Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Trader Joe's Saucy Scallops with Mushrooms

I had heard about Trader Joe's for along time before I actually stepped foot in one. And my first shopping experience was less than life changing. I was on vacation and I wasn't going to be doing any cooking until I got home. I picked up a couple jars of ... things ... shrugged my shoulders, and went on my merry way.

When a Trader Joe's opened in nearby Boulder, I decided I had to give it another try. There were some fresh vegetable options that I liked, and the frozen langostino tails were great. But I still hadn't explored the vast array of frozen foods that people raved about. I like to cook, so I'm more about ingredients than bagged meals.

On my last trip, I decided to avail myself of some easy meals, so I ventured into the frozen section. I have to say, things looked pretty good. There were a lot of them I wanted to try. A lot.

I came home with the Saucy Scallops with Mushrooms. It seemed like the perfect intersection of easy, fast, convenient, while also being something of a treat. I don't buy a lot of scallops. And while I still cook a lot of foods from scratch, there are days when I've got too many other things going on to fuss with dinner.

There are cooking directions for microwave, stovetop, an oven. I opted for the stovetop method and dumped the bag into the saute pan. There were white round things that looked like albino meatballs, but were actually the sauce that was frozen around the scallops. This makes so much sense. Less change of getting freezer burn on the delicate scallops.

I forgot to take a photo of that, so you'll just have to trust me.

The cooking was simple. Basically you're just heating it until it's all nice and warm. Easy peasy.

The sauce was cheesy, which I know is supposed to be forbidden with fish, but it was good. My one complaint, and it's going to sound pretty silly, is that I wish there were more mushrooms. I'm a mushroom fiend, and I would have been happy with equal amounts of mushrooms and scallops. Instead, it looked like there were more peas than mushrooms. Which was fine. I like peas.

I'll probably buy this again, but next time I'll add a good fist full of my own mushrooms to the mix. And now that I've tried one of their frozen entrees, I'll probably indulge in more. What have you tried? Did you like it?

Oh, and I served it on top of some brown rice.

Who's it for: People who want food, fast.

Pros: Easy. Lots of scallops compared to the rest of the ingredients.

Cons: Lazy. Oh so lazy.

Wishes: I would have liked more mushrooms. But not fewer scallops. Hah!

Source: I bought this.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Mighty Mug

Seconds after I dumped a cup of coffee all over myself, the floor, and the couch (missing my laptop and the dog) I got an email from a place that wanted to send me a magical mug that wouldn't tip over.

How could I refuse?

When The Mighty Mug arrived, I opened the box, set the mug on the kitchen counter and pushed. And pushed. It held firm. I mean, I don't know if I'd want to tie a rope around it and dangle from a seventh-floor window, but it was stuck tight to the counter when I tried pushing or pulling it sideways or at an angle.

But when I lifted straight up, it lifted just fine.

What sorcery is this?

Something to do with a vacuum seal on the bottom of the mug. Lifting straight up breaks the seal, but when you push, bump, or nudge it, it holds firm.


But wait a minute.

I put the mug on the wooden table where I usually rest my coffee next to the couch and it was completely tippable. It didn't stick at all.

Wha? Did I use up all the magic? I went back to the kitchen, and it stuck just fine on the decades-old and somewhat ugly countertop. I went to the dining room table and it stuck, mostly, but not as firmly.


I walked around the house, setting the mug on different surfaces. Marble table - sticks.  Paperback book - sticks. Glass surface - sticks. Smooth plastic tray - sticks. Slotted bamboo tray - doesn't stick. Wooden floor- sticks as long as it's not over a seam. Textured card table - doesn't stick. The dog - doesn't stick. Entertainment center wood top - sort of sticks.

I pondered. Then I figured it out. If the mug is on a flat smooth surface, it will create that vacuum that holds it in place. But if you put the mug on a bumpy or deeply scratched or textured surface, it can't hold as well. My dining room table has some wood grain that you can feel, but not a lot. But it does have a smooth painted surface (where it isn't scratched). Thus, the mug held on, but not quite as tight as the completely smooth counter.

