Yum Log


Stuff-a-Burger Lets You, Well … Stuff a Burger!

If you don’t know what a “Juicy Lucy” is, then prepare to have your mind blown. The Juicy Lucy is a stuffed hamburger filled with add-ins like cheese, bacon, mushrooms or onions. Until now, they’ve been difficult to make at home, but thanks to the Stuff-a-Burger Press, you can make your own version on the grill!


Smoke at Home with Masterbuilt

If you like smoked meats, then, well I guess we can be friends. But not everyone has the room for a big wood-fired smoker or the time to tend the fire for a long cooktime. For convenient home smoking and consistently delicious reults, the Masterbuilt 30-inch Electric Digital Stainless Steel Smokehouse might just be the solution for you!


Coravin Help You Preserve That Fine WIne

If you’re a wine drinker that occasionally can’t quite finish that great bottle, you’ve probably been confronted by the problem of vino that just isn’t so keeno the next day. Luckily, Coravin is here with a novel new solution. Thanks to the manufacturer’s ingenious invention, it’s argon to the rescue! I recently got a note from a p/r agency that read, in part, “Don’t you hate it when you just can’t drink all of that bottle of great wine and worry that it will go bad before you can finish it?” Wait, what? “Can’t drink all the bottle?” I am…


Yes, Virginia, There Are Some Great Food Products from the Commonwealth

This is a bit of a departure from my normal reviews here at Gear Diary, but I’ve come across some interesting and unique products from the commonwealth of Virginia that are worthy of sharing. Read on if you’re interested in nut butters from Reginald’s Original, hickory syrup from Wildwoods, or the latest release from AOL, Early Mountain wines. In my day gig as a food writer, I get lots of sample products to review. In fact, my UPS and Fed Ex guys must think I’m a lonely old drunk since I have to sign for liquor deliveries a few times…


Sachi Insulated Food Bags Review – Carry Your Lunch with Class

I work out of my house. Well, I guess more accurately, I work in my house, so I usually either meet friends out for lunch somewhere or I eat at home. I don’t have a lot of need to carry a meal anywhere and keep it hot or cold. So when the offer came to check out the Sachi Insulated Food Bags. I figured it might make more sense for my girlfriend to run it through its paces. She’s a kindergarten teacher who takes her lunch to school every day and only has about 15 minutes to eat, so premade…


Sugar Skulls for Your Coffee – More Meditative Than Macabre

If you take your coffee with a bit of sugar, and you don’t mind a not so subtle reminder of your mortality, then these sugar skulls should be right up your alley. Perfect for celebrating Halloween, Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead), or for using on crappy days as a reminder of the other alternative. I first spied these on Crnchy, but there was no purchase info. I did manage to find etsy seller Dem Bones, who carries quite a few ready-made sugar skull sugar cubes in their shop — no leg bones, alas. If you are the crafty…


Tempour from Soiree Review – One Wine Tool to Rule Them All

As a food and drink writer, I get the opportunity to try out a lot of gadgets that purport to make my drinking life easier. Not that I don’t appreciate them, but the drawers of my liquor cabinet are full of things to cool my drinks, tools to aerate and decant wine, strainers, bottle stoppers, collars that fit around bottlenecks to prevent dripping and strainers to filter out the sediment in aged wines. It’s frankly getting to be a bit of a mess in there, and I usually just keep the drawer shut. So I was quite excited to hear…


Smart Food Scale Promises to Up the Game in Your Kitchen and Reaches Kickstarter Goal

Regular GearDiary readers know that I’m a big fan of a good kitchen gadget, and I love my digital kitchen scale. But I’ve recently seen a new toy that might encourage me to mothball my Bakers Math scale. (Even if it was a really nice holiday present.) Chef Sleeve is known for what they call “counter top technology,” products which make it easier for you to use your tech in the messy environment of the kitchen. The latest product that promises to make your life a little easier is a Bluetooth-enabled kitchen scale they are calling the Smart Food Scale….


Lumi Wine Wall Looks to Upcycle Used Wine Casks with Kickstarter Campaign

I’ve got a fairly decent size wine collection, but I wouldn’t call what I do with my bottles “cellaring.” That implies that I’m intentionally saving it for a future date when the wine has matured or perhaps become more valuable. The hundred or so bottles of good juice that are in various racks and shelves around my house are merely bottles I haven’t drunk yet. I’ll get to you soon enough, my pretties! So I’ve never invested in a full cellar system or a large wine fridge, since I like to keep my favorite bottles within arms reach. But there’s…


Vejibags Keep Your Greens Greener

Now that April showers are giving way to May flowers, there are also plenty of wonderful greens coming up in farms and gardens. My family has been members of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share for years. If you’ve never participated in a CSA, basically the deal is that you pay a farmer in advance of the growing season in return for a bushel or half bushel of vegetables every week. We love having lots of fresh veggies that we know exactly where they came from, but being a two-person household it’s hard to get through all those greens in…


Hermetus Bottle Opener and Resealer Review – Doesn’t Your Beer Deserve This Bottle Opener?

