Archive

Archive for November, 2010

Road Test: Tupperware Turbo Chef

November 27, 2010 5 comments

When I’m this impressed with something, I have to share it.

Tupperware Turbo Chef - the latest & greatest

Tupperware has brought out something which exceeds the popular Happy Chopper. People who’ve had both, love the new Turbo Chef the best.

If, like me, you hate having dozens of single-purpose gadgets cluttering your kitchen, you might be wondering whether it’s worthwhile. In short, it is. So impressed am I, that I’m looking at buying another two for gifts this Christmas (just don’t tell Mum & Nanna).

Simple: 3 parts, no electricity or batteries needed

I use it every day to cut up onions, carrots, apples and garlic. It’s also handy for making pesto & chopping nuts. Kids can help, because there is no way they can cut themselves on any moving parts (and an adult would handle the blades) or electrocute themselves. All they do is pull the chord.

Do this quantity in 2 quick batches

No body double or hand model was used ...

After 7 easy pulls of the string

After about 15 spins, a finer chop.

Carrot, just as the chooks like it.

PROS:
* kid-safe & nanna-safe
* fool-proof
* great for everyday use & for camping
* easy to clean
* much quicker than a knife
* much less fuss than an electric appliance
* great size (300ml) for small batch chopping (food processors for big jobs)
* precise (with a food processor, it’s easy to overdo it)
* comes with a good lid that seals (not pictured).

OTHER:
* costs $54.95
* blades not covered by Tupperware’s otherwise awesome lifetime guarantee.

RECOMMENDATION:
Buy it.

If you don’t have a Tupperware rep, try:
Natasha Yannuccelli Mob 0412 527 840 tashtupperware@gmail.com
Carmen Rooke Mob 0403 825 627 carmenstephen@bigpond.com
Or, Tupperware 1800 805 396.

P.S. I have no relationship with Tupperware or any of its sales people and accrue no financial or other benefit in reviewing this product, or any others on this blog.

HAVE YOU USED THE TURBO CHEF YET AND IF YES, WHAT DO YOU USE IT FOR?

UPDATE: The Turbo Chef is dishwasher safe (top shelf) although Tupperware recommends against putting the blade in the dishwasher.
UPDATE: I have 3 x Beauty & The Geek calendars to give away to readers commenting on the blog. They’re hilarious & I can’t possibly keep them to myself. Congratulations to Samantha – you get the first one!
UPDATE: 9:16pm Second calendar accounted for – Reader L came up with an amusing (but unpublishable!) use for the TC.

Categories: Australia, Products, Review

Modern Talking: Blue Steel with lip gloss

November 25, 2010 Leave a comment

What’s hotter than a German man wearing lip gloss? Well, two German men wearing lip gloss, of course. Check out Modern Talking’s “Brother Louie”

And for the best Blue Steel, Zoolander, let-me-undress-you-with-my-eyes-right-after-I-admire-myself look, check out Modern Talking here in “You’re My Heart, You’re My Soul”.

The music is catchy. I know you’ll thank me for the ear worm.

Sony Music won’t allow embedding of the YouTube clips, so you’ll have to click through to YouTube (sorry!). Miss Nine (who is slightly obsessed) has kindly sketched one of the German mega-stars for your pleasure.

… you’re my heart … you’re my soul … OOOHHHH ….

(With thanks to reader Chris.)

Categories: Music

LOL: The Facebook Song (Are you f*ckin’ kidding me?)

November 19, 2010 Leave a comment

For your pleasure, a little song by Brisbane girl, Kate Miller-Heidke about setting boundaries with Facebook friending. (Warning: language).

Have a fabulous Friday.
(With thanks to Reader Nella).

Comedy in cat food labelling

November 14, 2010 Leave a comment

This week, the Six-Kilo-Cat developed her annual fussy-with-furballs problem, necessitating the administration of twice daily tablets, Cat-Lax paste and a whole new menu.

Scratched-up and emotionally crippled by the ordeal, I took myself to the shops in search of new cat chow – something to hide tablets in, chiefly. To this point, I’d managed to stay within the Kia-to-Corolla range of cat food, but desperation finally brought me to the Rolls Royce of kitty cuisine.

Comedians in cat food labelling...

Well, how funny did I feel, reading the labels:
* pate, marinade, jus, sauce and gravy (nary a jelly at this price point)
* sliced, shredded, whole, or strips
* chicken, turkey, duck, whitemeat, ocean fish (how discriminatory), prawns, beef, chicken hearts and livers, virgin tuna (as opposed to what, exactly?)
* accented with long grain rice, tossed with vegetables
* a delight, affair or banquet?

