Rotary Cheese Grater by Cuisipro

by Justin Thomas •

These devices make grating Parmesan and other European hard cheeses a breeze, compared to a plane or box grater. You can use any reasonably sized blocks of cheese (1/2″-2″). Soft cheeses do not work well in this grater — they become stuck in the grate barrel and become glued to the internal structure.

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Best Pizza Stones: Soapstone Pans

by Justin Thomas •

​​​​Soapstone is a stone that retains heat efficiently and evenly. It’s an excellent material for cookware. Soapstone pans and pots are handmade in Brazil and are able to withstand temperatures twice as high as cast iron and other metal cookware. Soapstone develops a natural non-stick surface and lustrous black patina finish after curing. They can be put in the oven …

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Best Toaster Oven: Cuisinart TOB-175

by Justin Thomas •

Toaster ovens are very handy devices in the kitchen, but often overlooked. They can be used to heat and reheat a variety of meals(not just toast), and they are also quite energy efficient when compared to regular ovens. So which oven is top rated? Reviewers fairly unanimously chose the Cuisinart TOB-175 Convection Toaster Oven. It gets 4.5/5 stars from buyers …

Highest Rated Home Espresso Machine Under $500: Rancilio Silvia

by Justin Thomas •

This espresso machine was the top pick on CoffeeGeek, for a home machine under $500. It gets a 9 out 10 rating, based on 118 reader reviews. According to Consumer Search, the most attractive features of this machine are the three-way solenoid valve, three thermostats, and machine-forged brass boiler, brew head, and filter holder, as well as its ready lights …

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Modern Rattan Lounge Chair

by Justin Thomas •

This “donut chair” is an example of modern wicker design. The dark two tone color comes for the natural color of the rattan. It has a washable cotton cushion. Rattan furniture is durable, smooth to the touch and made from plants that grow quickly and replenish easily. Available from Surroundings for $295 each. They also have this rattan Tika Armchair:

Eco-House: Non-Toxic Products for Artists

by Justin Thomas •

Eco-House makes a range of non-toxic products for painters. No longer will they have to suffer from inhaling dire substances! Eco-House offers solvents, thinners and finishes. They have a turpentine substitute which combines the solving action of orange peel oil with highly purified mineral oils. By contrast, petroleum-based solvents have toxic aromatic and chlorinated hydrocarbons, which also cause their obnoxious …

TA-KE Floor Lamp

by Justin Thomas •

This “TA-KE” floor lamp is one of many affordable, asian-style lamps available from Shojidecor. Light on resources, it is made of thick rice paper with a satin steel finished base. Available for $89 in five colors from Shojidecor.

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Soap Nuts: Natural Detergent

by Justin Thomas •

We always like to discover innovative, plant-based products that are being introduced into the marketplace. Take for example, Soap Nuts which are an organic, eco-effective alternative to detergent. The powder is made from the sun-dried fruit of Sapindus Trifoliatus trees in south eastern India which is ground into a fine powder. Nothing further is added to the powder, and it …

Bent Ply Chairs

by Justin Thomas •

Even retail stores sometimes offer efficient bent plywood furniture, like Hold Everything which sells this “Bent Ply” chair. You may need to go to their site and zoom in to get a good look at the wood grain. Available in four different stains for $88 (including shipping) from Hold Everything. This attractive “Kinetic Santa Catarina” chair (below) is available from …

Bent Plywood Overlap Tray by Offi

by Justin Thomas •

Bent plywood is energy efficient in its construction. Also, less wood is wasted because the wood is not milled but molded instead. This overlap tray by Offi is molded plywood with a Baltic birch veneer, and has a cork covered area for your cup of coffee. Read more about Offi here. Available from Amazon for $99.