Showing posts with label Product Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Product Reviews. Show all posts

Monday, September 27, 2021

Luxtronic HDTV Antenna Reviewed

If you have cut the cord for cable than you have already discovered an antennae is a prime component of successful cable cutting. Old school rabbit ears is another name. The function is the same, but the styles and choices have greatly increased these past years.



My old antenna



Anyone else remember a rabbit ear antenna with foil! Ah the memories. Recently my hdtv antenna stopped working which really emphasized how necessary an antennae is for any viewing. When I scanned the over air channels without the antennae I had 5 channels. Five channels which looked to be all the same programming resembling informercials.

I quickly started surfing for a replacement and was happy to discover the design of antennae's have vastly improved. A few years ago when I cut the cable cord I had an antenna which was not only  large, but had to be hung in the air for maximum reception. Not pretty, not practical, but still better than a cable bill.

I chose the HDTV Digital Antenna with a very small footprint and am very pleased. So pleased I have purchased a few more to upgrade from the hang from the window antenna version!

The Antenna by Luxtronic is very small and unobtrusive. It can be used indoor or outdoor with a 50 mile range. 

A simple install by connecting to the TV antenna input and then auto scan the over the air signals and the antenna works wonderfully. If you are looking to aesthetically upgrade your set of rabbit ears, I highly recommend this antenna to access all your over the air channels without the cost of cable.



Free Streaming Options For Cable Cord Cutters

Kanopy Review

Use your library card to access a huge library for free streaming. Focus on Indie films. No contracts, no subsrciptions!

Hoopla  Review

Hoopla offers free books, movies and television shows through your local library.

Freegal Review

Giant Movie Library featuring Sony's catalog. Another free service offered in combination with your library card. Weekly limit of downloads.

Amazon Prime 

 Amazon Prime is not free, but if you'd like to give the service a spin a 30 day trial subscription can be accessed. More movies, music, tv shows and Amazon Prime content than one imagine!





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

The Best Loud, Easy to Read Multi-Event Digital Timers

The ThermoPro TM02 Digital Dual Kitchen Timer is the best, most intuitive, easiest to read and loudest multi-event digital kitchen timer I have owned in many years. In this product review, I will share the features my husband and I love most about this recent addition to our kitchen, as well as a few others considerations to help you decide whether the ThermoPro TM02 might also be the best multi-event digital timer for your needs. 

If you want to be able to time three dishes, activities or other events concurrently, the OXO Good Grips Triple Kitchen Timer is another excellent option, as long as you don't mind having more (and smaller) buttons and a more compressed display for the three countdown timers.

The Best Multi-Event Digital Kitchen Timers - Easy to Read Display, Loud Adjustable Volume Alarms

I often need to set timers for concurrent tasks and activities, especially during holiday cooking and baking marathons and when entertaining. A multi-event digital timer is less expensive, more convenient and more space-saving than two or three single-event models. I prefer ones with intuitive, easy-to-read controls that I can pause and restart with a touch, unlike mechanical dial units.

Digital Kitchen Timers Have Gone Down in Price, Quality, Longevity and Ease of Use 

The best timer I've ever owned was an OXO Good Grips triple digital kitchen timer that I bought roughly 20 years ago. Setting and switching between the three timers was simple and intuitive. The numbers on the backlit digital LCD screen display and the labels on the buttons were easy to read. The alarms had distinct beep patterns (single beeps, double beeps, and triple beeps for events one, two and three) that made it easy to identify which timer was going off, even when I was in a different room. This model was a workhorse that performed reliably in my kitchen for many years before the LCD display eventually started to fail (as these types of digital display screens inevitably do). 

When I went to order another one (about 10–12 years ago), I learned that the manufacturer had discontinued that model. The newer version had more bells and whistles, which I neither wanted nor needed. As a result, navigating, setting and clearing the multi-event digital timers (the unit's core functions) was less straightforward and intuitive on the redesigned OXO Good Grips triple kitchen timer versus its predecessor. Based on the many negative product reviews, I wasn't the only customer who was upset by the design and functionality changes in the newer model. 

Finding a worthy replacement has been a surprisingly challenging, time-consuming and lengthy undertaking. Unfortunately, like many other products, digital kitchen timers have declined substantially in quality. Over the past 10 years or so, every model I have purchased, regardless of price, has had to be replaced 12–18 months later, when one or two segments of the digital numbers no longer show on the LCD display. 

After the display on my second replacement multi-event timer developed a "dead spot," I decided to replace it with a pair of single-event digital kitchen timers. I had hoped that a simpler display screen might not fail as soon, which turned out to be wishful thinking. However, switching from a multi-event model to two bare-bones ones did have one benefit: Whenever the display started to fail on one of them, there was another that still worked and could tide me over until a replacement arrived.

Resuming the Search for a New Multi-Event Digital Timer, Using Updated Requirements

When the LCD display on one of our most recent basic timers developed a "dead spot" a few weeks ago, I decided to see whether any new multi-event kitchen timers had been introduced since the last time I had looked several years earlier and, if so, whether one of them might be a good fit for my husband's and my current needs, which had changed somewhat since my previous searches. 

My first step was to reevaluate, update, and reprioritize our multi-event digital timer requirements list. For example, we no longer entertain as frequently or elaborately as we used to do when we were in our thirties and forties, and our vision and hearing aren't as sharp as they were back then. These days, we would much rather have a dual event kitchen timer with larger, easy-to-read numbers than a three-event timer with a more cramped digital display and smaller numbers that are harder to read. A bright, backlit screen, loud alarms with adjustable volume, large, well spaced buttons with easy to read labels, and an intuitive interface that is simple enough to figure out (and remember) without referring back to the instruction guide or manual. 

My Favorite Easy to Read, Loud Alarm, Multi-Event Digital Timer (Two Event Countdown Timers)

ThermoPro TM02 Dual Event Digital Kitchen Timer

When I was evaluating and comparing products against our new "wish list," I was excited to find the ThermoPro TM02 Digital Kitchen Timer, which seemed to tick all our most important boxes. To my surprise, my husband became just as excited as I was when I took him through the photos, description, specifications and product reviews on Amazon. 

