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Stainless Steel Water BottleThis week, I blogged about replacing your plastic with Pyrex and also about water filters that removed pharmaceuticals from your drinking water. Well this next item fits in nicely with both of those. If you stop drinking from plastic water bottles and you have a great water filter at home then you'll need a way to bring that water with you when you go out. A stainless steel water bottle is a great way to do just that.

The Eco Vessel Stainless Steel Water Bottle is my water bottle of choice lately. I used to have Sigg water bottles but they recently admitted to selling water bottles with BPA in the liner. They removed the BPA in their latest bottles but they kept quiet when everyone was recommending their water bottles as a "BPA-Free" alternative to plastic. But you can make your own decision about them. I'm very happy with my stainless steel water bottles made by Eco Vessel.

Refrigerator Water FilterIf you have a Whirlpool, Kenmore, Kitchen Aid, Maytag, Amana or Jenn-Air refrigerator with a water dispenser then this is the filter you've been looking for. The PUR Refrigerator Water Filter is much cheaper than the replacement filters that I've been buying at Sears and it even works better.

Not only does this water filter remove or reduce the lead, cysts, benzene and other usual contaminants that are found in tap water but it also removes up to 99% of the pharmaceutical compounds that are floating around in there too. If you didn't know that you had to be worried about pharmaceutical compounds in your drinking water it's probably because it's a relatively new thing to worry about. In March 2008, the Associated Press published a report that found pharmaceutical compounds in the water supplies of over 24 major metro areas across the United States. It seems that the water treatment plants were never designed to remove pharmaceuticals from our water.

Before buying one of these Refrigerator Water Filters make sure that it's the right one for your fridge. If you're like me and you have one of those quarter turn filters mounted in the grill of your fridge you should be fine with this model from Pur. But check with your manufacturer if you're not sure.

I'll take my water without a side of drugs please and that means that I'm going to continue buying these Pur Refrigerator Water Filters.

Hot Air Popcorn MakerWe just can't catch a break lately. Apparently, the EPA is now investigating the safety of microwave popcorn. It seems that the vapors that are released into your kitchen when you open a bag of popped microwave popcorn could be linked to lung cancer. Well, since I'm a scaredy cat, that means no more microwave popcorn for my family. And that means we'll have to come up with another way to pop our corn.

The Presto Hot Air Popcorn Maker solved that problem pretty fast. We used to have a hot air popper like this when I was growing up and I'm glad that they still make them. All you have to do is put some kernals into this thing and plug it in. The hot air circulates around the kernels and pretty much leaves no kernel unpopped.

You can even use the little container on top of the unit to melt better if you want. But since you're making popcorn without any oil (the hot air popper doesn't need it) why not serve the popcorn healthy style without butter. It's actually very good.

From now on were going to enjoy our popcorn without the chemicals and without the microwave. A hot air popcorn maker does the job nicely and its even fun to watch.

You know there's one thing that I hate and it's scooping ice cream out of the package. It always gets all over your hands or the scoop flies off of the scoop or the spoon that I'm using and goes across the room. Not fun.

You could always microwave the ice cream for a couple of seconds to get it soft before you scoop it but I have some issues with spoiled milk and microwaving ice cream bothers me. I'm sure it's fine but I don't like the idea of heating and cooling and heating and cool anything that's related to milk.

Well the answer that I've been looking for is heated ice cream scoops.

The Deni 5111 Electric Ice Cream Scoop is like the Cadillac of heated ice cream scoops. You just plug it in and you're ready to go. The heated scoop really cuts through even the most freezer burnt ice cream with no problem.

Now if you don't want to wait while your heated ice cream scoop heats up, then you could always try the Norpro Nonstick Anti-Freeze Ice Cream Scoop. It has defrosting fluid sealed inside of it which just sucks the cold out of the ice cream and cuts right through just as easily. It's pretty neat.

Pyrex Storage

Have you heard all the hubbub about plastic containers and water bottles lately? It seems that researchers are split about how safe it is to use a food storage container that is made with BPA. BPA is also known as bisphenol a and it's a chemical that may or may not cause health issues. Canada has already banned the stuff but the FDA doesn't think it's a problem. You know when something like this happens, I think it's just better to avoid the item in question until everyone is sure.

So how do you stop using plastic storage containers? Well it's pretty hard to do actually. We had so many Tupperware and chinese food containers in our house that I recovered an entire kitchen cabinet when I threw them all out. And we use them for everything from leftovers to freezing homemade tomato sauces, chili, soups and really just about everything. I decided to go with Pyrex.

You probably already have a Pryex measuring cup in your kitchen but did you know they also make storage containers. They're actually very nice. You can buy a Pyrex Storage 10-Piece Set, Clear with Blue Lids for about $15 and that's not a bad deal.

Let the experts debate what's safe and what isn't when it comes to BPA and plastics. I'll stick with my new Pyrex storage containers until they figure it all out.

Presto Deep Fryer

Hey if you're interested in a deep fryer for you home you should check out the Presto CoolDaddy Electric Deep Fryer. And really, how doesn't want perfect french fries and homemade doughnuts in the comforts of their own home?

For only about $40, you can fry everything you'll need to with this "cool touch" appliance. If you're looking to deep fry a turkey for Thanksgiving, then you really need to look elsewhere but this small unit is perfect for home cooking. The temperature goes up to 375 and it also has a built in charcoal air filter so that your house doesn't smell like a greasy spoon diner when you're done. Definitely not a bad choice for a home appliance.

Glass Creamers

I have a confession to make. I have lots of cool kitchen gadgets and toys but every time have people over for coffee I remember that I broke my milk creamers a long time ago. I never seem to remember that fact when I'm browsing around Bed, Bath & Beyond or when I'm looking for something cheap to add to my Amazon shopping cart to qualify for free shipping. Not having a Glass Creamer is embarrassing.

Since we're a family of four and buy milk by the gallon, we can't just put the milk carton on the table to use as a creamer. Besides being tacky, I don't think my 90 year old grandmother would be that steady adding a splash to her coffee. Sometimes I'll fill up a Pyrex measuring cup up with milk but that looks pretty bad too.

No if you want to have people over for coffee you really need a milk creamer. So I made a conscious effort to not only buy one but also pick out a great looking one. And I think I did pretty good.

This is one of the glass creamers made by Fred & Friends. They make a lot of neat kitchen gadgets so it was only natural that I checked out their offerings first. This creamer actually looks like a one pint milk carton. It's made of dishwasher-safe tempered glass. Awesome!


  • Looks like a milk carton
  • Dishwasher Safe
  • Tempered Glass
  • Only holds one pint
It's really a great coffee creamer but my only complaint is that it only holds a pint of milk or cream. That's fine for a couple of people but if you have more coffee drinking guests you'll probably have to refill it a few times. I may look into getting a few of these glass creamers before my next party.