Nearly Burning Down the House and Learning to Cook with the Hestan Cue Smart Cooking System

Nearly Burning Down the House and Learning to Cook with the Hestan Cue Smart Cooking System

I love to cook, but here’s the deal. I only cook what I know how to cook. Cooking things outside of my cooking zone is a no-go.

Many years ago, as a new wife in our first home – I thought I’m going to make my husband a hearty meal. Growing up we had a nanny who made these amazing steak fingers. I set out to make my husband steak fingers in our new kitchen. It was our first home, we had just built-in and moved in so steak fingers for dinner is what I was determined to accomplish.

I knew the recipe after watching our nanny cook it for us every summer – but I had never tried to make them myself. I followed her recipe, double dipping the steak fingers in the batter – and turned around to find a massive grease fire. Young and dumb (hello 20-year-old Molly) – I called 9-1-1, and while on the phone threw the pan in the sink with water, which of course 9-1-1 then told me “NO! Don’t do that!” Too late. And at the same time, I had egg battered hands and somehow the battery on my cordless phone fell out dropping the call to 9-1-1. 

When you hang up on 9-1-1 in an emergency, you have a fire truck, police and ambulance at your house in minutes. Smoke everywhere, but we survived and ever since I have shied away from new recipes. 

Grease Fire

Lesson learned. You don’t add water to a grease fire.

Hestan Cue Smart Cooking System Review

Hestan Cue reached out and offered to send us their Hestan Cue smart cooking system to review. Their smart cooking system includes an induction burner, smart pan and recipe app with video guided techniques. We get a lot of offers to review things, but this – I wanted to see exactly if it would help cook. Kitchen technology fascinates me and this could just be a game changer in the kitchen – so decided to try it out. 

Hestan Cue Smart Cooking System Review

Making Crepes

My husband loves him some crepes. Anytime we are on vacation, eating whatever – I feel like we always end up at a crepe place to get some type of dessert crepe. I once bought him store-bought crepes and quickly realized they were crap. So for our first adventure with the Hestan Cue, I was determined to make crepes. Their app has a ton of recipes to choose from, crepes included. 

I unpacked the Hestan Cue smart cooking system and the first thing I noticed was the pan is extremely heavy. It’s a solid piece of cookware. I unpacked, washed the pan, plugged in and had the app downloaded in 5 minutes. Easy peasy, I was optimistic.

Smart Induction Burner

Following the recipe on the Hestan Cue app, I mixed the ingredients in the blender, moved them to a bowl, got a spatula, started the induction burner and app and was off to the races. The app provided video with step-by-step information on how to make the crepes. It even showed placing things in the blender, spraying the pan and so on. 

Crepe Making

The app actually connects to the smart cooking system. It ensures that it is heated properly. It tells you when to pour the crepes in (even showing me how to move the pan side-to-side to make the crepe.) After the crepe batter was in the pan, the app counted down and told me and showed me how to flip the crepe. Then the app counted down again, until the crepe was complete. 

Perfect crepes. Like for real. 

Perfect Crepes using the Hestan Cue

The husband and kids approved. So much so that I had to repeat the crepe making process 11 more times. 12 crepes made, the whole family devoured them.  Each kid made their crepes a little different. I cooked bananas and honey for filling, others used Nutella and then with the few leftovers we had, we made Reuben crepes. Success. 

Reuben Crepes

Our next adventure with the Hestan Cue will be Crisp Skin Atlantic Salmon. Again, another thing the husband absolutely loves but never felt comfortable cooking. 

Overall Thoughts

Overall, the Hestan Cut smart cooking system is a really cool cooking device. I can see this being an awesome wedding gift, especially for the bride or groom who doesn’t know how to cook. This system is really like cooking classes (but more!) with a connected burner. 

Do I see us using this every day? No. That said, I don’t see this as something that is filling the kitchen cabinet. This is definitely something we will be using for years to come, especially when entertaining and wanting to try out something new. 

Thanks, Hestan Cue for sending us your smart induction cooking system. All opinions are our own. 

Best Tech Products for Working From Home – Also a Giveaway!

Best Tech Products for Working From Home – Also a Giveaway!

