Shopping Suggestions

  In my cookbook, Dining, Not Just Eating, I mention some staples that each kitchen needs, some that are nice, and some that are luxuries.  To help you with finding some of these things I have posted a few links here.  Some of the things I list are items I really like and find useful.  You’ll find I’ve listed items I use throughout the house as well as on my motorcycles and cars.  They’re all items I’ve purchased, used, and like. 

                I make no warranties or guarantees for these items.  Any problems with the product or purchase are between you and the seller, not me.  However, if you have had problems with a product let me know so I may look into it and possibly remove it from this section.

                If you choose to purchase a product through an Amazon link I provide, I may receive a few pennies back from Amazon.  It isn’t every item and more importantly, it doesn’t cost you any more than if you were to log on to Amazon and find it on your own.

                Any money I get from this section helps to pay for the cost of website hosting and domain names.

                I appreciate your looking through this section.  If you find a dead link please let me know so I can correct it.  Also, if you have any suggestions for products you would like to see included or removed then shoot me off a note through the Contact tab in the menu.

This section is divided into four areas,Shopping Suggestions so you need to keep scrolling down until you find what you want.  They are:

In the Kitchen

Around the House and Electronic Stuff

Motorcycle and Auto

Health and Personal Care


In the Kitchen

buttere dishSweese 303.101 Large Butter Dish – Airtight Butter Keeper Holds Up to 2 Sticks of Butter – Porcelain Container with Beech Wooden Lid, White  Keep a stick of butter on the counter safe from insects or worse.  Always at ready to spread or cook with. 

jar openerKichwit Jar Opener Stainless Steel     Tendonitis in my wrists made opening jars difficult.  Not a problem with this opener.

ceylonSimply Organic Ground Ceylon Cinnamon | Certified Organic | 2.08 oz. | 3-Pack    Great anti-inflammatory.  I sprinkle it on my oatmeal every morning.

btb chickenBetter Than Bouillon, Roasted Chicken Base, 8 oz. Both Chicken and beef are in my fridge ready to make gravy tastier, pump up the flavor of soups and stews, and even chili.

btb beefBetter  Than Bouillon, All Natural Reduce Sodium Beef Base 8oz You will always find this in my fridge.

pizza peelCuisinart CPS-445 Pizza Grilling Set 13 inch stone will fit in all ovens and most toaster ovens, even better on the BBQ grill.  Great way to make the best pizza. The peel makes it easy to move the hot pizza from the oven to the tabletop.

towelsRoyal Classic White Kitchen Towels, 15-Pack 100% Natural Cotton Dish Towels, 14 x 25  Every cook needs a simple towel to wipe his hands, clean his knives, and move his hot pans.  These are the same professional chefs use.

lava toolsLavatools PT12 Javelin Digital Instant Read Meat Thermometer Know for certain the roast is medium rare and your pork chops are cooked.  Every good cook needs a good thermometer.  Yes, there are more expensive ones but this is a great bang for your buck.

tfal pansT-fal B363S3 Specialty Nonstick Omelette Pan 8-Inch 9.5-Inch and 11-Inch Dishwasher Safe PFOA Free Fry Pan / Saute Pan Cookware Set, 3-Piece, Gray  I picked up this set so I could effortlessly cook eggs.  They work great and the value has been wonderful.

clr binRubbermaid Commercial Space Saving Food Storage Container, 8 Quart, Clear  Perfect for marinating and brining.  There are lids available too.

tortill binNordic Ware Microwave Tortilla Warmer, 10-Inch Yeah, you can live without it but it is nice to be able to layer a bunch of tortillas inside, nuke it for 25 seconds, and put it on the table for everyone.

paring knifeVictorinox 3.25 Inch Paring Knife with Straight Edge, Spear Point, Black  A knife you will find yourself using for everything.  Inexpensive enough so you can use it for everything.

oxo cupsOXO Good Grips 3-Piece Angled Measuring Cup Set  A great easy to read set that you can use in the microwave and clean in the dishwasher.

