Category Archives: Food

‘Reader’s Digest’ Reviews: As Seen on TV

Reader’s Digest staff members recently did a hands-on test of 10 As Seen on TV products, and delivered their honest critiques. For “As Seen on TV: What Not to Buy,” writer Perri O. Blumberg enlisted colleagues at the magazine to help “separate the scams from the saviors” of 10 “products we all secretly want.”

The magazine recommends buying six of the 10 products, with the NutriBullet receiving a score of 4 out of 4 (“Order overnight!!”). The lowest-ranking products were Lint Lizard, with a zero out of 4 (“Need we say more?”), and the Twist n Clip, with a 0.5 out of 4 (“Practically a gag gift”).

Here are all 10 products Reader’s Digest reviewed, with their score, recommendation and retail price in quotes.

Continue reading

Deal of the Day: Vince Offer Resurrects Slap Chop!

Making salsa - Slap Chop Luncheon
Make quick work of salsa and countless other dishes with Slap Chop.

Infamous and inVinceable Vince Offer is back peddling his Slap Chop in an attempt to resurrect interest in this once market-dominating As Seen on TV classic. As we demonstrated in this blog post a few years ago during the Slap Chop’s heyday, it’s easy to whip up a three-course meal in no time with this ultra-handy gadget.

“Slap Chop performs pretty much as advertised. You push down on the plunger and foods get chopped. The blade is sharp. The Slap Chop seems plenty sturdy and its butterfly hinge makes it easy to clean.”

And our rave back in 2009 still holds true: “We’re happy to say that the Slap Chop performs pretty much as advertised. You push down on the plunger and foods get chopped. The blade is sharp. While it’s not by any means a precision instrument, the Slap Chop seems plenty sturdy and its butterfly hinge makes it easy to clean.”

Original offer doubled: 2 for 1, plus 2 free Graty graters

The Slap Chop is the same easy-to-use everyday kitchen appliance that millions have added to their culinary routines, and with the current deal, you can get two for the price of one, plus get a bonus gift. Order now to get two Slap Chops, plus two Graty graters for $19.95 plus S&H! The Graty is a slick, easy-to-use grater for cheeses that comes with a lid, so you can keep it in the fridge and pull it out whenever you need to kick up pasta or tacos a notch or three.

The Best Beers to Pair With Girl Scout Cookies

Just in time for Girl Scout cookie season, Consumerist.com has compiled this handy guide for pairing beers with America’s favorite charitable treats from beer experts around the Web.

Samoas

The toasted coconut, caramel and chocolate packed into this biscuit go well with a couple different brews. Brooklyn Brew Shop recommends the Coconut Porter from Maui Brewing Co. Central Track recommends a heavy ale of around 8.5 percent ABV, such as Dirty Bastard by Founders Brewing.

Thin Mints

These chocolate/mint biscuits scream for a darker accompaniment. The Beer Chicks suggest a Hitachino Nest Espresso Stout. Central Track recommends a strong imperial stout like Great Divide’s Yeti. Brooklyn Brew Shop recommends the Mint Chocolate Porter from Bootlegger’s Brewery.

Tagalongs

The Beer Chicks recommend adding banana flavor to the peanut-butter mix of these cookies with the Banana Bread Beer from UK brewer Wells & Young. Central Track suggests the Belgian Golden Ale from Belgian brewer Duvel. Brooklyn Brew Shop recommends its own home-brew recipe for a Peanut Butter Porter.

‘Does It Work?’: The StufZ Stuffed-Hamburger Maker Passes the Test

The newscaster has a tough time getting her words out in this news clip that is primed for the blooper reel, but she’s finally able to introduce the StufZ stuffed-hamburger maker.

“StufZ—you passed the Does It Work test.”

In this CBS-News Channel 3’s “Does It Work?” segment, the skeptical kitchen tester is happy with her results when she prepares a blue cheese and spinach burger. “StufZ—you passed the Does It Work test,” she says.

“StufZ™ doesn’t just smash two patties together — the secret is how it creates a deep cup and perfectly seals the outside, locking all that flavor inside.”
–Chef Brian Duffy

Order StufZ Stuffed Burger Maker

The pitchman for StufZ, chef Brian Duffy, demonstrates how to pack an endless variety of ingredients into a delicious burger. A few possibilities:

  • Chili, cheese and jalapeno
  • Mushrooms and Swiss cheese
  • Garlic, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes and parmesan
  • Mac & cheese
  • Pizza burger with mozzarella, pepperoni and tomato sauce.

If you want to try it for yourself, you can get two StufZ for $9.99 plus shipping and handling. Here’s where to order.

Could the ‘Wonderbag’ Slow Cooker Change the World?