If you are a remote worker and work from home, check out these products for your remote workstation! 

Best Tech for Working From Home

Our friends at Logitech sent us over several products for the work from home worker to celebrate National Work From Home Week. We’re reviewing these tech products that are perfect for the work at home worker, BONUS – Logitech is also giving these away to a Digital Mom Blog reader, so keep reading!

work from home tech logitech

Logitech 4K Pro Webcam

Logitech 4K pro webcam review

When working from home, video conferencing nowadays is a must. You want to make sure that you have a camera that is clear, shoots a good picture in low light. The Logitech 4k Pro Webcam does just that. 

The Logitech 4K Pro Webcam works with Mac, Windows 10, WIndows 8, WIndows Hello and is certified for Skype for Business.

Rightlight 3 with HDR

Make sure to watch our video review to get a glimpse of the Logitech 4K Pro Webcam in action. This webcam is amazing clear offering 1080p, full HD and visually crisp 720p (HD). From low light to direct sunlight, this webcam makes your shot look amazing. 

Camera Setting Application

With the camera setting application, you can adjust your field of view, zoom your video up to 5x, preview your video stream, change your background and much more. 

Ultra Secure Login 

Infrared sensor technology supports facial recognition for advanced security with Windows Hello or other facial recognition software applications. 

Buy on Amazon

Logitech K780 Multi-Device Keyboard

Logitech k780 keyboard review

The Logitech K780 keyboard is a fully equipped keyboard that allows you to use for multiple devices. That’s right, you can use this keyboard for your computer, phone, and tablet!

Quiet Comfortable Typing

The K780 keyboard offers a comfortable typing experience. With large, concave crafted keys in a full-size and familiar layout (bonus, it has a keypad!) – this will be your favorite keyboard ever. 

OS-Adaptive

Regardless of the operating system that you use, the Logitech K780 keyboard works with Windows, Mac, Android or iOS! Enjoy a familiar keyboard layout including your favorite hotkeys and shortcuts.

Keyboard Features

  • 24-month battery life
  • Dual connectivity
  • Bluetooth Smart technology
  • 10 m wireless range
  • Wireless encryption (128-bit)
  • On/off power switch
  • Battery light indicator

Buy on Amazon

Logitech Anywhere 2S Mouse

Logitech MX anywhere 2s mouse review

This mouse isn’t your typical computer mouse. You can use with multi-devices, it offers a long battery life and much more. 

Darkfield High Precision Tracking

The Logitech Anywhere 2S mouse tracks on any surface, even glass – up to 4000 DPI. 

Fast Rechargeable Battery

The battery life is impressive, lasting up to 70 days on a full charge. 

Hyper-Fast Scrolling

Scroll through long documents or web pages with fast, precise navigation. 

Sculpted, Compact Shape

Crafted to fit your hand, the Logitech Anywhere 2S is a comfortable, portable mouse that provides the control you need. 

Buy on Amazon

Logitech Giveaway!

We have partnered with Logitech to giveaway a tech bundle that includes all 3 products listed above. To enter, click the login using Facebook or Email button. 

Logitech Giveaway

Happy National Coffee Day! Coffee Recipes and Ninja Coffee Maker Review

Happy National Coffee Day! Coffee Recipes and Ninja Coffee Maker Review

It’s National Coffee Day! Some may laugh, but for those of us who use coffee as gas, today is to be celebrated.  I’m celebrating today by unboxing and reviewing the Ninja Coffee Maker and sharing a few favorite coffee recipes. 

First, let me say this. For year’s we used a Keurig. I loved our Keurig, but with as many people drinking coffee as we have in our house – it isn’t an affordable option. This past year, I bought a cheap, old-school coffee maker and dumped our Keurig. While I loved the idea of making a single cup of coffee whenever it just wasn’t practical for our family of 6 to purchase 2-3 boxes of K-cups each week. 

Ninja Coffee Maker Review

Our friends at Shark sent over their new Ninja Coffee Maker for us to review. The main thing that I was so excited about when learning about this coffee maker, is that it allows us to do ONE CUP OF COFFEE at a time, and we don’t have to buy k-cups! Before getting my hopes up too high, I gave this device a thorough review – which you can see in the video. 

