Archive for March, 2010

Each month we hold an event in our kitchen where guests learn to make a full course meal and ask questions about kitchen and appliance trends while enjoying amazing food.

This month was a real treat as we had Chef Shaun McCrain as our guest chef. Shaun started his cooking career in the Northwest and cooked locally at “The Painted Table” at the Alexis Hotel.  He has worked in France, San Francisco, and New York and most recently in Napa Valley.  When in New York, he helped open Thomas Keller’s restaurant “Per Se” in New York.

He is currently back in Seattle preparing to open a new restaurant in the Madrona Neighborhood.  Stay posted for the restaurant name and grand opening date!

The food was delicious and Chef Shaun would like to share this recipe with our readers:

Pan Fried Potato Gnocchi, Wilted Rocket, Parmesan Cheese with Wild Mushrooms and Brown Butter


  • Potato Gnocchi
  • Rocket or Young Arugula——-1#
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese ——-1 cup
  • Wild Mushrooms—————–1/2 #
  • Butter—————————–1/2 #
  • Olive Oil————————–1/3 cup (for cooking)
  • Lemon—————————-3 each
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Gnocchi Recipe:

  • 500g. Russet Potatoes (or 1 large  Potato)
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 Egg yolk
  • 100g. AP Flour


Pre Heat oven to 400°. Place a large pot of water on the stove. Wash potato and poke holes in the  skin with a fork or knife. Place the potato in the oven on a baking pan and cook until done, about 45 minutes. The skin will be firm, but the inside should be cooked and dry.

Next carefully pass the potato through a ricer or tamis. You need to work quickly in order to keep the temperature of the potato warm. Add the egg and the egg yolk and incorporate. Next add the flour and work the potato mixture lightly until it forms a solid “dough”. When the water is boiling set up a large bowl of  ice water. Roll out the gnocchi into long “worms” and cut into 1 inch pieces. Take each piece and roll the dough piece off of a fork to create grooves.

Poach the gnocchi in the boiling water. When the gnocchi floats, it is done. Remove and place in ice water to shock it and stop the cooking. When the gnocchi is cold remove from the water and dry off on a paper towel. Prepare and garnish.

A few past recipes:


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A new regulation requires contractors working on homes with lead to be certified to avoid fines.  Read more on our “On The Level” page.

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Now more than ever we all want to make sure that every cent we spend on an investment is packed with value, expertise and quality.

After designing successful remodels for decades, Gaspar’s has learned what works best during the design phase and how to make sure that our clients get great value from their money spent.

Here are 3 quick tips we’d like to share to help you get value out of your design process.

1.  If you have a budget, make it known early.

Sometimes the fear of being taken advantage of can understandably cause one to hold back information due to lack of trust.  Make sure you are working with someone you trust to begin with so your process doesn’t cost you extra.  Communicating what your true budget is can help ensure that you don’t spend extra money having your project redesigned if there are extra features you want to add in the end, or things that need to be taken out because they don’t fit in your budget.  Reworking the design can take time, and time is your money.


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Want to see, touch and feel the latest sustainable building materials all in one place?

Now you can!  Seattle’s Built Green Conference Expo floor, previously only open to the trades, is now opening its floor to the public.  Everything from green flooring to alternative building methods will be showcased.  Read below for more information.


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There are so many things that are exciting and fun when it comes to remodeling your bathroom – new countertops, shiny fixtures, beautiful tile.  Selecting a toilet typically doesn’t rate high on a homeowner’s list of fun things to shop for.  They’re all the same, right?


A perfectly selected toilet will not only blend seamlessly into your bathroom design, it can be the hero that saves you money on your water bill and helps in the bigger picture of water conservation.  In the average home, the toilets account for approximately 30% of household water.

A good place to start when looking at new toilets is choosing models that are Watersense labelled.  This means that these models have been independently laboratory tested to meet rigorous criteria for both performance and efficiency – using 20% less water per flush than the standard federal regulations.  A key trait of a Watersense toilet is that it must perform well!  This ensures that you won’t be sacrificing flushing power, a critical function,  for efficiency.

We’ve pulled together 5 toilet models that are Watersense labeled to inspire you or your designer in picking the right toilet for your newly designed bathroom.

1. Kohler Escale®

  • Model #: K-3588
  • Design: 2-piece, elongated bowl
  • Dual Flush?  Yes (1.6 or 0.8 gpf)
  • Finishes Available: White, Almond, Biscuit
  • List Price:  $1076.40+

2. Toto Aquia®

  • Model #:  CST414M
  • Design:  Elongated toilet, oval SoftClose® seat available
  • Dual Flush?  Yes (1.6 or 0.9 gpf)
  • Finishes Available:  Cotton, Sedona Beige, Bone, Colonial White, Ebony
  • List Price:  $475 – $713


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