Everplush® Towels

I’m back to report on a product that came my way last month. I’ve been trying it out and am happy to tell you about Everplush®  Performance Bath Linens. For most of my adult life I’ve been a solid 100% cotton person: towels, sheets, etc. I just like the feel of 100% cotton. However, Everplush®  has changed my mind about 100% cotton  bath towels.

I’ve been using an Everplush®  towel for a week at a time and I just love it! It is absorbent, it dries fast after being used, and it doesn’t get that funky smell that cotton does after just a few days. I shower every day and even after 6 days, the towel still smells clean and fresh! How is this possible?

That’s how!

Ok, honestly I don’t understand how it works, but it does work and I am very happy with this towel. You can purchase them at their website or at Amazon. They’re a little pricier then getting towels at your local discount retailer that ALWAYS has something on sale, but on the Everplush® website there is currently a “buy one bath towel, get one free” promotion, so it’s a good time to invest in this product. The sale runs through April 30, 2018.

YIKES, Christmas is less than 2 weeks away!

But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!

Ok, first of all, who doesn’t like a beautiful oversized dish towel? These below are from MÜkitchen, maker of dish towels, aprons, oven mitts, and more. You can find them at Target and Amazon.com. Check out the 100% cotton, 20″x30″ towels below:

For those of you with friends who are a little more sassy, there’s Twisted Wares. This company has come up with some towels, banners, aprons, t-shirts, and cocktail napkins decorated in artwork from the categories of “Nice,” “Naughty,” and “Naughtier.” Check out their whole website; it’s full of subversive products!

Then there’s True Brands, a company with a variety of product lines, which you can see on their website. Some of my favorite products are in the Glass Travel Infuser for brewing tea on the go; the necklace bottle opener (no one’s the wiser with this beautiful item!); and the Canvas Cocktail Kit. See pictures below:

I hope you all have a happy holiday season!

I won a Drinkmate Home Carbonation System!

Good fortune came my way a month or so after the Housewares Show in March of this year. I got an email saying I had won a drawing and that my prize would be arriving soon. The next day my doorbell rang and there was a package for me….

Yes! I won a Drinkmate carbonating machine! At first I didn’t know what to carbonate, so I just kept it in the box. But recently, with the temperature being in the 80s, I decided it was time for some nice, carbonated lemonade!

The machine is pretty easy to figure out with the step-by-step instructions. You lift up the back of the device, put in the COcartridge (it screws right in) and then close the back. Next, you put your beverage into the bottle, and screw on the special top that slides into the machine. Finally, you press the button on the top and it forces the carbonation into the liquid. You do this until the machine makes a hissing sound. Then you take it off the machine, depressurize the bottle with a special valve at the top, and then remove the top.Voila! Carbonated lemonade! It came out great. Now, the only thing I did wrong was that I missed the part in the instruction book that said not to use liquid with pulp. I believe this is in order to make cleaning the bottle easier, as you’re not supposed to use a brush to clean the bottle. But I got it cleaned out and a few days later I tried my next experiment: Carbonated Manhattans! 

I made my Manhattans with a 2:1 ratio of bourbon to sweet vermouth, and added a splash of Angostura bitters. I poured my mixture into the bottle, but it didn’t quite reach the fill line. I think this may have caused a problem with the carbonating of the liquid. as it didn’t seem particularly fizzy. During the process it appeared as if the bottle was filled with COgas, rather than the liquid becoming carbonated. I don’t know what I did wrong, so I’ll try it again with a different drink. (There are recipes on the website.) I actually think that what carbonation there was didn’t add anything to the taste of the Manhattan.

The Drinkmate is available at the company’s website and at Amazon.com

Cheers!

Christmas in Spring!