Ninja Coffee Maker Review

Here are the highlights of things you should know about the Ninja Coffee Maker:

No K-Cups Needed

I love that the Ninja makes a single cup of coffee for either my mug or Yeti! The best part, I can just buy a regular bag of coffee, on K-cups needed!

Glass Carafe

The glass coffee carafe is awesome (as long as my kids don’t drop it!) It pours easy, it’s heavy and catches the coffee perfectly as it drips.

Perfect Size Water Container

Okay, this may sound silly but the container that holds the water is a perfect size! With a twist, you unsnap the water container to fill-up before making your coffee. It slides perfectly into our refrigerator for easy filling.

Pretty Coffee Maker

I know some people don’t care how pretty their coffee maker is, but others do. This is a pretty coffee maker. The lines are clean and this device isn’t an eyesore (like our last coffee maker) on the counter. 

Pretty Coffee MakerMultiple Ways to Make Coffee

You can make coffee a plethora of ways with a click of a button. If you want a carafe, full or half – just click a button. If you want to make coffee in your Yeti over ice, just click a button. The Ninja Coffee Maker is super simple to use with a plethora of coffee making options. 

Things To Know

Ninja The Ninja Coffee Maker takes 8 minutes to brew a full carafe of coffee, 4 minutes for a half carafe and 1-2 minutes to fill a Yeti or a mug. 

There is a feature that allows you to easily make your coffee over ice. The coffee maker knows how much water to add and gives you a great cup of coffee.

Do you like your coffee strong? No problem! With a click of a button, your coffee will be brewed strong. 

Ninja Coffee Bar Review

The Basics

Here is a quick overview of what this device offers:

  • Choose a Size—Cup, Travel Mug, Half Carafe, or Full Carafe—and brew directly into your favorite cup or travel mug or use the carafe.
  • Choose a Brew—Classic, Rich, Over Ice, and Specialty—to make a variety of hot, iced, and frozen blended coffeehouse-style drinks.
  • Auto-iQ One-Touch Intelligence knows how to deliver the perfect amount of water at the right time for the size and brew type you select. No need to measure the water or refill the reservoir after every single serve brew.
  • 43 oz. Glass Carafe and Intelligent Warming Plate keep your coffee at the ideal drinking temperature with 2-hour auto shutoff.

What I Didn’t Like

There are 2 downsides that I found with the device but are totally not deal breakers.

  1. I wish the carafe held more coffee. The good news is, it’s easy to make one-off cups of coffee so this isn’t a huge downfall. 
  2. The coffee maker makes a lot of steam. You have to be careful to not burn your hand by touching the top of the coffee maker while it’s making coffee. 

Shark/Ninja sent us the Ninja Coffee Bar for review. All opinions are my own.

Grammarly – For Those Of Use Who Type Too Fast & Don’t Proofread

Grammarly – For Those Of Use Who Type Too Fast & Don’t Proofread

I admit it. I am TOTALLY one of those people who type fast and doesn’t proofread as well as I should. I am working on it people – all thanks to a tool that I found called Grammarly. 

Grammarly for Typos and Proofreading

Do you know when you run across something REALLY cool and you feel like you just need the whole world to know about it? Yeah, I am that person who is texting my friends “GO SEE THIS.” or “BUY THIS.” or “DOWNLOAD THIS APP.” That’s actually why I started this blog so many years ago, as a way to streamline rather than email all of my friends constantly. (This blog is 8-years-old. Back then, it was email. Texting was still not massive and Facebook didn’t have messenger. Old school.)

Grammarly for Grammar CheckingThink of Grammarly as having a spell-check available to you whenever you need it. I can’t tell you how many times that I have typed something, for some reason this happens a lot on Facebook – and I go back hours later and WHAM, in the face TYPO. It’s like palm to the face when you see that you misspelled a super simple word. 

Grammar Checker for Everyday Use

As a blogger, typos are a bigger deal and I know that numerous posts have typos. If you aren’t a blogger and are wondering why so many blogs have typos – let me spill the beans. Most bloggers nowadays use WordPress. WordPress, by default, does NOT have a built-in spell check option. You can download a plugin, but let’s face it – most bloggers don’t have it installed. 