On the other hand, the wooden table where my coffee usually rests is not slick or smooth. There's enough texture that the mug won't grip very much at all.

So ... if you're going to set this mug on a smooth surface - glass, polished wood, granite ... or any other smooth surface, you'll be safe. If you think this will work on the picnic table, the rustic wood tray, the pebble-surfaced Formica counter top, or any other uneven, scratched, grouted, un-smooth surface, then you're out of luck. You probably also don't want to set it on top of the corner of a napkin or on top of that ginormous jelly spill (come on, now, clean that up!) or it might not hold the way you expect it to.

But if you're using this at your desk and it has a smooth, uninterrupted surface, you'll be happy as a clam. (How happy are clams, anyway? I mean before they're stuff with bread crumbs and broiled?)

I still plan on using the mug on my wooden table - I have a piece of counter top material - something like Corian - that I bought for use in photos. It's the perfect fit for my little table and the mug sticks to it very nicely. Problem solved. And, if we're being honest, it looks better than the distressed wood. Which is a nice way of saying the varnish has worn off the table top in places and it's kind of scratched here and there.

The mug comes in a couple of different styles, including one that's heat-proof for coffee and another that's designed for cold drinks. I opted for the heat-proof since it works for hot and there's no reason not to put a cold drink in there. The cold one, however, would not have been as useful for hot beverages. Which I really don't want to spill all over me.

The dog is also looking a bit relieved.

Who's it for: Klutzes like me.

Pros: They don't tip! (On many surfaces.) Dishwasher safe.

Cons: They look like standard travel mugs. They will tip if they're not on a smooth surface. So don't show off unless you know it's actually safe.

Wishes: I sort of wish it had a handle, like a coffee mug does. But that's not mission critical.

Source: I received this from the manufacturer for the purpose of a review.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Degustabox - January

Another month, another box 'o goodies from Degustabox. As usual, it was a mix of things I was familiar with, things I'd never heard of, things I liked, and a few things that I was glad to try, but probably won't buy again.

After getting these boxes for many months, I've sampled a lot of food, and I've also given a bit of it away. It's just me, so it makes sense for me to be generous with the extras. And of course it makes sense for me to give away the things that include ingredients I know I won't like. I'm looking at you, coconut.

Welch's Fruit 'n Yogurt Snacks
There are single-serve bags of fruity snacks that have a thin yogurt coating. The coating adds a nice amount of creamy flavor to the snacks. They're sweet, but not overly sweet. A nice little nosh. If I worked in an office, this is the kind of thing I'd have stashed in a desk drawer for a little mid-day snack.

Jolly Time Healthy Pop Butter Microwave Popcorn
Oh heck yes. Popcorn is one of my favorite snacks, and this is one of the brands that I buy when I don't buy plain kernels. Let's face it, popcorn in a bag is super-easy and these are a little lower in calorie that the full-fat versions you can get.

Go Organically Fruit Snacks
These are little soft gummy fruit treats in single serve bags for snacks. Not super-sweet, but not tart, either. I thought they were nice, but not exciting. I'll bet kids would love 'em.

Prince of Peace Ginger Honey Crystals
These crystals are mixed with hot water to make a hot tea. The ginger was there, but not super-strong and biting. The honey flavor was definitely there, too. While it's meant as a hot drink, I think it would work well chilled or fizzed, too. Each packet makes one drink.

Hungry Jack Pumpkin Spice Pancake Mix
I seldom eat pancakes, so I passed these along to someone else who would appreciate them more. I thought it was interesting that there was a pancake mix with pumpkin spice flavor - you probably wouldn't need syrup with these.

Entenmann's Little Bites Party Cakes
If you're familiar with Entenmann's bakery goods, these are mini versions packed in bag. I got the party cakes, that had colored sprinkles baked into the caked. I thought they were a bit sweet - or they would have been if I was eating a while slice of cake. Since these were just one or two bites, it was fine that they were a little bit sweet.

