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Gray Panther's Profile

Customer Reviews: 28
Top Reviewer Ranking: 280,407
Helpful Votes: 61


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Gray Panther "Rachel" RSS Feed (Spanaway, WA USA)

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Presto 03430 Pizzazz Plus Rotating Oven
Presto 03430 Pizzazz Plus Rotating Oven
Price: $42.97
171 used & new from $30.00

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great little gadget when used for the intended purpose., April 18, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Update: Here are a few photos of some fresh pizza made with Pillsbury Thin Crust Pizza Dough. Not as crispy as I like, but better than an oven and not bad for a first try. Also, package portion sized for two people: Frozen Tater Tots, chicken nuggets, Quorn "Chik-nuggets (Vegetarian)

Now, on to the review:

I was looking for a pizza maker/air fryer. They were all expensive. This little gadget kept popping up as highly rated. After a lot of thought and even discounting it after seeing one at a local store, I decided to take the plunge. I'm glad that I did. Is it perfect? No. Does it work as advertised? Yes! Use it for the advertised purpose and I doubt that you will be disappointed. It does offer a lot of control with the dual heating elements. You will need to tinker with it. Get to know it. It is just like any other cooking appliance. You have to experiment to find the right settings for your preferences. You might have a couple of failures, but don't give up. The first small pizzas that I made didn't turn out well. However, after I experimented a little more, I couldn't believe the wonderful taste.and crispiness.

I expected to use the unit much less than I have. I place it on my smooth stove top. No worries about heat damage that way. The Pizzazz Plus, to my mind, is a PERFECT snack reheating gadget. It does a wonderful job. It isn't something that a "real" cook would want. It allows for adding crispiness to everything that is a precooked, frozen product: chicken nuggets, fries of all varieties, pizzas. You get the idea.

You don't add much fat so I suppose some people will feel the food gets a little dried out. I think they are probably correct. It doesn't make a lot of difference. If you want a moister food, just adjust the cooking times or buy a high fat content frozen product. There are plenty of those on the market.

I've been a vegetarian for over 30 years, but I live with a meat/junk food eater. I didn't think that I'd use the Pizzaz Plus much for myself. I was wrong. It makes some of the vegetarian frozen nuggets, burgers, and other mock meat products crisp up nicely too. I couldn't believe the difference between using it and the microwave. I find that I actually do cook a lot more frozen products than I thought that I did.

The Pizzaz does have a few quibbles. That is the "why" of my four star rating. As many other reviewers have pointed out, the tray is awkward to place on the unit. I guide it on with my index finger and thumb. It isn't that bad, but it is fiddly. The other thing that you need to watch is the tray wobble. The food needs to be balanced when it is placed on the tray. I also leave the food outside of the center as the element doesn't necessarily reach there for heating (though the pizzas all seemed to cook just fine).

The tray is small. I'd say that it can be used to prepare enough for a couple of people, but if you have more, you will be, as others have pointed out in their reviews, cooking in shifts. As an example, I can place the per person serving size recommended on the frozen fries package for two people. Then I can also place the per person size of chicken nuggets for one person. Finally, I can place 4-5 vegetarian nuggets. That quantity totally fills up the unit. What if you have big eaters? What if you want more than two servings? You could make 4 servings of french fries, but you'd have to cook the additional foods in another way. Not a big deal, but something to think about.

Finally, the Pizzaz, as others have also pointed out, doesn't have an on-off switch. This isn't a big issue for me, but it would be nice not to have to keep plugging and unplugging it from the wall socket. Thinking safety here. Speaking of safety, be sure to use pot holders, oven mitts, or something when removing the tray.

People have reported issues with cleaning the tray. I've had no issues, but I preconditioned it with a light wiping of virgin olive oil. Not sure if that took care of the reported issues, but I do tend to do that with all of my coated gadgets. I also don't cook anything that isn't recommended. I'm not much of an adventurer with new gadgets. I did try a fresh sliced zucchini. I was hoping to make crisps. That was a flop. Really, I do think this is a machine, at least in my case, that reheats previously prepared food well. Everything tastes better, but IMO, it isn't a cooker. It is a snack, precooked frozen food, sandwich, pizza, or crisper gadget.

I've made cookies, biscuits, and cinnamon rolls as well as frozen pizzas and everything in the accompanying recipe book. It all came out beautifully. After I used the unit and got to know it for a while, nothing that I "cooked" was bad.

