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January 14, 2018 |

Archive for » January 14th, 2018«

Walton’s new electronic items dominate foreign products at DITF

Various products made by the Bangladesh’s electronics giant Walton have been dominating over foreign products at the Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF) 2018.

Wanton is showcasing more than 700 models of various electronic products, including electrical home and kitchen appliances, mobile phones, laptops, computer accessories and industrial solutions, at the month-long fair in Sher-e-Bangla Nagar that began from January 1.

Shah Shahid Chowdhury, coordinator of Walton, said: “Our new products including LED smart TV, 4K spectra TV, Boom box TV, mobile phones, and laptops are very popular among the customers at the fair.

“By the end of the fair, I believe our sale will increase by 20% compared to last year.”

Shah Shahid added that Walton was now manufacturing various products at its own factory to meet the market demand.  The company also plans to export industrial solutions in the future.

“Our products are being exported to around 24 countries across the world. Amid the severe cold wave when it is difficult for people to come to the fair, we have sold our products to locals and foreigners. Some Korean buyers just came to our pavilion and praised our product quality,” he also said.

Shah Shahid added: “We are offering 7%-20% discount prices for some of our products. Besides, if anyone spends up to Tk10,000 and he/she can register for our draw and win Tk100000.”[ please ask whether the winner gets money or gifts worth the money]

Anisur Rahman, a buyer at DITF who came from Keraniganj said: “I have purchased a microwave energy [microwave oven???? Please ask Ovi bhai] from Walton with 7% discount. I had to spend Tk14,050 only.”

“I bought the product from here because Walton is a Bangladeshi company which sells quality products with low prices. Every year, I come to the fair, visit Walton’s store, and purchase something or the other.”

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Reflections: Something old, something new

On Christmas Day, I stopped at the recycle drop-off facility located behind our local baseball diamond. I had two bags of stuff and was tired of hearing them rattle around in the back of my Jeep. To my amazement, the six dumpsters were already jammed full. I would have expected this two or three days after the holiday but not on Christmas afternoon! Finally, after several attempts, I found one within which I was able to make my deposit.

A very dear friend once said, “Ed, you think too much.” But as I shifted into 4-wheel drive and drove out of the unplowed drop-off area, my mind was still contemplating the overflowing dumpsters. They were mainly filled with the usual debris of Christmas morning. There were boxes that once contained gifted bikes, toys, flat screen televisions, kitchen accessories and even a vacuum cleaner.

Hanging from the porthole-like openings were wadded up wrapping paper, crushed boxes, ribbons and discarded bows, all of which hours before had adorned beautifully wrapped packages. There was even an artificial Christmas tree, leaning against the backside of one of the dumpsters. As I observed the strands of tinsel blowing in the cold winter wind, I thought that there must be an interesting story behind its early demise.

During my many visits to the recycle site I often observed items left by their previous owner outside of the dumpsters. In the beginning I thought, “Oh how nice, the prior owner thought the next visitor might find a left-behind article useful and left it leaning against the side of the dumpster.” I naively assumed that it was an act of kindness or a sense of love for fellow man. At some point, I deduced that the only reason it wasn’t in the dumpster was because the item wouldn’t fit through the holes in the side of the dumpster. I guess that also explains the occasional mattress abandoned at the site.

Along with the discarded gift wrap and boxes, were old items that the gifts had replaced. There was a worn out Hot Wheels car — well-used and perhaps outgrown by its previous owner. Poking from one of the depository holes was a broken plastic snow sled, maybe used by a successful deer hunter to drag his 10-point buck from the woods.

As expected, but against the recycling rules, I spied several abandoned television sets, probably replaced by new and bigger digital flat screens. It didn’t take much of an imagination to picture a hard-working guy, in his recliner, wearing a red flannel Christmas shirt and drinking a cold Bud Light, while watching Monday night football on his new, big screen TV. Like an archeologist at an Egyptian pyramid dig site, the Fife Lake recycle site spoke volumes to a curious writer always on the lookout for that next column topic.

