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June 29, 2009

Rabbit Air BioGS still best

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It's been over 3 years since we first bought the RabbitAir BioGS 421A Air Purifier, and the performance has remained exceptional.

One thing we've noticed is that you can get a lot of life out of your filters if you make a habit out of vacuuming / washing the charcoal filter and HEPA prefilter. This goes without saying, but it can be the difference between a filter lasting 9 months or 18 months. Fortunately replacement filters are cheap for the Rabbit BioGS compared to the others.

The RabbitAir BioGS 421A Purifier has been most effective on the auto-setting in rooms slightly smaller than the given coverage (600 square feet). Auto setting will start the Rabbit on high for a few minutes and then slow down to a consistent level as it manages the odor sensors. In this way, it will then do a great job of saving power / energy and taking care of odors and dust when the sensor detects changes. Even when working at full speed the machine sounds like a fan on low speed.

June 22, 2009

Cuisinart Ice20 Best Ice Cream Maker

Having your own ice cream maker is great for so many reasons, but being able to experiment with so many recipes and ingredients is the best part.

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It's hard for a lot of people to believe ice cream can taste better than store bought, since of course that tastes good too. However modern ice cream makers can make some of the creamiest, freshest tasting ice cream imaginable. And you get to skip the preservatives, putting in whatever milk / eggs / cream / flavors you wish. According to this Vegan Scoop cookbook, Haagen Daas has nearly 20 grams of saturated fat per half cup while the Vanilla ice cream recipe in the book I have is around 1.5 grams of saturated fat per half cup! Oh, and half the sugar and 200 less calories. Anyway, vanilla almond milk is something I use for many recipes. Great flavor. A lot of times I just keep it simple with a nice Vanilla ice cream and throw in some fresh fruit in there at the end as the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker is finishing.

The Cuisinart Ice 20 icecream maker has been perfect for us the last few years. The bigger Cuisinart Ice 30 BC is great too, a friend has it, but the Ice 20 is more than enough for our family of three. Since the bowl has to be frozen beforehand (more on that below), we did pick up a second bowl that was on sale. This allows us to make a second batch of ice cream after the first one is done (since of course you'd have to clean the bowl and re-freeze it).

It is imperative with any of these ice cream makers that you store the bowl in the freezer for a half a day or more (and sometimes turn down your freezer temp if the bowl is still not frozen). The cold ingredients you use should be brought out right when you need them - you want things as cold as possible if you want the ice cream served right after making it. When finished you'll want to freeze anyway to get a better consistency, but the colder the bowl / ingredients are initially the better the ice cream will be when it's immediately finished. The process only takes 25-30 minutes, and you can add fruit and other toppings towards the end.