I won't be giving up my crock pot, oven, or other cooking products soon, but this is a nice addition to my arsenal. It stores well in my cupboard. I did make a place for it. Some people with smaller kitchens may find storage to be an issue. On the other hand, regardless of the size of our kitchens, we gadget collectors seem to always find storage to be an issue.

For some good video reviews on the Pizzazz, check out Youtube. I enjoyed watching them. The videos will give you a good idea of what to expect. There are also a few videos that show some alternative uses for the unit. HTHs.
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Coconut Popcorn Popping Oil (Gallon)
Coconut Popcorn Popping Oil (Gallon)
Offered by Concession Express
Price: $22.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Movie Popcorn Taste, April 18, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I'm on the SECOND jar of this oil. It makes the popcorn taste wonderful. This is a HUGE jar. We eat popcorn as a daily snack. It has lasted us 6 months. We also use a goodly amount of the oil. One reviewer mentioned that it is hard to get the Oil out of the bottom of the jar. This is certainly true unless you have a long handled spoon. I use a large, substantial, long handled metal spoon.


Logitech Wireless Mouse m317 with Unifying Receiver, Silver (910-002892)
Logitech Wireless Mouse m317 with Unifying Receiver, Silver (910-002892)
6 used & new from $12.88

3.0 out of 5 stars Beware. This mouse is no longer supported for Macs. Workaround? Maybe for some., April 18, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
So, I studied all the wireless mouses. Read many of the reviews. I was looking for a mouse that would work with my Logitech Solar Keyboard and Macbook Pro (circa 2010). This mouse appeared to have all the proper specifications as well as a great price. I ordered it based on the unifying feature. I only have two USB ports on the Macbook and needed to free one of them up.

I received the mouse only to find that everyone, Mac or Windows owners, need to download a piece of software from Logitech. Well, Logitech no longer supports this mouse for Mac. Bad news. No software to be found. The mouse is useless without it.

I'm tenacious by nature. I didn't want the hassle of returning the mouse to Amazon. I searched and searched the internet. I finally found a download link that worked (many were dead). After downloading and installing, the mouse is working like a charm. I'd have given it 4-5 stars had Logitech still supported the download. Not sure if this mouse will work with newer Macs, but it is fine with mine--now that I have the software installed.

If you, like me, have a Macbook, you will need to search for the following software: "Logitech Unifying Software for Mac". Good luck. Logitech may be working to pull all of this software so I'm not sure how long it will be available to Mac owners. It might be better to look at a wireless mouse that is advertised as supporting the current Macs.


Set of 2 Australian Terrier Luggage Tags
Set of 2 Australian Terrier Luggage Tags
Offered by Canine Designs
Price: $15.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Nice set., January 30, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is a high quality product. I purchased it for a friend as a Christmas gift. She has an adult Australian Terrier and now a new puppy. The picture is an excellent representation of the Blue and Tan Aussie. If you are a traveler and an Aussie lover, these might be a nice fit for your luggage.


Maleficent
Maleficent
DVD ~ Angelina Jolie
Price: $14.51
72 used & new from $4.47

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! One of the best I've seen in a long time., January 30, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Maleficent (DVD)
Enjoyed this film much more than I thought that I would. It has a beautiful theme. There is suspense. There is love. There is evil. The sets and animations are gorgeous.


Best For My Pets Odor Free 6-Inch Bully Sticks, 8 oz. Pack
Best For My Pets Odor Free 6-Inch Bully Sticks, 8 oz. Pack
Offered by Best For My Pets
Price: $25.97
2 used & new from $25.97

2.0 out of 5 stars Sorry, but mine were not "Odor Free", January 30, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
So expensive. Advertised as odor free, but they aren't. My Chihuahua wasn't interested in them at all. I gave them to a friend for her puppy.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 30, 2015 8:33 PM PST


Maxi-Matic EPM-450 Elite Tabletop Old-Fashioned 4-Ounce Kettle Popcorn Popper Machine
Maxi-Matic EPM-450 Elite Tabletop Old-Fashioned 4-Ounce Kettle Popcorn Popper Machine
Price: $126.00
23 used & new from $89.07

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this machine!, January 30, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought this popcorn maker as a Christmas gift, but it was shipped in a box that displayed its contents. The gift was meant for the person who discovered the UPS package on the porch before I could get to it. So, beware of that one glitch in giving it as a gift.

