The Instant Pot Ultra 6 Quart electric pressure cooker is on sale at a low price today. I use my Instant Pot a few times a week or more (chili, yogurt, soup, stews, borscht). You can find tons of cookbooks with recipes designed for this versatile cooker.
One thing a make a lot is chicken curry. I cut up two packs of chicken thighs (10 thighs), add them to a quart of chicken stock, a bag of baby carrots, a can of coconut cream, a tablespoon of salt, a lot of crushed garlic, a tablespoon of curry powder, and a teaspoon of cayenne pepper. The meal takes 30 minutes to make. Read the rest
Amazon is having a sale on lots of products from its excellent Basics line today. Here's one especially good deal: this 6-foot Lightning Cable, which sells for a fraction of the price of an Apple-branded cable. Read the rest
This desktop phone stand has a heavy base and a platform that swivels up to 45 degrees. The platform is coated with silicone rubber so as not to scratch your precious device. It also has silicone pads on the base to keep it from sliding around. I have an earlier discontinued model and use it every day. Read the rest
I bought this Tacklife cordless driver/drill earlier this year and really like it a lot. The speed can be varied with the trigger button and it has adjustable torque. It comes with the battery pack and a charging station. Use code A5YBDAL5 to get it for a low price. Read the rest
For some reason, Amazon won't ship these super-inexpensive Sylvania LED bulbs to California. I was able to get a box of 24 by having it delivered out of the state and picking it up on a road trip. They're excellent bulbs, and the soft-white style is nice and warm, the way I like my illumination. I haven't seen them at a lower price than this. Read the rest
Having traveled to Europe and Japan many times, I've grown to appreciate bidets. It's a shame they aren't commonplace in the US. Here's a cheap one on Amazon. It's really easy to install. It doesn't have warm water jet like a Japanese toilet, but you'll get used to it. Read the rest
I just ordered this 6-pack of Lightning charging cables for a very low price using promo code VW2PVZLM. You get 3-foot, 6-foot, and 10-foot cables (2 of each). The reviews are very positive (though it's always hard to tell how many are shills). I'm not sure how they can be MFi certified at this price, but its worth buying to find out. Read the rest
The binoculars I bought at a very steep discount are on sale again, and this time they are even cheaper. Use code 63U3YPBN to get them at the sale price. I bought a second pair so Carla and I will each have one for the upcoming Rolling Stones concert. Read the rest
The Zeroll Ice Cream Scoop feels good in your hand. The scoop is designed to bite into hard ice cream and roll the ice cream onto the scoop. It has some kind of heat conductive liquid inside the handle that's supposed to make it easier to scoop out the ice cream, but I never bother to heat up the handle before using it, as it works fine straight out of the kitchen drawer. Right now Amazon has the 40z scoop at a lower price than the 2oz scoop. Read the rest
Carla and I are going to see the Rolling Stones in concert and I wanted to get a pair of binoculars. I found these highly rated ones on Amazon and I used a promo code and the price was ridiculously cheap. I tried to get two, but the promo code only works once. Here it is: 59R9OFAO Read the rest
I've yet to find a hinged garlic press that I love. The ones I've tried are inefficient, fragile (especially the hinge, which inevitably fails), and not that easy to clean. I end up having to peel the unused garlic from the inside of the press, and my fingers stink for days. Everyone has their opinion about crushing garlic - my top choice is this Joseph Joseph Rocker Garlic Crusher, Press, and Mincer.
It's made from a single piece of stainless steel. No moving parts, which means it won't wear out and break. To use it, first remove the skin from a clove of garlic.
Then, put your hands on the ends of the rocker and rock back and forth, putting your weight into it. The garlic will break apart and get forced through the holes. Keep going to make sure you force as much garlic through the holes as possible.
Scoop the crushed garlic out with a spoon. Then, rinse the rocker under the faucet, while rubbing the holes with your fingers to remove the stuck garlic. They come out easily. Once the rocker is clean, keep the water running and rub your fingertips against the stainless steel. It will remove the garlic odor from your fingers. I was surprised at how well it gets rid of the smell! I love using this kitchen tool. Read the rest
Arduino is an easy-to-learn prototyping platform that lets you create interactive electronic projects. This Arduino compatible kit is the one I recommend to people who ask me how to get started. The reason I recommend it is because it's very cheap and it has a bunch of components that would cost a lot more if you were to purchase them separately.
Two things it doesn't have, but should if you really want to have fun with Arduino: a potentiometer and a servo motor. This kit, which has these components and many more, is available for about twice as much as the basic kit above.
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I have a friend who drives seven hours from Los Angeles to San Francisco instead of flying, just so he doesn't have to take off his shoes at the TSA checkpoint.
I would rather fly than drive, but I can understand where my friend is coming from. TSA security is the worst part of flying for me - the lines, the liquids in a clear plastic bag, the laptop and kindles out, etc.
Fortunately, I pay for TSA Pre, so I don't have to take my shoes off, but my belt buckle always set off the metal detector. Last year I bought a belt with a plastic buckle on Amazon, which allows me to walk through the metal detector without taking it off. I fly a lot, so it's worth it. As an added bonus, there are no holes in the belt. I can make the belt exactly as tight as I want it, rather than deciding between using a slightly too lose, or to tight belt hole. Read the rest
I've written about melamine foam (sold as Magic Erasers) before. They're great for quickly removing mars, scuffs, and stains from almost any surface. I recommend buying 100 at a time.
Latest use case: Some old stickers on my laptop that I wanted to remove. After peeling them off, the sticky, tough, adhesive remained on the laptop. Magic eraser knockoff to the rescue! It took about 90 seconds of gentle rubbing with a damp magic eraser to remove all traces.
Watch the video below to see different ways to use this wonder material.
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Gildan crew T-shirts are very inexpensive and comfortable. Amazon just knocked the price down to what seems like an all-time low. With shirt this cheap I can slurp my curry with abandon -- if a shirt gets stained, it goes into the cleaning rag / painting / work clothes drawer. Read the rest
I've bought a lot of Tacklife?tools in recent years, and have always been happy with them. So?when learned Tacklife?was selling this feature-filled cordless drill at a great price (when you use promo code I9AEAS92), I bought it without hesitation. It has an adjustable torque setting, a light, and a charger. Read the rest
[I wrote this review in 2010. I now have a newer model, the ix1500 and have edited the following to include the new features -- MF]
I once left a box of important files out in the rain and wasted a lot of time drying them a sheet at a time, then filing them in cabinets.
It gave me pause. Was I going to have to live with ever-growing stacks of paper files that took up space, were hard to search through, and were fragile?
I decided to try digitizing my paper trail. I started scanning documents on my HP scanner-printer-copier, which is mind-numbingly slow and had a buggy driver that crashed my computer, forcing a reboot about 25% of the time I used it. I then bought a sheet-fed Fujitsu ScanSnap. It lets me insert a stack of up to 50 two-sided documents into the sheet feeder and it whips through all 100 pages in a couple of minutes, saving them as text-searchable PDFs. I was honestly surprised that my laptop was capable of accepting data at such a fast pace. This scanner doesn't hog a lot of precious desktop real estate, either. It's surprisingly small -- about 11.5 inches wide and 5 inches deep, with the feeder and output flaps folded in.
I configured my SnapScan to send scanned documents as PDF files to my Evernote account, although this is not required. (If you don't know about the previously reviewed Evernote, it's an outstanding online service that accepts images, sound files, notes, scans of documents, and just about anything else you want to throw in it. Read the rest