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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Does it work? 5 new kitchen gadgets put to the test

By Lisa Abraham



JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) A team of testers headed to the kitchen to check out the latest round of gadgets that are supposed to make cooking and entertaining easier and more fun.

Consumer reporter Betty Lin-Fisher, home and garden writer Mary Beth Breckenridge and Food writer Lisa Abraham, who wrote this piece, gave their best workouts to five new products, and here is what they found:

PERFECT PANCAKE
This two-sided, flippable skillet promises "four picture perfect pancakes every time."

If so, this pan does what it says. It has four wells that will hold batter and make perfect pancake circles. In fact, they were so round and perfect, they resembled crumpets more than pancakes.

The pan is not without its issues. The top half of the pan stays cool so that once you flip the pancakes, their uncooked side hits a cool surface, not a warm one, so that side of the pan needs time to heat before the cakes start cooking on their flip side.

When we used it to make eggs, we could appreciate how the round circles would fit nicely onto an English muffin or bagel for a tidy breakfast sandwich.

In general, however, we all just felt the pan was pretty unnecessary.



"It solves a problem I'm not sure exists," Mary Beth observed.

As Betty put it, "Frankly, I don't care about the perfect circumference of my pancakes."

I realize that a lot of folks may struggle with flipping pancakes (it can be tricky, especially with bigger pancakes) but I think practice and a griddle is a better answer.

For the same $19.99 you would spend on this pan, you could buy an electric griddle, which will make six or eight pancakes at a time. They may not be perfectly round, but you can use a griddle for a whole lot more, like making several grilled sandwiches at a time.

Verdicts:

Betty: It depends

Lisa: It depends

Mary Beth: It depends

'OVE' GLOVE OVEN RACK SHIELD

This pair of shields promises protection from oven rack burns.

It's not hard to get a burned wrist or arm on the edge of an oven rack when putting a pan in or taking one out of the oven, even when using pot holders or wearing oven mitts.

These shields do solve that problem. The strips, made of a heat-protective material, snap on to the front of the oven racks, covering them and protecting your skin.

Betty likened them to an "oven diaper." Mary Beth thought they weren't nearly as intrusive as she thought they would be.

I liked the fact that they worked and can withstand heat up to 540 degrees, which means you don't have to take them off when using the broiler. In fact, we left them in the oven for five minutes with the broiler on, and the shields were fine. They got warm to the touch, but not warm enough to burn skin or to burn their fabric.



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They are machine washable and can be tossed in the dryer, making them easy-care.

At $19.99, they aren't as cheap as potholders, but for folks who bake a lot, they would be worth it.

Verdicts:

Betty: It depends

Lisa: Snap it up

Mary Beth: Snap it up

PLUCK SUNNY SIDE OUT
The task of separating the yolk from the white of an egg isn't terribly difficult. It can be done simply by moving the yolk from side to side of the broken shell until the white is drained off.

But we know that this is a challenge for many, and there are plenty of egg separators out there, including this new one, the Sunny Side Out. It claims to be "a magical white separator you have to see to believe." That may be overstating it a bit.

It works simply with suction, like a squatty turkey baster with a wider opening for sucking up the yolk. You crack an egg in a bowl, place the separator over the yolk and give it a squeeze, and it sucks up the yolk cleanly and efficiently. Squeeze it again, and the yolk plops out into another bowl.

I thought it was a good design, and Mary Beth liked the fact that it was very simple to use and quicker than using egg shell halves. Betty showed us all how to do the same thing using an empty plastic water bottle, but I wouldn't want to have to go through the trouble of washing a used water bottle that someone had been drinking out of, just to use it for an egg separator.

We also compared it to a traditional egg separator that sits over a bowl and found it to be much quicker than waiting for the white to drain off of that one.

It's $12.99, and right now is available only online, although it likely will be in stores in the future. One was sent to us for testing by the manufacturer.

All of us felt the price was a little high for this type of gadget, and Betty suspected she would probably still use egg shells or her egg separator rather than having to wash it. But for someone who is challenged by separating eggs and prefers a tool, this one works quickly and easily.