The machine was well boxed. It arrived promptly. It was easy to set up. The first few batches of popcorn had me wondering if I might return the machine, but I worked with the recipe of oil, salt, and popcorn. It takes a bit of tweaking to your taste. Now, I'd never part with it. It is an amazing machine. It does produce movie theater popcorn taste. I like mine after it sets a little while under the popcorn machine's light and on its heated base. This is a great feature.

I purchased the Coconut Popcorn Popping Oil (Gallon) & Flavocol Combo. I use more oil than is called for in the recipe booklet that comes with the machine. I do believe that since taste is so individualistic, some experimentation will be called for before you hit on what is right for you.

I noticed a lot of comments regarding the cleaning of the machine. I don't find it traumatic to clean. It does take a little work, but I am of the older generation. Guess that means that I grew up doing a little more work in many areas that we now don't worry about any longer. I tend to clean the unit after 3 or 4 times. I wipe out the popcorn popper area after the popcorn is finished with a paper towel. Then I wipe off the lid. The one area that I have trouble getting to is the back half of the popcorn kettle's lid. You need to be cautious not to burn yourself when cleaning just after popping. This is true of the stirring paddle too. It is easy to burn yourself on it when you are cleaning out the kettle. Still, I don't find any of it that difficult. I certainly enjoy the popcorn enough that it is worth a little clean up.

Other reviewers have mentioned the waste in kernels. Again, I don't see a problem. There are a few kernels that pop out of the kettle and are wasted. I haven't counted them but I expect over 10 in each batch of popcorn. The unit has a catch basin drawer underneath the unit so it it really bothers you, just let them all drop through into the drawer and use them again in another batch. Hey, I'm retired and on a fixed income. Even I don't worry about a few wasted kernels. The squirrels and birds love them. ;-)

This is a BIG unit. It's color is reminiscent of the circus or popcorn machines of old. I like the color and fun that it adds to my otherwise serious kitchen. It sets on a corner counter in my kitchen but it would not set under regularly built kitchen cabinets. If you don't have some good counter space, you might consider placing this on a mobile cabinet or something similar.

Another thing to watch with this machine is that the interior base shelf is removable for cleaning. This is a great feature, but if you don't get all the kernels picked up prior to the removal, they slip into the base of the unit. That means you have to pick the kernels out from around the heating elements. That's not always an easy feat.

I like the batch size that the popcorn maker makes. It is more than we eat at one sitting, but it lasts for several days. I put the left over popcorn in a stainless steel bowl. Then, turn on the light and heating element and I have almost instantaneous warm popcorn again. Most people would probably easily consume the entire amount. I'm REALLY glad that I didn't buy a smaller machine. This one is so much nicer and, if I want to, it gives me the option to make less popcorn.

I will add to this review as I gain more experience with the Maxi-Matic, but, after almost two months of use, I'm still enjoying it.

Good luck on your decision. One size doesn't fit all... The Maxi fits me just fine, but...


Coconut Popcorn Popping Oil (Gallon) & Flavocol Combo (Yellow Coconut Oil)
Coconut Popcorn Popping Oil (Gallon) & Flavocol Combo (Yellow Coconut Oil)
Offered by Concession Express
Price: $28.99

5.0 out of 5 stars This set of salt and oil go perfectly with my ..., January 30, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This set of salt and oil go perfectly with my popcorn maker. BOY, is this a HUGE container of oil. Should last a long time. Used in the popcorn maker, it really does add a movie theater taste.


Coca-Cola presented by Now Designs Potholders, Classic Red, Set of 2
Coca-Cola presented by Now Designs Potholders, Classic Red, Set of 2

4.0 out of 5 stars Nice Coca Cola Pot holders, January 30, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Well made pot holders. Just a little too big for my taste and a bit too stiff, but over all a good buy for the Coca Cola lover.


Australian Terrier  Tall Boy Beverage Insulator Beverage Insulator Hugger
Australian Terrier Tall Boy Beverage Insulator Beverage Insulator Hugger
Offered by doggiebonz
Price: $5.99
4 used & new from $5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars If you like Australian Terriers and need a cup insulator, this might be for you., January 30, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Bought this as a Christmas gift for a friend who just got a second Australian Terrier. She has one adult and, now, one puppy. The picture fit the situation. The product, itself, is pretty standard for this type of thing.


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