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StufZ Burger Press
StufZ Burger Press
Offered by Bella America
Price: $6.50
47 used & new from $1.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get Stuffed!, April 14, 2014
This review is from: StufZ Burger Press (Kitchen)
If you've been making hamburgers since you were yay high, get ready to start at the beginning again. You'd think this gizmo would be easy to use,, and it is...but only after you've gotten the knack. And when you do figure it out, you can make big, fat juicy burgers with hidden pockets of goodies -- and enjoy the added benefit of yet one more plastic doohickey to clean up. This thing goes into the dishwasher, but you do have go at it really well to rinse off all the meat residue. Even so, if you like hamburgers, it's worth it. And with summertime barbecue season ahead, this is something outdoor cooks should really enjoy. Not to mention the people they feed.

You need to go to the product website and watch the video. That's key. And follow directions. If you are like me and just use things straight out of the box, you'll end up disappointed. After making a mess and ending up with burgers oozing various stuffings or with patches of stuffing showing through or burgers that fell apart in the pan, and with a slurry of chopped beef all over the counters, I was getting no place fast. Then my Neighbor Who Cooks poked his head in the door, saw me struggling and suggested I readthe instructions. Oh, well, sure if you want to go that way. Sure, take the easy way out. Anyway, I watched and saw where I made my mistakes and fixed my technique. The result was big fat juicy burgers all loaded with tasty, hidden surprises. Use it correctly and the thing works. Use it intuitively and you'll be eating some kind of hamburger stew mess with a spoon.

And don't just make yourself some hamburger patties. They need to be the right size. This is important. You need a good measuring cup. The directions say 1/3 cut of meat per patty. One pound of 80/20 ground beef is 2 cups. One half pound is 1 cup, 1/3 of 1/2 pound is a sixth or something like a sixth of two sixth, and you can see that this is about where I started to get lost and panic set it. I finally figured out that after you do all the math, this is actually about 1/3 of a pound. So in half a cup of ground beef, you get one whole and one half burger. That means three per pound. I spent all day working this out using pencils and paper, the wall, the internet, my calculator and modeling clay. Then My Neighbor Who Cooks strolled in again and said "Well, 8 ounces are in a cup; if sixteen ounces in weight equal sixteen in liquid volume, an ounce is an ounce. See?" So I killed him. Anyway, after I hid the body I used 1/3 of a pound for my hamburgers and it worked out, but you'd think they'd just come out and say it and not do the cup ounces and meat ounces thing.

Anyway, now that I have saved you infinite trouble, you put your meat into the Stufz, add your stuffing and there you go. Nice little meat packages. I am extremely happy with the results. Leftover goat cheese? Why not. Blue cheese? Jalapenos or chipotles? Sure thing. Mushrooms and spinach? Brilliant. It's hard to go wrong. You don't actually need the StufZ, you could do your own hand-stuffed burgers, but this is surprisingly harder than you'd think. Getting the burgers to close properly, getting the seasoning to fit, it's messy and mostly it doesn't work. The StufZ gizmo makes it easy...once you figure it out. And remember to go large with the stuffings. No matter what, use a lot. If you're stingy, the contents sort of disappear and no one will notice. But if you really pile on the fillings, you are building little flavor bombs. Once someone bites in and hits that hidden goodies, it's magic.

I have not ventured past beef, but I may explore the byways of pork burgers, beef and pork mixtures, Italian sausage patties (with roasted garlic and pepper and onion stuffing?) For meat lovers and people who like to play with their food, this is fun and gives you all sorts of tasty variations on the old standby. It takes some practice to get it right, but StufZ is worth five stars. I received this from the manufacturer for review and am very happy with it.
Comment Comments (16) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 19, 2014 11:07 AM PDT

Etronic Ultra Comfort Massage Travel Neck Pillow ET-105 - 6 Massage Modes - Headrest Strap - CE Certified [3-Year Warranty]
Etronic Ultra Comfort Massage Travel Neck Pillow ET-105 - 6 Massage Modes - Headrest Strap - CE Certified [3-Year Warranty]
Offered by E Depot Express
Price: $24.99
3 used & new from $14.99

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Relaxing, good size, puts me to sleep..., April 14, 2014
This little vibrating neck pillow of Etronic is nice and small; you can tuck it in a tote bag and use while travelling (remember, those airline pillows are NEVER washed and there are always newspaper stories about the scary bacteria on the covers). I like the little button closing. I have other neck pillows without a closure and you have to sit still or keep picking them up. Small but smart little detail.

There are four cycles but I really can't tell the difference. There is low and high vibration, and a sort of thudding massage which also comes in low or high. Anything else is so subtle, it escaped my tired and worn out sensory system. But the pillow cycles between the four options if you like, or stays on one, your choice, and all of it feels good. It takes about five minutes for me to feel so relaxed, I'm asleep. Also, my cat loves this gizmo. She must think it's a fat, ugly Momma cat, I think. She likes to snuggle next to it. I was given this by the manufacturer for review and can find no problems and seems to vibrate at about the same speeds.