RM containersRubbermaid Easy Find Lids Food Storage Container, 42-Piece Set, Red  I’ve already worn out one set and am ready to order another.  My sons got them last Christmas from me.

cutto board bambooTotally Bamboo Original Bamboo Cutting & Serving Board 3 Piece Set   Easy to use and easy to clean.  Quick to cut on too.

scraper benchChef’n Pastrio 3-in-1 Bench Scraper Set  Get those chopped onions into the fry pat, scrape out that bowl.  This is the tool for the job.

lodge skilletLodge L8SK3 Cast Iron Skillet, Pre-Seasoned, 10.25”  I think I use mine at least four times a week.  The seasoning is almost Teflon like.  Great for breakfast, steaks, and burgers.  Scallops are easy in this skillet.

crockpotCrock Pot Quart Cook & Carry Slow Cooker with 16-Ounce Little Dipper Warmer  I now have two of these and use them often.  I did a complete holiday meal in them.

shearsWusthof 5558-1 Come-Apart Kitchen Shears  Every kitchen needs a tough scissors.  These are stainless steel and you can take them apart to wash.

couinter binHiware Kitchen Small Trash Can – Hanging Small Trash Garbage Bin  It helps to make dinner prep easier.  Chopping onions and green pepper or whatever the scraps just get dropped in the bin.

jar mugsCupture® Double Wall Insulated Plastic Mason Jar Tumbler Mug – 20 oz, 3 Pack  Insulated glasses for my iced tea.  Keep the cold longer in the summer.  I got them as a gift and love them.

fish turnerOXO Good Grips Fish Turner  My go-to turner in the kitchen for everything from an omelet to steak.

mandolinSwissmar Borner V-1001 V-Slicer Plus Mandoline  Perfect for a summer cucumber salad, American fried potatoes, or even thinly sliced onions.  The big plus is it is so easy to clean.  Just remember to always use the handguard or you will lose a fingertip.

big turnerUpdate International WTSD-48 Stainless Steel Solid Turner with Cutting Edge and Wood Handle, 15-3/4-Inch  There is no better turner for working on the grill.  You feel like a fry cook at a diner or a grill master with this in your hand.

saucearCuisinart 735-24 Chef’s Classic Stainless 3-Qrt Chef’s Pan & Cover  My go-to pan.  Great for when I make most any sauce.  There are more expensive ones available but this is just right for me.

elec knifeCuisinart CEK-40 Electric Knife  I don’t use it often but a standing rib roast or carving a turkey are special occasions.

salt pigRSVP Endurance® Salt Server with Spoon  Alton Brown always used one of these and I don’t know how I would cook now without mine.

lodge dutch ovenLodge Color EC6D43 Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, Island Spice Red, 6-Quart  You can spend three times as much for a French-made dutch oven that is almost identical to this one.  Why?

twineNorpro 942 Cotton Twine  Food safe twine to tie up roasts or birds when you need it.

sautee pan and lidCuisinart 733-30H Chef’s Classic Stainless 5-1/2-Quart Saute Pan with Helper Handle and Cover  Perfect for Taco Tuesdays or Beef Stroganoff.  Just the right size for braising.


Around the House and Electronic Stuff


grass seedScotts Turf Builder Grass Seed – High Traffic Mix, 7-Pound  My dogs tear up the lawn in the spring when it is wet outside.  This brings back the grass quickly and it lasts.

no scratch towelsPolyte Microfiber Cleaning Cloth, 12 x 16 in, 24 Pack  I put these in the Around the House category because they can be used all around the house.  I have them in the kitchen, bathroom, and on my motorcycle.  Perfect for cleaning your glasses and most everything else.  They can be washed and reused but often I simply toss them out when they get too bad.

dog ponchoBaja Ponchos Dog Clothes – Handmade Dog Poncho from Authentic Mexican Blanket  My Chihuahua, Chico, loves his.  He needed something for winter and this was perfect.

Qi charger standAnker PowerPort Wireless 5 Stand, 5W Standard Qi-Certified Wireless Charger for iPhone   One at my desk, and one on my nightstand.  They charge my I Phone wirelessly and stand up so I can see the screen.

fire tabletFire HD 8 Tablet with Alexa, 8″ HD Display, 16 GB, Black   This is a legitimate computer tablet with the Kindle reader app built-in.  Amazon regularly runs sales on this one.

kindle readerKindle E-Reader  I am on my third Kindle reader.  I found they didn’t take to being dropped into a toilet or off a top-shelf.  I have read over 600 books on them and always have one with me.  They read as comfortably as any paper book and you can always have a book ready when you finish one.

keyboardMicrosoft Wireless Desktop 3050 with AES (PP3-00001)  I use a laptop for my work, but the keyboard was too small for my big fat finger.  I also always had trouble with the touchpad.  Since I started with this it has made typing so much easier.

back upSeagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB Portable External Hard Drive USB 3.0, Blue  I’ve written six novels, a cookbook, close to 150 online magazine articles, and started two other books.  I needed a secure backup system for my computer and found this.  Simple and easy to use.

antenna1byone 35 Miles Super Thin HDTV Antenna with 20ft High-Performance Coax Cable, Shiny White  I cut the cable several years ago and haven’t missed a thing.  This antenna allows me to catch all the local networks with a picture better than cable.