Ed Hungness and his wife are residents of Fife Lake. He can be reached at edhungness@yahoo.com or by mail at P.O. Box 57, Fife Lake, MI 49633.

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Home decor’s steamy new palette – messenger

While it seems like white, gray and other cool neutrals have taken over many shelter magazines and blogs in the past few seasons, there’s starting to be little rise in temperature.

Here and there, dollops of hothouse pink, sultry red and sunset orange are showing up in decorative accessories, rugs and upholstery.

Misty Yeomans, PPG’s color marketing manager for Glidden paint, says a recent company survey found that red is one of the most popular paint colors. That may be because of its range.

“Each red can give off different impressions,” she says. “A dark red implies sophistication, whereas bright red can be considered more powerful and romantic.”

Designers like Amanda Nisbet, Mark D. Sikes and Jessica McClendon have called Benjamin Moore’s Exotic Red, Sherwin-Williams’ Heartthrob, and Farrow and Ball’s Rectory Red among their favorite versions.

“Lighter reds — like pinks — are often thought of as more youthful,” says Yeomans.

That may partly explain the ubiquity of millennial pink, which has shown a lot of stamina over several decor cycles. But there are some new kids on the block.

“Looking ahead to 2018, we’re seeing a shift toward burgundy, and oranges are becoming brighter,” says Dee Schlotter, PPG’s senior color marketing manager.

Orange hues like Olympic Paints’ Orange Poppy and PPG Paints’ Caramelized Orange are cheerful and contemporary, she says.

Corals are also starting to emerge as a transition from the pinks, reports Yeomans, noting Glidden’s Coral Beach and Roseland as examples.

Color specialist Leatrice Eiseman, the author of “The Complete Color Harmony: Pantone Edition” (Rockport, October 2017), says decor trends are often an outgrowth of a desire for change. “And color can certainly provide the spark, specifically in the more vivid tones.”

A few of her favorites in the “hot” spectrum? “Pantone’s Cayenne, Molten Lava, Fuchsia Purple and Mimosa are all exuberant, dynamic and energizing hues,” she says. For those who want some heat, but not too much, she recommends peachy tones like Pantone’s Canyon Sunset or Coral Sands.

Benjamin-Moore just named Caliente, a rich spitfire of a red, as its 2018 Color of the Year.

There are lots of ways to bring these energetic colors into a room.

“You can easily tap into the trend by adding an accent wall,” Yeomans suggests. “If you’re not ready to add these bold tones to walls, the back of bookshelves, interior and exterior doors and accent furnishings provide great alternative spaces.”

Temper the heat with black, navy, gray, cream or green.

Not ready to paint? Consider a lamp. Lamps Plus’ Gillan glass base comes in lipstick-rich pinks and reds like Vivacious, Ribbon and Samba.

Sleek aluminum is given a coat of juicy orange paint to make a fresh and fun pendant lamp at Houzz . There are some smart little side tables in the hue here, too, in wood, glass or metal.

Add spice to the kitchen with red countertop appliances, canisters, bowls or linens. Or wade in deep with Kitchenaid ‘s or Smeg’s candy-apple-red ranges; Smeg and Viking also have red fridges.

Home Decorators’ Monte Carlo club chair comes in rich burnt orange or burgundy recycled leather. (www.homedepot.com )

At World Market , a traditional wing chair gets fuchsia velvet upholstery, and there’s a Persian-inspired area rug decked out in a vibrant geranium, poppy, tangerine and navy palette.

AllModern has a wide array of cotton, velvet and metallic throw pillows in solids and patterns that pick up hot pinks, tangerines and reds. Here too, a squooshy deep pink shag rug that’s got a warm, happy vibe.

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New owner of Tuscola Outlet Mall quiet about its plans – Champaign/Urbana News

Tuscola Outlet Mall sold.jpg



TUSCOLA — The Tuscola Outlet Mall is in a state of flux.

It was sold last month to a New York-based real-estate firm, and so far, the new owner hasn’t revealed its plans.

Meanwhile, four stores are closing this month.

Long Island-based Mason Asset Management bought the mall from New York City-based ADCO Group on Dec. 15 for $6.25 million, according to the Douglas County supervisor of assessments office.