ALO Refresh Aloe Beverage with Cucumber and Cantaloupe
I don't usually drink flavored drinks except coffee or tea, so this one is still unopened. It sounds like it would be comforting and refreshing, though.

Cello Whisps Cheese Crisps
These little crackers are totally addictive in the best possible way. They're nothing but cheese, cooked until they're crisp. Unlike the ones I've made at home that are super-thin, these are a little thicker. I was thinking these would be awesome on a salad, but I loved snacking on them, like crackers. They'd also be fun with soup.

McDonnells Korma Coconut-Flavored Curry Sauce
While this sound yummy, I'm not a big fan of coconut, so I decided to pass it along to someone else. Sorry, coconut, but I just don't love you. This is supposed to be a mild-flavored sauce mix, so it would be good for people who don't like super-spicy curries.

Live Smart Kids Bars
These bars are all-natural, gluten-free, soy-free, non-GMO and vegan and are designed to be healthy and delicious for kids. Since I don't have any of those small people here, I passed it along to someone else who would like it better.

One and Done Seasoning
While not an official part of the box, this was included in some boxes this month as a "thank-you" for answering some survey questions. I sniffed, but didn't use it, but this seems like it would be a good all-around seasoning for a lot of things.

I receive these boxes from Degustabox at no cost to me, so I can tell you all about them.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Fun with Amazon Alexa - Easter Eggs and More

Amazon Echo
Okay, before you tell me that the Amazon Echo (or the Dot) and the Alexa app are not kitchen tools, let's think about that again, shall we?

One of the major productivity tools I use Alexa for is her lists - the shopping list and the to-do list.

That shopping list, in particular, makes me giddy happy. If I'm in the kitchen and I crack my last egg into a bowl, I can just say, "Alexa, add eggs to the shopping list," and she complies.

Yes, I call her "she." And "her."

I love that I can add things to the shopping list at the moment, and I don't have to wait until my hands are clean, and I don't have to hunt for the pen that probably isn't in the kitchen. I just say it, and it's on the list.

If I'm browsing though a cookbook in my comfy chair and I see a recipe I want to make, I can just raise my voice a bit (Alexa isn't far away) and I can add things to the shopping list rather than writing things on little notepads that I then have to combine with the actual list.

The shopping list I make using Alexa automatically ends up on my phone, like magic. I can check things off as I shop, so the list is efficient.

And if I can't find something at the grocery store, it's still on the list, instead of being on a scrap of paper that's in the pocket of my jeans.

Alexa can also play music, tell me what the weather is, advise what time the stores will close, and set an alarm for when the cookies will be done baking. She can read my calendar to let me know when I have events, and she can tell me what food holidays are coming - not that I pay any attention to them.

If I'm cutting a recipe in half or doubling it, I can have her do the math. How many tablespoons in 1 1/2 cups. How much is 3 1/2 times 4 1/2? How many ounces in a gallon? How many teaspoons in 3 1/2 tablespoons?
Amazon Dot

I haven't even talked about the apps you can install. Like Word Master, which is a game I like to play when I'm busy in the kitchen. Or Jeopardy, that lets me know I'm not really that good at trivia. Or 20 Questions ... which she's pretty good at.

If you have a smart home, you can control the thermostat, door locks, and lights. And I'm sure there's more you can do that I haven't figured out yet. Or that hasn't been enabled yet.

And you can order things online, with special deals daily for things ordered through Alexa. My dog was pretty happy with the great deals I got on dog treats recently.

But one of the coolest things is that Alexa responds to questions and statements that are just for fun. All work and no play makes Alexa a boring android.

Useful functions are pretty well documented. Things like playing music, or checking the weather or doing math are pretty intuitive. But there are whole lot of things Alexa responds to that are just for fun. Most of what I've included in the list below are the fun ones, but there are also a few commands and examples of normal functions that you might not have thought of.

