Kitchen Gadgets

Keurig Introduces the New Keurig Vue Brewing System

Most of the Gear Diary team and many of my friends know that I love my Keurig machine.  Brewing many different hot drinks from coffee to cocoa, my Keurig is my morning friend, and I’ve even been known to fire it up in the evening? However, there’s one thing that my Keurig can’t do — milky drinks like latte’s and cappuccinos. Well, Keurig has done it again and brought out a new brewing system called the Keurig Vue.


Get a Grip on Alder & Co’s Maple Salad Hands

I think that we can all agree that sometimes it’s the little things which make a meal special, and these solid Vermont maple ‘Salad Hands’ by Alder and Co. look like they could instigate a few appreciative comments from around the dinner table. For $34, they can handle your greens. Alder & Co. — Maple Salad Hands.


iGrill + Omaha Steaks’ Steak Time App = Meat Magic

Now far be it from me to tell a man (or a woman for that matter) how to use their BBQ grill. Like politics and religion, grilling is a topic where advice is rarely appreciated or even more rarely followed. I’m sure you’re great at cooking a steak over charcoal or gas, and I wouldn’t tell you to your face if I thought otherwise. A. because you’re feeding me and B. because you probably have fire and sharp BBQ tools within arm’s reach. Maybe you’re one of those people who can judge a steak’s doneness by comparing the surface of the…


If You’re Gonna Get Bombed Anyway, Try the ‘Bombs Away’ Shot Glasses from ConvenientGadgets.com

So does anybody actually still do shots anymore? In my younger day, I might have tipped a few back, and I do see the young folks dropping a Jägerbomb every now and then at my local watering hole. But for the most part, I like to sip my drinks rather than snapping my head back and pouring one down my gullet. However, if you are in the holiday spirit for some holiday spirits and want to maximize the efficiency of your consumption, then perhaps a set of Bombs Away Shot Glasses from ConvenientGadgets.com is just the ticket. Made from sturdy…


Look Cool While You Cool Your Cocktail with Whiskey Disks

. Whiskey Disks. It’s probably wise not to try to say that three times fast, especially if you’ve been drinking whiskey. Actually Whiskey Disks are a new product designed to give spirits fans the best possible enjoyment of their sipping. When I first heard about Whiskey Disks, I immediately reached out the manufacturers to see if I could try some out for myself. They quickly obliged, which is fortunate since I usually enjoy at least one glass of bourbon every night after dinner to take the edge off a hard day of writing about food and booze. I normally enjoy…


Smoke Like a Pro with the Peg Leg Porker BBQ Kit

I’ve loved pork for a long time – waaay before the hipsters made bacon worship popular. One of my favorite ways to spend a Saturday afternoon is to put a pork butt on the smoker first thing in the morning and watch college football all day while the meat soaks up the hickory goodness. Since you have to add new wood every hour or so, it pretty much guarantees that you have to stay on your couch all day and restoke the fire at halftime of each game. Sorry about those chores, sweetie. Can’t you see I’m working here? While…


Yum Log: The Key to an Awesome Margarita

Early in December we’ll be heading down to our timeshare for a week of sun. Each day there has a fairly typical routine that includes being back in one of the timeshare apartments playing Scrabble, cards, reading and, of course, having afternoon drinks. It for that reason that one of the items I may be packing this year is a citrus squeeze. Yes, I may actually bring my own citrus squeezer along on our vacation. Why? Because nothing is better than a delicious fresh margarita made with fresh squeezed lime juice!! Over the years we’ve tried a number of different juicers….


The Belkin iPad Kitchen Cabinet Mount Review

Long-time Gear Diary fans may remember me from my stint a few years back as our resident “Stunt Reviewer.” Well, like a bad penny, I’ve turned up again and Judie and the gang have been nice enough to welcome me back to contribute the occasional review or announcement, specifically for the “Yum Log” section where we take a look at kitchen, food and cooking products and gadgets. In the couple years since I stopped writing here, I’ve been a full-time food blogger for the Nashville Scene in my home town and an occasional contributor to regional and national food magazines…


iPad Accessory Review: Belkin Chef Stand and Wand

It comes as no surprise to anyone who lives on this planet that the iPad is finding its way into pretty much every aspect of our lives and certainly into pretty much every room of the house. Among the places where it can come in particularly handy is the kitchen. Thanks to the iPad, the days of needing a special under-cabinet television if you want to watch a show while cooking are gone. Similarly, the days of needing a separate music player/boombox are over. In fact, unless you are my purest, like my wife Elana, you don’t even need  paper…


iPad Accessory Review: Rain Design iRest for iPad and iPad 2

There are some companies that understand that it is not form OR function but rather form AND function. Such companies, few in number, have an ability to design products that look great but also function with a simplicity that makes you wonder how you ever went without. Of course Apple leads the pack in this regard but there are others who follow suit. Sonos is one such company. (I write this while Garbage’s song “Push It” is blasting from two Play:5s set up as a stereo-pair.) I LOVE their products. Rain Design is another such company. Their designs are simple,…


Belkin’s Cooking with iPad Kitchen Accessories

I’ve written it before and I’ll write it again, the iPhone and the iPad are like eRorschachs; the device and what it can do changes depending upon what app you are using. Want a school device? It is one. Want a good GPS? It can handle it. And the list goes on and on. And as the iPad becomes useful in more and more settings the accessories that make it even better matter more and more. Belkin understands that the iPad is a great device for the kitchen at Pepcom’s Holiday Extravaganza I got a first hand look at three…