ADCO bought it in 2015 from Tanger for $19 million, according to the Douglas County property-tax lookup website.

“I don’t know too much about them yet. We had a brief conversation with them, and we’re waiting to have another,” said Drew Hoel, Tuscola’s city administrator. “We’re always concerned about the viability of it. It’s a big piece of the local economy, and we want to see that it remains viable.”

The city had a redevelopment agreement with the previous owners of the 260,000-square-foot outlet mall, in which ADCO received reimbursement for certain capital improvement expenses and tenant build-out.

“They did some things, but they did not take full advantage of the incentives or reimbursements that were available for them,” Hoel said.

ADCO could not be reached for comment.

Hoel expects the new owner will want to be assigned to that agreement.

Mason Asset Management did not respond to multiple messages left with its president, Elliot Nassim. The company, founded in 2010, owns 92 malls, shopping centers and offices around the country, including at least nine in Illinois.

Among the closings: Corningware Corelle More, which sells cookware and kitchen accessories, is closing today. Vitamin World plans to shut its doors Tuesday. Clothing retailer J. Crew’s last day will be Jan. 27, the same day children’s clothing store OshKosh B’gosh plans to quit Tuscola. The latter, however, has plans for a new store at Champaign’s Market Place Mall, with an eye on a March opening.

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This Is the Last Pan You’ll Ever Need to Buy

Mostly it lives on my stovetop, ever ready to fry up perfect over-easy eggs, sear a couple of steaks, or blacken some fish. (In need of some more ideas for meals that can be made in a pan? There’s a cookbook for that. Check out A Man, A Pan, A Plan from the Men’s Health store.)

For recipes that finish with a roasting, it transitions easily from burner to oven (use mitts!).

It keeps my forearms strong because, damn, is it heavy; it could double as a weapon if need be.

It retains heat exceptionally well, great for searing, browning, and shallow frying. Best of all, nothing sticks to it—as long as you keep it properly seasoned.

Try making these skillet wings for dinner tonight:

Lodge sells the pans “pre-seasoned”—but take the time to season it before first use anyway. Buff it with oil—all over—then bake in a 450-degree oven for 30 minutes; repeat twice. Yes, it’s a pain, but to quote a certain shoe-wear company: Just do it. You’ll thank me later.

Then maintaining the seasoning is easy: Use a paper towel to spread a thin layer of oil on the interior surface of the dry pan (put it over medium-low first to remove all moisture). Then heat until smoking. Boom. Seasoned. I do this after every use (usually).

Unlike chemically treated cookware, cast iron only gets better with age. The more you use it, the better the seasoning becomes.

Cleaning is a cinch, too—just rinse while the pan is still hot. And on the rare occasion when something does stick? I use the scrubby side of a sponge and a little dish soap. I know, I know—blaspheme! But limit the soap to a few drops, and the precious seasoning will be fine. Just be sure not to scrub too hard (easy to do when you have such strong forearms).

I’ve had this pan for almost five years now, and I use it more than any other I’ve owned. The best part? It still looks like new. Which is to say, old—like it’s been passed down through many generations. And one day, I’m hoping it will be. After all, it’s basically indestructible. Grandpa would approve.

$15, Buy It Here

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These are the best food processors to suit all your cooking needs

When it comes to being more efficient in the kitchen, a food processor can make all the difference. These versatile machines can shred meat, puree beans, and chop onions, doing in mere seconds the tasks that would take far longer to do manually, saving you both time and energy when cooking. Whether you’re an amateur chef just getting started, you’re trying to make healthier meals at home, or you’re an experienced cook wanting to speed up the cooking process, there are many top-notch food processors on the market that can do the job effectively. We’ve done the work for you and rounded up the best of the best food processors that money can buy.

Cuisinart 13 Cup Food Processor

Why you should buy this: Cuisinart made food processors a standard appliance in the kitchen.

Who it’s for: Those looking for a no-frills, reliable food processor can have faith in this machine.

