Yoshi Blade is a special knife for those of us who are tired of cutting fingers while slicing and dicing fruit, vegetables and bread. I'm sure you've seen many over-the-top infomercials over the years with their patented ceramic knives. So is Yoshi Blade any different than the rest?
What's So Great About the Yoshi Blade
The ceramic blade is made from Zirconium Oxide which is 40% stronger than steel.
The knife won’t rust or pit and never dulls.
Yoshi Blades are guaranteed for life.
It's a non serrated knife which creates a safe environment in the kitchen.
No need to buy a new knife set or sharpen an existing one. You can buy one blade and do it all. (almost all)
With the tests I've seen, it works excellent for super thin slices of bread, tomato, onions, carrots, cucumber and pineapple.
It's the perfect size knife with comfortable handles.
Both the knife and peeler cut fruits and vegetables with ease and do a wonderful job.
It's a slicing knife and not meant for chopping.
You can't put it in dishwasher.
No cutting frozen food, hard cheeses or meat with bones.
The Yoshi Blade is comparable to a very expensive knife set. If you can't afford that, then Yoshi Blade may be for you. Of course you can't replace all your knives since you can't use this blade for cheese, meat or frozen foods. For $19.99 plus s/h you get two peelers and two knives. You can pick them up at www.yoshiblade.com and eBay USA. By the way, if you want to see how the Handy Chef does in a real live test, have a look here.
One Handy Chef is meant to replace six of your kitchen utensils. Now that's what I call a kitchen gadget. Anything to make your time in the kitchen more efficient is good with me. So you're supposed to grab, serve, turn and whisk any kind of food. Basically a variation of tongs, a whisk and a spatula. If you've got kitchen drawers full of utensils this might be a way of cutting down on all of them. That is if Handy Chef really works. Even after all the infomercial claims here's what it REALLY can and can't do.
If you can't see the KCBD News video, please click on the blog headline above.
It's fairly easy to use. Although, you'll have to figure out how it works from the instructions on the box since they don't include any inside.
It works well whisking eggs and milk together, dipping the bread in the eggs and milk, flipping french toast and fried eggs in the pan, taking eggs in and out of hot water and holding the eggs very securely.
All the food was held securely but it was really nice to have the eggs held so well since most kitchen utensils can't do this very well.
You won't have to dirty or use too many utensils at one time. It can reduce the clutter in your kitchen drawer.
The handle is made from plastic so it may not last for the long hall.
You have to be careful not to scratch your pans since it's made from metal.
Doesn't work well with spaghetti since it tends to slip out.
Whipping cream also doesn't whip well.
The flipping action is good although it's more like a tong than a spatula. The food has to be firm before you flip it.
Yes, the Handy Chef works although you're normal kitchen utensils work fine too. The nice thing is with Handy Chef you're only using one utensil instead of dirtying several. For $4.99 for two in a box, you should get some good use out of it. Available on eBay and Bed Bath and Beyond. And our next attraction is a blender and chopper by the name of Nuwave Twister.
Nuwave Twister at first glance seems to be identical to the Magic Bullet. Since when did Nuwave make the move from convection ovens to food processors? It's yet another in a long line of space saving blenders for the home. Since there's no point in having it save space but not blend, mix and grate properly, Linda Schneider thought she'd give it a whirl.
The big draw with these all-in-one blenders and food processors, is that you can make small quantities of desserts, baby food dips and soups without dirtying too many dishes and making a mess of the kitchen.
The instructions for the NuWave Twister mention that you simply blend until smooth. Well it didn't really work out that way. Linda found chunks of ice in her smoothie. Not just small ones but huge ice cubes that she had to pick out of her smoothie, which, whether you're serving to guests or yourself that aren't going to go down well at all - literally. The second test was a mango salsa in which she attempted to chop the mangoes. Still no luck since the mangoes came out in large chunks. The food ended up just being pushed around in the container and stuck there. So much for the time saving, easy to clean up kitchen gadget.
NuWave Twister doesn't work as advertised. If you call it a chopper and a blender it should do a much better job. The motor is not powerful enough to do either blending or chopping. I think this company should stick to making NuWave Ovens instead. The Magic Bullet on the other hand is not perfect, it's more expensive but better than the Nuwave Twister. You can read the review at the link above.
Cat Genie is one of those inventions that you really wonder...Is it really necessary to over develop the simplicity of a litter box? Does your kitty need his own $330 cat toilet that self flushes and self washes? Find out how well this electronic, mini toilet works.