Free Grammar Check – Yes, Please.

Here is where Grammarly comes in and why it’s my new favorite add-on. Grammarly first off is free. There is a paid option if you are a hard-core writer I would suggest you get it – but for everyday use – the free version is just fine. That’s right, Grammarly offers free grammar check! 

I use the Chrome extension – so whenever I am typing – like just now when I screwed up the word TYPING – it draws a little line under the word then gives me options for revising. It’s like the Word spellcheck but you aren’t 

For the ADD: Shutup and tell me where to find it!

Grammar in the Work Place

If I was still in corporate America, I would invest in this grammar service. Grammarly Business is a plan for teams. Grammarly can fit into your team’s workflow perfectly because it is not limited to a single platform. The paid version offers browser extensions, MS Office Add-in and desktop apps for Windows and Mac. You can ensure that emails, documents, and even casual interactions will be clear, mistake-free, and highly impactful. Grammarly Business runs $10 per team member a month. This is a solid investment, considering not everyone is grammar savvy. Grammarly will help your team with everything from grammar 101 to colon grammar. Winning! 

Perfect for Students

This application is great for students. Our kids are busy with school work. This year, with a freshman and a 7th grader – we have LOTS of paper writing and homework. While I try to proofread the kids’ homework when possible, I know for a fact Grammarly would do a better job than me. 

Grammarly Review

What better way to do a Grammarly review, then to show you exactly how well this application works. For giggles, here is a screenshot of what my WordPress interface looks like as I type this.

Grammarly Review

Since finding Grammarly, I typically write my posts and then go back thru and work the revisions. Watch the video – you can see all of my flubs, misspellings, and grammar issues! No shame in my grammar game. 

Grammarly App

The only issue that I am having with Grammarly is there is no Grammarly app! I need a Grammarly app to check all the things I screw up on my phone. I do a lot of work on my desktop, so at least I have it here. But just in case you are scouring the app store like I was… nope – there currently is no Grammarly app. Boo.

So there you have it, a cool find that I wanted to share with you. You can check grammarly out, here.

 

Amazon Announces 6 New Devices – Adding to My Amazon Wish List Now

Amazon Announces 6 New Devices – Adding to My Amazon Wish List Now

New Amazon Echo devices were announced today at a surprise event. If you are an Echo fan, you will want to see these new devices!

New Amazon Devices Just Announced!

Amazon went big today with a huge announcement. There isn’t just one, there are SIX new Amazon devices that will be launching soon. All of these devices have a connection to Alexa. This is just further proof that Alexa is not going away ANYTIME soon. 

Here they are – all 6 new devices that Amazon just announced: 

New Amazon Alexa Fire TV 4KNew 2017 Amazon Products DevicesNew Amazon Echo

The Amazon Echo has been redesigned and is available in 6 different fabrics and finishes to choose from. Echo connects to Alexa—a cloud-based voice service—to play music, make calls, set alarms and timers, ask questions, check your calendar, weather, traffic, and sports scores, manage to-do and shopping lists, control smart home devices, and more—instantly. New Amazon Echo

Price from: $99.99 – $119.99 (the wood finish is pricier) 

This item will be released on October 31, 2017. 

New Amazon Echo Specs:

  • 2.5″ woofer and 0.6″ tweeter
  • Dual speakers with room-filling sound, powered by Dolby
  • Streaming Wi-fi music (including Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, and more)
  • Line-out with 3.5 mm cable or Bluetooth
  • Free audio calls to US, Mexico, and Canada
  • Control smart home devices
  • New Amazon Echo size: 5.9″ x 3.5″ x 3.5″, 29.0 oz. (148 mm x 88 mm x 88 mm, 821 grams)

Pre-Order Now!

 

Amazon Echo Plus

Offering all the same great benefits of the Amazon Echo, with a few additions. The Amazon Echo Plus brings you the additional benefit of having a built-in hub. With this hub, you can directly set up and control your smart home devices. Alexa can control your compatible smart lights, thermostats, locks, garage doors, sprinklers, and more. Set up devices from Philips Hue, GE, Kwikset, and others without the need for a separate hub. Just ask Alexa to discover your connected devices. 