The pillow design is good. It fits perfectly on my neck, which is, I guess, average. So if you have a thick neck, there might be a problem. One reviewer says it fits his (her?) 18" neck, which is a lotta neck. My first husband had an 18 1/2 inch neck and he came with a mahout. Anyway, there are fancier models with more modes and more noticeable changes in rhythm and vibrations, but this is affordable and the gentle vibrating is extremely soothing. You miss out on the stimulating neck rub, but you can always save up and go for a massage. On the other hand, for lolling on the sofa while reading or watching TV, this is a nice bit of pampering and that's worth 5 stars. My only caveat: it does not come with a battery. I wish manufacturers would realize that "Batteries Included" is a big sales booster. And a big convenience for buyers.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 18, 2014 8:22 AM PDT

BelleSha Breathable Ultra Moisturizing Hand Gloves
BelleSha Breathable Ultra Moisturizing Hand Gloves
Offered by BellaSHA
Price: $14.99

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quick Fix for Rough Hands, April 14, 2014
Most of us already use hand lotion, but older skin sometimes needs a little more help. Skin that's exposed to harsh substances needs extra care too. I garden and after wrestling with the roses, spraying, pruning, adding stuff to the soil, doing all those little jobs, my hands look like I've been pulling a barge down the canal. I use spa gloves occasionally when they need a fast rescue. They keep the moisturizer from dissipating too quickly so you get a lot of hand-healing and softening while you sleep. Slather on a lot of your favorite hand cream, pull on the gloves. That's all. These are light weight, they keep the lotion from getting all over the place and making a mess. I can use my Kindle with no problem. Just don't pet the cats too much. The gloves like to pick up cat hair. These are low to middle in terms of price, and about as good as some I've paid I lot more for. The fabric is like a stretchy cotton, light as a feather, and the gloves themselves don't inhibit movement. Or at least not too much. If you like picking up dimes instead of counting sheep at night, you'll have a problem. Otherwise they're fine. And they don't make hands feel hot or clammy.

Hands are a dead giveaway in showing age. Keeping them moisturized is really important if this matters to you. Use moisturizing gloves a couple of times a week if your hands are starting to show their age. I've done this for years and so far have avoided the quilty skin and bulgy veins. If only they had a glove that fit the rest of me...

Anyway, I received these from the manufacturer for review and I'm giving them five stars. They're everything you want in a moisturizing glove, no problems. Some readers complain that they are made for average sized hands. My hands are a good average at least, and these fit well and are comfortable. Any bigger and they'd be loose, any smaller and they'd be tight. If your hands are extra small or extra big, you may need to look further for sizes to accommodate your needs.
Comment Comments (16) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 8, 2014 1:11 PM PDT

YazyCraft Assorted Colors Metal Crochet Hooks set of 12
YazyCraft Assorted Colors Metal Crochet Hooks set of 12
Offered by YazyCraft
Price: $7.79

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not for the crochety..., April 13, 2014
These crochet hooks are cute, the colors make grabbing the right size easy, and for a novice whose work is not going to win awards anyway, they're a good place to start. The sizes are a bit off. My crochet teacher measured them against hers and says for fine work, there would be a problem. If you are showing a child (or fumble-fingered adult) how to crochet, they should not pose a problem. I'm making a scarf. Or a blanket. Or something. The difficulties I'm having are not, my teacher assures me, related to these needles. I have always wanted to do needlecraft. My mom used to knit and crochet and do needlepoint...she was the Needlepoint Lady at Bloomingdales for many years. All the women of the previous generation could sew, my sister can make beautiful things out of thread or wool or floss. Me...if I want to keep my hands busy I scratch my head. If you're like me and just checking out this crocheting situation, the YazyCraft collection is acceptable. If you have progressed beyond the "Why don't you just start all over..." stage, you'll want something better.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 14, 2014 10:06 AM PDT

HomeFlav 11.75" Non-ticking Silent Quartz Wall Clock - digital, modern,vintage,large,decorative, contemporary,kitchen wall clock
HomeFlav 11.75" Non-ticking Silent Quartz Wall Clock - digital, modern,vintage,large,decorative, contemporary,kitchen wall clock
Offered by HomeFlav

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard Times..., April 13, 2014
This is a nice basic wall clock. Nothing fancy. Put it on the kitchen wall and you'll always know what time it is (unless it breaks, in which case I'll revise my review). This little Plain Jane is discreet. No bold statements. And it's almost silent, despite the name. You can hear a tiny little whirrrr if you listen for it. But it's a white noise and after ten minutes, it blended into the usual background noises and I didn't hear it anymore.

