Category: Product Reviews

Happy Hour: The Palm Spritz

Forget the highfalutin $200 juicers. Yes, fresh juice is good, but is it better than just eating that carrot or apple? I’d say not. You lose too much of the other benefit of eating whole fruits and vegetables. If you have to drink it, make a smoothie with yogurt and fruit. What you should invest is the $5 for a manual citrus juicer. There’s so much citrus this time of year and juicing it is a wonderful way to enjoy it. You might also get a batch so riddled with seeds that you deem them not worth the effort of peeling and segmenting.

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Ever Ride the Tea Cups?

As a city dweller I don’t often find myself in a proper mall. It turns out that there is now a tea shop chain called Teavana that you will find in just about any of them. Dear peaceful tea drinker, let me save you a bit of agony. Do not be tempted by this stress in zen clothing. Speaking of anxious clothing, have you ever casually entered a Lululemon? The salespeople circle like vultures all calling out your name. It’s pretty creepy. But maybe you’re willingly there, glad even for the overreach into your personal space, because, well, you’re paying extra for it, damn it.

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Reading the Fish Wrap: This Just In From the Olive Oil Lobby

Uncle! I get it; olive oil is big news. It warrants a coverstory in both the New York Times dining and Washington Post food sections this week. In the Times, Julia Moskin writes about budding olive oil production in California, and in the Post, Jane Black finds that “extra virgin” as a designation of quality simply means “edible.” The solution is a new rating system, and, wow, some California producers make the cut. There’s a pattern somewhere in here for the savvy consumer.

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Oktoberfest! Ausgezeichnet!

As you begin jotting down ideas for your Thanksgiving menu, don’t forget to plan a smaller October event: a nice, big German meal. Use GermanDeli.com for inspiration as well as implementation. You can get everything there for a comprehensive smorgasbord.

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Pantry Raid

Cooking magazines and food blogs are always weighing in on what staples should live in the cupboard of any savvy cook. You know the usual suspects: olive oil, vinegar, canned beans, chicken broth, pasta, and so on. A little basic for some of us. I’d like to add something—a whole genre really—to the list that I don’t normally see included.

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CookApps Lap CookBooks

Last week Sam Grobart wrote a tech piece in The New York Times business section called “Gadgets You Should Get Rid Of (Or Not).” Basically, in this brave new world–the one in which we all have smart phones and tablets–there is some bridge technology that you can now finally (!) chuck. Examples include thumb drives, GPS units, camcorders, point-and-shoot cameras.

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DIY on a Budget

Another foodie trend that you might feel daunted by is pasta-making. I have the pasta attachment for my kitchen aid, but I must admit that it’s only been used once. If homemade pasta is appealing, I’d recommend you try a spätzle maker. It looks much like a cup attached to a cheese grater. At about $10, it’s a more manageable investment than the hundreds for the KitchenAid pasta set-up.

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Does anyone need a six-pack of soda water?

Basically, I came home with this particular six-pack a month ago, and found a SodaStream Penguin soda maker had been delivered, so now…you see I don’t need the bottles anymore. In fact, their obsolescence is cluttering up the joint.

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