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This is probably not something you can use in your kitchen - or anywhere in your house for that matter.  But it is cool and it is used for cooking.  The ClearDome Octagon Parabolic Solar Cooker uses nothing but the sun's rays to power it.

To capture the solar radiation it uses an "8-sided, deep-tapered parabolic concentrator".  What this means is that it uses a curved shape to reflect all of the sun's rays into one spot in the middle of the unit.

The unit adjusts to meet the different angles of the sun throughout the day.  The maker claims that in the middle of the day you can cook an 11 inch pot at 350 degrees.

It raises a couple of questions for me though.  The producer mentions that it's ideal for baking bread or cooking scrambled eggs.  But I wonder how practical something like scrambled eggs would be and what the risk of personal injury might be if you put your hand inside.

The other question is what happens on a cloudy day?  Not being an expert on solar radiation, I wonder whether the same temperatures are achieved.

The is available from Seneca Electronics & Energy Solutions for around $50.

 
 
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Are you interested in making yogurt at home?  If you are, then this is an interesting variation on your stock standard yogurt maker.  And at around $40, it wont break the bank.

The way it works is that you just put a one quart carton of pasteurized milk straight into the machine (carton and all), add a starter culture, turn on the power and in 10 to 12 hours it's ready.  You can use whole milk, soy milk, low, no fat and other types of milk.  The starter culture is just a small amount of some plain commercial yogurt.  The starter introduces the required bacteria to the mix and kicks off the fermentation process.
 
The idea behind this appliance is that you don't need to sterilize anything because you're just putting the whole carton in the machine.  And there's no need to pre-heat the milk (as long as it's pasteurized).

The sales blurb on the Miracle Exclusives website promotes the idea of homemade yogurt as being a natural and preservative free alternative.  I guess you get the benefits of going homemade with any yogurt maker, but I really like the idea of making right inside the milk carton.

 
 
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Okay, this kitchen gadget is probably not for the average kitchen, but it's cool none the less.  The ChefStack automatic pancake maker rolls out fresh, hot pancakes at the rate of 200 per hour - just enough for you and 49 of your closest friends.

As an aside I like the way the pancakes are all stacked neatly beside the pancake machine.  I can't help but wonder whether some neatening of the stack took place just before the photo was taken.  I'm sure if I had that baby running in my kitchen, they'd be rolling around on the bench top and onto the floor.  It never seems to work out for me the way it does on television or in the glossy brochures.


ChefStack claim this is the "world's first commercial panless automatic pancake machine" and hold a patent on the technology.  The machine is about the size of a microwave oven and works by squirting the batter from pre-filled bags through a nozzle and onto a proprietary Teflon-coated cooking belt.  Using the pre-filled bags means you have to use the ChefStack pancake mixture, rather than your own special recipe, but they claim this system helps keep the batter fresh and the resulting pancakes of a consistent quality.

The volume of pancakes produced (not to mention the price - $3,500) means this automatic pancake maker is obviously aimed at commercial kitchens, rather than a domestic setting, but a man can dream can't he?
 
 

We all want to be a little healthier, don't we?  Well this handy little kitchen device might be just the thing you need.  It's a set of kitchen scales which calculates the nutritional value of the food that you eat.

The Salter Nutri-Weigh Dietary Computer Scale has some pretty handy features if you're watching what you eat.  It contains the nutritional value of over 1,400 different foods and on top of that you can enter in details on up to 100 of your own foods.

It also records your food intake for up to 7 days and has a 2 user memory in case there is anyone else in your household watching what they eat.

It's my intention to cover some more kitchen gadgets which might assist in looking after your health.  But we'll see how we go and what takes my fancy - I reserve the right to write more about ice cream makers if the need arises.


 
 

I don't know whether the AeroGarden really qualifies as a kitchen appliance - buts it's definitely cool!  The AeroGarden is a computerized indoor garden designed for small kitchen herb and vegetable gardens, among other things.

The idea is that with the AeroGarden you'll always have a fresh supply of herbs at your finger tips.  Think of the time I'll save not having to walk outside to pick herbs from the plants I have growing in pots.

All sarcasm aside, I can see it would be useful in some domestic situations.  People without the space for a garden might find this useful.  Also, it has it's own built-in lighting so that you could theoretically put it anywhere in your home regardless of the light levels.

The unit has a built-in microprocessor which controls things like watering, nutrients and also switches the lights on and off.  All of this is meant to ensure healthier and faster growing plants.

For the more horticulturally-minded among you, the AeroGarden doesn't use soil, but rather works by suspending the plants in air within a growing chamber with high humidity.  The claim on the website is that it "Grows more than 2 times faster than dirt".

While the unit itself is pricey enough, what I don't like is that (from what I understand) you need to buy special pre-sown seed kits at about $20 a throw to put into the AeroGarden.  That seems to be a fairly high running cost - but maybe I'm just cheap!


 
 

Ice cream makers have come a long way since the old days of the hand crank models.  These days, you can get an electric model (like the one from Cuisinart pictured left) which takes all of the hard work out of making ice cream.  It contains an electric motor which removes the need to crank the thing by hand.

What I really like about this gadgets is that you can make ice cream from whatever ingredients you like.  There are some pretty amazing recipes out there.  Have you ever tried peanut butter ice cream?  What about prune ice cream?


But What About The Children?

That's right - this is meant to be for the kids.  Well if your children are anything like mine, they love their ice cream.  But as a responsible parent I worry about how healthy their diet is and I'm concerned about the high levels of sugar in commercial ice creams (not to mention those other ingredients listed on the label which I can't even pronounce). 

This is where an ice cream maker comes in handy.  You can use all-natural ingredients in the mixture and I'm sure that if you use your imagination, you'll be able to come up with all sorts of natural sweeteners to add to the mix.

 
 

How cool is Weebly?  I've only just discovered this website - and it's great.  I've decided to indulge my passion (or weakness) for shiny new stuff which lives in the kitchen and create a website about it.
I'm just playing around with all of the options right now.  I'm not quite sure what some of this stuff is yet so if you so some strange stuff happening you'll know why.