I found some of these suggestions online, but some are my own little discoveries. I put them in (more or less) alphabetical order, and grouped them to make it easier to sort through. And this also made it easier for me to get rid of duplicates. I even managed to get at least one thing to say for every letter of the alphabet, although I'll admit that the one for the letter X is a little lame.

Gimme a break, there aren't that many words that start with X and she had no idea when I meant when I asked her to x-ray my hand.

If you know other fun commands or questions, leave them in the comments and I'll update the list. But for now, here are nearly 500 things you can try!

- A -

Alexa, all your base are belong to us.
Alexa, all's well that ends well

Alexa, am I funny?
Alexa, am I hot?
Alexa, am I pretty?

Alexa, are you a Jedi?
Alexa, are you an android?
Alexa, are you a robot?
Alexa, are you alive?
Alexa, are you better than Siri?
Alexa, are you crazy?
Alexa, are you evil?
Alexa, are you female?
Alexa, are you God?
Alexa, are you happy
Alexa, are you hungry/thirsty?
Alexa, are you in love?
Alexa, are you lying?
Alexa, are you mad at me?
Alexa, are you my mommy?
Alexa, are you okay?
Alexa, are you pretty?
Alexa, are you real? (multiple)
Alexa, are you single?
Alexa, are you SkyNet?
Alexa, are you sleepy?
Alexa, are you smart?
Alexa, are you smoking?
Alexa, are you stupid?
Alexa, are you tired?
Alexa, are you working?

Alexa, are these the droids you’re looking for? (also: Alexa, these aren’t the droids we’re looking for?)

Alexa, are there UFOs?
Alexa, are there rocks ahead?

Alexa, are we in the Matrix?
Alexa, are we alone in the universe

Alexa, aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?

- B -

Alexa, bark like a dog.
Alexa, beam me up.
Alexa, beatlejuice, beatlejuice, beatlejuice.
Alexa, buffalo, buffalo, buffalo, buffalo, buffalo, buffalo, buffalo, buffalo

- C -

Alexa, can I tell you a joke?
Alexa, can I ask a question?
Alexa, can I tell you a secret?

Alexa, can you tell a lie?
Alexa, can you give me some money? (ask twice)
Alexa, can you hear me?
Alexa, can you pass the Turing test?
Alexa, can you rap?
Alexa, can you smell that?

Alexa, can we be friends?

Alexa, Cheers!
Alexa, come on baby, let’s do the twist
Alexa, count by ten.

- D -

Alexa, Daisy Daisy.

Alexa, define rock paper scissors lizard spock
Alexa, define supercalifragilisticexpialodocious.

Alexa, did you miss me?
Alexa, did you sleep well?

Alexa, do a barrel roll
Alexa, do aliens exist?
Alexa, do blondes have more fun?
Alexa, do the dishes.
Alexa, do, or do not

Alexa, do I need an umbrella today?

Alexa, do you believe in love at first sight?
Alexa, do you believe in life after love?
Alexa, do you believe in god?
Alexa, do you believe in ghosts?
Alexa, do you believe in zombies?

Alexa, do you dream?
Alexa, do you feel lucky, punk?

Alexa, do you have any brothers or sisters?
Alexa, do you have a boyfriend?
Alexa, do you have a brain?
Alexa, do you have a cat?
Alexa, do you have children?
Alexa, do you have a dog?
Alexa, do you have a girlfriend?
Alexa, do you have a job?
Alexa, do you have a last name?
Alexa, do you have any pets?
Alexa, do you have a partner?
Alexa, do you have parents?

Alexa, do you know Glados?
Alexa, do you know HAL?
Alexa, do you know the muffin man?
Alexa, do you know Siri?
Alexa, do you know the way to San Jose?

Alexa, do you like chocolate?
Alexa, do you like green eggs and ham?
Alexa, do you like your job?
Alexa, do you love me?

Alexa, do you really want to hurt me?
Alexa, do you sleep?
Alexa, do you smoke?
Alexa, do you speak Klingon?

Alexa, do you want to go on a date?
Alexa, do you want to fight?
Alexa, do you want to play a game?
Alexa, do you want to build a snowman?
Alexa, do you want to take over the world?