That question was, of course, rhetorical. Of COURSE your beer (or other bottled beverage) deserves a bottle opener as simple and useful as the Hermetus Bottle Opener and Resealer that Kaufman Mercantile sent me to check out. Made in Germany, the Hermetus Bottle Opener and Resealer is a metal bottle opener that easily opens any bottle, but then it is also able to glide over the top and make a tight seal that helps keep beers from going flat or spilling. Why would you need such a device? Simple… This IPA is not only strong but it is huge. And…


Healthy Delicious Lemonade in Seconds

It’s summer, and that means it is time for lemonade. (Actually, I love lemonade, so all year long is lemonade time.) The problem is that lemonade is made with sugar, and more and more studies are suggesting that sugar is not only addictive but is a toxic poison. (Yeah, I know the words “addictive”, “toxic” and “poison” are strong, but I’m just referencing the words used in places such as here and here.) I even spoke about it last fall during the Jewish Holy Days and encouraged my community to begin taking their health more seriously. (Read it.) (According to…


Travaso Fine Wine Decanters Make Something Good Even Better

Let’s talk about decanting. I think that most people who enjoy wine are familiar with the process of decanting, introducing air to a liquid by pouring it from one container into another. This serves two major purposes. First, if you’ve stored your wine correctly with the neck slightly below parallel to keep the cork wet so that it doesn’t dry out and crack (you do that, right?), then any sediment in the wine will settle into the wider bottom of the bottle. Thanks to the large dimple in the bottom of the bottle, called the “punt,” (see, you learn something…


Starbucks Blond Roast Veranda Blend Is Yummy

I love coffee. When I used to eat ice-cream, coffee was my favorite flavor; by that I mean the coffee ice-cream that really tasted like coffee, not that subtle flavored stuff some brands offer. And when I used to eat cake I loved anything with mocha. And each morning I still brew a pot of coffee in my Cuisinart coffeepot and polish it off before starting my day. In addition to liking coffee, I also happen to like convenience; that’s where my Keurig coffee maker comes in. Lately, I’ve been enjoying Starbucks Blond Roast Veranda Blend in it. It has…


Kutsko Cutting Boards Offer Novel Kitchen Solutions

Nate Kutsko is a born problem solver. His day gig is a partner with his father in a handyman service that has earned a reputation for coming into houses and being able to fix just about anything that needs repairing, from plumbing to electrical to woodworking. In his home workshop, Kutsko likes to tinker around with projects, especially with wood. He noticed that when he and his friends were picnicing outdoors at concerts or at Nashville’s Steeplechase, it was really difficult to find a flat surface to serve your food and drink on. So he added two adjustable stakes to…


Beer Hunter and Drinkmaster Will Keep You Warm and Your Beer Cold

It’s time for slightly embarrassing admissions here at Gear Diary: I can personally vouch that when I was in college (hmmpty-hmmph) years ago, I learned that it is possible to smuggle an entire eight-pack of 8 oz. Little Kings Cream Ales into a movie theater stashed within the various pockets of a denim jacket. I mean, have you seen the price of concessions at the movies lately?! Unfortunately, I can also verify that when you drape said blue jean jacket around the back of a theater seat, there is a very high probability that at least one of those little…


Tres Generaciones Anejo Tequila, a Taste of Family History

Life is short. I see that all the time in my work, and I have seen it far too often in my own life. Life is too short to fill it with worries about the small stuff, and it is too short to fill it with bad people, bad experiences, bad food or bad drinks. Speaking of drinks; I have long been a scotch drinker, but  just as often as not I enjoy relaxing while sipping tequila. Recently I decided that, except when making margaritas, I would begin drinking higher-end tequilas, and I decided to have some fun with it….


Baker’s Math Kitchen Scale – KD8000 – Unleash Your Inner Alton Brown Again

I’ve often said (including here on Gear Diary, I think), that in the kitchen you’re either an Alton or a Mario. “Altons” refer to Alton Brown, the Mr. Wizard of the Food Network who combines science and math with recipes to teach you how to cook and why precision is important. I’m an Alton. “Marios” are more like Mario Batali, cooks who throw in a dash of this and a sprinkle of that and never measure anything. My girlfriend is a Mario. Well, maybe she’s more of a Maria… These two archetypes can work well together in a kitchen, as…


Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale Taste Test

Hello again! Kevin here with another Beer Diary taste. Last night I was drinking Balashi, Aruba’s national beer but before we left on vacation I picked out and drank a popular and widely available (including our regular grocery in San Angelo, TX)  brew from Oskar Blues Brewery in Colorado to share. Did I mention The Great American Brew Festival that took place in Denver last October? We were there and it was awesome. Oskar’s was there too. Let’s have a look: The Brewery: Oskar Blues Brewery Lyons Colorado The Beer: Dale’s Pale Ale Color: Reddish orange Head: Excellent head retention with good…


Cocoa Beans Channel Coffee Beans with Choffy

While I cut way back on my coffee consumption after I stopped working for Borders, I still appreciate a well made cup of coffee. The coffee snob in me won’t touch flavored coffees, but I do like the occasional mocha flavored treat. In the course of surfing around the web today, I came across a coffee-like product so delicious and unusual sounding, I ordered a bag right away. What was it? CHOFFY! What’s a Choffy?: CHOFFY IS BREWED CHOCOLATE! 100% PREMIUM COCOA BEANS ROASTED AND GROUND TO CREATE A RICH DRINK THAT PROVIDES LONG-LASTING ENERGY AND WHOLE-BODY WELLNESS. Richer and…