November 29, 2006
We received a Zevro Indispensable™ SmartSpace™ Countertop Dispenser to review. The SmartSpace Countertop Dispenser is a smaller version of the Zevro Indispensable Dispenser, designed for people with less space. There is also a wall-mounted version if you have more wall space than counter space. We have more counter space, so we were excited to try out the countertop dispenser.
The dispenser looks nice. It is very sleek, and the stand is very sturdy. I love the fact that the dispenser comes with a measuring cup, so you can monitor how much you are dispensing.
The product is pretty tough. Before I got a chance to use it the way it was meant to be used, my daughter decided it was a plaything and put several of her toys through the dispenser. It was able to accommodate several lego pieces as well as a small doll. After wrestling it back from her, I tried it out on regular food.
Continue reading: "Review: Zevro Indispensable™ SmartSpace™ Countertop Dispenser"
November 20, 2006
We received a Sil-Pin silicone rolling pin to review. As my mom is the pie maker in the family, she used it to make pie crust for an apple pie. Silicone is everywhere in baking these days--mostly because of its nonstick surface. The Sil-Pin was much less sticky than our wooden rolling pin, but it isn't completely non-stick. You still need to put flour on the pin before rolling, but you can use a lot less flour. The bggest benefit is how easy it is to clean up. The dough came right off the pin with a wet towel while there is still dried dough on my wooden rolling pin that has never come off.
The rolling pin is very heavy--you might want to grab it if you think there is a burglar in your house. However, it doesn't feel heavy when you are rolling. It rolls smoothly and evenly due to the ball bearings in the handles. Overall, we were very impressed with the Sil-Pin--it is a big improvement over our previous wooden rolling pin. We received a black Sil-Pin, but it comes it lost of fun colors like red, tangerine, and pink.
We also received a Sil-Pin junior (which should be available at Linen's and Things), which is basically the same rolling pin, but smaller and lighter for kids. My daughter loved it, and she was able to roll out her own dough and make a mini pie with it.
At Fiesta Products Traditional Rubber Handles Sil-pin Silicone Rolling Pin
November 15, 2006
We got a couple of WrapMasters to review from WrapMaster USA. The WrapMaster is an aluminum foil and plastic wrap dispenser. You load the foil or wrap, pull out the desired amount, and press down on the lid. The lid has blades that are specially designed to cut either foil or wrap. It holds rolls up to 200 sq. ft.
I liked the idea of this contraption becuase my aluminum foil and plastic wrap boxes are always getting mangled in my drawer and I have difficulty cutting off pieces of plastic wrap without getting it tangled up. The foil and wrap is relatively easy to load--although it is a three step process, which could be a problem if you are lazy (like me). Once loaded, it was very easy to pull out the desired amount of foil and wrap, and the blade cut the foil and wrap very cleanly and neatly. It was definitely much easier than taking foil or wrap from the box. My only complaint was that the WrapMasters are a little big. They are 3.75” wide x 3.5” high x 14.5” long, which is too big to fit in the drawer where I normally keep aluminum foil and plastic wrap, so I will have to do some rearranging in order to use them.
At WrapMaster USA.
July 31, 2006
We received a clay pie plate to review from Hess Pottery
The plate is made with natural red clay and is non-porous and lead-free. It can be used in the oven, dishwasher, and microwave. I had to wait to review it until my mom came to visit as she is the pie maker in the family. After debating about what type of pie to make—peach, cherry, blackberry—we finally decided just to make our favorite, lemon meringue pie.
Continue reading: "Review: Have a Pie Day Clay Pie Plate from Hess Pottery"
July 21, 2006
The good folks at simplehuman sent us the precision soap pump to review. So far I love it. We have been using it to dispense hand soap in our kitchen, and it is much more attractive than the plastic container we were using before. This is no wimpy soap dispenser—it means business. It is incredibly sturdy, so you can easily use it with one hand and it won't tip over.
The dispenser is easy to push and allows you to regulate how much soap you want to come out. While we have been using it for hand soap, it would work just as well for dish soap. The reservoir holds 20 ounces, so you don't have to constantly refill it. It is easy to get a sponge or dish cloth under the dispenser. The soap chamber is clear, so you can see when you are getting low on soap and the back opens up to easily refill. Overall, another solid product from simplehuman.
It comes in a 10 oz and a 20 oz size. It has a rust-proof chrome finish and an acrylic soap chamber.
August 31, 2005
simplehuman sent us a some of their products to review and we're starting off with the simplehuman wall mount paper towel holder.
