Opinel knife – a French classic

Opinel knife

Opinel knives are a classic and simple knife from France, and come with either a stainless steel blade, or a carbon steel blade, and in a huge range of sizes and styles. The Opinel #8 is one of the most popular sizes, and like nearly all the Opinel range includes the fabulously simple locking ring that will lock the knife closed or open. For most people I would recommend getting an Opinel with a stainless blade, it requires next to no maintenance, and will keep a sharp edge for a long time without needing sharpening. But for anyone that wants a ridiculously sharp edge, and is prepared to sharpen and oil their blade occasionally, then the carbon steel blade is the way to go. The Opinel carbon steel blades can take an edge sharp enough to shave with. I have a 10 year old carbon steel Number 8 that I use every day in the kitchen. I sharpen and oil it weekly (using olive oil) and it still makes me nervous at just how sharp I can get it.

EMOHOME refillable Nespresso capsules

Emohome

Finally, Nespresso fans have a refillable capsule that actually works! EMOHOME refillable Nespresso capsules can be used in your Nespresso machine to make your own blends of FRESHLY ground coffee, or even your own blends of tea. YES – the Nespresso machine can finally make a good cup of tea! You can even use it for instant hot chocolate or chai, and then refill it and use it again. This is the refillable Nespresso capsule that we’ve all been waiting for.

Tiger rice cooker – made in Japan

Tiger rice cooker

You have two choices when buying a rice cooker, buy a cheap and nasty $40 rice cooker that will last for 6 months and make gluggy rice, or buy a Tiger. Tiger rice cookers are one of the world’s most popular brands of rice cooker, and are made in Japan – and apparently the Japanese know a few things about rice. Most of the Tiger rice cookers feature one touch rice cooking, can keep rice warm for up to 12 hours, and have a direct heat element to make beautiful “fluffy” rice – some of the higher end ones even include a digital display and timer functions.

Eurolab food dehydrator review

Eurolab food dehydrator

My local fruit and veg store sometimes has huge end of day/end of week sales on boxes of vegies, and I often come home with a car load full of vegetables that could feed an army. A few months ago I purchased a Eurolab food dehydrator so that I’m prepared for these occasions. Last week I bought 2 huge boxes of zucchinis, and spend the afternoon turning them into crunchy seasoned zucchini chips. I simply sliced them thinly, sprinkled some dried garlic, rosemary and paprika over them, then popped them in my Eurolab food dehydrator. They are ridiculously tasty, and HEALTHY!
The Eurolab food dehydrator has 5 separate tiers, so it can dehydrate quite a large amount of vegies or fruit at once, and it also has an adjustable thermostat, which is an absolute must for any food dehydrator. A friend of mine has exactly the same model that he uses solely for making his own custom beef jerky. He makes all sorts of different marinates and spice mixes, and comes up with some mouth watering jerky. The Eurolab food dehydrator costs WAY less than most other food dehydrators, mostly because it doesn’t have a big brand name on it. I’ve been using mine for months now, and other than my suspicions that the thermostat isn’t 100% spot on (which isn’t a big deal), I can’t fault it. I’ve even done the calculations on how much electricity it uses – an average 5 tray vegetable dehydration left running for 8 hours will cost around 60 cents in total. BARGAIN!

$10 Coles kettle BBQ

Kettle BBQ

This could possibly be the best deal I’ve come across in the last 12 months. Coles (Australia) currently have Weber style kettle BBQs for a ridiculously cheap $10. Yes, TEN DOLLARS. I couldn’t resist and bought one as soon as I saw it. I put a kilo of Heat Beads in it this afternoon, just to get the “China” out of it, and was pleasantly surprised at how well it works. It’s surprisingly large, reasonably solid (although it’s definitely no Weber), has vents in the base and the lid, and three rubber footed legs for tabletop use. It requires assembly, which isn’t a lot of fun, but for $10 I’m happy to do it. The enamel finish on my lid has a slight blemish on it, not sure if they’re all like this (hence the price). I could take it back and swap it, but on a $10 item, I’d rather not bother. The brand on the box is “Outdoor Life”, and it’s available in a cool retro green, blue, and red. I’m tempted to buy another one to keep as a spare.