It’s been like Christmas for the Housewares Maven! I’ve gotten some nice things delivered to me recently and I need to tell you about them!
The lovely people at Robinson Home Products (makers of Oneida, Sunbeam, and more) sent me a fantastic box of kitchenware that I’ve been using almost daily. The items range in size from 2 Tbs. (a coffee scoop), to 8 Qt (a stockpot with a glass cover).
Here is a list of what I received:
*4 stemless wine glasses I think they’re a bit large for wine glasses–I believe they’re about 20 oz. Even don’t want that much wine at one time! However, they were perfect for the Pina Coladas I made in the blender a couple of weeks ago!
*6 forks with handles of different colors. I need to get matching knives and spoons. I love the color assortment and the ability to mix-and-match colors at a place setting. For example, Juniper, Aqua, and Coconut look great together. The pattern is called Terrace, but I haven’t been able to find them in these colors online yet. Be on the lookout for them for your next patio party.
*A set of 4 carbon stainless steel steak knives (I haven’t opened them yet, but they look mighty sharp)
*A 1 qt. collapsible colander–invaluable space saver
*8 qt. stock pot
*Aluminized steel cookie sheet–seems to be nonstick, and it’s a nice bronze color, and sturdy
*Buffalo china salad plate, and man is this thing heavy for a salad plate. Buffalo china is very sturdy stuff.
*Also, a sink mat, a coffee measure, and some football themed Chip Clips.
All in all a very nice bunch of stuff that I highly recommend to you. I’m sure you’ll enjoy any of the above products as much as I do.

Trends at the Housewares Show–a bit late, but you know, not never…

As I meandered through the Show floor, there were a few trends that caught my eye. First of all, I saw more than a couple booths that had their version of the oh-so-popular Swell(tm) bottle. I would show you pictures, but the booths with them had “No Photography” signs.

The second thing I noticed was the increase in the number of fun kitschy products out there. In previous years it had been only a few, like Kikkerland, and Fred and Friends.

Third trend: Copper, once again, although this time it’s become more and more noticeable.

Fourth trend I noticed was iridescent coloring, but not a light color iridescence, No, the items I saw were dark with bright colors.

Here are some pictures of what I was able to capture:

 

Today at the International Home + Housewares Show

First of all, according to my wrist step-counter thingy, I walked 13,458 steps today at the Housewares Show and to dinner afterward. No jogging, no treadmill…just walking the floor at the Show. That’s an all-time high for me! But I digress…you’re here to read about what fabulous products I saw at the Show, right? Ok, so let’s get to it.

First of all, it’s the 70th Anniversary of Igloo Coolers, and the 45th Anniversary of their small Playmate Cooler. Here’s a look at their Legacy hydration bottles they’ve unveiled for the 70th anniversary.

You can see the middle row of cups in copper, which I’ll go into more in my next post.

Another thing I saw today was at the Bialetti Booth. They’ve designed a coffee grinder that is somewhat evocative of their iconic Moka stove top espresso pot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally (because I have to get to bed soon, since I have to get up early for a breakfast with the nice people at WÜSTHOF), I’ll leave you with this:

 

It’s a picture of world-famous Joy, in a display of her “huggable hangers.” I don’t know why this picture cracks me up, but it does. She’s at the show tomorrow, so maybe I’ll get to meet her.

 

 

 

WÜSTHOF and their Fabulous Cheese Knives!

Ok, so the Holidays are finally over for me, and my life has settled down enough to finally get this post up. Just before Christmas I got some fantastic cheese knives from WÜSTHOF and i couldn’t wait till New Year’s Eve to use them to prepare my annual cheese boards. First off, here are my three new knives:

hard cheese knifeParmesan cheese knife

soft cheese knife

 

 

 

 

From top to bottom you have the hard cheese knife, the Parmesan knife, and the soft cheese knife. The hard cheese knife has two prongs to pick up the cheese after slicing or cubing it. And the first time I saw a soft cheese knife I was wondering, “what’s with the holes?” but I learned that the holes keep the cheese from sticking to the knife (less surface area), plus you can push the cheese through the holes if it does get stuck.

I recommend these knives emphatically for anyone who’s serious about cheese. You need good tools to get the job done! If you’re interested in purchasing the above knives, you can get them in a nice set at Williams Sonoma, or you can buy them individually as well.

And my cheese boards, you ask? See them pictured below, with cracker accompaniment, and little signs on the types of cheese I used. Enjoy!

cheese 2016

 

cheese 2016-2

cheese 2016-crackers

Holiday Gift Roundup!

It’s that time of the year, so let’s get started!

Fpour-over-pressirst up is the versatile “Pour Over Press” coffee maker from W and P Design. This allows you to make traditional pour-over coffee using a filter cup; French press coffee with the plunger attachment; or cold brew coffee. This products retails for $75. A great gift for any coffee lover!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Also from W and P is a nice stocking-stuffer: The Carry-On Cocktail Kit. This kit has the ingredients needed to add to booze to make two complete cocktails. Varieties available include: Old Fashioned, Gin and Tonic, Moscow Mule, Champagne Cocktail, Bloody Mary, and a Hot Toddy. Each set retails for $24 and is available at their website, or at stores like Restoration Hardware, where, as of this writing, it is on sale online for $14.

