I am a sucker for design

I have been in London recently and I was walking around when I got my eyes on these little beauties:

bros

 

They are the Sound Square and the Juice Cube.

The Sound Square is a portable loudspeaker compatible with many devices, including iPhone, iPod, iPad, Android phones and so on.

Sound Cube

It connects via Bluetooth or through the supplied micro-USB-3,5mm-USB cable. It is really easy to operate: just turn on the Bluetooth setting and it makes a funny sci-fi robot sound, turn on your device’s Bluetooth and when you find SoundSq, pair it. If you prefer, you can use the supplied cable to connect the loudspeaker to a sound exit.

Bluetooth ON

You can adjust the volume through your your device. The Sound Cube holds a lithium battery that can last for 6 hours on Bluetooth or 10 hours with cable connection, then you can recharge it via the supplied cable connected to either your PC or a USB charger.

It even comes with its own little drawstring bag, where you can keep it while on the road.

The sound quality is good for such a tiny thing! I didn’t expect much, but I was surprised to find out it is actually OK, though of course, no Bose sound system. It is good when you are travelling, or when you have limited space (or money).

Its little brother is an emergency battery for when you run out of juice on your smart devices while out and about. It is a tiny plastic cube with a mini-USB socket for charging it and a regular USB socket for charging your desired device.

Juice Cube

In the box you’ll find a USB cable with several tips according to your desired device, but you can, of course, use the device’s original USB cable.

If you shake the cube, the four LEDs on its back turn on according to how much power is left. Neat!

LEDs

 

(sorry it’s blurred, but that’s the best I could do)

You charge the 2000 mAh cube at home, through the mini-USB, and when you need it, you can connect it to your device and it immediately starts charging like it does when connected to the mains. It holds a full charge for my iPhone and about 25% leftover.

Both items are designed by British company Gusto (www.gustotelecom.com), and “ethically made in China”; they come in several fun colours: classic black and white, fuchsia, blue, green, red and yellow.

I loved them so much, I had to stop myself from buying different ones. They are good quality and feel solid in your hands, and I think their performance is also solid for their price range.

I am happy of my purchase!

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Microwave Diva

Oh yes, I finally got a microwave. You may not believe it, but, luddite-like, we have steered clear of one until recently. We mostly used it for defrosting and re-heating when we first got it, as we were of course, not very good at cooking with it, you know what it’s like: rubbery potatoes, dry cauliflowers… the lot.

But I’m a sucker for design. (What the… I hear you wondering) Well, I caught sight of the Lékué Steam Case, and even though I didn’t think much of it to start with, I was sold afterwards. It looks really cool (it was designed by Luki Huber) and, with a microwave, it makes sense: it’s like cooking “en papillote”, but super fast. You could achieve the same effect by wrapping your food in non-stick paper, but the Steam Case is easier, re-usable, and it is more “sauce-friendly”.

picture courtesy of lekue.es

You can use it with the tray to steam your food, or without it, if you prefer to cook it with some kind of sauce, or just in its own juices.

The most recent addition to my collection is the Ogya, a brand new “microwave pot” where you can make risotto, soup and other “soupy” dishes (had it been on the market before, I would probably have just bought this).

picture courtesy of lekue.es

It’s really neat, even if I didn’t think risotto could be made in the microwave and be palatable… Well, I was wrong. I made a very nice mushroom risotto in just 15 minutes.

And then the last gadget, the Steam Roaster. This is basically a silicone bowl, where you can season or otherwise prep your food. The good thing is that, being flexible and having a lip and a slit, you can then fold the bowl to close it and cook your food in it. You use this if you want a crispier coat for your steamed food.

picture courtesy of lekue.es

I know the big question is: Is it safe?

Well, all Lékué cookware is made of Platinum Silicone, so it is safe for food contact, and is tested for high temperatures. Silicon (the main component of silicone) is an inert material in itself, but it needs to be vulcanized to be used, and here’s where bad things can happen. Some companies use low grade, cheaper materials for this process, and while this is perfectly fine for non-food-grade silicone, it’s a no-no for cookware, as such cheaper materials are usually harmful and can release particles in your food, which you really don’t want. On the contrary, platinum silicone is the best quality and uses only platinum as a catalyzer (and you pay for it); is used also in surgery materials, baby bottle nipples and so on.

I am just so surprised by how good some of the dishes I cooked tasted, that I thought I’d share this with you 🙂 Enjoy.