Readers would know that truth in advertising is something I hold dear, mainly because it happens so rarely. Give me a brand of cat food, something like this:
* Ducks’ guts in goop
* Fish eyes ‘n fins jelly
* Chicken wobblies in sauce
* Beef offal with cereal.

As the kids insightfully point out, the cat can’t read. However, after all the fuss and big-spending on new food, the kids also advise me that the boss only eats what comes out of light pink tins and still spits out the tablets. Go figure.

I’m in love with Caketopia

November 12, 2010 5 comments

Today’s must-share experience is all about cake.

Cake is one of my favourite subjects. I majored in cake at law school and it did me heaps good. A dear buddy once made me a birthday cake and couldn’t get the glass out of the middle. We wore silly hats in the uni refectory, which went with the well-meant but equally inedible torte della microwave. Lucky she’s really, really good at law, is all I can say. (M, maybe we’ll order from this site next time?)

Take a look at the Caketopia blogspot and tell me that you’re not in love too.

Two examples…

(With thanks, Reader A.)

E-books & the death of book stores

November 9, 2010 5 comments


With the arrival of e-books, people in publishing are deeply worried about:
A. the survival of brick ‘n mortar book stores; and
B. the future of traditional paper publishing.
What the conversation is missing, is the consumer.

What do consumers want?
Do they want paper books to continue as they are?
Do they want physical book stores?
Do they prefer e-books and e-stores?
Can they continue to have both?
Will they mind waiting longer to get Print On Demand books, instead of just taking something off a shelf?
What about the cost of books and e-devices?

In this post, I’ll focus on the effect of pricing and invite your thoughts.

The price of books & the death of book stores

The price of books in Australia is always a contentious issue. They seem expensive and yet, very few authors can live off their writing and book sellers are bleeding. People in all aspects of publishing live modestly. There’s lots of love, but not a lot of money. Why?

Book shops are diversifying more into gift lines and coffee, since book selling is becoming uneconomic due to:
* on-line selling;
* predatory discounting practices of department stores; and
* e-book retailers because (in Australia) brick ‘n mortar stores aren’t able to sell e-books (why?!).

I’ll briefly touch upon the main players in the price wars.

Parallel importation?
Over a year ago, book sellers, led by Dymocks, thought that parallel importation would save them. The New Zealand uptake of that policy proved disastrous. You can’t have eggs without chickens. Killing local publishing to save local book selling is at best, wonky thinking.

Predatory pricing
Big department stores sell books cheaper because they demand around 70 per cent off from the publishers, and they use cheap books to lure more people into the store to spend money on other things (to offset the discount). This dynamic works for consumers until the competition is killed off, then prices go up and choice goes out the door. It’s not competition; it’s a killing field.

GST
In Australia, GST is applied to all stages of a book’s production. No government has been open to dropping it. Economists tell me it’s because book sellers will apply the GST savings to their own bottom line and not pass it on to consumers.

So the choice is: GST revenue to the government to churn and burn, or leave it in the industry so that more businesses can keep their doors open (and possibly, pass on price reductions to consumers in the line of normal competition?). Frankly, I would’ve thought that an “Education Revolution” (to use a Labor Party slogan) might’ve included books.

E-books will be the final blow to Aussie book stores, unless…
E-books are currently retailing around $9.99 on Amazon and according to Michael Hyatt, there’s no likelihood that prices will sustainably drop below that point. E-publishing and e-distribution, perhaps surprisingly, doesn’t deliver big cost savings.

I think that once publishers work out all the other funky things they can do in the e-world, prices will eventually go up because they’ll be producing more on-line content to sell their books. Publishers will rise from the ashes of burned out book stores insofar as they’ll be selling directly to online consumers.

In America, e-books are rapidly gaining popularity. The Aussie uptake has been slow and the publishing industry has been reluctant to respond to the new paradigm. Australia doesn’t have the population to shoulder massive market changes as readily. That being said, we can’t put it off any longer.

Conclusion
So, what will e-books do to the price of books in Australia? Not much, it seems, unless the government removes the GST from the equation and revises competition law. With the GST in place, more people will shop on-line to avoid it and brick ‘n mortar book stores in Australia will continue their rapid decline in the face of anti-competitive practices by bigger players.

People will go to book shops to have coffee, browse inside books and then purchase them (either in paper or electronic format) elsewhere, online. That’s not a sustainable business model. Book sellers had better come up with something new, quickly, to value-add to the experience of loving books.

While $9.99 for an e-book is up to half the price of a traditional book, you have to buy the e-reader as well. And even though they are coming down in price, will you be buying one for your kids this Christmas? They aren’t so forgiving when dropped. And how many e-books do you have to buy to make up the savings as against the cost of the device?