How much it’ll cost: $150

Why we picked the Cuisinart Prep 11 Plus Food Processor: Cuisinart was the brand that made food processors a standard machine to be found in kitchens everywhere. This 13-cup food processor from Cuisinart is as reliable as the older models, but it’s equipped for the 21st century, with touchscreen controls. These controls let you select among power on, power off, pulse, and dough. This versatile machine is perfect for those who like experimenting with all kinds of cooking, as the slicing disc, shredding disc, and blade make it easy to chop, mix, knead, and blend just about anything. For those who do a lot of baking, they will like knowing that the dough speed adjusts automatically to the amount and consistency of the flour, so you always get the perfect dough for bread, rolls, and other baked goods.

Hamilton Beach Food Processor

Why you should buy this: This option is budget-friendly, making it a great first food processor.

Who it’s for: Just getting into food processing? This is a great option for amateur cooks.

How much it’ll cost: $30

Why we picked the Hamilton Beach Food Processor: While food processors may be a handy addition to your kitchen counter, some are pricey due to all the fancy features they offer, many of which you might never use. This Hamilton Beach machine is easy on the wallet, and it works just as effectively as many higher-end models.The bowl holds 10 cups, so it is large enough to handle most standard dinner recipes. The food processor also has an additional interesting feature: the lid flips over to help you store the machine in more compact spaces. Lack of counter space can’t be your excuse for not trying out food processing anymore!

Ninja Mega Kitchen System

Why you should buy this: This dual-purpose machine is a blender and food processor in one.

Who it’s for: Got limited counter space? This machine does double-duty.

How much it’ll cost: $435

Why we picked the Ninja Mega Kitchen System: If you’re taking stock of your kitchen counter and realizing you don’t have much space to work with, this machine by Ninja is perfect. It combines a food processor and blender into one, thus freeing up valuable kitchen space. The 72-ounce pitcher and eight-cup food processor are large enough for most recipes, from that Monday night casserole to Sunday night meal prep. The machine also comes with two 16-ounce travel cups, which are great for taking drinks on the go. The high-quality stainless steel blades hold up well over time, so you can count on using the device for years to come.

KitchenAid Food Processor Attachment

Why you should buy this: This attachment can turn your existing mixer into a double-duty machine.

Who it’s for: Already have a KitchenAid stand mixer? You’ll want this add-on device.

How much it’ll cost: $148

Why we picked the KitchenAid Food Processor Attachment: If you want to try using a food processor but don’t have the additional kitchen space to dedicate to it, this attachment works with a KitchenAid stand mixer, if you have one. The attachment fits the front of any KitchenAid stand mixer, using the mixer’s power to shred, dice, and chop any ingredients you might need. There’s also an external lever you can use to change the slicing thickness, depending on what recipe you’re working with. With this attachment, you’ll be turning your KitchenAid stand mixer into an even more powerful machine that now does double duty.

KitchenAid Mini Food Processor

Why you should buy this: It’s one of the most lightweight and portable food processors available.

Who it’s for: Don’t have a lot of kitchen space? This machine is perfect.

How much it’ll cost: $50

Why we picked the KitchenAid Mini Food Processor: Want to try out food processing, but don’t exactly see yourself making massive stews and large pies? This tiny food processor could be just what you’re looking for. It’s the ideal size for making salsas and dressings, and it will also chop herbs and other smaller tasks. The bowl, lid, and blade are safe for the dishwasher, so your cleanup job will be pretty easy. Plus, if you don’t have valuable countertop real estate to spare, this food processor does the job without taking up much space.

Thermomix Holiday Bundle

Why you should buy this: It’s a high-powered, high-end food processor that does the job extremely well.

Who it’s for: If you want a device that combines 12 into one, this is it.

How much it’ll cost: $1,448

Why we picked the Thermomix Holiday Bundle: You could call this a food processor, but it’s really more of a high-powered, versatile machine that also happens to have the functions of a food processor. This Thermomix can do just about any task you’d want to do in the kitchen. It has 12 different functions: Mixing, chopping, milling, kneading, blending, steaming, cooking, whisking, precise heating, stirring and emulsifying. With so many abilities, it has myriad uses, and you will likely soon find it to be your most-used kitchen tool. Plus, with the holiday bundle, you also receive a cookbook and cake stand for free.