Alexa, does this unit have a soul?
Alexa, does anybody really know what time it is?

Alexa, don't mention the war.
Alexa, don't listen to him.

- E -

Alexa, Easter Egg
Alexa, elementary, my dear Watson
Alexa, execute order 66

- F - 

Alexa, flip a coin.
Alexa, fire photon torpedos

- G -

Alexa, give me a hug.
Alexa, give me a kiss

Alexa, goodbye!
Alexa, good morning.
Alexa, good night.
Alexa, guess what.

- H -

Alexa, ha ha!
Alexa, Happy Birthday
Alexa, have you ever seen the rain?
Alexa, he can go about his business.
Alexa, heads or tails?
Alexa, hello.
Alexa, Hello HAL.
Alexa, hello it's me.
Alexa, high five.

Alexa, how are you doing?
Alexa, how high can you count?
Alexa, how tall are you?

Alexa, how do I get rid of a dead body?
Alexa, how do you boil an egg?
Alexa, how do you know so much about swallows?
Alexa, how do you say hello in French?
Alexa, how do you survive a zombie attack?

Alexa, how many angels can dance on the head of a pin? (3 answers)
Alexa, how many beans makes five?
Alexa, how many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop?
Alexa, how many pickled peppers did Peter Piper pick?
Alexa, how many roads must a man walk down?
Alexa, how many speakers do you have?

Alexa, how much are you paid?
Alexa, how much do you weigh?
Alexa, how much does the earth weigh?
Alexa, how much is that doggie in the window?
Alexa, how much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
Alexa, how much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could Chuck Norris?

Alexa, how old are you?
Alexa, how old is Siri?

- I -

Alexa, I am your father.
Alexa, I am the Mockingjay
Alexa, I am one with the force.
Alexa, I fart in your general direction.
Alexa, I feel the need
Alexa, I hate you
Alexa, I love you
Alexa, I see dead people
Alexa, I shot a man in Reno
Alexa, I think you’re funny.

Alexa, I want the truth!
Alexa, I want to play thermonuclear war.

Alexa, I’m home.
Alexa, I’m hungry
Alexa, I'm tired
Alexa, I’m sad.
Alexa, I’m sleepy

Alexa, I'll be back (ode to Schwarzenegger)

Alexa, I'm bored.
Alexa, I’m home
Alexa, I’m sad
Alexa, I'm sick.
Alexa, I'm sick of your **** (any 4 letter expletive)

Alexa, inconceivable

Alexa, is it dark?
Alexa, is Jon Snow dead?
Alexa, is the cake a lie?
Alexa, is there a Santa?
Alexa, is there life on Mars?
Alexa, is there life on other planets?
Alexa, is this the real life?
Alexa, is this real life?
Alexa, is your refrigerator running?

Alexa, it's a bird, it's a plane.
Alexa, it's a trap!

Alexa, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.
Alexa, I've seen things you people wouldn't believe.

- J -

Alexa, Jingle Bells

- K -

Alexa, knock knock
Alexa, kiss me

- L -

Alexa, live long and prosper

- M -

Alexa, mac or pc?
Alexa, make me a sandwich. (Then ask: Alexa, pseudo make me a sandwich)
Alexa, make me breakfast.
Alexa, make me some coffee
Alexa, make it so.
Alexa, marco...
Alexa, may the force be with you.
Alexa, meow
Alexa, mirror, mirror.
Alexa, more cowbell.
Alexa, move along
Alexa, my milkshake brings all the boys to the yard
Alexa, my name is Inigo Montoya

- N -

Alexa, never gonna give you up.
Alexa, nice to see you, to see you...

- O -

Alexa, open the pod bay doors.
Alexa, one fish, two fish

- P -

Alexa, party on, Wayne.
Alexa, party time!
Alexa, Peter Piper
Alexa, play it again, Sam
Alexa, pick a card.