Changing lives one Wonderbag at a time

The revolutionary new eco-friendly Wonderbag slow cooker, available at Amazon.com, could change the way you feed your family—while helping people in Africa feed theirs.

Its infomercial-ready name is ripe for marketing, but the Wonderbag has so far flown largely under the consumer radar. Attention has been ramping up, though, with the device and its inventor being featured in the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Cosmopolitan, O Magazine, the London Times, and on websites including Epicurious and the Huffington Post.

With Wonderbag, there’s nothing to plug in and no fuel to add. All you do is heat up your food on a conventional stove, then place your pot inside the Wonderbag and let it cook for up to 12 hours using the heat trapped inside.

“Buy-one-give-one model”

The portable slow cooker is the brainchild of entrepreneur Sarah Collins, who hopes to empower people around the world “with a buy-one-give-one model to support getting Wonderbags into humanitarian relief,” according to the Wonderbag website. The site claims 650,000 bags have been distributed so far, and 6,000 have been bought in the United States and Europe.

For every Wonderbag sold via Amazon, the company gives one Wonderbag to an African family. Because the bag requires no fuel, families can save as much as 30 percent of their income. Here’s where to order.

Don’t Buy These 5 Things at Drugstores

Photo of a Savvy Shopper
Be a savvy shopper.

Big-box retailers and grocery stores have better deals

MarketWatch offers a handy guide for what not to buy at the corner Walgreens and other convenient ripoff shops. Chain drugstores’ ever-surging revenues—estimated to have reached $160 billion in 2013—are buoyed by huge markups on common items. Here are a few things you should be buying at big-box and grocery stores, whose prices are almost always lower.

Drugs

Consumer Reports found that both prescription and over-the-counter drugs are cheaper at stores like Wal-Mart and Target, reports MarketWatch.

Food

A pint of Ben & Jerry’s is priced at an average $5.52 at drugstores, but just $4.42 at grocery stores, a 25 percent difference. “Every item we looked at was more expensive at the drugstore,” MarketWatch quoted consumer lawyer Edgar Dworsky, who founded ConsumerWorld.org.

Makeup

Many popular makeup products have been found to cost $1 to $4 more at drugstores than other retailers.

Cleaning products

Drugstores generally charge more for laundry and dishwashing detergent, spray cleaners and other cleaning products than other retailers.

Office and gift supplies

Head to a dollar store to save up to 70 percent on gift-wrap, greeting cards and office stuff. Office supply stores also offer better deals than drugstores.

SciMark Report: Pastafina by Chef Tony Ready for Comeback?

The Pastafina miracle cooker by Chef Tony Notaro, a retread of the Pasta Express, which debuted way back in 2006, could see new life in the direct-response TV sales market, according to product prognosticator Jordan Pine of SciMark Corp.

“I liked this product when it came out originally, and I think this revival version hits all the same, correct notes,” Pine writes at his SciMark Report blog.

Pine likes how the Pastafina commercial is shot, as well as pitchman Chef Tony’s skills: “The magic was always watching the pasta move as it cooks, and the production team has captured that. Tony is also in his element pitching anything Italian, and it shows in the passion he puts into his delivery.”

The current Pastafina As Seen on TV offer is two of the miracle vertical pasta cookers plus two recipe books for $10 plus S&P. Here’s where to order.

Here’s the original Pasta Express spot from 2006:

Froot Loops: Sugary Rainbow of Lies?

froot loops breakfast cereal
Froot Loops: Taste the rainbow of one flavor.

Hang your heads low, American cereal execs. The shame! For decades you have been selling us the sugary rainbow of lies drenched in polyglycerol polyricinoleate acid that generations have known as Froot Loops. Toucan Sam? More like Toucan SCAM!

As The Straight Dope so wisely pointed out back in 1999, Kellogg’s morning-meal mendacity, first launched in 1963, contains just one flavor, despite all the wondrous colors the cardboard container holds beckoningly within.

Yep, those round, gleaming breakfasty gems’ promise of diverse delectability is nothing but a long con perpetuated on unsuspecting Americans whose veins run pure with high-fructose corn syrup, yearning for nothing more than freedom, truth and individual fruit-like flavors.

Sweet Smell of … Ranch Dressing Scented Candles!

At first we thought maybe Hidden Valley was going full ironic hipster by selling candles that smelled like its signature ranch dressing or hoaxing the web with a campaign for a fake product. Some quick Internet sleuthing revealed, however, that this commercial  is the creation of one Mickey Dwyer, a Hidden Valley-obsessed auteur whose YouTube channel features a slew of other delightful ad parodies, including one for Hidden Valley breath strips.

For truly weird candles that actually exist, check out the Hotwicks Bacon Scented Candle. Hotwicks candles also come in Campfire, Fresh Cut Grass, Beer and even Stripper—all those things that make life worth living!