Blog Posts by Daily Grommet

  • Unleash your inner bartender

    Ever found yourself halfway through a margarita and wishing for more salt on the rim? Tim McCaffery's wife used to, so he invented an easy way to salt the rim Tim McCaffery, Lime Cove TreeTim McCaffery, Lime Cove Treethat doesn't require turning a glass upside down on a plateful of salt.

    Tim's handheld Barmaid device glides around the rim of a cocktail glass and dispenses any spice you like. There's a button that lets you control how much goes on the rim, so you can make salted margaritas and sugared mojitos just the way your guests like them.

    Barmaid Drink Rimmer | Margarita Salts | Cocktail SaltsBarmaid Drink Rimmer | Margarita Salts | Cocktail Salts But the party fun doesn't stop there. Tim's company, called Lime Tree Cove, also makes its own cocktail sugars and spices. Just think what some spicy chili cocktail salt will do for your Bloody Marys. Or, you can add zest to a martini or lemonade (the spices are for nonalcoholic drinks, too) with his fresh lemon cocktail sugar. And a coat of chocolate raspberry sugar on your pina colada? Sweet decadence. Lime Tree Cove's spices are all natural, with no artificial colors, flavors or

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  • Got a taste for cold brewed coffee?

    There's an art to cold-brewed coffee, and Bob Neace's grandfather had it down pat. His coffee was smooth, never bitter and always sought after. But his brewing methods were fairly cumbersome, involving cheesecloth and a big barrel.

    Todd Maas and Bob Neace, Hourgass CoffeeTodd Maas and Bob Neace, Hourgass CoffeeSo Bob (right) started tinkering, trying to replicate his grandfather's cold-brewed success with an easier, more modern coffeemaker. He teamed with Todd Maas (left), and their first prototype was made with a mason jar, beer Hourglass cold brew coffee makerHourglass cold brew coffee makercozy and duct tape. After a few years of refinements, Bob and Todd created the sleek, portable Hourglass. Just add coffee grounds (or loose tea), cover with cold water, and let the grounds steep overnight or for up to 72 hours. After steeping, flip the unit and pour the extract into a canteen (included with the system). When you're ready for some java, just add the concentrated extract to hot water for traditional coffee, or ice it down for cold coffee drinks. You can adjust the water ratio depending on how strong you like

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  • Take this clever wine gadget for a spin and you'll elevate your sipping experience

    What do you get when you give an already speedy bunny an electric boost? Super cork-pulling powers. Metrokane, maker of the revolutionary Rabbit corkscrew, has some new gadgets in its warren, including an automatic corkscrew and a sleek bottle-top wine aerator.

    MetroKane electric corkscrew and wine aerator pourer.MetroKane electric corkscrew and wine aerator pourer.The Electric Rabbit takes the cork from a bottle easily and without leaving behind any cork crumbs. A spiral corkscrew is recessed within the device's casing, so it locks onto the bottle and, with just the push of a button, the cork is pulled straight out. An illuminated display tells you how many more bottles can be opened before the battery needs recharging.

    To make sure tasting wine is as enjoyable as possible, the Rabbit Aerating Pourer aerates red wine (letting it breathe) as it is poured. Riki Kane, MetroKaneRiki Kane, MetroKaneJust place the device in the top of an open bottle of wine and watch the wine swirl through before reaching the glass, adding air to improve the flavor and bouquet.The founder of Metrokane is Riki Kane (shown with Miki,

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  • The healthier way to get your glow on

    Summer is here, and we're all craving some vitamin D. The safe way to soak in the sunshine is with a protective coat of sunscreen.Solerra's self tanning lotionSolerra's self tanning lotion But we have to admit, we miss the healthy glow that comes from a summer suntan. If you want the best of both worlds - to capture a sun-kissed glow without damaging your skin - Solerra self-tanning solutions are the perfect remedy.

    Angie Trelstad, SolerraAngie Trelstad, Solerra Solerra's sunless tanners don't have chemical stains or dyes in them, like most tanners do. Instead, Solerra uses caramel and walnut extracts to achieve a natural bronze color. Their formulas contain no parabens, have been allergy-tested, and won't clog pores. To counteract the drying effect of DHA, Solerra uses special moisturizers that leave skin feeling silky smooth. The company is led by Angie Trelstad, a redhead who knows the perils of sensitive skin. Angie helped develop other tanning products before she joined Solerra, where she finally found a self-tanning product that works and is healthy for your skin.

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  • Measuring cup makeover

    iSi Flex It liquid measuring cups.iSi Flex It liquid measuring cups.Sometimes when we cook it looks like a hurricane blew through the kitchen. Pots here, pans there, and plenty of drips everywhere. We clumsily drop key utensils, and often wind up doing things in a makeshift way. Some of us rarely come out of the experience unscathed (A scar or splatter stain from most culinary undertakings).

