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Customer Reviews: 3852
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BLACK+DECKER WM700R Removable Plate Waffle Maker, Maroon
BLACK+DECKER WM700R Removable Plate Waffle Maker, Maroon
Price: $39.99
2 used & new from $39.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compact waffle iron with removable plates, July 26, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a nice waffle iron if you have a smaller family or a smaller kitchen. The iron has removable plates,which make it easier to clean. It can be stored on end, so it takes up less space.

If you have a larger family, you'll probably want a four-waffle iron because it takes time to bake a waffle. Hamilton Beach 26020 Belgian Style Waffle Baker for example has four square waffles that would serve four kids at a time and increase your waffle "throughput." If you like round waffles, however, then this is really great. Just be patient as it takes about five minutes per waffle to bake thoroughly.

The indentations are nicely deep. I was pleased with the shape of the waffle. It was not completely evenly baked but it wasn't bad (see photo.) I baked mine for six minutes. For the price, this is very nice. If you want fancier waffles, the type of iron that turns (to spread the batter more evenly) will give you finer results but they cost at least twice as much, take up space and are hard to clean. For most families, this is just fine.

Re the batter for waffles: A couple of tricks to get better waffles. One is that waffles require more fat in the batter than pancakes. They are NOT health food. So when you read a recipe and it says "x" tablespoons of butter or oil, use it. It helps the waffle become crisp. I watched some German friends making waffles (traditional German waffles use a flatter style iron) and the batter was about 30% butter! They had trouble incorporating it all but that was the recipe (yeah, they were delicious.) I don't go that far but I do a Belgian trick I learned: you separate your eggs. Then beat the egg white to soft-stiff peaks. After you blend in the flour or mix and milk and butter and egg yolk, you fold in the egg whites with a spatula until you can't see any big white lumps. This trick makes very light crisp waffles. And this applies especially to GLUTEN-FREE waffle mix. Bob's Red Mill Pancake & Waffle Mix is pretty good. We used to buy it all the time at the grocery but it tends to be wetter and heavier. The egg white technique makes them much more like wheat flour waffles. You'll hardly know it's GF. A stick blender with a whisk attachment does a quick job on egg whites.

And I hate to say it, but pure melted butter is far better than oil in the batter. No comparison. I also toss in a pinch of pie spice or cloves. You can put a lot of different toppings on waffles. The best I ever had was cherries (like pie filling) and whipped cream up in some mountain town in Germany. They were insane. Fresh strawberries, peaches, blueberries or raspberries work well, too.
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BLACK+DECKER TR1300BD 2-Slice Extra Wide Slot Toaster, Black/Stainless Steel
BLACK+DECKER TR1300BD 2-Slice Extra Wide Slot Toaster, Black/Stainless Steel
Price: $24.99
2 used & new from $24.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Toasts bread--but not long slices, July 25, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This black and steel colored toaster looks more modern--so it suits a kitchen that is less traditional. If you have dark granite or a lot of stainless, this looks nice on the counter. I generally hide the toaster in the corner cupboard, but this one is nice enough to leave out.

The wide slots hold bagels or "Texas" toast. The toast is even enough.

If you toast artisan bread with long slices, you'll want an "extra long" toaster, which this isn't. Sourdough boules and traditional German rye have long slices, so if you like that kind of bread, this may not be the toaster for you--you have to turn the bread to toast the entire slice.


D'Addario EJ45TT ProArte DynaCore Classical Guitar Strings, Titanium Trebles, Normal Tension
D'Addario EJ45TT ProArte DynaCore Classical Guitar Strings, Titanium Trebles, Normal Tension
Price: $11.95
61 used & new from $11.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good feel, nice bass, July 24, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I think I bought the blue label last time. These do seem to have a tad brighter treble strings. Not sure I like them, but I do like the bass strings. Plenty resonant. They are strung on a plain ol' Yamaha GS90-SA classical guitar and they sound fine. I think you have to experiment until you find the sound you prefer. I do like the feel on my fingers.

The high e string (#6) is behaving oddly--it seemed to stretch unevenly when I was tuning it in, and there is a visible difference near the saddle--kind of a thickened or opaque area. I wonder if this string will last or if it will snap prematurely. Will update the review.

A buddy of mine who is a professional guitarist restrings monthly. He says if you play a few hours a week or more, you should restring fairly often. I certainly noticed that fresh strings made a difference, especially in sliding up and down the wound strings. And of course, you can clean your fretboard when the strings are off.


