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OXO Knife Block Set, 10-Piece
OXO Knife Block Set, 10-Piece
Price: $76.18
2 used & new from $76.18

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent value, September 13, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I've never owned a knife "set." I have always just bought the ones I needed (and a block) when the opportunity and the need arose. The first one I bought many years ago was a Henkels, and I was sufficiently pleased to stick with that brand ever since. They are wonderful knives and, though they aren't inexpensive, they are no where near as pricey as you can get when it comes to cutlery.

I have been very favorably impressed with all these OXO knives. I've used each of them and have been very happy with their performance. The bread knife does very well on rolls and bagels. The Chef's knife, though about half the weight of my Henkels (4.25 oz vs. 7.7 oz), still gets the job done effectively. The utility knife is fabulous on tomatoes. The little paring knife makes short work of cutting an apple into quarters. The four steak knives are a major upgrade from the "gas station" knives that I've been using. My favorite though, is the Santoku. I have been wanting to try one of these since seeing it used on an Asian cooking show and I finally got my chance. I love it. The one knife conspicuous in its absence is a meat slicer, and a sharpening steel would have been welcome too, but those are just quibbles.

All the components of the set are comfortable to hold and their grips are coated with the same black rubberized material that OXO uses on most of their wares. They must be hand washed, but clean up easily with a sponge and some soapy water.

Certainly, you can get better cutting instruments if you spend three or six or ten times what these cost. If you have the skill with knives necessary to make that expense worthwhile, perhaps some formal training, then you might want to consider doing just that. However, if your day job has nothing to do with the food preparation industry, and your culinary education consists of watching The Food Channel, then these should serve you well and save you some money.


OXO Good Grips Professional 8-Inch Slicing Knife
OXO Good Grips Professional 8-Inch Slicing Knife
Offered by Kellys Basket Inc.
Price: $13.01
6 used & new from $13.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, September 11, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I like this Slicing Knife quite a lot. I've made a roast and a couple of London Broils since receiving it, and was pleased with the result on each occasion. I was able to make even, thin slices (on the bias with the London Broil) with very little effort. It is comfortable to hold and the grip is coated with the same black rubberized material that OXO uses on most of their wares.

I also own an OXO knife block set, but those knives are not from the "Professional" series. This knife has more heft than any of them. According to my kitchen scale, this Professional Slicing Knife weighs in at 5.35 ounces. The block set doesn't have a Slicing Knife, but its 8" Chef's Knife weighs 4.25 ounces. My Henckels 8" Chef's Knife weighs 7.7 ounces by comparison.

You can certainly buy better, significantly pricier knives than the OXO, but before you do you should ask yourself if you have the knife skills to make the extra expenditure worthwhile. I once had a neighbor who spent a small fortune on a tricked out Pontiac Trans Am, complete with gloss black paint, 8-cylinder engine and the bird on the hood paint job. Then when he drove it, he never did more than poop around town at 30 mph (much to the amusement of everyone who saw him). He didn't understand about outspending his skill level. If you're Bobby Flay or Emeril or a "Top Chef" contestant, you need a better knife than this. If your day job has nothing to do with culinary pursuits, it's a pretty good knife.


OXO Good Grips 7-Piece Nesting Measuring Beaker Set, Multicolored
OXO Good Grips 7-Piece Nesting Measuring Beaker Set, Multicolored
Price: $19.99
3 used & new from $19.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, August 27, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'm very fond of OXO products and I own many of them: Cutting Board, Dry Measuring Cups, Funnel Set, Clothes Hamper and lots of others. I like their products because the innovative designs reflect a commitment to doing things better than everyone else. These Liquid Measuring Cups fall right into step with that philosophy.

They have color-coded bases, they nest to minimize storage-space requirements, there are 7 of them ranging in capacity from 1 cup to 1 teaspoon and each is graduated into cup/spoon, ounce and milliliter scales.

Unfortunately, I find two flaws with them that cause me to be somewhat less enthusiastic than I usually am with OXO products. First, the colored base of each beaker can be seen through its clear plastic bottom, so that the color of the cup's contents is altered by the brightly hued base. If you measure a cup of water into the red-based 1-cup beaker for instance, it looks like you've got a rosé wine when you look down on it sitting on your counter. Since you're apt to be working with several of these for a recipe, not having the color to inform you of the contents could be confusing.