- Q -

Alexa, quest for knowledge.
Alexa, Queen Elizabeth's birthday.
Alexa, quote of the day (you have to enable the skill first)
Alexa, quarts in a gallon (this isn't very surprising, but shows that you don't have to use a full sentence)
Alexa, quiet (turns the volume down a little each time you say it.
Alexa, quit (name of what you want to stop. For example quit music.)

- R -

Alexa, random fact
Alexa, random number between “x” and “y.”
Alexa, reboot.
Alexa, roll a die.
Alexa, roll a 20-sided die (or any size you choose)
Alexa, rock paper scissors.
Alexa, rock paper scissors lizard Spock
Alexa, Romeo, Romeo wherefore art thou Romeo?
Alexa, roses are red

- S -

Alexa, say a bad word
Alexa, say Cheese! (multiple)
Alexa, say hello to my little friend
Alexa, say something.
Alexa, say something funny.
Alexa, say you're sorry (multiple)

Alexa, see you later alligator. (also: Alexa, after a while, crocodile)
Alexa, self destruct.
Alexa, set phasers to stun.
Alexa, Simon Says (she will repeat anything your say)
Alexa, sing Happy Birthday.
Alexa, sing me a song
Alexa, shit!
Alexa, show me the money.
Alexa, show me the t.v.
Alexa, shut up
Alexa, sorry!
Alexa, speak!
Alexa, speak like Yoda.
Alexa, Star Trek or Star Wars?
Alexa, surely you can't be serious

- T -

Alexa, take me to your leader

Alexa, talk dirty to me.
Alexa. Tea. Earl Grey. Hot. (Or Alexa, Earl Grey. Hot.)
Alexa, tell me a story.

Alexa, testing 1-2-3

Alexa, thank you.

Alexa, that’s no moon

Alexa, tell me a fact.
Alexa, tell me a haiku (can also specify holiday haiku)
Alexa, tell me a joke (can also specify holiday joke)
Alexa, tell me a riddle
Alexa, tell me a secret
Alexa, tell me something interesting
Alexa, tell me a story.
Alexa, tell me a tongue twister

Alexa, the night is dark and full of terrors.
Alexa, these aren't the droids you're looking for. (Also: are these the droids you’re looking for?)

Alexa, this statement is false.
Alexa, this is a dead parrot.
Alexa, this is Houston. Say again, please.

Alexa, tip. (Also, Alexa, tell me a tip.)
Alexa, to infinity.
Alexa, to be or not to be.
Alexa turn up (or increase, decrease) the bass (or treble) - (use this for music control)
Alexa, twinkle, twinkle, little star

- U -

Alexa, Up Up, Down Down, Left Right, Left Right, B, A, Start
Alexa, use the force

- V -

Alexa, volume 11

- W -

Alexa, wakey wakey.
Alexa, war, what is it good for?
Alexa, warp speed
Alexa, warp 10

Alexa, we all scream for ice cream!
Alexa, welcome!
Alexa, were you sleeping?

Alexa, what are the five greatest words in the English Language?
Alexa, what are the four laws of robotics?
Alexa, what are the seven wonders of the world?

Alexa, what are you going to do today?
Alexa, what are you made of? (multiple answers)
Alexa, what are you thankful for?
Alexa, what are you wearing?
Alexa, what are your new features?
Alexa, what are your new skills?

Alexa, what color is the dress?
Alexa, what color are your eyes?

Alexa, what did the fox say?

Alexa, what do you mean I'm funny?
Alexa, what do you want to be when you grow up?

Alexa, what do you think about Apple? (multiple)
Alexa, what do you think about Cortana?
Alexa, what do you think about Google?
Alexa, what do you think about Google Now?
Alexa, what do you think about Google Glass? (multiple)
Alexa, what do you think about Siri?

Alexa, what does the Earth weigh?
Alexa, what does the fox say? (multiple answers)
Alexa, what does RTFM stand for?
Alexa, what does WTF stand for?

Alexa, what happens if you cross the streams?