Cat Genie Features
Unique self-flushing, self-washing cat box maintains itself. It uses permanent washable granules that never need changing. It's ideal for homes with 2 to 3 cats over 6 months old. Hardware, granules, cleaning solution, and instructions included. Measures 24 by 19 by 21 inches; 2-year limited warranty.
How Does Cat Genie Work?
It's actually quite fun to watch it in action. The electrical scoop sifts out the solids. Then the bowl changes directions so the water can flush the granules in order to clean them. It even disguises any odors by putting out a fresh scent! Assembling the Cat Genie itself is not problem. Although it's a bit more time consuming to connect the Cat Genie plumbing to the toilet.
It cleans itself and it cut's down on cleaning a regular litter box.
Smells great when cycle is completed.
Cat activation feature works great.
Some cats will not use the Cat Genie even after being introduced to it as explained in the instruction manual.
Cats track the bits of granule out of the Cat Genie and around the house.
Some Cat Genie owners mentioned that there's something wrong with the timer and the device starts beeping in error mode for no reason.
Sometimes it stops in mid cycle while there's wet cat litter in the Cat Genie.
You'll still need to do some routine cleaning and maintenance.
It's very loud when it's in the flush and poop grind mode.
It's quite expensive with a $330 price tag, even if it does cut out some of the work of cleaning a regular litter box.
Other How-To Resources
This guy must have a lot of patience! It's a guide with step by step instructions and clear pictures of the Cat Genie.
I thought this was really interesting. It's a video instruction on how to get your cat to use the toilet!
Cat Genie overall, worries me because I've seen many negative comments about it's reliability. Although I can't speak for all Cat Genie owners, it's a lot of money to be spending and not have working or having your cat using. Not to mention the time spent to install the electrical and plumbing. It may not be so affordable for the average cat owner. Now for all you dog owners who are interested in a Crazy Critter for your pooch, here's a review for you!
The Crazy Critters infomercial claims that their pet toys are indestructible. If you have a dog that completely destroys pet toys, you might have been interested in introducing them to a Crazy Critter toy skunk, raccoon or fox. The reinforced fabric, stitching, lack of stuffing and two squeaker toys inside each Crazy Critter should make for a great pet toy. The main thing pet owners worry about is...does it stand up to dogs with aggressive chewing habits?
Crazy Critters - Good and Bad Points
Good - All dogs seem to absolutely love playing with these toys. Also dogs won't choke on the stuffing that you'd see from a regular stuffed toy.
Bad - Large breed dog owners are saying that their Crazy Critters were torn apart in about an hour. Even after spending extra for the double stitched, reinforced lining.
As you can see in the video, the toy looks promising while the toy goes through a tug-of-war-test. Although soon Murphy the dog, goes to work tearing this toy apart in about an hour. He was able to chew out both squeakers as well. Jason was impressed at how much Murphy loved playing with the toy. Too bad he had to give it a thumbs down for durability. Also he thought that the $10 is a little steep and he expected it to be more durable for that price.
Crazy Critters in the end doesn't stand up to the abuse of large breed dogs. Also some dog owners mentioned that the ad for the three smaller Crazy Critters was misleading. They thought they were ordering a set of three and only got one. If you have a smaller breed dog it might stand up over time. They are available online and at Pet Smart. Here's another pet accessory that might be very helpful for dog owners... here's a Dog E Minder review!
The Dog E Minder is a battery powered dog tag and activity tracking device for your pet. You know how it is when you aren't sure if someone has just taken the dog for a walk or fed him. I could see this being quite useful and may interest you. Here's a quick video and review of what Dog E Minder can do for you.
How Dog E Minder Works
You first set up the Dog E Minder by entering the date, time, your phone number and the dogs name. This works great for a doggie ID tag.
For tracking your pets activities, it has three different buttons. The bone is for "meal", fire hydrant is for "walk," and the Rx is for "medication."
When you've completed an activity with your dog, you press that corresponding button for three seconds. The back-lit display will flash. This indicates that the date and time were recorded.
The Doggie Minder relies on you to remember to push the buttons. So in order check the Dog E Minder, you simply push the corresponding button and the last time stamp will show for that specific activity.
News station WCPO9 tested to see if it was water and shock proof as the infomercial claims. So they left the device under running water for 30 seconds. They also dropped the device on concrete from a distance of six feet. It did continue to work properly.
As you can see in the video, it's questionable if the Dog E Minder is cool looking or not. I could see it maybe be a little too large for small dog breeds though. This costs $20 bucks for this clever device!
The Magic Bullet Blender's infomercial draws you in with those delicious looking smoothies. Although I like the idea of not having to pull out and clean a large blender every meal, is this an efficient use of our time, blending a drink one by one in the Magic Bullet? Here's a look at what this blender can and can't do.