FT Shiseido Facial Razor 3pcs(L)
FT Shiseido Facial Razor 3pcs(L)
Offered by GarzaBlanca from JAPAN
Price: $3.78
38 used & new from $3.42

4.0 out of 5 stars Defuzzing, July 24, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
These little straight razors take off that peach fuzz around your cheeks and neck. It makes a difference! Supposedly, this is also like "dermaplaning" where you remove some dead skin cells with the shaving.

I actually got the idea while reading about geishas who traditionally get shaved about once a month, so the heavy makeup lies smoothly on their skin. I don't wear heavy makeup, but I'm dark-haired and the fuzz gets, well, fuzzy. These work well.

They get dull quickly and they could be cheaper.


Mikasa Revel Ice Bucket
Mikasa Revel Ice Bucket
Price: $19.99
3 used & new from $19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Nice-looking glass ice bucket, July 22, 2016
This review is from: Mikasa Revel Ice Bucket (Kitchen)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a review for the ice bucket. It's six inches high and designed for drinks (say, scotch on the rocks) rather than icing down a bottle of wine. It could take a small bottle of wine like a dessert wine (Eiswein, typically in a small bottle.) The volume seems to be about a quart to a quart and a half of ice.

It goes with the Revel glassware, and since my old-fashioned glasses have all bit the dust, I'd be willing to add them in to make a nice set for entertaining that doesn't cost a huge amount. Though this is not "crystal" and doesn't have the sharper, cut edges you'd expect with lead crystal fine glassware, the vertical lines give a good impression. The heavy bottom adds to the look of crystal, even though it certainly isn't luxury glassware. I previously owned Bormioli glasses (inexpensive) and these are definitely better-looking.

This looks nice on a serving tray filled with ice but it does definitely want some glasses to go with; if you are buying this as a gift, consider adding the glasses as it's rather lonely on its own.


The Shore of Women: The Classic Work of Feminist Science Fiction
The Shore of Women: The Classic Work of Feminist Science Fiction
Price: $5.38

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic of feminist sci-fi, July 19, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Curious simultaneity here: Sheri Tepper's "The Gate to Women's Country" was published in 1997 and this originally in 1996. Both deal with a post-apocalyptic society where women run the world, live inside walls and men are banished as violent and useful only for reproduction or amusement.

Unlike "Women's Country"--this book has more of a quality of a mythical quest about it. Both are classics of "feminist science fiction"--a limited genre with some notable books such as these two plus Atwood's equally dark "Handmaid's Tale."

Of the two (this book and Tepper's) I prefer Tepper's but this is a classic and well-written. I think it depends on which one you read first.


Turkish Luxury Hotel & Spa 13"x13" Wash Cloth Set of 12 - 100% Genuine Turkish Cotton - Organic, Eco-Friendly (White Washcloths for Bath)
Turkish Luxury Hotel & Spa 13"x13" Wash Cloth Set of 12 - 100% Genuine Turkish Cotton - Organic, Eco-Friendly (White Washcloths for Bath)
Offered by American Pillowcase
Price: $31.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Big and thick washcloths, July 19, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
These are not the thin, small washcloths you find in hotels and in dollar stores. They are almost large and thick enough to be hand towels. They are large enough to do a good job all over wiping down after a workout or to scrub in the tub, take makeup off with cleanser, etc. They wash up nicely. I got white ones so I can bleach them (supposedly oxy bleach is better, keeps them from yellowing.)


Sunbeam Humidifier Bacteriostat Solution 32 oz, SOL2015B-U
Sunbeam Humidifier Bacteriostat Solution 32 oz, SOL2015B-U
Price: $9.03
16 used & new from $9.03

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quaternary salt that keeps down microbe growth, July 17, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This bacteriostat and algaecide contains Benzalkonium chloride aka dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride. It's a quaternary ammonium compound and acts as a surfactant and something to kill or inhibit microbe growth.

Since warm standing water picks up bacteria and airborne algae, this keeps your humidifier clean and free of growth. Since we have a LOT of airborne algae (we are on two bays and there is a lot of marsh area) it's helpful to keep the humidifier clean of that green scum.

Benzalkonium chloride is the same ingredient that keeps eye, ear and nasal drops, nasal sprays, shampoos and lotions from growing bacteria.