    Daily Grommet found this brand new measuring cup set from iSi. They're different from any measuring cups I'd seen before for one main reason: They're made of flexible silicone. Here's why that's so nifty:

    • You can pinch the end to form a big or small spout to pour with precision (less mess)
    • You can fill them with boiling hot liquids, then grab them right away with your hands (no burns)
    • The rubbery surface is a little sticky so they're very easy to grip (no butterfingers)

    They sport easy-to-read numbers. And now that we've become obsessed with chemicals in plastics, we were happy to know that unlike old hard plastic measuring cups, silicone

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  • Here's a truly sustainable and renewable kind of clean

    Heather Tomasetti and Tal Chitayat, Full Circle BrushesHeather Tomasetti and Tal Chitayat, Full Circle Brushes
    There are two questions that Tal Chitayat and Heather Tomasetti ask before any new material is added to their cleaning products: Where does it come from and where will it go? Considering the lifecycle of each product is core to the mission of their company, called Full Circle. Tal and Heather only want to work with sustainable and renewable resources. And when they select suppliers to work with, they insist on clean manufacturing methods and high environmental standards.

    So which materials make the cut? Full Circle uses fast-growing bamboo, natural bristles, recycled plastic bristles, cellulose (a plant-based fiber), and a biodegradable plant-based plastic called Bonterra. Whenever possible, Tal and Heather use replaceable components to cut back on waste. They also pay a lot of attention to how their cleaning tools look and feel in your hand. Full Circle's Eco Friendly Brushes and SpongesFull Circle's Eco Friendly Brushes and Sponges The High & Dry scrub brush is designed to stand upright, so it dries faster and reduces bacteria growth. The Laid Back dish brush is arched

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  • How a handy (and handmade) tote is changing lives

    Bill Newbrough, NatureBagBill Newbrough, NatureBagIowa native Bill Newbrough received a Nature Bag as a gift a few years ago, after a Bonsou Keoamphone, NatureBagBonsou Keoamphone, NatureBagguided trip to a remote area in the jungles of Asia. Today he's working with Bonsou Keoamphone (Sou for short), the guide who gave him the souvenir, to spread the word about these incredible bags. Sou, 22, is founder of a poverty reduction program aimed at helping the Khmu people enrich their lives while preserving a centuries-old tradition.

    Nature Bags are woven from fibers of the kudzu vine, which grows prodigiously in the region. The bags stretch and expand to hold a lot more cargo (groceries, books, beach toys) than you might expect. The fabric seems to cradle the contents, which keeps items from shifting and reduces the chance of bruising fragile fruits and vegetables. Three styles are available. Pahk is all natural in color, while Noy adds black stripes and detailing along the seams. The Beach Bag has a multicolor sack and incorporates cotton on the shoulder strap for a softer feel.

    Nature Bag's reusable, sustainable, expandable bags.Nature Bag's reusable, sustainable, expandable bags.No twoRead More »from How a handy (and handmade) tote is changing lives
  • Go from flat to full - naturally

    It can take years to find The One. And when you do, you'll want to cast aside all the others and tell your friends that you've fallen in love - with the perfect line of hair products.

    Anti Frizz Hair Cream To Control Hair Frizz. Anti Frizz Hair Cream To Control Hair Frizz. The one for us is Living Proof, which was founded by a team of MIT scientists and beauty experts who set out to apply cutting-edge research to vexing hair problems. We featured Living Proof's revolutionary No Frizz line last summer, and now the scientists have developed a new formula for giving life to limp hair. If your problem is frizz, however, you'll find a special offer here.

    The thickening cream is called Full, Living Proof's Full thickening hair cream Living Proof's Full thickening hair cream and it works with all hair types to create fullness that looks and feels natural. You can even run your fingers through your hair - without the fear of collapse or crunchy residue you get with other products. In fact, the more you run your fingers though it, the more body and fullness you'll create. The special ingredient is Poly Beta Amino Ester-1, a new compound discovered

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  • How to get nutrient rich compost in just 2 weeks

    Buy Automatic Kitchen CompostersBuy Automatic Kitchen CompostersYou're concerned about the environment and you try to live as green as possible, but maybe you've shied away from composting? You might not have thought it was possible to compost without going to a lot of trouble. But guess what? With the NatureMill automatic compost bin, if you have electricity you can compost - quickly and easily.

    Inventor Russ Cohn is a MIT-trained engineer who once left for Russ CohnRuss Cohnvacation without emptying his kitchen compost, and the resultant warm mess that greeted him upon his return was the spark that ignited the idea for NatureMill. If warmth speeds up the composting process, what about a self-contained unit that could use electricity to facilitate the breakdown of compostable materials? Using about the same energy drain as a nightlight, the NatureMill composter takes in food scraps (plus some sawdust pellets and baking soda) and produces nutrient-rich compost in just two weeks. It's not magic, but it is the circle of life, right there in your

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  • How to make your workout better with music

    Music and bicycling are two passions that never mixed well, until now.

    CycleSound bike speaker for iPod or MP3 playerCycleSound bike speaker for iPod or MP3 playerMany cyclists would love to listen to music, but it's not safe to use headphones while riding outdoors (it's even illegal in some states). CycleSound is a portable speaker system that fits right under the seat of your bike, so you can safely listen to tunes while spinning your wheels. The inventor is Del Rusher (left), who used to pull a wagon with a boom box behind his bike while he pedaled across Iowa during the annual seven-day RAGBRAI event.

    Del Rusher, Cycle SoundDel Rusher, Cycle SoundDel came up with the idea for CycleSound, then teamed with an automotive stereo expert to fine-tune the details. The challenge was creating a compact, lightweight speaker system that could deliver clear, quality sound to riders and withstand the rugged outdoors. When Del perfected the design, his longtime friend, (and father of Daily Grommet discovery team member Wendy) Pete Wirtz, told us about CycleSound's debut.

    CycleSound is battery-operated and works

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