The personal, versatile, counter-top magician
Works as a blender, a juicer and a food processor
Magic Bullet Blender - Good and Bad Points
Small size is great for singles who don't want to use a regular blender
Easy to clean
Does a reasonably good job of...
Whipping foods like eggs.
Grinding dry foods such as coffee beans and peppercorns.
Blends liquids reasonably well although some say that the consistency is not that great when blending liquids and fruits.
Does a poor at chopping vegetables.
The blender can overheat if you operate it for more than 1 minute at a time.
The durability over the long term is questionable.
Complaints about fragile plastic parts that break.
You can't get a single replacement part. The company makes you pay for a new base instead.
Test Results of the Magic Bullet Blender
Salsa - You have to shake the blender in order for it to blend all the ingredients at the top. Not very appetizing to look at the salsa but it tasted good.
Strawberry banana smoothie - Blended ingredients quickly and the smoothies were tasty.
Scrambled eggs - The eggs blended except the cheese came out in chunks. They were still tasty.
Onion - Pureed instead of chopping or dicing.
Block of cheddar - Didn't do well at all. The cheese just bounced off the blades.
The Magic Bullet overall is good if you are looking to blend or juice small portions of food. Don't expect too much from it though. Kirstey our tester thought that it wasn't worth $60. If you're looking for a really heavy duty blender, here's an honest review of the Vita Mix!
The Vitamix Blender differentiates itself from other blenders by the speed of its 240 mph, high powered motor. You've probably seen them in operation at your local smoothie shop. I personally bought one of these blenders a few years back at a Home Show and I'll tell you what I like and a few things I dislike about this product.
Yesterday we took a look at the Jack Lalanne Power Juicer. I don't mean to knock juicers but you have to admit that there is so much waste. The fun part about the VitaMix is that you can use all portions of the fruit and vegetable. The whole thing... skin, core and all and throw it in the blender along with ice and it comes out creamy smooth. Less waste plus the Vitamix does more than a regular juicer. Here's a quick video plus the pros and cons so you can decide if the VitaMix is right for you.
What the Vitamix Blender Can Do
With the high powered motor you're able to blend many more things than a regular blender. It's not just for smoothies....Here's a sample of other things you can make with the Vita Mix.
It also creates frozen drinks, ice cream, fancy coffees, salad dressings, sauces, creamy soups, salsa, fondues, pates, peanut butter, vegetable juices, nut milk, pesto, hummus, dips, salad dressing and baby food. There's another special "dry grain container" where you can grind your own grain to make your own bread!
You don't have to chop your food before adding it to the mixer. This blender can pulverize anything. Even large frozen chunks of fruit and ice in seconds.
I loved the fact that there's an automatic shut off when it has trouble blending ingredients so you don't have to worry that you'll burn out a motor.
Another thing I really love is that it blends recipe ingredients quickly and easily. There's also less bowls and mess to clean up afterward.
Blends everything with a creamy, smooth consistency which makes everything taste better. Also no annoying lumps in anything.
It crushes and blends ice with ease which many blenders can't do.
Super easy clean up. Just add one drop of dish soap and add 3/4 full of water and turn it on for 20 seconds. Empty and rinse.
I know that it can handle the wear and tear for the long haul. You can tell it's very well constructed.
The company stands behind their product and it comes with a seven 7 warranty.
It has to be the loudest blender on the market!
There's a bit of a learning curve when you get it. You have to add the ingredients in a special order. The most dense stuff at the bottom. The ice always on the bottom and work your way up. Then add the liquids last. If you don't, your Vitamix will stall and the automatic shut off will kick in.
In comparison to other blenders, the Vitamix requires a tamper to push the food down toward the blades.
I found it difficult to take the lid on and off. You definitely need a two handed tug.
It's very tall and won't go under some counters. It's also very heavy if you want to lift it in and out of your cupboard.
The cost is quite high at $450. You have to use it often to make it worth your while.
This is my personal preference - Vitamix makes delicious soups but they are more on the creamier side. I personally prefer to have a heartier soup that you cook and simmer on the stove.
You have to be adventurous to try new things you'd never normally put in a blender. Otherwise you won't get the full use out of it. Go through the recipes book when you get it and make things that will become a habit so that you will save money instead of buying grocery store products. Such as ice cream, peanut butter etc.
Other Advantages to Consider
Saves money on some prepared, store bought food.
Much healthier food with less preservatives, sugars and fats.
You're body is able derive three times more nutrients from fruits and vegetables when they are blended into very small pieces.