Amazon Echo Plus with Built In Hub

Amazon is currently offering a bundle with the Echo Plus AND a Phillips Hue Bulb for $149.99

This item will be released on October 31, 2017. 

Echo Plus

Amazon Echo Plus Specs:

  • Built-in hub for simple setup of compatible smart home devices
  • 2.5″ woofer and 0.6″ tweeter
  • Dual speakers with room-filling sound, powered by Dolby
  • Streaming Wi-fi music (including Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, and more)
  • Line-out with 3.5 mm cable or Bluetooth
  • Free audio calls to US, Mexico, and Canada
  • Control smart home devices
  • Amazon Echo Plus size: 9.3″ x 3.3″ x 3.3″, 33.6 oz. (235 mm x 84 mm x 84 mm, 954 grams)

Pre-Order Now!

Amazon Echo Spot

The Echo Spot brings you everything you love about Alexa, in an all-new stylish and compact design that can show you things. This device is made for your bedside, but Lord – please don’t show anyone my face first thing in the morning.  Just ask to see the weather, get the news with a video flash briefing, set an alarm, see lyrics with Amazon Music, see your calendar, browse and listen to Audible audiobooks, and more. Personalize your Spot with a collection of clock faces to suit your style or set a photo background from Prime Photos. Plus, make calls to friends and family or make video calls to anyone with an Echo Spot, Echo Show, or the Alexa App.

Amazon Echo Spot Alarm Clock ScreenThe Echo Spot offers features similar to that of the Echo Show, just with a smaller screen.

So what will you use the Echo Spot for? Just ask to see the weather, get the news with a video flash briefing, set an alarm, see lyrics with Amazon Music, see your calendar, browse and listen to Audible audiobooks, and more. Personalize your Spot with a collection of clock faces to suit your style or set a photo background from Prime Photos. Plus, make calls to friends and family or make video calls to anyone with an Echo Spot, Echo Show, or the Alexa App.

Echo Spot features 2nd generation far-field technology with four microphones, beamforming technology, and enhanced noise cancellation so it can hear you from across the room (even while music is playing!)

If you have more than one Echo, Alexa responds intelligently from the Echo you’re closest to with ESP (Echo Spatial Perception). This is a huge bonus. We have 3 Echo Dots upstairs and it’s so super annoying when we tell Alexa to set an alarm and it sets on all 3 devices. 

 
 
Price: $129.99
 
This item will be released on December 19, 2017. 

Amazon Echo Spot Specs:

  • Play video from Amazon Video and more
  • Streaming Wi-fi music (including Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, and more)
  • Line-out with 3.5 mm cable or Bluetooth
  • Free audio calls to US, Mexico, and Canada
  • Control smart home devices
  • Echo Spot size: 4.1″ x 3.8″ x 3.6″, 14.8 oz. (104 mm x 97 mm x 91 mm, 419 grams)

Pre-Order Now!

All-New Amazon Fire TV 4K Ultra HD and Ultra Dynamic Range (HDR)

Meet the All-New Amazon Fire TV featuring 4K Ultra HD and High Dynamic Range (HDR). The Fire TV will bring you everything you loved the original version, but they’ve upped the game with 4k and more voice control.  

Fire TV is easy to setup, connecting to your HDTV’s HDMI port. You simply plug it in, turn it on and it’s ready to go.  

Amazon FireTV 4K

Brilliant 4K picture quality

Experience true-to-life picture quality from thousands of immersive 4K Ultra HD titles from Amazon Video, Netflix, and more when connected to a 4K Ultra HD or HDR compatible TV.

New Alexa Integration

With Alexa, Amazon Fire TV can control smart home enabled lights, thermostats, and other compatible devices. Plus, play music, view camera feeds on your TV, check the weather, and more. Starting today, smart home camera support is available on all Fire TV devices and second-generation Fire TV Stick devices in the U.S. Simply say, “Alexa, show the nursery camera” to view the feed on your TV. Smart home camera support on Fire TV currently works on a range of devices from companies including Arlo, Ring, Nest, and August.

Price: $69.99 – but for a limited time, you can get an all-new Fire TV and Echo Dot together for $79.99. OR purchase a  Fire TV Stick and Echo Dot together for $59.99—a 33 percent savings.