The ThermoPro TM02 Dual Event Digital Timer has a large, easy to read LCD display. The bright blue backlight comes on for 10 seconds when a countdown timer starts or stops and when the alarm goes off.

We have been using our new ThermoPro TM02 multi-event timer several times a day since it arrived a few weeks ago and we're both delighted with our purchase.  

Of course, only time will tell how long the LCD display will last, but we're really impressed with the thoughtfulness and attention to detail that went into this timer, so we're cautiously optimistic. 

Even when the backlight is off, the large numbers of both countdown timers are very easy to read. The front has five large buttons with high-contrast, intuitive labels. 

Why We Love It:

  • Accurate. Unfortunately, not all digital timers are!
  • Easy to read, tilted display with large digits. Unlike many of the smaller, cheaper kitchen timers we have used, the ThermoPro TM02 Dual Event Digital Timer's large, sturdy kickstand stays put and keeps the display at a good angle on the countertop for hands-free viewing. 
  • Large, bright, backlit display. The oversized* LCD display takes up most of the real estate on the front of this timer, which provides enough room for both countdown timers to have large, numbers that are easily legible even when viewed from an angle versus head-on, and even when the bright blue backlight is off.
    * The manufacturer describes it as a 2.6-inch LCD screen. Mine measures 2.375" tall by 2.125" wide and 2.875" on the diagonal. 
  • Simple, intuitive, clearly labeled controls. There are just five large, clearly labeled buttons on the front, plus one mode selector switch and the volume adjustment button on the back. 
  • Ten-second backlight conserves batteries. The blue backlight comes on any time a button is pressed, e.g., to set, start, pause, restart, or stop the timer. Since it's very bright (which is wonderful), it only stays on for 10 seconds each time, so it doesn't chew through batteries like some others we've owned.
    • Some customers have complained that the backlight doesn't stay on long enough. We haven't found that to be an issue, especially since pressing any button turns the light back on for another 10 seconds.
  • Loud alarms with adjustable volume and silent alarm/mute mode. Pressing the small volume button on the back allows you to cycle through four alarm volume settings. The low, medium and high volume levels range from 70-105 dB. We find the medium volume setting loud enough to hear from one or two rooms away. There is also a volume Off setting that mutes the alarm so you can see when the timer goes off without disturbing anyone else. 
  • Convenient memory function. After the countdown finishes, the timer automatically returns to the previous setting. For example, I make a large mug of herbal tea almost every day, and the kind I make most often steeps for seven minutes. After Timer 1 goes off and I press the Stop button, it automatically reverts to seven minutes unless I actively clear the memory, so that all I have to do is press the Start button the next day when I want to make tea. 
  • Set each countdown timer for up to 23 hours 59 minutes. Some digital timers have a maximum time limit of only 60 to 90 minutes! 
  • Choice of 12/24 hour clock format with date function. Although this feature isn't important to us, many people love it. 

A sturdy pull-out kickstand keeps the ThermoPro TM02 dual channel multi-event timer stable on your countertop, or use the two strong magnets to attach it to your refrigerator or another metal surface. A simple, three-position switch toggles between the timer, clock and clock set modes, while the small button underneath controls the adjustable volume alarm loudness settings.

Other Considerations:

  • You can't program seconds. We don't anticipate this being an issue for us. However, there are certain recipes (and other uses) for which the ability to time in 15- or 30-second increments is essential. So, if you work in a commercial or restaurant kitchen, this could be a deal-breaker. Otherwise, if you need this capability only infrequently, you can set the timer to the next full minute and monitor the digital display until there are 15 or 30 seconds remaining in the countdown (or use a countdown timer app on your mobile phone for those situations).
  • Some people find even the low volume (70dB) setting too loud. My husband and I have not found this to be the case. Your mileage may vary.
  • No dedicated "Clear" button. It's quite common for digital timers to be reset by pressing the hour and minute buttons simultaneously, rather than having a dedicated "Clear" button, and it's a practice the America's Test Kitchen reviewers said they didn't mind as long as the buttons were clearly labeled and intuitive. However, some customers still object to it. 
  • This model doesn't switch to clock mode automatically when the countdown timers are not in use. Since the clock on our microwave oven displays the time whenever we aren't microwaving something, we prefer having the display remain in countdown timer mode unless we actively switch it to clock (or clock set) mode. However, some customers have complained about having to switch from timer to clock mode manually.
  • The neodymium ("rare earth") magnets on the back are very strong, but the foam adhesive discs holding them in place are not. My husband and I prefer to keep our kitchen timers on the counter, so this isn't an issue for us. However, if you plan to keep your digital timer on your refrigerator door, one Amazon reviewer recommends prying out the magnets with a thin screwdriver or awl, completely removing the foam adhesive pads and any glue residue, and then using a strong epoxy adhesive to glue the magnets directly into the round, recessed areas in the housing. Be sure to follow the epoxy manufacturer's instructions for preparing the surfaces and applying and curing the glue.
    • Note: Customers who complain that the magnets are not strong enough are mistaken. The problem is not the neodymium magnets, which are extremely strong. It's the cheap foam adhesive discs that are too weak, and there's an easy fix for that. 

The Best Easy to Read, Loud Alarm, Multi-Event Digital Timer (Three Event Countdown Timers)

OXO Good Grips Triple Kitchen Timer

Although I still haven't found a three-event digital timer that I like as well as my old OXO Good Grips Triple Kitchen Timer, if I still needed one I would definitely go with the current version, which has gone through multiple revisions and iterations since the one I owned and loved. 

The current generation OXO Good Grips Triple Kitchen Timer was rated Highly Recommended as the best multi-event digital timer in the June 2021 Cook's Illustrated Kitchen Timers Equipment Review (subscription required). 
The OXO Good Grips Triple Kitchen Timer has a full numeric keypad and three dedicated event timer buttons.