If you prefer to purchase a used Vitamix blender, there are various models available on eBay.
The Vitamix Blender to me, was well worth the $700 investment I paid. Thankfully they ARE ONLY $450 these days. I know it's heavy duty and will last. I use most of the the time but you definitely have to get into the habit of preparing new meals with it. Otherwise you might fall back into normal habits and leave it sitting in your cupboard.
Jack Lalanne Power Juicer Pro has one of the most entertaining infomercials. Don't you just love seeing that lively, 90 year old Jack juicing it up with his wife? Who wouldn't want to have a simple, healthy diet of nutritious juice every day? Uhhh, well there's a slight problem or two. Check out what Consumer Reports and a group of ladies from Ohio have to say about this juicer.
Stainless-steel electric juicer produces fresh juice quickly and easily
Extra-large round chute
Stainless-steel blade and mesh filter
Whisper-quiet 3,600 RPM motor
Patented extraction technology
Large-capacity pulp collector
Measures approximately 18 by 12 by 17 inches
Test on the Jack Lalanne Power Juicer Pro
ConsumerReports recently compared Jack Lalanne Power Juicer Pro with several other juicers. They used carrot, apples, oranges and tomato juice. Here's what they found.
It did deliver more juice than the others except for the tomato juice.
It's the quietest juicer they tested.
The problems with the juicer are that the produce feeds very slowly. Also, the plunger gets stuck.
Overall the Jack Lalanne juicer was the highest price yet ranked lowest among the juicers.
Other consumers report the following problems
It doesn't extract the juice from spinach.
For whatever reason there's a hole in the back of the pour spout, which makes a mess when the juice is draining into your container.
You have to use a shallow container to collect the juice since the pour spout is so close to the counter. If you have a lot of juice pouring out, you either have to stop the juicer to empty the container or do a quick container switch.
Others found that they wasted so much fruit because after they were done juicing they had so much pulp to throw away.
If your interested in looking at how the classic model of the Jack Lalanne Power Juicer, here's a good video review. In the video, the ladies briefly introduce themselves and finally do the test. Overall, they found it splattered when the juice came out. Also it was a REALLY messy to clean up. If you ask me, I would NEVER want to spend so much time cleaning the darn thing!
Another solution you might want to consider is to get yourself a high powered household blender instead of a juicer. I bought one about 5 years ago, called the Vita Mix. I like it because your not wasting any of the fruit. Also the pulp and skin of the fruit has the most nutrition which is not thrown in the garbage. In the summer with all that fresh fruit available, I make smoothies almost every day. Anyways, the only problem is that iit has a $450 price tag. I'll do a review on this blender tomorrow.
The Jack Lalanne Power Juicer doesn't look like the best juicer out there for what you pay. If you've looked around the web for reviews, it's kind of weird that there are glowing, overly positive comments yet many negative comments. This leads me to believe that people are being paid to leave positive comments on websites. I can't say for sure but it just looks suspicious.
In this Jupiter Jack review, you can see how this device is installed and how well it really works. By the way, Jupiter Jack was originally named "Black Jack" and the company soon realized that this name was under trademark restrictions. Go figure! With all the new bylaws going into effect in different provinces and states, many of us need a legal way to use our cell phones while driving. Find out if it really works.
Jupiter Jack Infomercial Claims
An easy to use device that turns your car radio into a hands fee speaker phone.
You use it by plugging Jupiter Jack into your cell phone's headset jack. Then you tune your car radio to 99.3 FM and start talking hands free.
It features a built in microphone that transmits your voice clearly. You also hear your caller's voice clearly through your car's speakers.
Clear robust sound that only your car speaker can provide allowing you to conveniently talk and drive at the same time.
It works with any cell phone with an headphone jack. Some phones may require an adapter, the most common of which are included in the package.
The picture on the Jupiter Jack box is misleading. It shows that it plugs directly in your phone...you actually need an adapter.
You phone reception has noise and echos through the two radio station frequencies. Sometimes it works only if you hold the Jupiter Jack right in front of your car stereo.
If you have local radio stations with a strong signal, the Jupiter Jack transmission can't beat out the static and noise.
Receiver of the calls hears an echo.
When you call to order this product from the vendor, their ordering process is very confusing and at the end doesn't give your order total.
Jupiter Jack is getting many complaints and definitely doesn't work for everyone. I've heard a few people say that it does work clearly for them. Although I wouldn't take a chance. A blue tooth device is better since you aren't limited to just the car. You can use it around the home etc. Here's another auto accessory called Driveway Patrol and a review if you wonder if it actually works as advertised.