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Best Father’s Day gifts: 40 things your dad won’t buy for himself

Image: mashable photo composite

Dads often get shit for dad jokes and being bad at texting, but father figures have another thing in common besides thinking terrible puns are hilarious: They’re some of the most selfless people in the world.

TBH, a lot of us wouldn’t know how to live on our own if it wasn’t for those father figures who taught us — this goes for uncles, step-dads, or anyone who stepped up to take on that role. And though he probably insists that you don’t have to get him anything, Father’s Day is an extra-special time to show your appreciation.

Don’t phone it in and get him a mug that says “Dad.” It’s technically accurate, but it’s a terrible gift. (Looking for unique options for Father’s Day? Go here. Looking for something relatively cheap? Check our our guide to the best gifts under $50.)

Whether it’s a gadget to make his life easier, a sentimental keepsake, or something that you know he wants but refuses to buy for himself, here are the best gift ideas for Father’s Day:


Read more: https://mashable.com/gifts/best-fathers-day-gifts/

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I ate 100 different types of ‘pigs in blankets’ and lived to tell the tale


Gav takes on the sausage world and it proved almost too pretty to eat. Almost.
Image: Gav murphy

What’s the best accompaniment to Christmas dinner? Red cabbage? Get out of here. Parsnips? Come on, now. Sprouts? That’s an argument for another day. 

The obvious correct answer is: ‘pigs in blankets’. And I mean proper pigs in blankets which, in the UK, means a sausage wrapped in bacon — none of this pastry nonsense. 

Whoever thought of taking a sausage and giving it a little pork jacket deserves some kind of medal or at least a little mention in a national anthem. There are people in the world who also think like this, which is why they’ve set up the world’s first “pigs in blankets party” in Margate, a seaside town in Kent in the south of England. 

The party features 100 different variations of pigs in blankets including just about every sausage that exists, from foot-longs to cocktails to whole wheels of pork. And all these sausages were covered in bacon combinations you could never have dreamt up. 

A feast fit for a sausage king.

Image: gav murphy

Obviously, I was more than a little excited to take on the challenge of trying every single one. 

The whole thing was conceived by culinary genius and PR creative Emma Thomas and her food PR company Messhead which previously created such magnificent-sounding food shenanigans as ‘Fry Hard’ — a pop-up shop where they’d literally fry anything — and also the less appetizing sounding but equally incredible ‘Human Butchery’ which consisted of various meats arranged to look like human flesh on a body. 

You can experience this for yourself on the 29th of December but I was invited along to have the best dinner for one that has ever existed at the Cinque Ports restaurant right on Margate beach where the party is being held. 

“Shall we start with the two-metre long cumberland with streaky bacon?”

I was greeted by a ham-flavoured daiquiri on arrival by chef Jim Thomlinson who’s worked across the UK in some fancy Michelin Star restaurants but thankfully now he’s doing the Lord’s work with sausages.

“Shall we start with the two-metre long cumberland with streaky bacon?” he asked. 

“Shall we run away and get married, Jim?” I replied. 

The romance with Jim didn’t stop there as he brought out a wooden tray with two different types of pork-wrapped black pudding and an intimidatingly long-looking monster. 

Genuinely couldn’t fit the whole thing in one photo.

Image: Gav Murphy

Jim and Emma presented plate after plate of blankety delight to me —a saveloy (a bright red banger popular with cockneys) wrapped in smoked back bacon, fennel sausage with Parma ham, a venison and red wine banger with a thick bacon coat. 

You know that Kanye West song that goes “Welcome to the Good Life”? I’d bet actual money that he wrote that on a rainy Sunday in Kent whilst stuffing himself with a sausage made of white pudding coated in turkey bacon.

Just when I was thinking there was no way these mad sausage lovers could surprise me any more, up pipes Jim: “How do you feel about stuff that’s been battered?” 

“I feel like that’s something I could get on board with, Jim. I’ll be honest” 

If there’s any food that isn’t better battered, I don’t what to know about it.