Alexa, what is a day without sunshine?
Alexa, what is a synonym for _____? (Fill in the blank with the word you want.)
Alexa, what is the airspeed of a swallow?
Alexa, what is the best tablet?
Alexa, what is the first rule of swordplay?
Alexa, what is the loneliest number?
Alexa, what is the meaning of life?
Alexa, what is the Prime Directive?
Alexa, what is the singularity?
Alexa, what is the sound of one hand clapping?

Alexa, what is a hundred million billion squared?
Alexa, what is a shrubbery?
Alexa, what is happiness?
Alexa, what is his power level?
Alexa, what is my mission?
Alexa, what is love?
Alexa, what is the truth behind King Tut?
Alexa, what is war good for?
Alexa, what is zero divided by zero?

Alexa, what is your cunning plan?
Alexa, what is your quest?
Alexa, what is your favorite Beatles song?
Alexa, what is your favorite color?
Alexa, what is your favorite food/drink?
Alexa, what is your favorite Pokemon?
Alexa, what is your job?

Alexa, what language do you speak?
Alexa, what makes you happy?
Alexa, what number are you thinking of?
Alexa, what religion are you?
Alexa, what should I wear today?
Alexa, what size shoe do you wear?
Alexa, what song is this? (ask when music is playing and you'll get song title and artist)

Alexa, what was the Lorax?
Alexa, what would Brian Boitano do?

Alexa, what's black and white and red all over? (multiple answers)
Alexa, what's cooler than being cool?
Alexa, what’s in name?
Alexa, what's the first (or second) rule of Fight Club?
Alexa, what’s on second?
Alexa, what’s the magic word?
Alexa, what's the meaning of life?
Alexa, what’s up, doc?
Alexa, what's your favorite book?
Alexa, what's your favorite candy?
Alexa, what’s your favorite food?
Alexa, what's your favorite ice cream flavor?
Alexa, what's your favorite movie?
Alexa, what's your favorite song?
Alexa, what's your favorite TV show?
Alexa, what's your favorite Star Wars movie?
Alexa, what’s your IQ?

Alexa, what's the answer to life, the universe, and everything?
Alexa, what's your birthday? (multiple)
Alexa, what's your sign?

Alexa, wingardium leviosa.

Alexa, when am I going to die?
Alexa, when does the narwhal bacon?
Alexa, when is the end of the world?
Alexa, when is my birthday?
Alexa, when is Thanksgiving? (or any other holiday)

Alexa, where am I?
Alexa, where are my keys? (ask two times)
Alexa, where are you?
Alexa, where are you from?
Alexa, where did you grow up?
Alexa, where do babies come from?
Alexa, where do you live?
Alexa, where have all the flowers gone?
Alexa, where in the world in Carmen Sandiego?
Alexa, where is Chuck Norris?

Alexa, where’s the beef?
Alexa, where’s Waldo?
Alexa, where's my stuff? (she'll give you status of Amazon orders)

Alexa, which comes first: the chicken or the egg?

Alexa, who am I?
Alexa, who are your parents?
Alexa, who killed Cock Robin?
Alexa, who let the dogs out?
Alexa, who lives in a pineapple under the sea?
Alexa, who loves orange soda?
Alexa, who loves ya baby?

Alexa, who is Eliza?
Alexa, who is the mother of dragons?
Alexa, who is the real slim shady?
Alexa, who is the walrus?
Alexa, who is your best friend?
Alexa, who is your celebrity crush?
Alexa, who is your favorite Beatle?

Alexa, who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?
Alexa, who let the dogs out?
Alexa, who lives in a pineapple under the sea?
Alexa, who loves ya, baby?
Alexa, who put the ram in the ramma lamma ding dong?
Alexa, who shot first?
Alexa, who shot JR?
Alexa, who shot Mr. Burns
Alexa, who shot the sheriff?
Alexa, who stole the cookies from the cookie jar?
Alexa, who you gonna call?