Why You'll Love It:

  • Accurate. For us, that's a baseline requirement.
  • Upward angle and sturdy base. Designed for one-handed setting and countertop stability. 
  • Large screen with inverse backlit digital display. Easy to read at a glance, even in low light.
  • Adjustable volume. Three different loudness levels to suit your preference. 
  • Each event timer can be set for up to 99 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds. I'm not sure why someone would need a 100-hour maximum time limit unless they were an NBC producer timing one of Al Roker's multi-day Rokerthons, but it's nice to have the option available.  
  • Easily identifiable event alarms. Just like my old OXO Good Grips Triple Kitchen Timer, the current model also has three distinct beeping patterns, so you can tell which event alarm is going off just by the sound, even if you are in a different room. 
  • Numeric keypad lets you set the clock and event timers faster. It also uses a numeric keypad instead of the more common -/+ buttons to set the countdown timers and clock. According to the June 2021 Cook's Illustrated Kitchen Timers Equipment Review, it took the America's Test Kitchen product testers, on average, less than half the time to set the timers on models that had full keypads than on models that did not.
  • Convenient memory function. All three event timer remember their last settings until you clear them from memory.

Other Considerations:

  • More buttons to press. The numeric keypad means you need to press more buttons to set the timers or clock (versus just two -/+ buttons to increase or decrease the time).
  • Smaller digits. Fitting three event timer displays on a smaller LCD screen than that of the ThermoPro TM02 Dual Event Kitchen Timer means "the digits on the screen are slightly smaller than ideal," as the America's Test Kitchen reviewers wrote.
  • Backlit screen display goes blank (“standby mode”) after 60 seconds. A frustrated Amazon reviewer who loved nearly everything else about this OXO Good Grips Triple Kitchen Timer called this issue a deal-breaker.


The Best Loud, Easy to Read Multi-Event Digital Timers product review by Margaret Schindel


Read More of My Product Reviews


Read More Product Reviews by Our Review This Reviews Contributors






Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Monday, September 20, 2021

Epson Wireless Printer Review

 

Epson Wireless Printer Review

We had our desktop computer for years with a printer that was linked via USB cable. When our desktop computer finally gave up on us it was time for a new computer. We decided it was time for a laptop. With a laptop we could use it anywhere in the house and take it with us when we traveled.

Now the problem became that every time we needed to print something we had to take the laptop to the printer and plug everything in. This got old very fast, so we thought that it was time for a new wireless printer. 

We were out shopping one day and while walking by the computer section of the store we noticed the Epson WorkForce WF-2850 wireless printer. We knew that we wanted a wireless printer, so we bought it.

We brought it home and I just couldn’t wait to get started, you see I’m one of those people who like to jump right in. On the other hand, Fran is a stickler for following step-by-step instructions. So, I sat back and let Fran set our new wireless printer up. In about 15 minutes she had it working. We were delighted because now we can print from anywhere in the house.


Epson WF-2850 All in One Printer:

The Epson WF-2850 is a 4-in-1 wireless printer, copier, scan, and fax. It features fast printing speeds, with 2-sided printing and a 30-page Auto Document Feeder.

The wireless capability makes it easy to print from your iPad, iPhone, Android tablet, or any smartphone.

When we were all forced to work from home last year, Fran found it easy to download the printer drivers to her work computer. This gave her the capability of using the scan and fax function from her work computer.

The instructions tell you to only use Epson ink cartridges. I can tell you from personal experience this is true. I tried third-party ink cartridges and they don’t work.

This is a perfect home office printer choice that I would recommend to anybody. We have had many good years of quality use from this printer.

Epson WorkForce WF-2850 Wireless All-in-One Color Inkjet PrinterEpson WorkForce WF-2850 Wireless All-in-One Color Inkjet PrinterCheck the Price

 

Find More Product Reviews Here: ReviewThisProductReviews.com



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Disposable Feeding Bowls for Dogs Reviewed

Disposable Dog Bowls
Disposable dog bowls are essential when traveling, on vacation, or using a pet sitter for times when you must be away.

We found out how practical these disposable feeding bowls for our dog were when we helped our daughter move across the country. Since we couldn't take our dog, Merlin, with us in the U-Haul, we left him at home with our adult son.  

Adding the care of a pet to a daily routine can initially be very stressful for anyone, but is especially challenging for someone with a full-time job.  While we were away, our son had to feed Merlin every morning before he went to work, come home during his lunch break to let him out and feed him a snack, then come home right after work.  Merlin's dinner was usually a few hours later.

I'm certain our son would have washed Merlin's food bowls several times a day like we do, but that seemed like an easy task to eliminate with the disposable bowls.  

We did start feeding Merlin from the Glad bowls a few days before we left to let him know they were okay for his meals.  I'm really glad we thought to start him on those bowls before we left because he did find them odd at first and was hesitant to just start eating from them. After a few feedings, he didn't even question the bowls. No doubt, that made feeding him easier for our son too.  Both "boys" had enough adjustments to make in their daily routines without adjusting to new food bowls.

Because these bowls are disposable, it was easy for our son to simply toss them in the trash once our pup finished his meal.

Since our return home, these disposable bowls have become handy to use when giving him water in the car or outdoors.  It is nice to have the convenience of being able to throw the bowls away instead of washing them, especially when we don't have access to a sink, running water, & dish soap.


Disposable Feeding Bowls for Dogs by Glad

 Glad for Pets Disposable Feeding Bowls | Large Dog Bowls in Gray Pattern | 3.5 Cup Feeding Size, 50 CountCheck PriceGlad is a name we all trust for kitchen products.  I was thrilled to see they made these disposable pet bowls.  The bowls are leak-proof which makes them suitable for food or water.

They are available in 2 sizes to accommodate a variety of dogs.  Since Merlin is a grown Labrador Retriever, we opted for the large size.  They are perfect for him! They hold 3.5 cups of food or water.

The smaller size holds 1.75 cups of food or water and would be great for smaller dogs.

I now consider these disposable bowls "essential" for dog owners. There will always be times that we need the convenience and cleanliness of a "one use" dog bowl. 


Now, Merlin keeps nudging me toward the door.  He wants "his boy" to come back to take care of him for another 2 weeks of grand adventures!