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At CES and KBIS, connected smart appliances begin to deliver a smarter kitchen

This week, CES 2018 descended upon Las Vegas, while at the same time, another industry show, the Kitchen and Bath International Show (KIBS), brought all sorts of innovation to Orlando, Florida. Appliance makers such as GE and Samsung were split between the two, but there was at least one trend that united almost every manufacturer we saw at either show: guided cooking is coming to your kitchen.

Step-by-step

Only a few years ago, “guided cooking” was relegated to countertop smart appliances and accessories that could take amateur chefs through every step of a recipe. Through the use of apps or built-in touchscreens, the Hestan Cue, Thermomix, and Drop Kitchen Scale helped cooks by setting themselves to the right temperature, automatically stirring contents at the right speed and duration, and giving exact measurements far more accurate than a measuring cup could.

While smart fridges, ranges, and ovens have been on the market for years, they’re just now catching up with what putting connectivity in a major appliance might mean for busy people. In addition to Wi-Fi, manufacturers are also adding full-color touchscreens, like the new GE Profile wall ovens, which have a 7-inch LCD touchscreen. The promise has always been that someday your fridge will be able to choose a recipe for you based on your preferences and the groceries you actually have stocked inside, then send it to your oven for preheating, while on one of your many screens, videos play to help you master unfamiliar techniques. According to companies such as Whirlpool, we’re practically there.

Whirlpool has acquired Yummly, an app that finds recipes based on your likes and dislikes, as well as skill level and time commitment. At CES 2018, Whirlpool announced that Yummly 2.0 will integrate with some of its smart ovens. The new version of the app has improved image-recognition technology so it can take an inventory of your food and order anything missing from Instacart. Tutorials and videos are integrated into the app, which can also send instructions to a connected oven or microwave. If your recipe calls for two cups of water, it can send a message to your smart fridge, which will dispense just the right amount when you’re ready with your cup.

Smart appliances are taking advantage of step-by-step recipe apps to make cooking less stressful.

Lots of appliance makers announced similar integrations with different apps at CES or KBIS this year. Bosch said its smart Home Connect appliances — including those from Thermador — will soon get a boost from food platform Kitchen Stories, which the company acquired. Similar to Yummly, it offers how-to videos and detailed instructions, and will be able to send heating instructions to smart ovens.

Meanwhile, LG is pairing with Innit and SideChef for its connected appliances. Innit, a platform that wants to “digitize food” to help make it easier to track it from its source to your home, then assist you with cooking it, has already partnered with Bosch and GE. Not only will SideChef’s app read aloud its directions for you, it wants to help even those who are afraid of the stove learn to cook, so it will teach you how to boil water, if you need that level of help. A lot of this lends itself to voice-assistance integration, and you may also be able to ask Amazon Alexa and Google Home to help you through some of these steps, based on what appliance you have.

Boy meats world

Amazon would love you to use its Echo Show as a kitchen assistant, so you can view videos and ask Alexa to read you through the steps. GE announced its own vision of a cooking-centric screen at CES: a Kitchen Hub that goes above your stove. Not only does it work with Alexa and Google Assistant, it acts like an Echo Show in that it plays videos, lets you listen to playlists, and controls Zigbee and Z-Wave smart home devices. Samsung and LG put their hubs into fridges with screens and voice control.

With something like GE’s PT9051SLSS and PT9551SLSS wall ovens, the idea of guided cooking is a bit more oven-centric. On the touchscreen, you can choose the “precision cooking” option, and it will take you through the rest. Let it know what type of food you’re cooking (meat, vegetable, bread, and so on), and it will drill down into the category, figuring out preferences for how well done you’d like your steak, for example.

From there, it will tell you which rack to put it on and what type of pan to use. This may not appeal to a seasoned chef (and they have the option of using it like a regular, old oven), but it could certainly help some novices. After launching with a couple hundred recipes, GE can push new ones to the oven via an update over Wi-Fi.

