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Customer Reviews: 64
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Cuisinart 77-412 Chef's Classic Stainless 4-Piece 12-Quart Pasta/Steamer Set
Cuisinart 77-412 Chef's Classic Stainless 4-Piece 12-Quart Pasta/Steamer Set
Price: $67.99
28 used & new from $54.99

53 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review: Focus on the steamer insert. Steaming cheat sheet included., January 10, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This cookware is amazing. This is a truly well crafted stainless steel set. The pasta insert works great but the thing I love more is the steamer insert. The steamer insert paired with the solid lit make the best steamed vegetables. I am really impressed. The clean up is a snap too. Make sure to clean with non-abrasive surfaces, such as the soft side of the sponge, not the rough side(usually green SOS material). Cloth also works well. In addition I noticed a reviewer say that it scratches easily. The only way I can see this scratching easily is if the pot was cleaned with abrasive material (rough scrubbing), metal utensils (always use soft plastics and wood!!!) or harsh cleaners. These are basic rules for any stainless steel set.

This pot works great for stews and soup stocks. The pasta insert is nice, but cooking pasta is pretty fool proof.

I bought this set for about $80 and it is money very well spent. I am very happy with my purchase. I fully recommend this set to anyone that wants to steam vegetables, tamales, meats etc. We eat a lot of pasta in our house so being able to cook the pasta while the vegetables steam up top is a huge perk. Also, I had the option of going with a pot set or a plastic electric steamer, but be aware that almost all plastic steamers have BPA. I have a toddler I could not go that route. I have had experiences in the past with electric steamers (plastic) leaving food taking weird, almost plasticy. With this pot (and any stainless steel set) you will not have to worry about strange plastics and strange tastes. Buy this set, you will love it.

I've included cooking times for people that are not familiar with steaming. Stick to these times and you won't fail. You will notice that there is a variant in time (example 6-10 min). Shorter cooking times produce crispier vegetables and slower and longer cooking times product softer vegetables. Make sure not to over cook though. Remember, the point of a steamer is to cook the vegetables without losing precious nutrients.

Vegetable, Size/Preparation, Time in minutes
Artichokes, Steam whole artichokes, 25-40 min
Asparagus, Whole spears, thick spears peeled lightly, 7-13 min
Asparagus, Cut into 2-inch pieces, 4-7 min
Beans, green, Whole beans, 6-10 min
Beans, wax, Whole beans, 6-10 min
Beets, small or medium-sized, Whole, unpeeled beets scrubbed clean; peel off the skins after steaming, 35-50 min
Beet greens, Cleaned and coarsely chopped, 7-9 min
Broccoli, Trimmed stalks, 8-12 min
Broccoli, Trimmed stalks split in half or florets, 5-7 min
Brussels sprouts, Whole, trimmed, 8-15 min
Brussels sprouts, Trimmed and halved, 6-8 min
Cabbage, Cut in wedges, 6-10 min
Carrots, Cut into ¼-inch thick slices, 7-10 min
Carrots, baby, Whole baby carrots, 10-12 min
Cauliflower, Florets, 5-10 min
Celery root(celeriac), Cut into ¼-inch thick matchsticks, 5-7 min
Celery stalks, Cut into ½-inch thick slices, 4-9 min
Corn on the cob, Whole, husks removed, 7-10 min
Daikon, radishes, Peeled and cut into chunks 8-12 min
Chicory (endives), Cut in half lengthwise, 5-10 min
Fennel bulbs, Cut crosswise into ½-inch slices, 8-10 min
Jerusalem artichokes(sunchokes), Peeled or scrubbed; sliced, 5-8 min
Jerusalem artichokes(sunchokes), Whole tubers, peeled or scrubbed, 20-25 min
Kale, Trimmed, 4-7 min
Kohlrabi, Peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes, 5-8 min
Leeks, Trimmed, cut in half, 5-8 min
Okra, Fresh whole okra, trimmed, 6-8 min
Onions, pearl, Whole onions, peeled, 8-12 min
Parsnips, Peeled and cut into ½-inch slices, 7-10 min
Peas, green, Fresh, shelled peas, 2-4 min
Peas, sugar snap, Whole pea pods, trimmed, 5-6 min
Potatoes, all, Peeled or scrubbed clean, cut into ½-inch slices, 8-12 min
Potatoes, new, Whole, scrubbed clean, 15-20 min
Radishes, Whole radishes, trimmed, 7-14 min
Scallions, Cut into ½-inch slices, 3-5 min
Spinach, Cleaned, whole leaves, 3-5 min
Squash, butternut, Peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes, 7-10 min
Turnips, Cut into 1/2-inch cubes, 8-12 min
Turnip greens, Cleaned and coarsely chopped, 4-6 min
Sweet potatoes, Cut into large chunks, 8-12 min
Swiss chard, Coarsely chopped leaves, 3-5 min
Zucchini, Cut into 1-inch slices, 5-8 min