dog watererH2O Animal Hydration Aqua Buddy 2-Quart Homelife Series Automatic Waterer  I took a six-foot hose and connected this to the outside garden hose tap with a splitter.  My dogs always have fresh water when they are outside.

king kong chairALPS Mountaineering King Kong Camp Chair with Shoulder Carry Bag and Padded Back/Seat  I’m a big guy and I needed a big chair.  This holds me comfortably without worrying about an embarrassing collapse.  I keep on in the car and one at home.

skil driverSKIL 2354-01 iXO 4-Volt Max Lithium-Ion Palm-Sized Cordless Screwdriver.   It just makes things easier.  My son liked mine so much he asked for one for Christmas two years ago.

bed tableOver Bed Table  Get injured just once and you will love the table.  I screwed up my knee and was immobile for a couple months.  This was great.

Motorcycle and Auto

batt tenderBattery Tender 021-0123 Battery Tender Junior 12V, 0.75A Battery Charger  I have three right now running in my garage keeping my motorcycle and car batteries alive.  A lot less expensive than a new battery.

tire pluggerStop & Go 1000 Pocket Tire Plugger  I keep this set in my bike’s side case.  I haven’t used it yet but it is nice to know I have it if I ever do.  

sml air pumpStop & Go Mini Air Compressor  If you plug that flat you will need to fill it with air so this is on my bike too.  I hope I never need it but feel good that I have it. 

heavy velcroScotch(R) Heavy-Duty Fasteners, 2 Sets of 1 x 3 Inches, Strips ,Black (RFD7091)  Same material they give you for your IPass only in black.  I use it on my motorcycle in a few places and in my cars too.  Anything you connect with it is just locked on.

pencil casesBazic 804 3 Ring Pencil Pouch with Mesh Window, 6 pcs  My car registration and insurance information are in one and all together.  I have one in each of my vehicles and gave my sons each one also.

camera mouintSquare Jellyfish Spring Tripod Mount for Smart Phones 2-1/4 – 3-5/8″ Wide  Sometimes you just can’t hold your phone far enough away for a proper selfie.  This attaches to any tripod to hold your camera.

tripodPedco UltraPod Lightweight Camera Tripod  I have the Square Jellyfish tripod mount on this, and it folds up into a nice small package for my top case on my bike.  I always have a tripod handy when I need it.

swiss army knifeVictorinox Swiss Army Rambler Pocket Knife, Red  The perfect little pen knife.  You will be surprised just how much you can do with it including getting that last bit of BBQ stuck in your teeth.

GW manualHonda GL 1800 Gold Wing Haynes Repair Manual (2001-2009)  Part of the fun of the bike is knowing how to work on it.  You need this for your garage.

presure guageTEKTON 5941 Digital Tire Gauge, 100 PSI  Keeping the correct air pressure on your tires means they last longer and they are safer.  These aren’t very expensive so get a good one.

car moountKenu Airframe+ Car Mount for Phablets  Hold you phone vertically or horizontally clipped to your AC vent in the car. Quick and easy to use and allows you to charge the phone at the same time.

silk scarfAerostich Standard Sil Scarves  I got this white silk scarf for a charity ride a few years back.  I never made the ride but I find I love the scarf.  No aggravating beard chaffing and it does a great job of stopping the wind on cooler days.

tpmsTiregard Wireless Tire Pressure Monitor System  It’s important to keep your tires properly inflated on your bike but it is a pain to get down and crawl around getting to the rear tire.  This lets you monitor your tire pressure all the time.

Health and Personal Care

bp cuffMOCACuff Bluetooth Blood Pressure Monitor  I’m getting older and my doctor wants me to check my BP every day.  This goes around your wrist and connects to your phone by Bluetooth.  I can keep track of all the readings and show my Dr at my next visit.

ice packsColePak Comfort Ice Packs – Ice Packs for Injuries – 2 Gel Packs & 1 Ice Wrap (Holder) for Hot & Cold Therapy – Cold Packs for Knees, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Neck,  Tear a quadriceps tendon, have surgery, or just ache.  It is great to have an icepack ready.  These strap on to your leg or wrist or even shoulder.

hair clipperWahl Clipper Color Pro Cordless Rechargeable Hair Clippers, Hair trimmers, 21 pieces Hair Cutting Kit, Color Coded guide combs For Men, Kids and Babies By The Brand used by Professionals. #9649  I got my head shaved for a charity fundraiser several years ago, and while that was too much for me I did like the crew cut look and found I could use these on myself.  I haven’t been to a barber in ten years.  They have more than paid for themselves.