Even if you’re just heating up a frozen pizza, Whirlpool says you’ll get a benefit from its Scan-to-Cook feature.

You may think it’s pointless to have an oven that sets itself to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, but the real benefit comes with multistep cooking. Even if you’re just heating up a frozen pizza, Whirlpool says you’ll get a benefit from its Scan-to-Cook feature; use the app to scan the barcode, and it will ask you if you prefer your pizza chewy or crispy. Either way, it will send the exact directions to your smart oven. If you do want a crispier crust, the oven will automatically turn the broiler on for a bit at the end to blast the pizza from above and make it a little browner than usual — all without you having to do anything.

Imagine what a smart oven can do for something more complicated. Innit has said it can cut the cooking time for ribs from 3.5 hours to 58 minutes by changing the temperature in an oven several times in the same way a professional chef would.

Family matters

Unless you’re making a frozen meal, cooking is going to involve more than just your oven or microwave. That fact has behooved smaller devices to partner with appliance makers; the Drop scale works with GE, for example. But it also benefits the appliance makers to be open to Amazon and Google, as well as platforms such as Innit.




Right now, the sticking point in the connected kitchen experience is the stovetop. Controlling the temperature in your oven is one thing, but controlling the burners on top is another. Until appliance manufacturers start making connected cooktops, there’s a stopgap of products such as FirstBuild’s Paragon, the Hestan Cue, and Buzzfeed’s Tasty One Top — all connected induction countertop cookers. It’s one reason why Frigidaire’s upcoming freestanding induction range is so exciting — it will cost under $1,000, when all others on the U.S. market are over $1,500.

Induction lends itself to precise temperature control better than gas or radiant heating, so hopefully we’ll see more ranges that actually make use of smart technology inside and out in the near future. For safety reasons, we’d never expect to be able to use an app or voice command to turn on a stove remotely, of course, but simply control it once it’s already on. (The Hestan Cue turns on via app, but it operates via Bluetooth, so you have to be right there when you do it.)

We expect to see more integration from food producers to push forward a more fully integrated kitchen.

And while small appliances have roles to play in the connected kitchen, too, we expect to see more integration from food producers to push forward a more fully integrated kitchen first. Amazon is pushing its Dash Buttons and replenishment services as ways of keeping tabs on your groceries, and pretty much every connected fridge we saw at KBIS this year had cameras inside to let you check whether you have orange juice via an app while you’re at the store.

Samsung says the new version of its Family Hub fridge will have a better meal-planning app that takes into account what you have on hand. But inventorying it all is still a bit of a pain and focusing on the fridge ignores what’s in your pantry. There are solutions such as connected canisters, but they’re pricey and the experience isn’t seamless or integrated enough to make it a game changer.

While all these appliances might excel at helping you make individual dishes, actually making a whole meal is still a bit of a challenge. Ideally, you’d have one app that tells you how many onions to cut for all three dishes you’re making, not just the first one. And then it would let you know to preheat the oven for the roasted vegetables, even though you’re actually browning the meat for the pasta sauce. There’s a lot of potential for meal kit delivery services here, which do this in written form on the included card for a single night’s meal.

It might also alleviate some of the grocery integration headaches, as they deliver exactly what you need for a specific number of dinners, so you don’t have to worry about the extra broccoli going bad in the crisper drawer. Chef’d is one such meal delivery service, and it’s already partnered with SideChef; it wouldn’t be too far of a leap for it to extend that to LG and have its ovens primed for instruction when you’re ready to start cooking the kit.

It’s not quite the era of the connected kitchen, though it is on the horizon. It seems like we’re almost at a tipping point where it’s harder to find an appliance without smart technology than to find one that has it built-in. From a manufacturer’s standpoint, it makes sense: They can deliver improvements via over-the-air updates, get data about how you’re using the appliance, and troubleshoot problems before sending out a repairperson.

And while some of the features may be exciting or intriguing to busy parents or reluctant cooks, people have concerns, especially over safety — and not just the potential for hacking. “I don’t want my toddler telling Alexa to turn on my oven,” someone told us at KBIS.




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