Sorry it's kind of messy but you should be able to read through it. Take care.
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 31, 2015 9:05 PM PST

Frozen Planet / Life [Blu-ray]
Frozen Planet / Life [Blu-ray]
6 used & new from $17.84

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Take it for what it's worth, December 19, 2012
First and foremost, the blu-ray quality on both of these is amazing. These two blu-ray are probably some of the very best qualities you will ever find. Absolutely amazing. Secondly, David Attenborough version is by far my favorite, but please keep reading.

I own both the David Attenborough and Oprah edition of Life (I already had the David Attenborough edition when somebody bought me the Oprah edition just recently, but I kept them both). There are major differences in narrative quality, but all in all I think Oprah did a pretty good job. I try to stay optimistic and positive about everything, so needless to say, I was pleased.

If you like Oprah and her personality, then I think she brings a little something different to this documentary. David Attenborough, an actual naturalist, has been my favorite narrator since I was a kid so it will always be hard to beat his version of Life. That being said, I can't fairly deduct stars from this review on the sole basis that she did not stack up to David Attenborough expertise. These two Life's do not have identical dialogue. There were times I thought that Oprah's edition could have elaborated on certain scenes, but again, this is basing it off of the detailed paid by David Attenborough's edition. Some reviewers on other sites felt Oprah's edition seemed dumbed down, which to be fair to those reviewers, could come off that way. The narrative when lacking depth, does seem like it misses some true educational platforms.

I have seen a lot of criticism about Oprah's edition, and for true David Attenborough fans this may be warranted. On the other hand, I don't feel that Oprah's edition is bad at all. I think Oprah did really well. I truly believe that if she had narrated it first people would be less critical. It's just unfortunate for Oprah that she had to go toe to toe with one of the greats in the business (considering that this is David Attenborough sole expertise in the industry). In Oprah's defense I bet David Attenborough would not rank as high as Oprah in the afternoon talk show department lol.

Conclusion: If you are a true purist of David Attenborough or the art of detailed documentary then go with David Attenborough edition. If you like Oprah and narrative that is a little more westernized then go with Oprah. I'm not taking anything away from Oprah's edition or even saying her version isn't good. I'm just saying more than's geared towards a totally different audience. In someways I feel that maybe Oprah's edition might be more suitable for children (PARENT ALERT), while David Attenborough edition is more in depth and sometimes uses words that is not customary to a child's vocabulary (but that may be highly debatable for some).

Frozen Planet
This is David Attenborough version of Frozen Planet so as I've already pointed out, this is automatic gold. David Attenborough as usual brings a personality and expertise that is unmatched in nature documentaries. There is really no need to go into too much depth on this one, but just know that it's fantastic.

Overall this set is a great deal. I got my double feature pack (Life and Frozen Planet) as a gift from Best Buy for $19.99 (the gifter didn't remove the price tag). Amazon has it for $39. Either way it's a great price for almost 14 hours worth of film.

If you buy this edition then know that it clearly says Oprah Winfrey on the cover. It really wouldn't be fair to buy this and then complain that it's not the David Attenborough edition. If you want his edition it is also sold on Amazon. Hope this helps somebody make a decision.

LG BP620 3D Blu-Ray Player with Built-In Wi-Fi - Black
LG BP620 3D Blu-Ray Player with Built-In Wi-Fi - Black
6 used & new from $59.90

41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Blu-Ray player... with one key element, December 3, 2012
Let me start off by saying that many of these reviewers are correct in their assumptions about this blu-ray player, even the negative reviewers. I did not care much for this blu-ray player from the start but with my experience with electronics I decided to be patient and wait for all the proper updates. After about two weeks of the blu-ray player locking up and having to unplug it I gave LG a call and they told me they were aware of it and they were working on fixing it. Now, I'm no nuby to electronics and I try to stay realistic and patient. In this instance it paid off. I also have a LG 7600 tv that had some issues, but like with blu-ray player, the updates fixed everything.

