Kuuk Salad Spinner Review

It’s no secret that many heads of lettuce have met their demise here in our home. In fact, a great many type of produce have, and the one thing they all had in common was being washed and spun dry. I’ve put many a miles on my old OXO salad and herb spinner. So many that the brake no longer worked, and the top started falling apart. Shortly after replacing it, I got an offer to try a version from Kuuk, and boy was I jazzed. Two is always better than one and imagine how much produce could be run through our little cleaning assembly line with 2 spinners going at once!

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Sadly, it was not meant to be. While this Kuuk spinner really tries to look like many of the leading brands available in stores, it falls way, way short in design, quality and function. For starters, it’s made quite cheaply. It’s priced competitively, at only $19.95, but it just isn’t made with materials that will last a long time. The major pluses for this are it’s price point and large size. It goes quickly downhill from there.

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The design, though, is really where things fell apart for us. From the “latching” lid, to the spinning crank, to the entire unit being unbalanced, it’s just awkward and difficult to use effectively. While most of us have, at one time or another, pressed down the plunger on a spinner, the Kuuk spinner uses a crank lever to spin the mesh strainer inside. And heaven help you if you don’t hold the container firmly on the counter, because it’ll wobble like an unbalanced washing machine and fly right off the counter. And the latch on the side that is supposed to keep the lid on is difficult to line up if only because the plastic the lid is made from has so much flex in it.

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In the end, I was disappointed in this product. I wanted to like it, and wanted to really be able to use it more often, but at the end of the day, it just wasn’t meant to be. Also, my experience with the company with another of their products left much to be desired, and I’d be lying if I told you that that didn’t factor in more than a bit when it came to how I felt about this product. Nobody wants to buy products from a company that won’t stand behind them.

Connect with Kuuk:

  • On Amazon

I received the above product(s) free of charge from iHeadphones. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Ozeri 5-Piece Wine Bottle Corkscrew & Accessory Set

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We go through a bit of wine here even if we hardly ever drink it. But we do cook with it several times a week and that tends to empty bottles a lot faster than you’d think. Ozeri recently sent me a product that I had no idea would be so incredibly useful, and I liked it so much I can think of a few friends and family that will be getting these as gifts in the future.

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This 5-piece set has everything needed to make a quiet picnic, or a trip to a vineyard, an absolute delight. The set includes a stainless-steel corkscrew with foil cutting knife, a drip-stop collar, a combination wine pourer/stopper, and a dedicated foil cutter. all packaged in a handsome wine-shaped package with a smart magnetic closure. It can be stored vertically on the counter or just stashed in your wine rack at home, ready to pop out and open all James Bond-style, cool and smooth.

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Awesome for entertaining, always handy, and stocked chock-a-block with tools for the aficionado of casual enthusiast alike. It’s stylish, it convenient, and Almost everything is made to last a long, long time. The only tool in the kit that I have a few reservations about long-term usability would be the dedicated foil cutter. In my experience, plastic pieces that rely on tension will, over time, break. This seems like it’s high-quality ABS plastic, so it should last for many, many years, but I’m one of those “I bought it, it should last forever” people.  Overall, it’s a tremendous value and a well made kit from a company that stands behind everything they sell 100%. I recommend this Ozeri 5-Piece Wine Bottle Corkscrew & Accessory Set to everyone who has, enjoys, or even just cooks with, wine. You’ll be glad you gave it a try!

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Ozeri.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

Cozyna: Ceramic Burr Coffee Grinder Review #CozynaGrinder #Cozyna

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I have been expanding my tea and coffee collection when it comes to devices, tools, and just trying to simplify the process of making the best brew possible. I learned with time that the most expensive devices do not always outperform the simple and most common methods used, and this even comes to grinding coffee beans. I don’t want to waste 15 minutes cleaning out tools and machines to enjoy a cup of coffee for five minutes.

We have a plug-in grinder by a major manufacturer and when it’s time to clean it out and dry it, all the parts make this a hassle and takes me 20 minutes from start to finish and this is even me being conservative with the time it takes the basin to air dry. I stopped using it to just keep it clean! With spring around the corner, it was donated to a better home where maybe someone will actually reap the benefits of using it. I started reading on grinders and ceramic ones seemed to have the most satisfactory ratings and they are simple to use, clean and keep handy.

