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May 19, 2008

RabbitAir BioGS 421A Purifier

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Spring has always been one of my favorite times of the year, being able to open up the house for the fresh air coming in. For my wife, I realized this was not exactly the case as her allergies can be hard to overcome (or the allergy medicine can be troublesome). Instead of taking medicine she made an appointment with her allergist and they actually referred her to a site that sells Rabbit Air purifying machines.

In the past we've dabbled in Ionic Pro purifiers but we found them to not make too much of a difference as allergies were still hard to stop from the pollen and all the dog / cat fur. When we picked up the RabbitAir BioGS 421 Air Purifier the first thing we noticed was the amount of work it did especially considering how quiet it was. Other air purifiers we've had sound almost like a fan on a high setting but Rabbit Air purifiers were easy to sleep through.

On the RabbitAir BioGS purifiers there is a sensor for when pollen, odors and dust are in the vicinity. For people with allergies or asthma this unit is a must have. In the past it has been listed for over 550$ but it has since been reduced to low $300's. The HEPA Filter lasts forever and the performance of the RabbitAir Bio GS has not deteriorated over the time we've had it. Even so it comes with a 5 year full warranty. For use we tend to just leave it on auto mode, as it picks up speed when it senses dust / odor / pollen and then runs efficiently while it is idling.

May 7, 2008

CSC400 Steel Slow Cooker 4quart

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For years we had used Rival Crockpots and weren't blown away but were satisfied with what we got. Until our last one cracked at the bottom, just a bit after getting it. Also the lids fit unevenly and would continually chip as time went on. Our previous one had went down just before that, so even though the former rival was under warranty we decided to look elsewhere. It is nice that Rival Crockpots are cheap but I'd rather pay a little more and get quality long lasting performance than have to re-buy the same product every year. Better yet the Cuisinart CSC400 is under 100$. It was normally listed at 150$ but at Amazon now it is 79$ with free shipping.

The first thing I noticed when cooking a few meals with the Cuisinart CSC 400 4 Quart Slow Cooker is how evenly distributed the heat is throughout the cooker. This was the main problem with Rival crockpots besides the chipping of the device. Despite there being controls for high / low cooking, there was no difference in how the food came out. It would always be overcooked. Read the reviews anywhere and you will hear the same feedback.

Even better, there is a function that when the Cuisinart CSC 4 quart slow cooker is done cooking, it will just turn to 'warm' so as to keep the meal warm but not overcook it in the process. We have been saved often when we went to run errands but came back late; the food was still ready to go and not over-cooked. Fortunately working from home I don't run into these situations often; my brother who always cooks things while he is away at work to be done at dinnertime absolutely needed this function.

When we visit our parent's it is useful that this doesn't tip as we bring it around. Cuisinart CSC400 4Quart Stainless Steel Slow Cooker is big but not so cumbersome that it is an issue to bring around. Also the cord to plug in retracts so there is no holding a cord as you move it. It is simple with just a few buttons but it is easy enough to figure out what is going on with the 'on' light and the see through lid.

May 4, 2008

Cuisinart Ice-30BC Frozen Ice Cream Yogurt Maker

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Before buying an ice cream maker we presumed that it a hassle and time consuming to operate ice cream makers. Fortunately the performance of ice cream makers has become much more efficient with some of the newer high-end products on the market. There are some tricks and tips that we will mention to improve your experience making ice cream but overall it is not much work at all. It is a rewarding treat on a nice summer / spring day for our kid's to be able to make their own ice cream recipes in the convenience of your own back yard.

If Cuisinart has a relevant product to what we are looking for, we look hard at their products because of their quality consistency over time. The Cuisinart Ice-30BC Pure Indulgence 2-Quart Automatic Frozen Yogurt Ice Cream Maker is no different.

Having custard or ice cream is easy to set up. Custard will require a cup of milk, a half cup of sugar and 4 eggs. You use this same recipe base for the ice cream but add a cup of fresh thick cream, and vanilla. Once you set this base up you may want to freeze it for a few hours and then slowly add it to the mixture as the Cuisinart machine is working.

One key trick is to freeze the freezer bowl to make this process flow smoothly. Otherwise the ice cream making process make take over 45 minutes, when it should be taking 30 minutes or slightly under with the frozen bowl. No noisy churning for hours like the old days. This is quiet and efficient and possibly gets more complements from friend's than the KitchenAid / Vitamix blenders we have.

Maybe the only problem with the Cuisinart Ice30BC frozen ice cream maker is that you will want nice ice cream all the time! Fortunately since you get to concoct your own recipes you can put fruit and other healthy additions if you would like. A recipe manual comes with the Cuisinart Ice 30 BC but we suggest you try Ben and Jerry's homemade ice cream recipe book for succulent treats.