A lot of times these companies get a wee-antsy when trying to push their yearly products out, and this blu-ray player was no exception. On the other hand, now that it's fixed it's the best blu-ray player I've ever owned (and I've owned a few). Not only does it play blu-rays and DVDs great, but it also streams at extremely great levels. I can't tell the difference between the streaming quality and blu-ray quality sometimes. It's crystal clear and runs 1080p very smoothly.

The Blu-ray player itself is very quiet in comparison to earlier blu-ray players. Some of you are familiar with loud blu-ray players and it can be very annoying. This blu-ray is as quiet as a church mouse.

One negative mark that is pretty minimal is that the blu-ray player is a bit slow. It is slow in loading and it is slow with the remote when you are trying to type out a title for a show you might be looking for on Vudu or Netflix. It's nothing major, but it is evident.

Overall this blu-ray player has been very good to me (minus the first couple weeks). I got this back in April, so I have had it for a little over 9 months. It's running great and I am 100% satisfied. Hope this helps. Take care

i play. Baby Boys' Lightweight Raincoat
i play. Baby Boys' Lightweight Raincoat
Price: $10.49 - $24.95

124 of 125 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kid tested, Daddy approved! Water Resistant vs Water Proof. Please read., December 1, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Don't worry, this jacket is in fact a rain coat. It does say "water resistant" like another reviewer said even though the site says "water proof". This in no way effects anything though. Many people are confused about what water proof and water resistant really is. As a former infantryman who is no stranger to outer wear and long stints of bush time, I can tell you that when it comes to rain coats there is a bit more leeway in this area. Let me explain. When they test for water proof they usually do it in a scale in which they measure how much pressure of water it takes to penetrate the jacket. Now, unless you are swimming or getting hit by enormous waves in this jacket you will likely not get wet. So water can get in but it would take a LOT of pressure, that you are likely not to run into. Average and even heavy rain will not likely penetrate this jacket. Why not make a jacket that can not be penetrated at all? They do. They are the rubber ones that are usually worn in suits, so they can seal properly and "water proof", but they are real really hot and lack breathability . This jacket ranks well in breathability (pretty sure I just made that word up). Now your toddler can run around without passing out from heat exhaustion.

When does water proof and water resistant matter. Usually water proof really only needs to apply for boots, pants, bags and etc. Again, unless your tucking in your raincoat there is no real such thing as "water proof". Water resistant jackets are more than fine. In fact I have a top of the line Gortex (best rain material on the market) Army jacket that is also "water resistant" and I'm always as dry as a can be.

One flaw that may be the route cause for argument, no zipper. There is space between the buttons so water could in theory penetrate through linkage from certain angels. Still, I have not run into this as a problem and we've walked in some serious rain. It is worthy to note though, because the very best raincoats usually have zippers to help seal the front part of the raincoat. Again, this should not be a problem, but nothings impossible.

So does this jacket hold up well even though Amazon labeled it wrong (I agree with the other reviewers that gave this product a poor score, Amazon should advertise their products in a manner that is consistent with the actual label), yes, in my opinion it does. I live just south of Seattle and we have been bombarded with heavier than average rain this year (on top of a already rainy region of the country) and my son has remained dry. I often take him on nature walks at our local National Park, even in the rain, and he has stayed dry.

Now, with all that said does that mean all water resistant jackets are safe as raincoats? Nope. Unfortunately not all water resistant coats stand up well in rain even when a company claims they do. But, I will tell you this, most of the time (almost always) they do. If they don't they usually have to eat crow on returns so most companies try to avoid that confusion by marking products "not water resistant". This product is clearly marked "Raincoat" even on the package, so I hardly think they would set themselves up for such a poor liability. In the case of this product, yes it does hold up very well in heavy rain. The other reviewers that gave this product a poor score are 100% right though, Amazon needs to be more clear in their product description, even if it does appear to be close enough in the wording.

Hope this clarifies some confusion. I say give it a shot. Amazon is great about returns. I did, even after reading the reviews and I'm a pretty happy customer. In no way am I trying to belittle those customers reviews who gave poor reviews, because they do have very valid concerns, but I do feel it necessary to validate the product, because technically it is a Amazon error, not the Raincoat company's. I feel that this a good raincoat. Take care everybody.