 

 

 

While we’re on the subject of cocktails, acclaimed bartender Charles Joly has come up with a line of crfths-shakerst_webproducts to make your mixing more stylish. The collection is called Crafthouse by Fortessa, and I’d suggest a couple of options. First is the Shaker Set, which comes with a two piece Boston shaker, a 2 oz. Jigger, a muddler, and a Hawthorne strainer. It retails on Amazon for $100 plus shipping.

The other set from this line is the Bar Tool set. This set comes with a peeler, a knife, a channel knife for making twists, and a black walnut bar board. It’s available at Dillards online for $90. crfths-brtoolst_web

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

sport-bundle-product1_2Now, how about a stocking stuffer for your teenage son or daughter. It’s not glamorous, but boy is it useful–the remodeez odor and moisture remover. It provides a non-toxic solution to remove everyday odors. It uses activated charcoal derived from coconut husks to absorb odor at the source. You can place them in your shoes, around the house, or in your gym bag. Check out the available styles and place your order at remodeez.

 

 

 

 

 

And finally, some websites with cool, funky products, too many items to list individually:

http://www.fredandfriends.com/

https://kikkerland.com/

https://www.frenchbull.com/

Enjoy, and Happy Holidays!

Bamboo and other Compostable Products

I visited a friend recently and she went on a tirade against plastic. Well, do i have some great news for her!

EcoSouLife

This Australian company produces a line of products that consists of biodegradable tableware, some of which can be reused,  and some of which are disposable. They are made from a variety of natural materials, such as: Palm Leaf (picked from the ground, not from live plants); Corn Starch; Bamboo; and Rice Husks.

bamboo-main_png_2-3-15_2

 

When processed, the bamboo plates look just like melamine plastic, but will decompose  when buried in the ground (unlike melamine).  Corn starch products also have a plastic look to them, but can be disposed of and will biodegrade within 6-12 months. Rice husk fibers are processed and made into sturdy plates, bowls, and more. The rice husk dinnerware is even dishwasher safe, as are the pieces in the bamboo and the corn starch lines. While some of the dinnerware looks like plastic, some has a more “natural” look, particularly the pieces made from palm leaf.

plam_leaf_square_plate

 

 

There is now a distributor in Florida, so you can contact jr.munoz@ecosoulife.com for more information.

October is American Cheese Month!

If you know one thing about me, it’s that I love cheese! Well, October is American Cheese Month, so let’s celebrate with some fabulous cheeses and some really cool ways of presenting them.

First I’d like to put a plug in for an event at the Villa Park Public Library, in Villa Park, IL. In honor of American Cheese Month they will be offering a program on American Cheeses, facilitated by Meredith Meder, an ACS (American Cheese Society) Certified Cheese Professional. I have attended her programs in the past, and they’re informational and tasty! Call 630-834-1164 to register. There’s a $7.00 tasting fee associated with the class.

 

boska-toasta-bags

Now, next up is the cheese-centric line of products from Boska. One product I’ve read about recently is their Toastabags used to make grilled cheese sandwiches in the toaster. I need to try this one out. There are no crumbs and no mess. I’ve seen pictures of the finished products, and the result looks absolutely yummy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

master group

If you need to grate your cheese you can go to the Microplane line of products, which I’ve discussed here previously. I’d like to give another shout out to the Master Series Graters with the Walnut wood handle. The Ribbon Grater is perfect for grating ribbons of cheddar cheese for sauces, cheese puffs, and other recipes.

 

epicurean-serving-board-state-shape-series-natural-nutmeg-minnesota-032mn0102-main-500x410

 

 

 

 

 

And what will you cut your cheese on? You need a cutting board, and where better to go than Duluth-based Epicurean. Their cutting boards are beautiful and functional. They are: dishwasher safe, heat resistant to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, knife friendly, made of non-porous wood fiber, and have a limited lifetime warranty. Take a look at some of their designs.

 

 

 

 

cheese-vault

 

Finally, to store your artisan cheeses, we have The Cheese Vault, by Capabunga. It’s a one of a kind, reusable way to store cheese. It is made of food-grade silicone, which allows the cheese to remain fresh and delay mold.

 

Happy American Cheese Month, everybody!