About 304,000 Chefmate 6-Speed Blenders were recalled due to a laceration hazard. The blenders, which were sold exclusively at Target for about $14, have a plastic pitcher that can separate from the blade assembly, leaving the blade assembly in the base and exposing the rotating blades.
There have been 11 reports of the blade assembly separating from the pitcher, with seven of those reports including serious lacerations to the consumers' fingers and hands.
Consumers who own one of the recalled Chefmate blenders should return it to any Target store for a full refund.
It's nice to see some companies taking a stance against the single cup (AKA K-Cup) brewing craze that is sweeping the nation. I lived in a house with a single cup brewing machine for two years, and never have I felt more wasteful.
Jura is hoping to tap into that guilt with their new IMPRESSA C5, a higher end single serve brewer system that does away with the disposable plastic cup. Rather, the Jura uses fresh whole coffee beans and grinds, tamps, brews and discards the used coffee grounds within the machine, all in about 60 seconds per cup.
No plastic. No guilt.
And if that doesn't do it for you, Jura was kind enough to do some math on our behalf, finding that use of a single cup pod or capsule system costs about $.52 per cup, which adds up to $760 a year for those who do two cups a day. Using the Jura system would set the same drinker back $.19 per cup or $138.70. Just think of what you might do with that $600 saved! Oh, but wait. The C5 sells (on Amazon) for about $900. So you'd have to use it for a year and a half before you realized true savings over a k cup brewing machine.
Still, coffee just tastes better without the guilt. Or the plastic aftertaste.
No one needs to sell me on induction cooking. I currently use an induction cooktop and there's no question it heats a pot of water faster than you can say "al dente." I've done the gas thing before and I do like it, but it takes a little getting used to and there's always something disconcerting about having a semi-open flame flickering away. I'm the forgetful type, you see…
So Jenn-Air has just introduced a new induction cooktop with the "most powerful induction element available." Sounds serious.
The 36" model has five induction elements, including the industry's most powerful 12"/9" Dual Zone Induction Element with a maximum output of 5,000 Watts. That probably doesn't mean a whole heck of a lot to the average homeowner. But this might: it also has a Sensor Boil feature which can automatically bring water to a boil with the touch of a button. It also lets you know when the water reaches boiling (probably through a chime of some sort, I'm guessing) and will automatically adjust the power to prevent boil-overs. That is what I need more than anything. I'm constantly guilty of multi-tasking while cooking and the water stains on the cooktop are proof.
One of the bigger obstacles facing those who would look to extend the life of their home appliances is the challenge of finding replacement parts. DIY repair on older models of refrigerators, dishwashers, dryers and the like in particular can prove frustrating when the manufacturer no longer makes parts readily accessible.
So news of the new ecommerce site PartSimple.com should be met with raucous cheers from the hordes of frustrated DIYers out there. With a catalogue of over two million replacement parts from hundreds of brands, the site has certainly set itself up for imminent bookmarking.
Brands represented include many in consumer electronics and appliances, including Sony, Panasonic, LG, Frigidaire, Maytag, Whirlpool and many more. Even George Foreman Grills is represented.
So if you're a true DIYer with some failing gadgets or appliances, check out the site. You may just find what you need.
I only just learned that London once had a "Fridge Mountain," a pile of discarded refrigerators that towered nearly 20 feet high. Considered a modern art "sculpture" by some, the mountain was removed to make way for construction on the 2012 Olympic facilities.
To honor the fallen Fridge Mountain a group of artists, students, designers and such have constructed an outdoor cinema entirely out of old refrigerators. The project, called "Films on Fridges," was built near the Olympic site and so they'll be doing a 17-day run of sport-themed movies.
If you're in London I hope you get a chance to swing by the cinema to take in Miracle or Chariots of Fire. I'm interested to know how the seating -- all built from refrigerators -- feels after a two-hour film.
Up next: a Go-Kart race track made from old siding.
And that sums up my thoughts on The Shinwa Grill, a Japanese spin on the backyard barbecue. Rather than isolating the grill off on a corner of the deck, the Shinwa puts it smack dab in the middle of the very table you and your guests will be eating off of.
We've all been to one of those Japanese restaurants where the hibachi is sizzling and the chef sends pieces of cooked shrimp spinning through the air into hungry mouths, does fancy tricks with eggs and spatulas and then way overcharges for the experience. I guess this is sort of the idea behind the Shinwa: make cooking part of the entertainment.
According to the company, "the Shinwa is a cast iron, flat surface grill surrounded by a bamboo table the seats four to six." According to Chuck Allen, President of Shinwa Grill, "Shinwa means friendship. When people dine around The Shinwa they grill delicious food, but more importantly, they create memories that last a lifetime."
Yeah, like, "Hey, remember the time we were sitting around the Shinwa and the smoke kept blinding and gagging me?"
Look, I think in theory The Shinwa could be fun. But I have yet to witness a barbecue that didn't put off smoke. And as much as we Americans like to barbecue, we don't exactly gather 'round the grill to make lifetime-lasting memories. We stay the heck away (unless we're the cook) so we don't inhale smoke and grease.
But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe it's the suffering through the experience that brings everyone a little closer. Maybe it's the hot oil burn, the smoke inhalation, the sweating for sitting too close to hot coals that makes The Shinwa experience so memorable.
I wouldn't say no if a friend invited me to a Shinwa party. But I don't see myself buying one of these.
ENERGY STAR is now recognizing the top-performing products among those that already have the ENERGY STAR label. The new "Most Efficient" designation will be awarded to products that "demonstrate exceptional and cutting-edge efficiency performance that environmentally-minded consumers and early adopters value."
The Most Efficient label will go to the top five percent of clothes washers, heating and cooling units, televisions and refrigerator-freezers on the market.
The following brands are among the first to receive the Most Efficient label: Electrolux Major Appliances, Sears' Kenmore, LG, Samsung, Best Buy's Insignia Brand, Panasonic, Nordyne and Rheem. Congrats to these companies for their achievements in energy-efficiency!
Look for the "Most Efficient" ENERGY STAR label next time you're shopping for new home appliances and products.