PS, I added a picture of my little guy wearing this so you guys can get a good idea of what it looks like worn. Take care!
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 21, 2015 4:21 AM PDT

AmazonBasics Carrying Case for Nintendo - New 3DS XL, 3DS XL - Black (Officially Licensed by Nintendo)
AmazonBasics Carrying Case for Nintendo - New 3DS XL, 3DS XL - Black (Officially Licensed by Nintendo)
Price: $10.99
2 used & new from $8.16

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Deal, November 29, 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Sometimes you don't always get what you paid for, you get a little more. I paid $6.99 for this case which now houses my sons new 3DS and it has definitely been worth every penny. It is very durable and looks great. The zipper along with the entire design is super sturdy. It's black a has a bit of a sheen to it. There is just enough room for the DS and a few games. It's very snug, which is good because you do not want a bunch of movement. For the price, they made a very sturdy case that easily could have sold for around the $20 mark.

I recommend this case. You will not be sorry if you buy this, especially when you have a working (non-broken) DS or 3DS a couple years from now. Take care!

Nintendo 3DS with Super Mario 3D Land - Flame Red
Nintendo 3DS with Super Mario 3D Land - Flame Red
Offered by O' MY GAMES
Price: $249.00
19 used & new from $130.00

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another piece of greatness from Nintendo, November 29, 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
I bought this for my little six year old on the sole basis that we live in Washington and we don't always have the luxury of playing outside when ever we feel like it. So, I got my little guy the 3DS. Let's review.

First I'd like to start out by stating that the price for this really can't be beat. I bought this with the Marioland game installed for $149 at Best Buy on a Black Friday deal, but to be fair I probably would have paid about 60 bucks more after playing around on this. I have owned a DS prior to this but ended up selling it a few years ago due to video game variety. Since then I have to give Nintendo credit because they've really added some great titles to the DS and 3DS.

On one negative side note, I did notice that the new 3DS does not seem quite as sturdy as my old DS, but regardless it still very sturdy. I mentioned that because I noticed some reviewers pointing out the fact that the 3DS is flimsy, which I don't think is true at all, but I can see their argument if they are comparing to the old DS. We've only had it out of the package a couple days now but my son has no clue how to treat electronics so needless to say so far it has passed the durability test (He can't just set the game down when he goes to the bathroom, he has to get up and toss the 3DS on the couch...urg).

The function is great and I especially like the additional thumb analog stick for the more fluid movements as opposed to the traditional Nintendo arrow pad. The graphics are pretty good and rival those of the Wii for comparison. One negative mark for the 3DS is the actual 3D feature. I have to admit it's actually really cool.....for a little while. After long usage it can give you a headache (anything over an hour to an hour and a half, but to be honest, nobody should stare at a screen that long in the first place). The effects of the 3D can be adjusted and I suggest doing so. After I turned down the settings on the 3D it was much more enjoyable and added longer game play without a headache for extended usage. Also, the 3D can be turned off completely if needed. For some people that may be a vital piece of information.

The wifi on this work pretty good. I was really surprised to see how well it worked for Netflix (Yes, for those of you who did not know, this does support Netlix. And pretty well too.) It actually did everything internet wise fairly fast. I give the wifi a big thumbs up.

The game that this particular 3DS comes with is called Mario Land 3D. It is by far the funniest game I've played on the DS platform (or any platform for that matter), and maybe even one of the best Mario's I've played since Mario 64 or Mario Sunshine. Thumbs up!

So between the 3DS and the PS Vita some of you may be in a bit of a struggle. Well to be honest their both great. When making this decision it is best to consider the age. If your audience is 10 or younger go with the DS or 3DS. If they are older, go with the PD Vita. The Vita also has better resolution when watching movies, but it's really nothing too major, but the games are geared more towards older kids and adults. The 3DS is good for all ages but younger kids have a better grasp of Nintendo games and they seem to be a lot more simplistic. So, age is your factor but do your research cause it's not always the case.

All round I have to say I am very happy with this purchase. It was between this and the PS Vita (which I'm sure we will get next Christmas, because it is really fun too), and for now I am really happy with my decision. I am very happy to give the 3DS a 5 out of 5 stars. Take care!