Image: gav murphy

Not content with wrapping a bit of bacon around a battered sausage, however, Jim also had the bright idea of deep frying an entire pig in a blanket. We need more forward-thinking individuals like this taking control of our meals, if you ask me. 

I know you’re reading this and thinking “Wow. This man has it ALL right now. The guy is full of pork ‘n’ just loving life”. I’d be thinking the same thing but I’ll tell you what though, trying to work your way through 100 different types of pig in 100 different types of blanket really takes its toll on you around pig number 60. I was trying to take little bites of everything, which was easy when faced with two metres worth of Cumberland (a big ol’ chunky sausage from England), however as the pigs got more and more interesting, the urge not to just scoff the lot down became worryingly hard. 

I assume it is very similar to running a marathon. Sure, those first 10-15 miles are just a breezy little joy but then as you near the finishing line, things get slightly more challenging. 

Quite honestly, I had run flat up against a wall.

Image: Gav murphy

I was experiencing what runners call ‘The Wall’. Except, instead of a bit of a stitch fixed by chomping down some Haribo, I actually had a bit of a job in front of me. Somewhere around blanket number 80, I was really starting to flag. Surely there couldn’t be many more ways of blanketing a bit of sausage?! Then I heard it from the kitchen: “Do you want some lobster?” 

I’d forgotten about lobster, the pig of the sea.

Even the underwater oinks were getting involved.

Image: gav murphy

Now, I don’t make the kind of money that’ll see me turning down lobster at any point and if I can give you one piece of advice it’s that if you’re ever offered lobster, YOU TAKE IT! Particularly when that lobster is wrapped in bacon (unless you’re a  vegetarian, of course). 

The final stretch of pigs in blankets presented itself before me as a host of cheese-wrapped big boys — a Toulouse sausage wrapped in Raclette, a Frankfurter with cheese coursing through its centre, a bit of venison in blue cheese. The home stretch was a decadent bastard, to say the least. 

Then it happened: I reached the final pig in blanket. I was so horribly full of pig and I honestly thought I would feel absolutely disgusting and sick, but actually I was more intrigued to see what mad delight Jim had cooked up for me to finish this party. I ran through all the variations that could possibly be left and kept coming up short. Then I saw it. 

The final boss.

Image: gav murphy

A mince pie. A mince pie wrapped in thick bacon. Although not technically a sausage, I feel like this spin on the classic might’ve been the change I was looking for, because I wolfed down the warm treat without even thinking. 

100 variations of pigs in blankets, done. I’d like to say that I learned something after taking on this challenge, but I’ll be honest I already knew that pigs in blankets were food sent from the Meat Gods and this entire adventure just confirmed it. 

Mince pie wrapped in bacon? Yes please.

Image: gav murphy 

If you’d like to experience the same level of greatness as I experienced that day, then the Cinque Ports in Margate is hosting the second installment of their Sausage Parties on the 29th of December where you can get all the pigs in blankets you can eat for £20 — just in case for some reason you don’t get enough pigs in blankets on Christmas Day. 

Read more: https://mashable.com/article/pigs-in-blanket-sausage-party/

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50 best stocking stuffers: Gift ideas for guys, girls, adults, teens, and everyone in between

Gift guides are taking over again — gift ideas for him, gift ideas for her, and suggestions for every ultra-specific person in between seem to be everywhere you look. But one thing that’s often left until the last minute? The beloved stocking stuffer.

Whether you’re gifting on a budget, have a spending limit within your gifting circle, or need a tiny-but-expensive gift to add as a surprise, small stocking stuffers are a necessity. 

But let’s be clear: Just because stocking stuffers need to be small in size doesn’t mean they should be dinky and worthless. Fake poop or an emergency clown nose are technically cheap and technically fit in a stocking, but we doubt anyone was dying to open those. Sure, it’s funny for a minute and you’ll be the class clown for the day, but you know it’ll end up in their junk drawer. Your friends and family will appreciate a Bluetooth tracker or wine stain remover way more.

We’ve asked around and done some research to pull together 50 of the best *useful* stocking stuffers out there. Some will be limited by price, some will be pricey but small enough to fit in a stocking, and some will be a mixture of both — while all will be sure to please.