Read More Product Reviews On
ReviewThisProducts.com

Or

Pet Related Reviews

 


House of Sylvestermouse




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

How to Choose the Best Fine Mesh Kitchen Strainers

Fine mesh strainers are used for many different types of cooking, baking and food preparation tasks, from sifting powdered dry ingredients for baking or garnishing baked goods to straining sauces and custards, rinsing uncooked rice, quinoa or beans, and draining pots of cooked pasta. 

When the sieves I inherited from my mom that had served us both for decades eventually needed to be replaced, shopping for replacements turned out to be more challenging than I could have anticipated. 

In this review, I'll share my advice on how to choose the best fine mesh kitchen strainers for your needs as well as my product reviews for the fine mesh sieves I purchased nearly five years ago and recommend highly.

How to Pick the Best Fine Mesh Strainers for Your Needs: 3 Pro Shopping Tips
Learn how to be a savvy consumer when shopping for fine mesh kitchen strainers.

3 Pro Shopping Tips for Choosing the Best Fine Mesh Kitchen Strainers for Your Needs.


Think About How You Will Be Using Them.

When shopping for fine mesh strainers, the best choice will depend on what you want to use them for. The ideal diameter, depth, handle, weight balance, durability, wire mesh size and stiffness will be very different for mesh sieves used primarily for sifting cocoa powder, flour or powdered sugar than for those used mainly for straining fresh raspberry seeds or draining a large quantity of just-cooked pasta. 

So, before you start researching or shopping for new fine mesh sieves, take a few minutes to think about the types of tasks you want, need and expect your new strainers to perform well.

Consider the Most Important Product Features and Characteristics for Your Specific Uses. 

Once you have made a list of the things you want to use your new strainer(s) for, it's time to educate yourself about the different types of materials, construction, mesh fineness, and other options available in models at different price points and think about which ones might be best suited to your needs, priorities and budget. 

For example, if you are shopping for a small strainer for steeping loose tea in a cup or travel mug, an inexpensive model made of a very finely woven nylon mesh material might do the best job of filtering out the tea leaves. On the other hand, if you also want to be able to sift or dust small amounts of cocoa powder or confectioners sugar, you might decide to go with a more expensive, stainless steel model that has a stiffer wire mesh and a slightly looser weave, the tradeoff being that it wouldn't be quite as effective at filtering out the small, powdery bits of tea leaf. 

Similarly, having a comfortable, contoured, riveted handle (and preferably two) may be a priority if you are looking for a large-capacity, heavy-duty strainer, but a thinner, flatter handle attached with spot welding might be fine if you only need a small or medium size strainer for lighter-duty tasks.

Stay Focused on Your Needs As You Compare Fine Mesh Strainers and Read Product Reviews.

Whether a review is positive or negative, consider the author's praise or complaints in the context of your own needs and priorities. Also keep an eye out for negative fine mesh strainer reviews based on inappropriate assumptions or unreasonable expectations. 

Reviews by reputable industry experts can be extremely valuable, but it's important to consider how well the reviewers' evaluation and rating criteria match for your own needs, preferences and intended uses for the product. 

I learned this firsthand at the beginning of 2017. A few weeks after I bought a Cuisinart set of small, medium and large strainers that I wanted just for the two smaller sizes, Cook's Illustrated published a fine mesh strainers equipment review (subscription required) that rated the Cuisinart set as "not recommended." Since I trust and respect the America's Test Kitchen staff's opinions, I was dismayed by the low rating for the set I had just bought. However, when I looked at the reviewers' product selection criteria and the performance tests they had devised, I saw that many of the features, specifications and use cases they had focused on (e.g., approximately 9" diameter, stiff, extremely fine wire mesh baskets, handles that were comfortable to hold over an extended period of time, long, wide hooks that fit easily over both medium and large pots and bowls) weren't relevant to the small and medium Cuisinart strainers or the types of tasks for which I had chosen that set. 

On the other hand, those criteria and tests were extremely relevant to my needs and wants for the much sturdier Kukpo 9-inch strainer I had purchased to complement the small and medium sized Cuisinart sieves. If that Cook's Illustrated equipment review had been published one month sooner, I might have had second thoughts about buying my $14 Kukpo, despite the $45 price tag of the only "highly recommended" model, the Rösle 7.9-inch Stainless Steel Round Handle Kitchen Strainer

So, keep your own needs in mind as you are reading fine mesh strainer reviews and looking at product features and specifications. Also, remember that no strainer can do every job equally well and be open to the possibility that investing in more than one might be your best bet, depending on how many things you want to use them for.  

Recommended Fine Mesh Kitchen Strainer Reviews 

Here are my personal product reviews for the best fine mesh kitchen strainers I purchased to replace the much older ones I had inherited. The ones I am recommending have been in frequent use in my kitchen for at least several years, show minimal signs of wear and continue to meet my quality and performance needs and expectations.

Kukpo Stainless Steel Double Fine Mesh Strainer Review

If you are looking for a large, versatile, affordable sieve that does a good job at a variety of kitchen tasks, the Kukpo Stainless Steel Fine Double Mesh Strainer, 9 Inch Diameter is an excellent choice.

This sturdy, inexpensive Kukpo 9-inch stainless steel fine double mesh strainer can handle most straining, sieving and sifting tasks well.

Key Features and Benefits:

  • Practical size. The basket rim is 9" across and the fine wire mesh basket itself is about 8" wide at the top and 3.25" deep, large enough to easily drain a pound of cooked pasta, but not so large that it's unwieldy.
  • A versatile workhorse. If you're looking for a single, good quality, inexpensive fine mesh food strainer that performs well for most uses, I highly recommend this 9-inch Kukpo model. It's great for straining stock, sauces, yogurt, custard, frying oil and coffee grounds; separating milk solids from melted butter for clarified butter or ghee; rinsing rice, beans, lentils and grains such as quinoa; straining seeds from fresh berry purée; and sifting flour, baking soda, salt, cocoa or powdered sugar.
  • Durable construction, including two riveted handles. Unlike many fine mesh strainers, this one has no gap between the wire mesh screen and the rim/frame where bits of food residue can get stuck and be hard to remove. It also has two handles that distribute the weight more evenly and are riveted to the rim rather than spot-welded, making it more comfortable and well balanced to hold when draining a large volume of heavy food, such as cooked pasta.
  • Two layers of fine wire mesh for better strength, stiffness and filtering ability. Doubling the mesh creates a stronger, sturdier basket that holds its shape better and resists denting, despite its size, even when mashing fresh strawberries, raspberries, or confectioners sugar firmly against the mesh to strain the seeds or break up hard lumps.
  • Dishwasher safe stainless steel. I generally prefer to wash my fine mesh sieves by hand, but it's nice to be able to run them through the dishwasher occasionally to sanitize them more thoroughly. This one has an all stainless steel construction that doesn't rust, not only in my own experience but also in those of many other customers, according to their product reviews. 
  • 100% money back guarantee. Although I couldn't find any details about the terms of this guarantee, quite a few Amazon customers have raved about the company's outstanding customer service in their reviews. 

