Thanks Sarah --
My question about the mandolin was more around whether or not people find it useful/time saver. I have never used one, so I am trying to get some feedback before purchasing, especially since they seem to run from US$20-$160!
Also, you mentioned cutting veggies into small, uniform pieces - do you ever use a food processor/chopper to do this or does this make them too small? (thinking of broccoli stems, carrots, etc)
Thanks for the temp on pasta and the suggestion to check it regularly. Cheers!