Dress for the job you want, and in this case, it’s a chicken nugget taste-tester

The British retailer B&M posted a job application recently to…wait for it…be a “chicken nugget connoisseur.”

Cancel everything and buy a plane ticket for the next flight to Merseyside? I don’t know where that is, but I’m in.

The experience listed on the application is the best part:

Image: jobs.bmstores.co.uk

I for one will vouch for curly fries over chips until my dying day.

The catch? You’re only paid £25 (or about $34) per month. And it’s in vouchers to spend at B&M stores. But it’s fine. It’ll be fine!

If you’re ready to make your dreams come true, you can apply here.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2018/01/17/chicken-nugget-taste-tester/

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It’s not just you that can’t function before your morning coffee

Image: pexels

YAWN. You know the feeling: you’re half asleep at your desk, peeking out through bleary eyes at your crowded inbox and wondering just how many minutes you have to survive through before you can get some more sleep. And then it hits – you forgot your morning coffee.

There’s a mantra that rings true around the global universe of Mashable, and that’s “but first, coffee”. Morning meeting? Yes, but first, coffee. Ready to dive into that inbox? Almost, but first, coffee. You get the gist, you’ve probably said those immortal words more than a handful of times, and that’s just in the past week.

Coffee is an integral part of lifestyles around the world, not just for propping you up during your morning meeting. Coffee brings people together in celebration, in mourning and for a good old catch up. In 2016 alone, the International Coffee Organization found that almost 150 million 60kg bags of coffee were produced around the world. Quick math tells us that amounts to around 8.4 billion kilograms of coffee. Now that’s a big buzz.

Team Mashable have hectic work days that stretch all the way around the clock and the globe. Big coffee moments are a part of the Mashable lifestyle. Whether that’s a quick coffee out of a Nespresso machine to psych us up for the journey to work, or a brainstorm over a coffee in the office, coffee can be found at the heart of each location.

Below you can meet Mashable peeps from around the world as they embark on their most vital moment: “But first, coffee.”

Menglye, Sales Director, Mashable Singapore

Image: Mashable

Navigating Tiong Bahru MRT station during peak hours is enough to give anyone the chills. For Menglye, it’s important that he’s not falling asleep on the platform. A quick push of the button on his Nespresso Essenza Mini and he’s all set to make the trip to Bugis MRT station, taking a stroll through Bugis stretch to free up his mind and get him ready to meet the onslaught of emails awaiting at his desk.

Khali and Veronica, Integrated Marketing Team, Mashable UK

Image: mashable

Rush hour in London is the stuff of legend. The notorious London Underground will put fear into the most seasoned commuters during peak times. Having a quick coffee and a chat before braving the tube can be invaluable. Our integrated marketing ladies like to grab their “but first, coffee” moment together, catching up on the day’s tasks before getting down to business.

Journey, Creative Strategist, Mashable Los Angeles

Image: mashable

As a hardcore gym enthusiast and all-round superhuman, most of Journey’s mornings are pretty much sponsored by coffee. With a side-hustle as a class instructor at her local gym – complete with sessions that sometimes start at 5 a.m. *shudders* – Journey always makes time to enjoy a coffee and a solid breakfast before beginning her day.

Jeremy, Copywriter, Mashable New York

Image: mashable

Holding down the fort at Mashable HQ can be a busy old job. Getting those creative juices flowing early morning after making the hectic commute into work can be an uphill struggle, and Brooklyn-based Jeremy often grabs his “but first, coffee” moment with his dog, Sybil, before heading out for the day. Navigating the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple can take it out of you, so a quick pick-me-up for heading for the train is sometimes just the ticket.

Phil, Sales Director, Mashable Australia

Image: mashable

As a Nespresso aficionado, Phil can often be found enjoying the morning rays in his kitchen with a cup of coffee before starting his day heading up the Mashable Australia presence. Surry Hills can get packed at peak times, and Phil gets his fuel before he hits the road to work.

Not only does coffee lift people up, it brings people together. And thanks to the Nespresso Essenza Mini, big coffee moments can come in a small package. All style and no clunk, it takes up no space at all, allowing you the space to connect with others at the push of a button without cluttering your kitchen. 