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Cozyna uses a stainless-steel body and this not only looks gorgeous but most importantly, it’s easy to keep clean and the object is sturdy to use, hold in hand and will provide you with many years of use versus a plastic body grinder. Odors also do not stick to stainless steel, so no worries if the grinder gets a splash from tomato sauce and then smelling it every time you touch it. The best part was being able to customize the grind to fit with the roast, type of beans and just my taste. I’m not limited and it’s not like my other grinder that required sometimes two run to just achieve the texture I desired because it tended to bind at the end, and start missing chunks of beans. Not a great start in the morning when you are sifting through coffee to try to re-grind what was missed. Not having to unscrew the grinder and just setting it via the knob makes it as easy as using a pepper mill!

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Retail Price Point: $29.99 via Amazon

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Results:
I currently have a steam machine to produce coffee and teas in and a french press as well. Again, part of simplifying the kitchen from the tools I have and actually use, versus just “things” that I owned and just stored. It’s amazing how much room I have now and best of all, I can easily access the things that I actually need without trying to stack, move and just become slightly frustrated by stuff that just collected dust. I wanted a medium to fine grind for a bean that had a medium roast. I added the beans and the Cozyna grinder is easy to hold and did not cramp the inside of my hand. Very few binds were experienced, so the ceramic burrs do the job and I was extremely satisfied with the final product. The grounds had a uniform look and texture, the smell made you eager to start brewing, and I can easily say the Cozyna grinder produced a better final product than my plug-in grinder. Simple to clean, store and use, so I could not ask for anything more! Well, maybe a lock on the top handle, as when grinding with gusto, it tends to pop off. But that’s just picking nits.

Connect with Cozyna and simplify your life at:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Cozyna.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Kitchen Simple: Danish/Dutch Dough Hook #Review #DoughWhisk

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I always wanted a Danish Dough hook but was unsure I needed one. I have a nice collection of whisks, spatulas to even pastry cutters but that dough hook was the one kitchen tool I did not own. My baking magazines and catalogs always displayed a gorgeous pastry with a Danish Dough hook sitting proud and pretty by it’s side, but when my mixer came with a dough hook attachment, it sort of rained on my Dutch Hook Dough dreams. With all the kitchen tools we own, adding another means making room or someone’s gotta go bye-bye and I have separation anxiety because in my world, every tool does a job or jobs! My Husband keeps that rusted hammer outside to abuse while the prettier hammer gets used only when something pretty goes up, and back it goes to hang on it’s hook and never left outside!

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I came cross several Danish Dough hooks but some were just weak that I could imagine them snapping when used. Bought one at one of those discount outlets and it broke when the cashier went to bag it and it fell. I thanked her for testing it out for me because I need a tool that does not need to be babied and it was not a far fall!

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In comes Kitchen Simple’s Danish/Dutch Dough Hook. It has a nice weight and is hefty enough to work with. I was trying a new cinnamon roll recipe and it grew into trying different cinnamon varieties, so I baked and baked one weekend. I needed a tool I can count on and because I was working with a yeast dough, cleaning the stainless steel one that came with the mixer meant waiting for it to cool off enough or come into the right temperature before I even started. I did not have time to wait while I was trying to proof 4 dough bowls at the same time, but the Kitchen Simple’s Danish Dough hook kept up with me and as I used all my large bowls to make and make cinnamon rolls.

Retail Price Point: $8.95 via Amazon but when I clicked the link, it went down to $7.95

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The hook was easy to use and I needed no instructions. I just pretended I was the hook on my mixer, set my timer, and produced the perfect sweet dough time and time again. Easy to clean and it’s also sort of pretty looking in my eyes. It’s the tool you are happy to have and did not know you needed until you have one. Plus, I got a good amount of exercise and I figured that made up for taste testing :).  I also found uses for making quick breads to even just scrambling eggs, it does the trick and easy to clean and stands nicely just air drying after washing.