Secondly, the bases are generally a convex shape. So, when you put them upside-down into the top rack of your dishwasher, they will collect water during the wash that you'll have to deal with when you unload.

In all other respects, I find the beaker set to be high-quality and carefully thought out, as I've come to expect from OXO.


Tide Pods HE Laundry Detergent, Free & Gentle, 35 Count
Tide Pods HE Laundry Detergent, Free & Gentle, 35 Count
Price: $10.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, August 21, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
For the past 18 months, since I got a brand new GE Washer, I've been using Tide+ with Febreze laundry detergent. I know that Tide is more expensive than other brands of laundry detergent, but I'm very happy with it. Clothes come out clean, bright and with very little residual fragrance. I have used these Tide Pods for my last two "laundry days," and I think they do every bit as good a job as the Tide+ liquid. When I removed clothes from the washing machine after using them, I could detect a slight soap smell, but that was gone after they'd been dried. I have used All "Free and Clear" liquid in the past (I was having itchy skin problems and I thought it might be the laundry soap I was using--it wasn't) and I think this Tide is superior.

I checked prices on my most recent trip to the Target and, while I didn't find these particular Tide Pods, I did find others. I was expecting a situation similar to dishwasher detergent pods, where you pay a heavy premium for the convenience the Pods offer, but that was certainly not what I found. I was amazed at how competitive they were when compared with regular Tide Liquid detergent. The 37-count package of Pods and the 100-ounce liquid (which gives me about 40 washes) were about the same price!

For those with skin allergies or sensitivity to dyes and fragrances, I think these Pods would be a great choice as long as you usually do "large" loads. You can quite easily reduce the amount of regular liquid detergent for small loads, but you can't do that with Pods and that would make them wasteful.


Pilot Acroball Pro Retractable Advanced Ink Ball Point Pens, Medium Point, Assorted Color Ink, 3-Pack (31922)
Pilot Acroball Pro Retractable Advanced Ink Ball Point Pens, Medium Point, Assorted Color Ink, 3-Pack (31922)
Price: $10.36

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, July 21, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have tried gel-ink pens in the past and, though they wrote smoothly, they tended to blob when first starting. I was pleasantly surprised to find that these "hybrid" pens do not suffer from that malady. They write smoothly and without blobbing or smearing issues. The textured grip is soft and comfortable to hold.

Though these are "Medium Point," I think they they possess a somewhat finer point than other medium points I've used, but have less of the "scratchy" feel that fine points often have.

The point retraction mechanism feels strong and secure, likewise the pocket clip.


Simply Calphalon Nonstick 1-Quart Sauce Pan
Simply Calphalon Nonstick 1-Quart Sauce Pan
Price: $29.95
10 used & new from $29.84

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, July 10, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought the 1-quart size to handle two frequent jobs: Rice for 1 or 2, which I make 2 or 3 times a week; and Pasta Sauce for 1 or 2 which I make 2 or 3 times a month. It performs both of those tasks with ease. I've owned it for about 4 months, so I estimate that I've used it around 50 times. I love it!

Cooking performance on my dinosaur of a GE electric stove is outstanding. Water will continue to boil slowly and sauce will continue to simmer steadily with the burner at its lowest setting if the cover is on the pot. The pot has good heft. According to my kitchen scale, it weighs about 18 ounces, 28 ounces with its lid. The handle stays cool during cooking.

Clean-up, inside and outside, is a breeze (I hand wash it with an Ocello No-Scratch Scrub Sponge). I can see no breakdown of any kind in the coating on the inside or the outside. I use plastic utensils only.

I'm very pleased with this little guy! Highly recommended.


eForCity 6-Pieces Reusable Anti-Glare Screen Protector for Apple iPod touch 4G
eForCity 6-Pieces Reusable Anti-Glare Screen Protector for Apple iPod touch 4G
Offered by eTECH
Price: $2.44
8 used & new from $2.00

5.0 out of 5 stars I was glad to have more than one, July 9, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
These work really well. For this price, I would have been impressed if it was just one screen protector--but it's six! I was glad to have more than one, because I messed up on the installation the first time and had to discard that one. If you order these from eTech, you'll get a packing slip and on the bottom will be a recommended YouTube video to watch that demonstrates a painless installation method. I found the video very helpful. I wish I had watched it before I ruined one of these instead of after!