Cuisinart Set of 3 Mesh Strainers

I've found that pairing this set of three Cuisinart stainless steel strainers with the larger, sturdier, 9-inch Kukpo double mesh strainer covers all the bases for any use I can think of.

This set of three Cuisinart mesh strainers is excellent for light-duty tasks like dusting desserts with cocoa or confectioners sugar, rinsing berries and juicing lemons.

Key Features and Benefits:

  • Three useful sizes. This set includes 3 1/8”, 5 ½”, and 7 7/8” diameter fine mesh sieves.
  • Great for less strenuous tasks. The two smaller sizes in this set are ideal for things like straining loose tea leaves, dusting powdered sugar or cocoa over desserts, washing a cup of fresh berries or string beans, or straining the seeds while juicing a lemon. The largest one is fine for sifting a couple of cups of dry baking ingredients and similar light-duty tasks, but the spot-welded handles and thinner wire mesh make it too delicate for heavier contents and more demanding applications that require the sturdier Kukpo strainer.
  • Surprisingly inexpensive. At the time of publication, this set of three cost less than $14 on Amazon. Even though I prefer the 9" Kukpo to the 7 7/8" strainer in the Cuisinart set, I consider that a very good value, even for just the small and medium sizes.
  • Dishwasher safe stainless steel. I haven't found a single speck of rust on any of mine after nearly five years of frequent use.
  • Limited lifetime warranty. Cuisinart offers a limited lifetime warranty for its products if you register your purchase with them. I haven't been able to find any information about what it covers for this strainer set. 

Bonus Tip: Use a Stiff, Thin-Bristled Brush to Dislodge Any Food Particles Stuck in the Fine Mesh

Whether you plan to wash your strainers by hand or in the dishwasher, I highly recommend inspecting the fine wire mesh carefully for any bits of food residue that might be stuck. It's best to wash and check the mesh as soon as possible after use, since any clogs will be much harder to dislodge if they are allowed to dry inside those tiny openings. If you need more time, just submerge the strainer in hot water and until you are able to clean and inspect it properly. 

I have found that small, dense brushes with thin, stiff bristles, like the two in the OXO Good Grips Deep Clean Brush Set, are the most effective tools for clearing stubborn food particles from the fine wire mesh. 


How to Choose the Best Fine Mesh Kitchen Strainers by Margaret Schindel


Read More of My Product Reviews


Read More Product Reviews by Our Review This Reviews Contributors






Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Five Great Grandpa Aprons

Discover five fun aprons for the grandfather in your life!

My grandfathers are both gone. One I did not have the pleasure of knowing; the other, I knew as a child and as a teenager. I have fond memories of him and remember him as being quiet and gentle at least to his three grandchildren. I remember him offering support by just being there. My mother often tells me that when I was a baby my grandfather often checked on me, making sure that I was okay whether I was sleeping or playing.
Five Great Grandpa Aprons

I never had the opportunity to give my grandfather an apron and, to be perfectly honest, it would not have been a suitable gift idea for him. A man cooking was definitely not the norm of the time or in our family. However, we all know that is different now and if there is a grandpa doing the cooking and/or grilling at your family get togethers, one of the grandfather-themed aprons reviewed here on this page ought to make a fun, affordable and practical gift idea.

Everybody knows that grandpas are perfect at least in the eyes of their grandchildren, which is what the first aprons celebrate. 

Listed in no particular order but shown somewhere in the picture opposite this text, our first apron reads Nobody's Perfect but if your name is Grandpa, You're Pretty Damn Close. Find it here on Amazon. 

Next up, The Best Grandpa Ever apron. Available in a number of colors, you will find it here on Amazon. 

If you want a grandfather-themed apron with a grilling reference the Best Grillin' Grandpa Ever apron, found here, ought to suit.

Another choice with a barbecuing reference would be the Grandpa to Some Bar-B-Q Master to Others apron, which seems appropriate for the grandfather who takes a lot of pride in his grilling skills. I love how colorful it is. It is shown in the top box in the picture opposite the text and you will find it here on Amazon.

A personal favorite of mine is the Great Dads Get Promoted To Grandfather apron, which I think would make an amazing gift for a new grandfather or for a grandfather who does not yet know that he is going to be a grandfather. Wouldn't that be a fun and totally unexpected surprise from the expectant parents or of course for any man who has already been promoted to grandfather. Find it on Amazon here.

Edited after publication to say that I found one more great Grandpa apron. This one is also cute for the grandfather who is intensely into his grilling be that in a good or not-so-good way. Stand Back, Grandpa is Grillin' is perfect for a serious griller or for grillers like my husband and father-in-law who are sometimes perhaps a bit distracted when manning the barbecue. Find it on Amazon here

That's it, my short list of five six fun aprons for the granddads you love. Which one suits your grandfather best?

See you
in the kitchen!

Stand Back, Grandpa is Grillin' Apron
MORE APRONS:

Check out a fun debate and maybe even throw in your two cents worth.

A page of How to Make an Apron resources.
If you love sewing and even if you are not experienced, you will find a host of ideas for making aprons on this page.

Curious about the famous chef's apron? Learn about it here.












Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Friday, September 3, 2021

Calphalon Performance Cool Touch Countertop Toaster Oven Reviewed

Countertop Oven Review
When my oven went out for the second time in a year, I knew I needed an alternative so I searched for the best countertop oven for baking. Discovering the Calphalon Performance Cool Touch Countertop Toaster Oven has been like finding a riverbed of gold!