Food Sanitation Just Got a Lot Easier with the CleanCut Touchless Automatic Towel Dispenser

A few years ago Elana trained as a chef at the Natural Gourmet Cooking School. One of the most important lessons she learned had to do with food sanitation. (She’s a nut about it which is a good thing. She also once commented that “If you knew what went on in some restaurant kitchens you would never eat out again.”) It is important to keep kitchen surfaces as clean as possible and that means, in part, using paper towels to ensure that all surfaces touched by raw food are sprayed and cleaned on a regular basis. To ensure this happen,…


The Stump Stand Review – Sometimes Simplicity Is Best

Sometimes the simplest accessories are the best accessories. That’s right, something it doesn’t need to be complicated for it to be remarkably useful. That’s the case with this new tablet/eReader stand The Stump. The Stump is what it claims to be – it is a stump of rubber. It looks like a tree trunk that’s been cut down at an angle. It’s simple. It’s not exciting. Best of all, it does the job. Here’s a quick look and a chance to win one. Truth be told, there isn’t a whole lot to say about this accessory. Let’s let the company explained…


Onion Goggles Keep You from Crying in the Kitchen

I tear up when I am chopping onions, and even though sometimes it’s just a sniffle, there have been times — like when I am on a marathon chopping streak while making multiple freezer lasagnas — when the tears just started to flow. What in the world is happening? According to Mental Floss (a fantastic magazine and blog): 1. When you cut into an onion, its ruptured cells release all sorts of goodies, like allinase enzymes and amino acid sulfoxides. The former breaks the latter down into sulfenic acids. 2. The sulfenic acids, unstable bunch that they are, spontaneously rearrange…


Review: PadTab iPad Mounting System

When the iPad 2 was released I went to put my original iPad 64GB + 3G on eBay. I was immediately presented with an option to sell it directly and, in the process, pay no shipping or fees. I loved the idea of not having to hassle with an auction and the possibility of being scammed so I accepted the offer. The transaction went through and I was sans iPad 1. My iPad 2 came and I love it. I still had some great accessories for the original iPad though and after a few days, realized I missed using them….


iPad Accessory Review: ProClip’s MultiStand

In just a few days Apple is expected to announce the iPad 2 (or whatever they end up calling it). Yes, Apple’s runaway success with its first entry into the tablet market is nearing its first anniversary. Along the way I’ve had the opportunity to look at a wide variety of different mounting solutions for the first-generation iPad. Some have been exceptionally simple while others have been more complex. Some have been highly refined, have an aesthetic that stands out and carry a price tag to match. There is, however, a good deal to be said for accessories which are rather…


The Keurig Mini Plus Personal Brewer Review

Given the long hours I spend editing and writing, there are a few things that I need to have available at all times: a good desktop or laptop computer, a decent camera for taking pictures, a comfortable chair, and an ever flowing source of caffeine. The refrigerator behind me takes care of my Diet Cokes, I have a canister of dark-chocolate covered coffee beans on the counter, and lately I’ve been using the Keurig Mini Plus Personal Brewer system to handle my coffee and tea requirements. As the company explains: · The Keurig brewing system offers a coffee house quality…


iPad Accessory Review: Amzer Foldo Stand Up

There are a ton of different stands now available for the iPad. They come in different shapes, sizes and materials and all make using the tablet an even better experience. Some of the stands we have reviewed have been a bit pricy. For example, the Jadu Skadoosh stand has an MSRP of $69.99, and the ElementCase Joule has an MSRP that STARTS at over $100. Both are fantastic but both are pricy. So what are you to do if you want a good stand for your iPad but are on a tight budget? That’s where the Amzer Foldo Stand Up…


Review: Duracell myGrid Charging Pad

Our world seems to become continually more mobile.  With all of these mobile gadgets comes a need to charge and charge often.  Unfortunately, devices have not adopted a standard for charger connectors so that leaves many of us with a ton of plugs throughout the house.  We have a vase on the kitchen counter near a set of wall plugs that holds all of the various charging cords while keeping them hidden.  Basically, I throw the rats next of wires in the vase so my wife does not kill me due to the mess.  Duracell has released an interesting product…


Pad Brackets Lets You Hang Your iPad Anywhere That You Have a Wall…

As the iPad continues to find its way into more and more homes there are more and more uses being found for it. One of the more interesting iPad “accessories” I saw a few weeks back is a mounting kit that literally embeds an iPad in the wall so that it is flush with the sheet rock. It looked great but that strikes me as a bit obsessive… not to mention a whole lot of work to hang an iPad. And then there is the whole… “now how do I get the iPad out so I can use it elsewhere”-thing. Well…


Gear Diary Deal or Dud #6: The EZ Cracker

It’s time for another episode of “Gear Diary, Deal or Dud?”  This month I take a look at the As Seen on TV EZ Cracker.  This kitchen tool promises to make egg cracking effortless and mess free.  It also comes with a special add-on attachment that helps separate the egg yolk from the egg white. Here’s what the As Seen on TV website has to say about the EZ Cracker….. The EZ Cracker cracks eggs with one simple motion and separates eggs whites in seconds. There’s no mess, no fuss, no shells in your food. Just place the egg in…