I’m not against e-books. I’m not advocating for them, either. I love what’s inside books and where those books take me. People should have a choice. I just hope that the Australian government and industry get the balance right, before our favourite book shops bleed out.

QUESTION:
What do you wish you could tell the government or publishing industry in Australia? Do you think book shops will survive?

N.B. I encourage all respectful views. Feel free to disagree, without being disagreeable. No-one has all of the answers. Sharing is caring.

Road test: BEERBIRD DIY BBQ Chook

November 6, 2010 1 comment

Dear Readers,

Today, I’m introducing a new correspondent (I can’t do all the fun stuff alone) to report to us on new things in the world of beer & barbecues.

Congratulations Lou! Lou is the kind of girl who turns up to a Tupperware party with an esky on wheels, full of beer – it sure made the balloon popping game at the last one fun.

Below, you’ll find an accurate and contemporaneous record of her first attempt at making a chook with the BEERBIRD device. I gave it a few days before posting, to ensure she and her family survived.

Who thinks of these things?

From the backyard of Lou: BBQ & Beer Correspondent

Alright…here goes!!! The fridge is stocked, the BBQ is cleaned, summer is here and one bird is going to cook! Ingredients are ready…chook, beer and spices. Preparation: Ensure adequate stock of favourite beer, open can and quench thirst (repeat as required) (DONE). Set aside spices (DONE). Open another can and take several gulps (about to commence this stage…stay tuned…so far tasks have been extremely difficult…hoping it gets easier)…

…now where was I up to…how many cans is that??? oh yeah…take several gulps (make them small gulps to that the can is still just over two thirds full)-(MOST DIFFICULT STAGE YET – WHEN TO STOP?? Mark says can is only half full…ok…get another can and redo that step…no worries)…rub spice mixture over bird…plunk bird over can…transfer to BEERBIRD grill and place in centre of covered BBQ…once lid to BBQ is closed, crack open another frostie, sit back and wait (HAD THOUGHT HARDEST PART WAS DONE BUT THIS DRINKING BEER AND WAITING IS TOUGH!!).

Beautiful aroma is wafting around the place one and a half hours later. Recipe says to leave in for one and three quarter hours however opened the lid to put the vegies in so will leave for a total of two and a quarter hours maybe…we’ll see how it goes.

Chook out…looks and smells great…fourteen year old son comments…that chook smells good! Vegies not cooked yet so chook on warmer in oven til vegies done…should have put vegies in earlier…anyway…all can’t go perfectly first time round…

Total YUM!

Ok, the verdict is…chook tastes pretty fantastic. Looks great when carving, still juicy and the flavours are just YUM. Can’t recall tasting a better chook in recent times. Asked fourteen year old male how the chook was after finished…”Heaps Hectic”…I think that is good…he went back for two more servings. Now for some finer details; the information in the recipe book was spot on, the beer can still had the same amount of liquid in after cooking as stated and the timing was right. After doing this whole beer process, there was a sentence down the very bottom which says BEERBIRD is also delicious when soft drink substitutes are used such as; cola, carbonated fruit juice and ginger beer. Now if I had known that I wouldn’t have had to drink so much beer to cook a chook…oh well…the things one does. I do think however I will stick with the process I used today as I believe in tried and tested and why change something that is already proven to be perfect.

The only thing we may have added that BEERBIRD doesn’t mention is that we use some Jack Daniels smoking chips in the BBQ as well.

As if it couldn't get any better ... (It's for the BBQ).

We have done a chook on a rotisserie with these chips on the BBQ before and as nice as that chook was, BEERBIRD is easier to do, easier to clean, tasted better and more juicy. There are a few different flavours in the recipe book. We used the BBQ Beer Bird spice recipe for this one but will be keen to try the others in the future. We are thinking of getting another BEERBIRD so we can have two chooks for when we have visitors. Another interesting point on further reading is that if you don’t have a hooded BBQ, this can be done in the oven at 180C but since we have one, we will continue the aussie tradition of outdoor quality BBQ entertaining with a few amber refreshments on a gorgeous summer’s day or night.

Joke taken from the BEERBIRD recipe book – Q: Which came first, the chicken or the egg? A: Neither, The Rooster

FINAL VERDICT: BEERBIRD is heaps hectic. Go get one. Or, two. Beats Christmas turkey!

UPDATE: An email from Barry @ BEERBIRD:
Hi Theresa,

Just read the blog – brilliant, thank you!

Please pass our thanks on to Lou – I’m thrilled that she liked it so much. Please tell her that it also comes in a double version (for cooking two chickens.)

Best regards,
Barry Owen

QUESTION: Have you had any BEERBIRD or other BBQ tips or experiences you’d like to share?

Categories: Australia, Life, Products, Review
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 195 other followers