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/09/08/coffee-fuels-the-mashable-world/

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Think of the fun you’ll have with this tiny smartphone breathalyzer

Image: pixabay

Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission.

We all do dumb things when we drink: call an ex, send a profanity-laced email to the boss, buy used jeans on eBay that arent returnable. We know we shouldnt be doing these things, but theres never a responsible person next to us to say hey, I think youve had too much to drink.

Fortunately, theres now a smartphone accessory that takes care of this for us: the DrinkMate Breathalyzer. Drinkmate promises that you can plug this tiny, 1.9-inch breathalyzer into your phone, blow into it, and get an accurate reading of your BAC level within seconds. When was that last time one of your drinking buddies did that?

The DrinkMate Breathalyzer connects to your iPhones lightning jack (an Android version is also available) so you never have to worry about needing an external power source. It easily hooks to your keychain or slips it into your pocket too. And since your lips dont actually make contact with the DrinkMate Breathalyzer, you can even share it with your friends. Compete to see who has the lowest BAC. Or to ensure that everyone in your group makes smart decisions.

Actually, you should always do that. Safety first!

The DrinkMate Breathalyzer normally costs $40, but you can get it for just $27.99, a savings of 30 percent. Buy it here.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/07/14/drinkmate-smartphone-breathalyzer-deal/

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Stock up on these must-haves for your first apartment

Image: amazon

Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission.

So you’re about to reach a whole new level of independence and freedom with your very own apartment. Congratulations! This is a huge step.

You’ll soon find out that there are a lot of things you’ll need in your first place. From necessities like furniture to the more decorative and comfortable touches, you’ll need a lot of stuff to make this space your own.

Here are some ideas for where to shop so you can get started.

Image: IKEA

Lack collection from IKEA

These tables and shelves are functional, sleek, and easy on the wallet. They’re great for the minimalist who doesn’t need any frills, but still wants something stylish. This line does require some assembly, but not quite as much as other IKEA furniture. You’ll get these set up quickly, and you’ll be glad to have a few of these great utility pieces. Check out the series here.

Image: Thinkgeek

Decorative mirrors

You’re going to need a mirror, so why not pick one up that both does the job and adds a little flair to your space? These Death Star and TIE Fighter mirrors are perfect for Star Wars fans who want to add a little dimension to a bedroom or main living area. You can get this set here for only $24.99.

Image: target

Throw pillows

Ah, throw pillows. They’re the perfect way to add both personality and comfort to any room. There are oh so many different kinds to choose from, so you’re sure to find one that suits your particular taste. Target has a great collection here for less than $20.

Image: Amazon

A gaming system

Okay, this one may seem a little expensive at first glance, but it’s extremely economical once you take a closer look. These systems are for more than gaming now they’re complete entertainment dashboards. They play DVD and Blu-ray discs in addition to video games. They also connect to the internet, so you can stream services like Hulu and Netflix, allowing you to cut the cable cord and save money in the long run. This is definitely an investment, but if you’re an entertainment junkie, you’ll find that it’s worth it. You can pick up the PlayStation 4, for example, here for $264.99.

Image: thinkgeek

A kitchen timer

Yes. You do need this R2-D2 kitchen timer. It’s an adorable little decoration, and it’ll help you in all of your cooking and baking endeavors. Have fun in the kitchen and don’t burn anything with your new buddy. Pick him up from ThinkGeek for only $6.99.

Image: amazon

A toolbox

It seems extremely basic, but you’ll definitely want one of these around the house. For little everyday projects like tightening screws, or for full-fledged emergencies, a toolbox is an absolute staple in every home. You can pick one up from Amazon to make sure you’ll be as prepared as possible.

Image: amazon

A doormat

Let’s keep it clean, kids. A fun doormat, like this Harry Potter-inspired one, will set the tone for you and your guests as soon as they cross over your threshold. And it’ll also keep your floors from getting unnecessarily dirty. (The less cleaning the better, right?) Pick this one up here.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/07/04/budget-friendly-first-apartment-necessities/

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