The hands are big and easy to see, the number plain and easy to read, and the sweeping second hand hard to miss. It's a handy kitchen clock for those of us who want to keep track of cooking times. I don't ask much from a clock and this one provides pretty much everything I need. If all you're looking for is something discreet that's easy to read and keeps time well, you can't go wrong for this price.
Comment Comments (8) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 18, 2014 4:00 PM PDT

HomeFlav Beverage Heater Beverage Warmer
HomeFlav Beverage Heater Beverage Warmer
Offered by HomeFlav
Price: $7.99

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Instructions would help..., April 13, 2014
I tried the immersion heater today and while I would not urge anyone to run out and grab one, it's not bad for the price. It takes a few minutes to heat (or reheat) a liquid, if you are making yourself tea or coffee and there is no other way to boil water. My preference would be one of those electric kettles or cups, but if you are limited for space and want to toss one in your desk at work, it's an old school appliance that still does the job. Not attractive, no fancy bells or whistles. Four stars. One star was taken off because there are no instructions (I suggest you read the review by D. Fowler for some tips on use) or safety certifications and whenever I have an electrical product that is immersed in water, I want to know somebody -- those mysterious 'underwriters' or whoever -- checked the safety and make me feel reasonably sure I won't injure myself or destroy any property in my quest for hot water.
Comment Comments (12) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 16, 2014 5:45 PM PDT

Uncle Tom's Cabin
Uncle Tom's Cabin
Price: $0.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rating a classic is ridiculous..., April 11, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Uncle Tom's Cabin (Kindle Edition)
It's Uncle Tom's Cabin, for pete's sake. If you have not read it, you might want to take a look. This particular Kindle version is not flawless, but it's most readable and any glitches in the transcription are usually ignored if you get caught up in the narrative as I did.

We all know the basic story, I think, or at least people of my generation did...and that's old enough to know this book if you're nosy. But reading it is an experience. Written for an audience of a previous century, the language still captivates, giving us the feeling of listening to conversations. The action may seem a little familiar to those of us who've read anything from "12 Years a Slave" to "Roots," and the characters a little naive or stereotyped, but remember, at the time, this was new stuff.

Uncle Tomming is a slur today, but Uncle Tom of the novel was a man of honor who tried his best to get along in a set of circumstances that most of us can't even imagine. He had dignity. It's easy to discount him...after all, Tom didn't have the benefit of 200 years foresight to know that doing his job well was bowing to slavery. He answered to himself first, I think. He set his own standards. That these improved the lot of his white owners may gall us, but we need to accept that the man's actions represent him. Simon Legree can be a cartoon, the evil overseer, who mistreats his superior's human chattel. But we also know that the kind of power a stupid man like Legree can get hold of us usually corrupted. Eliza, Little Eva...we've seen them before and in more contemporary wardrobe. These are where those more politically astute versions came from and it serves a purpose to get to know it.

I feel foolish rating a novel that has influenced an entire genre of books, helped put an end to an institution of such tremendous evil, and was a rallying cry for those people who would overturn slavery. But putting that aside and reading it as a period piece, just another book, and basing the rating on how compelling it was, how much I enjoyed reading it, how much I learned and any insights I gained, and if I'd recommend it to a friend who wanted something good to look at, I'm going with five stars. And a recommendation that people...especially younger people take a look.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 12, 2014 12:21 PM PDT

Sh*t My Boss Says
Sh*t My Boss Says

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another overpriced Freebie, April 11, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sh*t My Boss Says (Kindle Edition)
I went trolling through free stuff on Kindle the other day (having already unloaded the free classics I always meant to read like "Far from the Madding Crowd" and definitely will get around to them only not, you know, now). So far most of what I found is dreadful. Lots of sagas...romances with sequels, End of Days and Memories of My Wonderful Grandparents. Even if you grade on a curve, this is not a very good book. Of course the title should have given things away. I just see 'free' sometimes and nothing else. The cartoons are drawn decently, I admit, but the captions aren't that funny. The writer took the title in an attempt to capitalize on a quite funny little book that came out a few years ago and got tremendous attention. She wanted to skewer the workplace and bad bosses but just doesn't do it. The essense of a cartoon is wit. These are stale or belabored, for the most part. Some may bring a smile, but not enough. We've all seen funnier cartoons. Even for free...I can't do better than 3 stars.
Comment Comments (32) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 15, 2014 8:07 AM PDT

BelleSha Spa Moisturizing Gel Socks
BelleSha Spa Moisturizing Gel Socks
Offered by BellaSHA
Price: $10.49

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forget about walking on air..., April 11, 2014
Walking on gel is better!