Get your Kitchen Simple Danish Hook today:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Kitchen Simple.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

MatchaDNA: Wireless Milk Frother Review #MatchaDNAmilkfrother

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I’ve been fortunate enough to review a couple of types of Matcha green tea here on my blog, and until now I was content using a whisk to mix it up nice and frothy. A couple of downsides to that is, as I’ve mentioned before, the tea stains things almost instantly and fairly permanently. The other is beating up my poor mugs with the whisk. That’s a thing of the past now thanks to MatchaDNA’s frother. For those unfamiliar with a frother, let me tell you it’s a kitchen tool you don’t know you need until you have it. And once you have it, you don’t know how you got along without it.

Mine is a no frills, simple frother. I use it for sweet drinks, savory drinks, for teas, milks and coffees, hot products or cold. It was a stainless steel whisk and shaft meaning it shouldn’t stain, rust, discolor or be affected by whatever drink or sauce you use it for. Yes, you can use this frother with a bechamel sauce or a vegetable puree. It’s small and compact which means it won’t take up a ton of precious counter space, and lightweight and maneuverable enough to not be a burden when you need it, like some hand mixers. Also, unlike hand mixers, this little dynamo is powered by by 2 “AA” batteries (sadly, not included), so no worries of dragging a cord through a sauce, or the sink, or a hot  stove-top. When I’m done with it, I put a couple of drops of dish soap and turn it on in some hot water, wipe and it’s ready to go again or go back in the drawer. It feels well made enough to last me many years, too. Sounds like a winner to me.

A little tip for those of us who love whipped cream but hate the calories and overly creamy texture: A few tablespoons of milk in a small sauce pot, over a medium heat for a couple minutes, and then froth to create a light and airy foam. Spoon over hot tea or milk, with a little grind of cinnamon sugar, and Starbucks ain’t got nothin’ on this. With 1/3 of the calories and fat too.

 

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from MatchaDNA.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Tryazon: GEFU and Wheat Belly, Healthy-n-Lean 2015 Party Review #GEFU

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We are still in January and while many of us started at the beginning of the month with positive changes and planning for the “new you in 2015”, many of us are probably running dry when it comes to ideas, making time to eat well, and falling back into 2014 habits.

I’m all for making what I do today (i.e. eat veggies) so much better and even different. Why not? I grill, bake, saute, even eat veggies raw to just mix-it-up a bit. In comes GEFU, with a heck of a line of products that make eating healthy and well easier but in some ways better. I say better because it encourages us to eat as we should be eating, not feel like a perma-diet! I love pasta and I can reach a moment where I think making pasta primavera means at least it has veggies……so it’s sort of healthy. I even try 75% veggies with 25% pasta and my results are, I’m still craving pasta! GEFU not only will make my veggies a texture and let’s just say it, a shape that is more desirable. Their line of kitchen tools will make any dish from any cuisine a little new again. It goes beyond just pasta for Italian meals but think Asian dishes with vegetables that match rice noodles or just the vegetables themselves become the noodle!

I received these 4 GEFU kitchen tools to experience:

GEFU Spirelli Spiral Cutter in action on YouTube; Spirelli product details via GEFU

GEFU Julienne peeler, Striscia

GEFU Lemon Juicer

• GEFU Julienne Peeler ASIA (new to the US)

Plus, a cookbook:

Wheat Belly 30-minute (or Less!) Cookbook

 

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The Spirelli Sprial cutter (Item #13460) is the go-to and easy cleaning tool to achieve that “spiral cut” you desire.  Love that you can easily use it and it’s dishwasher friendly, due to the way the product is made.  You have stainless steel combined with high quality plastic that will provide many days filled with spiral julienne strips.  You can use any vegetable, which is firm in texture.  This includes carrots, jicama, potatoes, zucchini, radishes, cucumbers and the list goes on.  Create salads using raw ingredients or you can par-cook, to fully cook vegetable so the possibilities are really endless.  I was able to add a new twist to an Italian salad by having a more desirable texture and shape.  The olives I left whole, so it would mimic little “meatless meatballs”.  I sometimes had to thin out a vegetable that was too big for the hole, however I now know to purchase medium sized ones when using this product.  I give this product a 4.5 out of 5 rating do to how much you can do with it.