Since we constantly test coffee makers and other kitchen gadgets, we need every inch of counter space we can find. Our current paper towel holder doesn't hold the paper towel roll securely, and we're always stuck with a large amount of towel unrolled on the holder. Also, current paper towel holder location next to the stove isn't ideal. Our biggest complaint? We have to hold our current paper towel holder with two hands to dispense towels. Hey - who has 2 free hands while cooking?
Continue reading: "Review: simplehuman Wall Mount Paper Towel Holder"
July 26, 2005
Earlier we covered the Danko fridge magnet bottle opener and tried to find one in the local Boston area on a routine kitchen gadget hunting expedition. Well, we didn't find the Danko version, but did find the Suck.uk version designed by Sam & Jude and it looks very similar. In purchasing such an item like an opener, you have to really want to put your money down as you know you'll be stuck with it and at $22.95 it's not cheap either.
Continue reading: "Suck.uk Fridge Magnet Bottle Opener: Our Money Where Our Mouth Is"
May 5, 2005
I was spellbound the first time I read about one of these cooking Silpat Baking Mats. Would it really work? Would it clean up? Would I be able to cook oven bacon, cookies, and asparagus and not taste each one after cooking the other? What about broiling some salmon? Well, you're in luck. For about 12.99 I picked up a Silpat Baking Mat that fits a standard cookie sheet sized pan. We put it through a grueling 4 hour cookathon of Biscuits, Salmon, and Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Specifically, Silpat Baking Matt has the following immediate benefits when you buy it.
- Silicone products clean up with some water or you put them in the dish washer (like the Orka oven mitt).
- They replace costly tin foil that you use every time you cook
- They cann replace sprays that you would put on your baking sheets to keep things from sticking Best of all - you buy them once and use them for much longer than traditional items
- They also dissipate heat rapidly.
- They can be molded have many cool shapes and uses that you can't do with the old kitchen standbys
The Biscuits Go to the Silpat Baking Mat
We wanted to start out the Silpat Baking Matt with something with little flavor and then move onto the Salmon to get the feel of what the mat would offer. After procuring some ready bake biscuits from our local Trader Joes, we put the biscuit on the cooking surface of silicone with no grease at all. We then fired up our convection oven, and amazing things happened
The biscuits cooked like no other biscuits I've cooked before. The bottoms of the biscuits were as golden brown and perfect just like the top and NO STICKING! We then lifted up the Silpat Baking Mat as it had cooled rapidly, and hand washed it with dish soap. Our first test a success - we moved on to a deadlier food in the oven.
Salmon Loves the Silpat Baking Mat
I was sure broiling was going to be a disaster with the cooking Silpat Baking Mat. I was still somehow not a believer even though I had just witnessed biscuit magic. Another thing holding me from belief - the Silpat Baking Mat didn't really fit the broiler pan. I put the mat into the bottom of the pan the broiler grill on top - much like you would to line tin foil on the bottom. I guessed the cooking salmon would produce too much oil and burn in the bottom. How wrong was I!!!
Perfect Crisp Salmo
The salmon came out crisp and just about as perfect as you could expect. You can see in the first picture the silicone Silpat Baking Mat peaking out from underneath the broiler pan. It didn't phase the mat t at all - no tears, no wrinkles, and after we were done - it cleaned up with no grease at all.
Wrapping Up with Cookies and the Silpat Baking Mat
To finish our dinner (okay no vegatables - geez), we got a bucket of Chocolate chip cookies from Trader Joes. Now I wasn't thinking burnt cookies - I was thinking - HOW AMAZING ARE THESE COOKIES GOING TO BE?
The cookies tasted great. No fish taste and the mat cleaned up perfectly.
The Silpat Baking Mat is a total Winner
The Silpat Baking Mat is a thing of magic. We have gone through every recipe we would normally use foil with and replaced it with the Silpat Baking Mat. I can't recommend this item enough. For $12.99 it will radically change your kitchen.
March 26, 2005
I can't say enough good things about this toaster oven. The controls are a breeze - the toast it makes is amazing. You can put the rack at three different levels and it does a hell of a good job making a bagel.
The first thing I did when it arrived? Well - I roasted a 4.5lb chicken in it and it only took and hour! The chicken came out amazing. Just amazing. I love this thing. I can't wait for the summer when I don't fire up the giant oven and can use this instead for those baking jobs.
Also - it just looks great. We've got a mostly black granite/maple kitchen with white walls and stainless everything. The toaster looks and IS very professional.
I will keep posting nuggets of information as we find out more the toaster can do and how it performs over the next 6 months. Nice work Cuisinart!
Update: It appears this model can be found under 165 - for a white oven, and 175 for black and 175BC for brushed chrome.
At Amazon.com: Cuisinart TOB-165 Convection Toaster Oven/Broiler