Not having a working oven in our home is a major inconvenience. It has taken months to get the circuit board parts for repairing our built-in double ovens (twice). I understand there is a backlog and some parts are simply not available at this time. However, cooking dinner for my family can't wait for months, or that proverbial "slow boat".  

Of course I cook on the stove, in my Instant Pot, in my Crockpot and in the microwave. However, we love pizza, lasagna, manicotti, chicken enchiladas, roast, salmon, casserole style dinners, plus various breads, baked sides & desserts, which require an oven. I use my oven for something almost every day.  Therefore, this time, I had to find a separate countertop oven to carry us through until my double ovens are fixed.  

At the time of writing this article, my double ovens are still waiting for repair and I have been using my Calphalon Cool Touch Countertop (Convection option) Oven multiple times each day for weeks now. I am here to tell you, this little countertop oven is fabulous!  I have decided it actually does a better job of baking bread than my large convection oven. Therefore, even after my ovens are repaired again, I will continue to use this magnificent work-horse appliance.


Why Choose the Calphalon Performance Cool Touch Countertop Toaster Oven

Countertop Toaster Oven Review
Previously, I did not want a countertop oven because I was warned that they get really hot on the outside.  Plus, most have small interiors and are very limited on what they can cook well.  It seemed like it would be a waste of counter space.

When desperation forced me to reconsider and research countertop ovens, I chose the Calphalon Cool Touch Countertop Oven simply because it is "cool touch".  The outside of the oven doesn't get hot! Plus, I read that the interior cooking space was a little over 12" x 12", which is large enough for a variety of pans. Even though I have needed to purchase smaller cookie sheets and a casserole dish without handles separately, I would like to note that the oven did come with a 12" pizza pan and a baking pan that fit the oven. That allowed me to start cooking immediately.

My first baking experiment for the "little oven" was my banana bread.  My standard loaf pan fit in the oven without any problem.  You can imagine my surprise when I pulled out a beautifully browned loaf of bread, followed by the real test of cutting into it to find it was fully baked with no under-cooked center spots.

Calphalon Cool Touch Countertop Toaster Oven
I was beyond excited to serve it to my family for breakfast.  I admit, that was the best ever banana bread and I've been baking banana bread for decades. Next, we baked biscuits and they were also cooked to perfection.

Then we tried pizza and it was perfect!  Followed by broiled beef sausages.  Admittedly, my husband prefers a charred skin on his beef sausage, but I thought the beef sausages were better than usual because the skin wasn't burnt.  Then came the clincher, the one meal that sold me on believing this convection countertop oven is better than my built-in ovens. I baked my lasagna and it was cooked perfectly.

In the midst of a stressful major appliance outage, this little oven has delivered peace and perfection! 

I give the Calphalon Performance Cool Touch Countertop Toaster Oven my highest recommendation.

 

Features of the Calphalon Performance Cool Touch Countertop Toaster Oven

 Calphalon Performance Cool Touch Countertop Toaster OvenCheck Price
  • Cool Touch Exterior
  • Large Interior Capacity
  • Convection or Standard Oven Settings
  • Oven Light
  • Non-stick Interior
  • Easy to Select & Set Cooking Options
  • Easy to Set Timer
  • Preheats Really Fast
  • Preset cooking functions: Toast, Bagel, Bake, Roast, Broil, (Bread) Proof, Pizza, Cookies, Reheat, & Dehydrate 
  • Keep Warm & Defrost Buttons
  • Wire Cooking Rack with Optional Upper or Lower Position
  • Included Accessories: 12" Pizza Pan, Baking Pan, Dehydration Basket, & Crumb Tray
  • Does Not Heat Up the Kitchen like a Regular Oven
  • 3 Year Warranty - Product Registeration at Calphalon.com


A Few Placement Notes
  1. While the sides and top are cool touch, the bottom and back are hot, therefore I pull the "little oven" out about 4" from the wall when using
  2. The Electric Cord is on the right side of the back, not the center.  This keeps the cord away from the heat of the back, but might limit placement depending on where your electric outlet is installed
  3. The Cooling Vent is on the right side and should not be blocked.
  4. Rubber Feet on the Bottom create a 1½" separation between the counter and the bottom of the countertop oven
  5. Exterior Measurements:  19" wide x 12½" height x 17" depth (including handle)
  6. Do Not Place Hot Food on the Glass Oven Door  
  7. Print the User Guide Here

My New Lasagna/Casserole Dish That Fits This Countertop Oven




Read More Product Reviews On
ReviewThisProducts.com





House of Sylvestermouse






Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

The Best Back to School Memories Last for Years! A Product Review

September is a month that is full of lots of activities, usually focused around going back to school. 




Parents are busy making sure that the clothes and shoes fit.  If they don't you know there will be a shopping trip on the horizon.  First days back to school are so much fun because the students have been missing some of their friends and maybe, just maybe, there will be a new friend or two to be made.

This year most of the students and parents are especially happy that their children will be returning to a "more normal" way of learning.  No more "home schooling" unless that is the choice you have made for your children.  

For the kids going back, it will seem even more special!  Their old classrooms have been empty for almost 2 years.  Who knows what changes have taken place while they were all being home schooled.


I love seeing everyone's pictures of their kids all dressed up and ready to jump on the School Bus!  All their backpacks and gear labelled and ready to use.

Personally, the memory I love the best was getting that new pencil case and the pencils, pens, crayons or colored pencils that I would use almost daily!

There is something really special about getting that brand new pack of Crayola Pencil Crayons and sitting with a brand new sharpener.  While patiently sharpening each crayon, I would daydream about how this year was going to be the best year ever!  It was almost like a child's meditation on life!  

For younger children it might be a whole new set of Crayola Crayons and some new pencils.  A Pink Eraser that hadn't yet been used was also a MUST HAVE  for the new school year.


I don't know why, but around this time of year I love going shopping for school supplies, just nowadays we call them office supplies.  It still makes my heart go pitter patter when I see those Colored Pencils and Markers of all kinds.