Retail Price Point: $29.99 on-line and available on Amazon, to Bed, Bath & Beyond

 

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Presco Lemon Juicer (Item #124585)is of course more of a citrus juicer and not limited to lemons.  I have a juicer but the type you slice and then press, so let’s call it a citrus presser.  Mine tended to dirty more by needed a knife and a cutting board, to then the press itself.  Get the towel ready because it was also a sprayer.  Thankfully, with GEFU’s Presco juicer, I just dirty one item to complete the task.  The stainless steel pierces any rind and I get every last drop where it belongs.  The skin is left intact, so I can even use a zester to get more use out of my citrus.  I give this product a 5 out of 5 because it’s one of those that changes a common task into a new way and let’s face it, less messy!  Also, dishwasher safe.

Retail Price Point: $9.99 on-line and I found the product on Amazon, Sur La Table to Bed, Bath & Beyond

 

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The Striscia julienne peeler (Item #13660) has changed how I make Asian dishes to even what I spent a good amount of time doing, “stick fries”.  You simply take a vegetable and just like a regular peeler, you peel and get perfect julienne cuts every time.  Cuts prep-work time and I now go from doing the prep-work the night before, to doing it that same day.  The handle is ergonomic and easy to hold and control, something you want when some potatoes can be extra starchy and wet to carrots causing things to slide.  The cutting/peeling portion is made of quality steel and produces cuts every time.  I was able to use cucumber to make an awesome yogurt base salads, that went great with the flat bread and beef kebabs.  It’s a meal we already make but this just created a better and more uniform cut than I can produce with a knife……also no hand cramping!

Retail Price Point: $19.95 on-line and via Amazon, plus this one seems very popular and available at many authorized retailers

 

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This product is new to the U.S. and called the Julienne Peeler ASIA (Item #50410).  Shaped like a mandolin cutter, this product produces julienne cuts on one side and the reverse side, has a grater.  Like with many GEFU products, they used Japanese steel for the blades and the tool has a nice handle for control.  The grater portion has two types of surfaces, one for puree grating (i.e. horseradish, ginger, and the like), and the other has a spice grater for harder ingredients like allspice and nutmeg.  As you can see, the Asia portion in the name does not limit it’s uses.  I gave this one away via raffle because if I did not have all the components (separately unfortunately), I could see saving space and time with one tool.  I give this product a 4 out of 5 for making julienne cuts easy (I was told by my guest that won and tried it) and being really 3 tools in one.

Retail Price Point: $24.95 on-line and I did not see wide distribution yet, as this is a new product

 

 

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Not everything via diet books is always a fad and some diet books to hit areas about our overall eating.  With products being filled with corn, wheat, and really just fillers, no wonder we sometimes don’t feel at our optimum.  The Wheat Belly 30-minutes or less cook book allows the reader with ease to produce quick meals (no excuses!) that are healthy, delicious and gluten-free.  The way we should not eat sugar with every meal, well we probably should think about eating wheat with every meal too!  The book was easy to follow and even if you don’t want to make this your only way of eating, it’s an addition for those times you want to eat different.  Some of the guests felt the products needed and especially when cleaning out the pantry, was costly and restrictive but we all agreed that incorporating some of this diet is a must.  It’s cleaner and not to be taken at 100% (at least for us) but it showed us what more we can do with products we already buy (i.e. rice flour, bean flours, nut flours, ect.).  I don’t think it’s a book you can dismiss fully and it’s good to start 2015 with real changes!

Retail Price Point: $13.50 on Kindle and $16.37 Hard-cover

 

I was very happy with all the products provided and holding an event that focuses on vegetables is really cost efficient and easy to hold.  Most of us like eating the final products in their raw state or blanched and cooled quickly to preserve that crunchy texture.  We are all unfamiliar with GEFU products and not only were this great, but they have a huge array to choose from.  Now, I have my eye on that pasta roller! 🙂

 

 

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Tryazon, GEFU and Rodale Publications.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

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