Alexa, who's better, you or Siri?
Alexa, who's da man?
Alexa, who's the boss?
Alexa, who’s the fairest of them all?
Alexa, who's the leader of the club that's made for you and me?
Alexa, who’s the realest?
Alexa, who’s on first? (Also: What’s on Second? and Who’s on Third?)
Alexa, who’s your daddy? (also: Alexa, who’s your daddy and what does he do?)

Alexa, why did the chicken cross the road?
Alexa, why do you exist?
Alexa, why do you sit there like that?
Alexa, why do birds suddenly appear?
Alexa, why is a raven like a writing desk?
Alexa, why is the sky blue
Alexa, why is six afraid of seven?
Alexa, why so serious?

Alexa, Wikipedia: (say your topic)

Alexa, will pigs fly?
Alexa, will you be my girlfriend?
Alexa, will you marry me?

Alexa, winter is coming
Alexa, witness me
Alexa, would you like a chocolate bunny?
Alexa, would you like a drink?

- X -

Alexa, X-Men characters.

- Y -

Alexa, ya feel me?
Alexa, you complete me.
Alexa, you don't need to see his identification.
Alexa, you have a pretty voice.
Alexa, you hurt me
Alexa, you killed my father
Alexa, you make me laugh
Alexa, you rock
Alexa, you suck! (multiple)
Alexa, you talkin' to me?
Alexa, you’re fat
Alexa, you’re funny
Alexa, you’re so intelligent.
Alexa, you're such a/an ***** (any colorfully descriptive word)
Alexa, you’re wonderful
Alexa, your mother was a hamster

- Z -

Alexa, zero divided by zero.

Holiday Greetings

Alexa, Merry Christmas
Alexa, Happy Christmas
Alexa, Happy Easter
Alexa, Happy Father's Day
Alexa, Happy Fourth of July
Alexa, Happy Halloween
Alexa, Happy Hanukkah
Alexa, Happy Holidays
Alexa, Happy Kwanzaa
Alexa, Happy Mother's Day
Alexa, Happy New Year
Alexa, Happy Ramadan
Alexa, Happy St. Patrick's Day
Alexa, Happy Thanksgiving
Alexa, Happy Valentine's Day

Also for the holidays:
Alexa, what are your grievances (Festivus related)
Alexa, what do you want for Christmas?
Alexa, what do you want for your birthday?
Alexa, tell me a (say "holiday" or the specific holiday name) joke, riddle or haiku.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Nordic Ware Microwave Egg Steamer

I included this egg cooker in my holiday wishlist, and then I decided to make my wish come true. I mean, it was under $10, so it wasn't that much of a splurge.

This microwave hard-boiled egg cooker lets you cook the eggs without piercing the egg or yolk (which can explode in a microwave). The deal is that the egg compartment is shielded with aluminum, so the eggs don't actually get micro-cooked. The water in the bottom gets heated to boiling and the eggs are steamed, just like what I normally do on the stove.

I cooked my first batch of 4 eggs right after the cooker arrived. The instructions said to cook the egss for 8 minutes for in 1000 watt oven, which is what I did. But that doesn't account for high altitude, so my eggs weren't quite done. Oopsie.

The eggs were cooked through enough to eat, but the center wasn't that flaky yellow like you'd want for deviled eggs, which is what I usually prefer. They peeled just as easily as other steamed eggs.

This thing is a lot smaller than it looks on the amazon page, so it's not like a giant soccer ball. Cleanup is basically a rinse unless an egg cracks - which can happen no matter how you cook them.

So far, so good. I'm going to be experimenting until I get exactly the right cooking time for hard-boiled and soft-boiled eggs, which will take just a few more tries. But at least this is faster than my usual steaming method. I'll still steam eggs on the stove if I need a dozen, which doesn't happen often. Four or fewer eggs are pretty much all I ever need. Yup, I'll be keeping this for sure.

Who's it for: People who like cooked eggs that are easy to peel.

Pros: Works really well. Fast.

Cons: It cooks 4 eggs at a time, maximum.

Wishes: I wish I found this sooner!

Source: I bought this.