At first, the sensation is a little strange. If you don't go to a spa and haven't worn these babies, the first steps are squishy and strange. After a while, it just feels good. The way to do things is to get your feet nice and moist. Start with a bath, if you can. Soak away all the stress in your body, let the hot water relax you and your tired feet. Scrub them well to get the blood circulating and to exfoliate a little bit. Next use a really good penetrating moisturizer. You can buy a pricey one...and if you do, anything with Macadamia nut oil is supposed to be great for feet. Or you can go with one of the Vaseline Intensive Care lotions...they work beautifully and cost very little. The important thing with moisture is to find one that sinks in quickly, doesn't feel greasy, and shows results on your skin. I buy cheap and work my way up. After you moisturize your tootsies, slip on the gel socks. It's like walking on a cloud. In a perfect world, we'd have nationalized pedicures and footrubs. Anything that makes feet feel good is worth having, and this does.

Wear the socks overnight and you'll be surprised at how good your feet look and feel when you wake up. If you have really bad heels, cracked and calcified,it may take a week, but you should see a huge difference. After two overnight uses, I'm so thrilled with how soft my feet are, I'm tempted to sidle up to folks at the supermarket and say "feel my feet."

The socks are washable, by hand or machine. I just opted for the machine after the second use and they came out fine. I'm not sure how long they'll last...but for $10, I'll want at a lot of use out of them. If they fall apart, I'll report back. There were no accompanying instructions on care, by the way. I used cold water in the washer and a low dryer temp.

Caveats: The size is a moderate 'medium.' I wear a size 7 or 7 1/2 shoe, and usually take an 8 slipper for comfort. The socks fit me perfectly. Roomy but snug so there's no bagging or dragging. If your foot is much bigger, I don't know if they'd work. I see no information for larger sizes either. Also, I was offered these for review. I have had mixed results with gel socks, and was not included to be generous. These were thick enough to be effective, the socks themselves well made, the fabric soft and comfortable. I had no problems with these socks and they're as good as the best spa gel socks I've tried...and the price is acceptable compared to spa product. I am going to buy myself a couple of pairs of BelleSha Spa Moisturizing Gel Socks. For ten bucks, I'm getting a little bit of luxury and a lot of comfort, my feel are silky soft, and the socks fee soooo good when they're on...and they deserve five stars.
Comment Comments (36) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 14, 2014 6:03 PM PDT

Spanking The Donkey: Dispatches From The Dumb Season
Spanking The Donkey: Dispatches From The Dumb Season
by Matt Taibbi
Edition: Hardcover
87 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Election time isn't slow or speedy. Just half-fast., April 6, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Those who don't remember history are doomed to relive it. Or something like that. If so, reading about the 2004 campaign is probably a good idea.

Matt Taibbi, who has an interesting if checkered past, is frequently compared to Hunter Thompson - probably because he sometimes indulged in a little dope while accompanying the wannabes on their campaign trails. James Wolcott -who is a very famous Giant Talking Head himself, makes that reference in Amazon's book blurbs, and you see it a lot in the political bogs. But I don't think so. Taibbi isn't as off the wall as Thompson, and he pretty much keeps his story on the folks he's covering. His writing style is more contained...the chaos is in the actions of those he reveals, not in how he says it. They're the stars; he's just the fly on the wall.

It's not that the author doesn't have an interesting history. What other political analyst can say he wrote for a Soviet satire magazine and played baseball for the Russian army before freelancing for Rolling Stone? He is known for infiltrating Bush-Cheney HQ and doing some undercover reportage, and for dressing up in gorilla outfit while on the John Kerry campaign. The first made for some very interesting stories, the second reveals that Kerry doesn't just look like a stiff with a stick where the sun can't reach. And okay, those antics may a little Hunter Thompsonish, but the comparison is superficial. Taibbi's antics are secondary. And compared to what the Chosen Few he covers are up to, his silliness is just run of the mill.

Getting back to the book, it's a compilation of campaign stories written for Rolling Stone, published in 2005 and mostly about the candidates looking to get the nod from the Dems. The subtitle is "Dispatches from the Dumb Season" and with good reason. Not one of these folks does us proud.

Taibbi is witty. His writing makes you grin. After the book was published, an interviewer asked him if he enjoyed the absurb. Tabbi said, yeah, it ran in the family. His mtoher campaigned for Dukakis.

There are parts of the book that make you grin, and parts that make you laugh out loud. But after you read it, it makes you worry just a little. He shows us just how empty those suits are, the ones we argue about and campaign for and fight with our friends over. There's just a little anger trembling below the surface, slowly bleeding onto the page. And you have to think: were these guys the best and the brightest that the Democrats could come up with? Was Dubya the Republican shining star? That's the heart of the book. Is that all we've got?

No matter. Laughing about it in retrospect is gonna be one helluva lot of fun.
Comment Comments (45) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 28, 2014 6:44 AM PDT

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