I will update later if needed. If anything is to go wrong you guys will be the first to know it.

Willow Tree Tenderness
Willow Tree Tenderness
Price: $23.68
29 used & new from $23.68

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars These are great, November 28, 2012
This review is from: Willow Tree Tenderness (Misc.)
This was the very first Willow Tree I ever got my wife. I thought it was very symbolic of her relationship with my son. He is my biological son that I have custody of. I was deployed to Iraq when my original wife left me and my son high and dry after I returned home. I soon met my current wife and she quickly helped me raise my son. Women just have a way with little boys and they immediately grew a bond. Soon after we celebrated our first Christmas and I got her this. Needless to say she teared up when she saw it. Ever since then I have bought them for her on her birthdays, mother's days and Christmases. They never seem to fail.

Now, let's get to the quality. These are very well made and have a kind of rugged beauty to them. They are very well defined and do an excellent job of capturing that mother-son bond. This particular one is very good size. It stands about 9 to 10 inches tall and very sturdy. I knock it over off the mantle and it withstood, though I don't recommend getting to rough with it.

I fully recommend this as a gift for mothers and grandmothers. They make these for all walks of life, genders and ages. Guys be smart, buy these for your ladies.

The Companion to Latin American Studies
The Companion to Latin American Studies
by Philip Swanson
Edition: Paperback
Price: $37.33
62 used & new from $5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good piece of literature, November 28, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I was actually very pleasantly surprised by this book. It is very informative and very fluid to read. I recommend this book to anyone that is gearing up for a trip to anywhere in Latin America. It gives very good insight into the history, cultures, agriculture, societies, economies, and governments. This is great guide for a upper level college course and a superb study companions. If any of those reasons are not good enough than believe this, it's actually a pretty good book. I was very entertained by the detail of information.

This book is a multi-author book, with each chapter devoted to a entirely different subject and written by an entirely different expert. The one editor of this book did an excellent job sewing everything up and kept everything in a very good transitional flow.

I fully recommend this book if you are are truly serious (or curious) about learning about our Latin American friends to the south. Right now the book is on sale from anywhere from $35 to $55, and in my opinion is worth every penny. College students will especially like this. Take care.

Playskool Mr. Potato Head Star Wars: Darth Tater Toy
Playskool Mr. Potato Head Star Wars: Darth Tater Toy
Price: $14.07
81 used & new from $8.82

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The force is strong with this one., November 28, 2012
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:1.0 out of 5 stars 
This was actually my very first Star Wars Mr. Potato head. This is the one that made me want all of them. It's kind of weird, I actually wasn't a huge Star Wars fan but I guess someone thought I was so they bought this for me. After that day everyone now thinks I'm obsessed with Star Wars and Mr. Potato head. So now every gets me either Mr. Potato stuff or Star Wars stuff. Needless to say, I have all these now. And yes, of course, now I'm a huge Star Wars fan. I was always a closet fan, but now it's in the open.

Anyways, this is a great quality toy. It's pretty durable, but honestly I use it more for decor than anything. The suit does make the appendages fall off a bit easy, but again, if this is for show, it's great. This was originally only sold a Disney Stores (yes, even though Star Wars was just officially bought out by Disney they've been companions for awhile). I applaud the creativity in the merging of these two iconic products.

I recommend this toy wholeheartedly. It will not disappoint.

Angry Birds: Knock On Wood Game
Angry Birds: Knock On Wood Game
Offered by K4 Surplus
Price: $24.40
91 used & new from $6.88

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just what the world needs, Simplicity., November 25, 2012
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Why should you buy this toy over a simple tablet app? After all with a video game your child gets loads of levels and more variety. True. Here's where your doing your kid a favor, by letting them be truly interactive. Kids today lack even the simplest building skills. Have you challenged a kid lately to build something with Legos? How about anything where they use their imagination to construct something? Well with this game you get to trick your kids into something modern with the Angry Birds brand name, but they are actively......wait for it.....playing.

This toy is fun. I've played it with my five year old several times and it is truly entertaining. It's old school. The basis is like this: you build it, you knock it down......then you do it again. A winner take all and the loser gotta-build-again type of learning. It's simple.

I fully recommend this toy. Its fun. It's not the greatest toy ever made, but it's fun and it's a step in the right direction if your sick of your kids being lazy players. Sometimes simple is better. Cheers!

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