Eligible customers who purchase and activate the all-new Fire TV by November 15, 2017 will also receive two months of Hulu (Limited or No Commercials), a one-month trial of SHOWTIME, and a $10 credit to rent or buy content from Amazon Video– a value of up to $45. 

Fire TV Specs

The new Fire TV will offer smooth and responsive performance with a 1.5 Ghz quad-core processor and dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi. Plus it comes with 2GB of memory and 8 GB of storage in a new design that fits seamlessly behind your TV.

This item will be released on October 25, 2017. 

Pre-Order Now!

Amazon Echo Connect

Remember when we had home phones? Amazon is bringing the home phone back, but with a new twist. With the Echo Connect and a compatible Echo device, you can ask Alexa to call anyone using your home phone service—all you have to do is ask.

Amazon Echo Connect Speaker PhoneEcho Connect uses your home phone number, either landline or VoIP, friends and family recognize the call. Answer your home phone on your Echo from across the room, so you can easily talk to anyone hands-free when you’re busy making dinner or away from the phone.

With the Alexa App, the contacts on your mobile phone stay in sync with Alexa, so you never have to look up a number stored on your phone. When you receive a call from someone in your contact list, Alexa will announce who is calling. 

Price is $34.99

Echo connect releases on December 13, 2017. 

Pre-Order Now!

Amazon Echo Buttons

Okay, so these look like so much fun. What is an Amazon Echo Button, you ask? Echo Buttons are Alexa Gadgets. The Echo Buttons will deliver a new way to play games through your compatible Echo device. Each button illuminates and can be pressed to trigger a variety of gameplay experiences powered by Alexa.

Amazon Echo Buttons - New Amazon Devices

Bring back game night with a variety of Alexa Skills such as Beat the Intro from Musicplode, Dungeon Escape, and Sounds Fun with Mike Epps from Ground Control. Echo Buttons will be available as a pair for $19.99.

As of right now, the Amazon Echo Buttons are pending authorization, as required by the rules of the Federal Communications Commission. The Amazon site features a message stating that Echo Buttons are not, and may not be, offered for sale or lease, or sold or leased, until authorization is obtained. Hurry up, these look like a lot of fun!

Learn More

There they are! The newest Amazon devices for 2017, pre-order now for Christmas. I know what I’m adding to my Amazon wish list!

Ataribox Is Coming And Yes, The Kids Will Want It!

Ataribox Is Coming And Yes, The Kids Will Want It!

Ataribox – sound familiar? Yes, the old school Atari is making a comeback. Our kids could soon be bugging us to buy them an Atari – but don’t worry, this isn’t the Atari of the 80’s!

Launching this Fall on Indiegogo, the Ataribox is positioning itself as a PC like gaming experience, but it will come pre-loaded several of the old school Atari games that we grew up playing.  

Meet the Ataribox

Get ready for some old school Atari, well kind of. The Ataribox may feel like the Atari 2600 – but with a modern design. Get this, the team is making an Ataribox WOOD EDITION – which is made of real wood.

ataribox

Ataribox Specs

Ataribox will be powered by an AMD customized processor, with Radeon Graphics technology. It’ll run Linux, with a customized, easy-to-use user interface. That said, Ataribox is also a full PC experience for the TV. It will offer streaming, applications, social, browsing, music, and more. This device will let you play old school games that will come pre-loaded but is also set up to play new titles as well. The studio will soon be releasing more info on the new games soon.

Since most TV devices have closed systems and content stores – Linux will allow a more open system. You will be able to access and customise the OS, games you’ve bought from other content platforms and more.

How Much Is This Going To Cost Me And When Will I Get It?

First and foremost, if you want to get in on this new Atari game action, you will want to pre-order on Indiegogo. No launch date has been set for the Indiegogo campaign, but we hear that it will be very soon. We’ll make sure to share the news on social media when we get the green light that the pre-order is live.

new atariThe plan is to ship late Spring 2018, so yes – you will have to do some waiting. The expected price range is $249-$299 – depending on what edition and memory configurations you order.

It’s time to order me a new old Atari shirt 😉
Available at Amazon