TP-LINK Smart Wi-Fi Light Switch, Works with Amazon Alexa, No Hub Required, Single Pole, Control Your Fixtures From Anywhere (HS200)
TP-LINK Smart Wi-Fi Light Switch, Works with Amazon Alexa, No Hub Required, Single Pole, Control Your Fixtures From Anywhere (HS200)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard wired switch for remote operation with smartphone or Amazon Echo, July 17, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
You can purchase this kind of technology --voice-operated WiFi control of your household electric devices, either as a plug in the wall or as a hard-wired switch in your light switch. This is the light switch I am reviewing.

The HS200 wall mounted Light Switch lets you control, schedule and monitor lights, ceiling fans and air conditioners. Right out of the gate, let me tell you, before disappointment, it does not yet work with IFTTT (IF this, then that, a way to create "recipes" of actions over wireless devices that are small program modules to do actions based on conditions or situations.)

The switch uses the Kasa smartphone app which works on Android devices such as a Galaxy phone. Amazon Echo or a Kindle tablet, and it works on Apple iOS devices. The Echo function is why I thought it was useful--I do a lot with the Echo (including "cheat" a nightlight by saying "Alexa" and getting the blue ring to use as tempory lighting.)

Things you can do:
Remote Access—control the home lighting from anywhere with your smartphone or tablet using the free Kasa app
Scheduling—Set lights to turn off and on at dawn, dusk, or any time that works with your daily schedule
Away Mode—Make it look like you’re home when you’re not by having your lights turn off and on randomly while away
Link to Amazon Alexa – Turn on or off the bulbs connected to the Smart Switch just using your voice with Amazon Echo, Dot, Tap and other supported devices(sold separately)
LED Indicator—Find the switch easily, even at night when all your lights are turned offary illumination.) But having Alexa turn off my ceiling fan on a cool night or adjust temperature or turn on room lights would be very cool.

You do need to be in the room with the Echo to communicate with it (or use the remote mic) but you can control devices throughout the house:

Using the smartphone or tablet and Kasa app, you can control lighting remotely
You can set up a schedule to turn off and on your lights based on your daily schedule
You can use it as a timer for vacation lighting to make it look like you’re home when you’re not by having your lights turn off and on randomly.

There is an LED light on the switch to find it at night, nice feature.

Installation:

Installation is the same as installing a new light switch, however there are two caveats: you need a "neutral line" (not ground, that bare wire you see in some switches and not the two live lines of the circuit but a neutral wire.) If you don't have that, you can't install this, so take a look at your chosen switch if you think you want to purchase switch version. And you can't install it under a metal plate. Has to be plastic.

TURN OFF THE CIRCUIT (circuit breaker box.) Connect each of the two black wires from the switch to the available Live lines via the wire nut, and wrap electrical tape around the wire nuts to make sure the copper conductor is fully concealed. Green wire on switch (Ground line) to Ground line, White wire on switch (Neutral line) to Neutral line. If this is daunting, call an electrician. You may need a new face plate: the included face plate is single only; if you have a triple switch or double switch box, you may need a plate to accommodate the HS200. Note: The Smart Switch
only supports 2.4Ghz networks.

If this type of wiring job is not possible (no neutral wire), then the plug version may be more to your needs--and you can plug a table lamp into it, compared to the wall switch. I used it on the entrance way switch, so I can control my entry way lighting when I'm not home.

Summary: great way to control devices on your circuits, if you have the proper wiring. Phone app lets you schedule lights and control remotely, Echo app lets you use voice commands on with "Alexa." Requires hard wiring


Great North Road
Great North Road
Offered by Random House LLC
Price: $7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hardboiled detective meets post-apocalyptic Newcastle-upon-Tyne, July 16, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Great North Road (Kindle Edition)
A strange murder, a detective who's just come off disciplinary action (not surprising, there's more procedural fou-fa-raw and your attorney can be put on retainer to materialize, literally, at your side at a moment's notice.) The scenario always seems just like any detective novel until little crumbs are dropped that show you, this is a futuristic world. It's always winter. Heat's at a premium. People have chip-like devices that are the size of large cells in their irids and other places installed in their body. And there are clones that make clones.

By the second page, I was hooked. I do like Peter Hamilton although he does two things that annoy me: he goes on and on and on and one (the Void series really went on too long, but the first book was GREAT) and secondly, he always has some kind of catch phrase to show that the future world has its own slang. Yeah. Ok. But somehow, the phrase seems nonsensical or is just tiresome. Here's it's "early days."

Those are minor criticisms. I love the mix of the "hardboiled detective" genre with a future post- or nearly-post apocalyptic Earth. Very good sci-fi and worth reading.


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