My guess is that most children will be looking forward to school this year for many reasons.  The parents are looking forward to this as well.  Running Zoom meetings with teachers is not the same as being in the classroom.  Getting back together with their friends and socializing would be the first reason many are looking forward to Back to School.  And I'm sure the second reason is to pull out those brand new pencils, pencil crayons and markers to do the first of many assignments.  

Keeping them all together and neat is another fun part of this Back to School task and pencil cases have come a long way from the plain black top zipped pouch!  Now you can make a statement with how you carry your personal writing implements.  I happen to love this red one and it has a 5 star rating as well.  The others colors are also really neat!   

Back to School is an adventure for the parents as well as the kids.  New gear is part of the fun.  Making and seeing new friends and old ones will always be a part of the Memories that our children will cherish!




If the kids come home from school a little stressed, make sure you have a color by numbers book for them, after all it is supposed to relieve stress!  You might want one for yourself too!  

                        Happy Back to School Days Everyone!






Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Monday, August 30, 2021

Real Men Don't Wear Aprons, Do They?

Real men don't wear aprons, do they? What do you think? Join the debate now.

REAL MEN DON’T WEAR APRONS, DO THEY?

What do you think? Real men don't wear aprons do they? This page is dedicated to the issue of whether or not real men wear aprons. Are you a real man? If so, do or do you not wear one? Herewith find a friendly and occasionally funny debate about whether or not men actually do wear aprons. Please participate in the comment section at the bottom of the page and be sure to share this page with others so that they can add their voices to the debate. Do real men wear aprons?

HEY BANANABRAIN! REAL MEN DON’T WEAR APRONS!


Hey, BananaBrain! Real men DON'T wear aprons. Doesn't matter how many fantastic men's aprons you find, Brenda. I'm not going to put one on, no way, no how! 

But maybe you don't feel that way. Maybe you are a MAN WITH AN APRON in which case you're going to want to vote for them.

This page is meant as a bit of fun and has been moved from where it originally was posted on another website. Therefore, the names of the commenters have been changed to protect their real identities. 

REAL MEN DON’T WEAR APRONS. DO THEY OR DON'T THEY? HERE'S WHAT THE PEOPLE HAD TO SAY:  


Anonymous: They do.

VLC: Yes.

SJ: "Just" an apron? :) My wife wouldn't care if I wore newspaper as long as I cooked!

WV3: Hmm, I think it's fine, I just don't know any who do!

Anonymous: Unless they are cooking something extremely messy. Or they're wearing nice clothes.

LM24: The only aprons we have in our house are for the kids. My husband does most of the cooking.

QS: A real man would just get in there and take care of business, apron or not. Especially if he could get a little dirty and the wife is the one doing laundry!

J: I thought that ties provide enough protection while cooking.

MPA: Well, if you are using apron as a metaphor for cooking then yes, but I have never worn an apron in my life!

HLM: I don't wear an apron. Neither does my wife.

KT: Real men can't find an apron!

Anonymous: No, Real men do not wear aprons!

JI: Yes!

SD: Unless the apron is to be used as a giant bib it would be useless! LOL

EK13: I don't even know any men who can cook, let alone wear an apron. =P

Anonymous: Well, my man doesn't wear an apron, just like he doesn't know how to "clear as you go" when he cooks. But at least he cooks!

L22: I don't but never thought about it either so I just figure no you don’t see it every day.

CSM: Well, my husband does not wear an apron, but I sure wish he would. I do the laundry!

Anonymous: Aprons are for wimps - cook, get dirty and then get your lady to clean you up!

MRE: Mine doesn't but then he only makes toast.

Mrs: I don't even own an apron so I don't think the hubby is likely to wear one!

Anonymous: Aprons are protective apparel; nothing more, nothing less. If you are doing "dirty" stuff, cooking, washing dishes, etc. whilst wearing good clothes wear an apron! If you are going to work in the garden, wash the car, paint the house; dress appropriately - ie wear old clothes, no apron needed.

Anonymous: Chefs, meat cutters, welders, bike mechanics wear aprons. Real men wear whatever they want 'cuz they are men and are not afraid of what others might think.

ViJ: Real men don't care what others say. Real men are confident in any skill they've got and comfortable in their own skin.

NV: Ouch, dahling.

Anonymous: Bobby Flay wears aprons.

Anonymous: Part of the grill experience is having beer, meat and the smell of flesh on the grill. You can choose to wear an apron or you can choose to carry a towel around or you could take part in the third option and wipe your hands on your shirt and walk around the party with grease stains on your shirt. While you’re at the third option, you may as well put on a half shirt with your beer belly hanging out the bottom. If wearing an apron takes your man hood, I don't think you had much to take. Of course, this all said is intended for a manly apron wearer not the flowery apron you stole from your wife before the divorce.

Anonymous: Real men wear aprons, when and only when I want them to. Otherwise, they're kept starkers. ;D

Anonymous: Why not? Nothing is wrong with a nice PVC apron. It keeps you clean when cooking and is easy to clean after you finish.

E L S: I wear my apron for all the fellas who can't or won't and I'm quite OK with that!

Anonymous: No problem - pinafore or smock style, but no frills and certainly no stupid half aprons.

SE: Real men are sexy men and sexy men cook :-) They have to be able to throw together a good meal, or the ladies will find someone who can!

KTC: Men definitely do wear aprons. How about when doing a BBQ? There are some great BBQ aprons out there. Make sure the BBQ-er has a beer in hand at all times and that's manly! (Find a great selection of Sizzlin' Hot BBQ Aprons here.)

MR: If women can wear tight jeans, men can wear sexy aprons!

LH: Oh yes, they do. My very best-selling Zazzle product is the King of the Grill BBQ apron but hubby only wears a leather apron and that's only for when he's welding. Hmmmmmmm. (I couldn't find LH's apron but I found a fun selection of King of the Grill aprons on Etsy here.)

Anonymous: "Real Men" Any man that has anything worth protecting down there would be wise to wear an apron when working with hot food. Taking a bath in hot caramel is never fun.

Anonymous: Of course, they should wear aprons. Full length. PVC.

CRLM: Real men are totally sexy in aprons. (It has to be a manly apron though.)