Be advised that these are matte-finish protectors as opposed to perfectly clear ones. This surface helps to minimize fingerprints and smudges but does slightly affect how it feels under your finger tips. It's not quite as slick and smooth as the naked LCD screen.

I find this product to be high-value--low-price and very decent quality. Highly recommended.


AmazonBasics USB Charging and Sync Cable for Apple iPhone 4, iPod, and iPad 3rd Generation - 3.2 Feet (1.0 Meter)
AmazonBasics USB Charging and Sync Cable for Apple iPhone 4, iPod, and iPad 3rd Generation - 3.2 Feet (1.0 Meter)
Price: $7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, July 9, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
When the cable that came with my used iPod touch 4G began to malfunction--it would charge, but not sync--I began to search for a replacement. An OEM Apple cable is ridiculously expensive. There are some very inexpensive USB to 30-pin cables, but the reviews for those tend to cast doubt on their reliability. This one, I thought, had the right balance of reasonable price and good reviews.

It has functioned perfectly in the few weeks that I've owned it. My original cable probably stopped working due to an internal short. The area around the strain-relief (the collar where the cable emerges from the plug) at both ends had really broken down and gotten frayed, probably the result of the prior owner pulling on the cable instead of the plug to unplug it. This Amazon Basics cable has very beefy, durable looking strain-reliefs and I expect it will hold up for a long time.

Highly recommended.


General Mills Cereals Chex Gluten Free Oatmeal Variety Pack, 8.84 Ounce
General Mills Cereals Chex Gluten Free Oatmeal Variety Pack, 8.84 Ounce
Offered by just ducky
Price: $13.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, July 6, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I like oatmeal and will often make a pot of McCann's which stores well in the refrigerator and provides me with breakfasts and/or snacks for days. But sometimes there is no leftover oatmeal in the fridge to rewarm for a bedtime snack, and no will on my part to make a batch, so I keep a supply of Quaker Instant in the pantry. No, it's not the same, but it suffices. Gluten-free or not, this Chex Oatmeal is quite good and, when microwaved with half water-half milk, does a good impersonation of the consistency and taste of the real stuff, leaving the Quaker in the dust.

The two flavored varieties (Maple-Brown Sugar and Apple-Cinnamon) are very good, natural tasting and not too sweet. They will set you back 170 calories each without artificial ingredients (although, the Maple-Brown Sugar does contain "Natural Flavor," whatever that might be) The Original contains one ingredient: Whole Grain Oats. Each pouch of those yields 130 calories.

I just saw these in the King Kullen circular for this week at two and a half bucks apiece. That's more than the Quaker, but still reasonable for six packets, I think. I intend to keep a box close at hand.


Crispy Green 100% Freeze-Dried Fruits, Fruit Variety Pack, 16 Count, 5.6 Ounce
Crispy Green 100% Freeze-Dried Fruits, Fruit Variety Pack, 16 Count, 5.6 Ounce
Price: $17.05

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, June 28, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I don't think I'd ever had freeze-dried fruit before trying these. I enjoyed them--all three flavors--very much. They are merely fruit morsels with all the water removed via a freeze-drying process. They are almost like intensely fruit-flavored crackers. "Crispy," is an entirely accurate way of describing them

However, there are two 800 pound gorillas in the room that need to be discussed. First is price. I don't base my reviews on price because it can and does fluctuate, sometimes wildly, over time. Furthermore, what I might consider expensive you might not and vice-versa. However, at their current price these will set you back about a buck per 1/3 ounce bag. That's too rich for my tastes and I would not likely buy them for that reason (I was provided with mine for free by Amazon's Vine Program).

Secondly, these are made in China. You know, land of melamine cat food. Remeber all that? To their credit, the manufacturer doesn't try to hide this fact and is quick to point out that these are, "processed in freeze dried facilities that are U.S. FDA-registered and Internationally-certified (HACCP) which is a third party audit regulator," and that, "they are also routinely tested independently by FDA certified labs in the United States." I guess I'm OK with that, but it's something you should be aware of before buying. If they were less expensive, I would definitely purchase them as a diet-friendly (40 calories per bag) sweet snack.


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