this one and you’ll know precisely what I mean:

Le Creuset 2.75-qt. Enameled Soup Pot, Caribbean Le Creuset always makes me happy. It’s beautiful to look at, a dream to cook with, and practically guaranteed to outlast the cook. This 2.75qt soup pot is just the thing to slow cook that silky butternut squash soup or hearty beef daube you’ve been craving. Not only is it handsome enough to serve from, it’s also perfect for stovetop cooking and oven safe up to 450 farenheit. Any way you slice it, Le Creuset is the cream of the crop for cookware.

So when I find a great deal on it, I like to pass it along. For a limited time, this gorgeous and practical soup pot is on sale at Cooking.com for just $99.99. That’s more than $64.00 off the regular price of $164.95. Even better than that, there’s a free shipping code! Considering the fact that this soup pot weighs nearly eight pounds, that’s a great savings, too!

Oh, and the free shipping code is: C99274. Remember to punch that in when it’s time to check out. And remember, the deal is for a limited time only. You’ll want to act on this one ASAP.

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