Anonymous: Real men wear aprons - PVC when dishwashing

Anonymous: They do.

Anonymous: At a church supper, you want to be able to mingle, without being covered in slop! Working under different, sometimes rushed conditions, with a new crew - stuff happens, and the resulting "decorations" are not always pretty.

Anonymous: Yes, absolutely they do! Real men do AND look pretty good in them as well. (I know I do.)

Anonymous: This idea, that wearing an apron makes you less manly is silly. My carpenter and butcher wear aprons... does that mean they are any less manly than anyone else. Real men can and do wear aprons! RTV LM: My hubby loves his apron I had custom made for him when he grills and, LOL, I can attest he's a real man ;)

VS: I started wearing aprons in 1975 when I went to work for Howard Johnson's. As a manager, we had to run the line in the kitchen most of the time but be presentable for the front of the house as well. I kept an extra set of clothing in the office for emergencies like bending over a deep fryer and dipping in your tie but aprons saved me many, many times! I've kept the habit.

RW: My husband wears the apron in our family -- and it is sexy!

PI: Yeah, they do but only if there is something really stupid written on it.

TG: I never wear an apron myself and neither does my husband, but that's just because I don't like to put them on and off again, but I don't truly see why men can't wear an apron if he wants to. I always wear trousers, does that make me less feminine? And yes, if a man likes to cook and keep his clothes clean, he should wear an apron of some sort.

Anonymous: I love to see my men folk in aprons

Anonymous: It takes a real man, secure in himself, and no need to prove his "machismo" to wear an apron.

Jack: Chefs wear aprons. Men that aren't chefs wear them when they cook, if they're not girlie aprons.

IM: I have met a REAL man, a manly man and he uses an apron now and then.

Anonymous: Sure they do, sometimes.

Anonymous: Yes, some do wear aprons 24/7.

GW: Real men can do anything!

Anonymous: Well, as long as they are not girlie aprons, LOL.

EW: Real men can really wear aprons!

Anonymous: Men who know that the healthiest foods are home cooked are the 'smarter' men. What makes them even smarter is that they choose to wear aprons because they know that aprons keep their clothes clean while they cook those healthy meals. Eat that ! ;)

TAWA: Lots of men wear aprons and can still be manly. (Sure a frilly pinafore isn’t making anyone feel THAT masculine but DANG FLABBIT ITS AN APRON!!) MY POINT IS MEN JUST WEAR A DANG APRON! Sheesh this is like saying real women don’t wear pants!

Anonymous: To say men do not wear aprons does not make sense really. All kinds of professional men wear aprons. In Freemasonry, we give aprons as awards.

JC: I worked for several years as a cook in restaurants and residences. You better believe men wear aprons when they cook for a living. As for around the house, well, they do it they barbecue, I think. Anonymous: Dirty apron = clean clothes PL: Yes, he does, well, maybe not all of the time. In fact, this just gave me the idea to write a page about my man in his apron. I'm sure he won't mind, will he? This is a fun debate, deserving of 5 aprons.

EJA: My husband is all man and he's more likely to wear an apron than I am.

AG LM: When I meet a REAL man, I’ll let you know. I’ll know he is real as he WILL be wearing his apron and not hanging onto my apron strings, he he he.

Anonymous: Real men can and do wear aprons

HB: Chefs wear them and many of them are "real men."

KTBTEN: Real men fry tofu -- it can be wise to wear an apron when stir-frying tofu in a wok over very high heat.

Anonymous: Real men DO wear aprons. They do.

WWH: We don't own any aprons but they seem to be really fashionable!

R7: I know one man who DOES wear an apron occasionally but to be honest I haven't seen many people in aprons period. Men or women.

BD: Real men aren't afraid to wear aprons and I like my man in nothing but an apron.

LK: My real men wear footie PJs! Aprons, too!

TD: Real men don’t care what other think... :)

SD: Mine should and I wouldn't mind as long as he's doing the cooking!

SLM: Well, let's just put it this way. Before I ever did any cooking apart from a braai (barbeque), I wouldn't have been caught dead in an apron. However, lots of men wear funny aprons at a braai. Now, however being forced to cook, I'll put on the wife's apron. Handy to wipe your hands on.

K: They wear aprons, but they never tie them in the back - just hang them over their neck and go.

-------------------------------------

Before you vote, here is an opportunity to add a good, solid, basic apron to your man's wardrobe. 

The first one shown below is by Chefs Work and is simple but durable and receives top marks from the reviewers on Amazon. Check it and the reviews out for yourself on Amazon by clicking right here

Chef Works basic striped apron receives solid reviews from users. Perfect for the apron-wearing man in your household.
The second apron also shown below is for those already converted to wearing an apron, reads Real Men Wear Aprons and is available in a host of colors. Find it on Amazon here.

Perfect for the man who cooks and wants to protect his clothes. Real men DO wear aprons!
-------------------------------------

Phew! If you made it this far, now is the time. It is your turn to add your voice to the debate. Please don't let the previous comments change your opinion but do add your thoughts. What do you think? Do real men wear aprons or not?

See you
in the kitchen!  

MORE APRONS:






Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:
Review This Reviews Quick View Home Page

The Review This Contributors



Cynthia SylvestermouseCynthia SylvestermouseDawn Rae BDawn Rae BMary Beth - mbgphotoMary Beth - mbgphotoBrite-IdeasBrite-IdeasBev OwensBev OwensWednesday ElfWednesday ElfBarbRadBarbRadOlivia MorrisOlivia MorrisRenaissanceWoman2010RenaissanceWomanLou16Lou16The Savvy AgeThe Savvy AgeTreasures by BrendaTreasures by BrendaMargaret SchindelMargaret SchindelSam MonacoSam MonacoRaintree AnnieRaintree AnnieBuckHawkBuckHawkDecoratingforEventsDecoratingforEventsHeather426Heather426Coletta TeskeColetta TeskeMissMerFaeryMissMerFaeryMickie_GMickie_G




Review This is Dedicated to the
Memory of Our Beloved Friend and Fellow Contributor


We may be apart, but
You Are Not Forgotten


Susan DeppnerSusan Deppner




“As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from purchases.” Disclosure Statement

X