Verdicts:

Betty: It depends

Lisa: Snap it up

Mary Beth: Snap it up

TILT
Tilt is a solid stainless steel ball, or "gourmet freezeable chilling sphere" which is supposed to offer an alternative to ice.

It's available online and in a limited number of stores, but the manufacturer sent us one and asked us to test it. It claims to "replace ice with a gourmet chill."

The principle is simple enough: just freeze the ball for four to six hours, and then use it in a drink or in a bowl of food to help it stay cold and undiluted. It's slightly bigger than a golf ball, has a small loop on one side and comes with a retrieval stick that resembles a crochet hook, for pulling it out of drinks.

That's where our first issue with the Tilt came in: You can't drink a beverage with a large stainless steel ball in it without having problems. The directions recommend the Tilt be removed from drinks "for safety" before they are consumed. That's because, we discovered, no one wants to be clunked in the teeth with a giant ball bearing.

While this ball does a good job of chilling, as Mary Beth pointed out, it is "cumbersome" inside a drink.

"This is just stupid," Betty said.

I know there are folks out there who are fanatical about not watering down their drinks with ice, and this does chill a beverage well. But it seems to me like an impractical solution to have to fish this out of a drink every time one takes a sip.

At $14.99 per ball, the price seemed too high for most folks to consider buying enough for guests at a party, and we discovered that ice worked better for drinks.

When we took the temperature of two glasses of water - one with the Tilt, the other filled with ice - the iced water stayed cooler after 20 minutes: 34.6 degrees versus 45 degrees with the frozen Tilt.

The Tilt fared better when tested it inside a small bowl of potato salad, alongside another bowl without a Tilt, and took the temperature of both every 15 minutes. Over the course of an hour, the salad with the Tilt stayed cooler longer, going from 40 degrees to 44.2, while the bowl without it warmed up from 40 degrees to 51.2 over the same hour.

I actually liked its cooling abilities for dips or salads better than its use in drinks.

Betty was unimpressed: "I can't imagine making a nice dip for a party and telling people to avoid the silver ball." Verdicts:

Betty: It depends

Lisa: It depends

Mary Beth: It depends

THE STACKABLE APPETIZER MAKER
After debuting this product at trade shows, the manufacturer sent us one and asked us to consider trying it out.

We watched an online video of the appetizer maker being demonstrated, thought it looked like fun and were eager to give it a go.

This claims to be "the one-of-a-kind solution to make exquisite, gourmet, multi-layered, perfectly proportioned bite-size appetizers in just 5 minutes." It sells for $19.99 and is available only online.

The maker is about a foot long, and comes with a body frame, a cut-and-carry base, a tamper for pressing down the layers, and a knife/spreader. All four pieces snap together for easy storage, it's not overly bulky and it's top rack dishwasher and freezer safe, made of sturdy plastic.

The concept is to simply layer ingredients, tamp them down, and layer more on top, until you have achieved a multi-layer stack. The frame holds it all together and has an indented cutting guide for slicing these stacks into individual appetizers.

It comes with a recipe book, which is nothing more than lists of combinations for stacks. We tried out several including the Elvis, with bread, peanut butter, bananas, maple syrup and bacon bits; the Caprese, with Italian bread, fresh mozzarella cheese, basil leaves, tomato slices and pesto; and the berry cheesecake, with pound cake slices, berries and pre-made whipped cheesecake filling.

It isn't hard to use, nothing more than spreading and layering ingredients and then tamping them down. Mary Beth likened it to a miter box for making appetizers.

However, every time we tried a recipe, it looked nothing like the ones we saw on the video after we cut it apart. "It's a big gooey mess," Mary Beth said, noting that a sandwich cut into small pieces would be more appealing than these messy stacks.

Despite our best efforts, we couldn't get one stack to come out picture perfect, and I felt they were too messy to serve at a party. While Betty liked the cutting guide, she didn't think the appetizers were worth the effort.

Mary Beth summed it up well: "It's not worth the work."

Verdicts:

Betty: It depends

Lisa: Skip it

Mary Beth: Skip it

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