The first time I had one of these chips, it was after picking up someone off the floor as they fainted when I said “what’s an all-dress chip?”
I hadn’t ever heard of them before, much less had them, and even once I was corrected and told that the term was “all dressed,” it didn’t exactly sound appealing. After all, when I ask for my burger to be fully dressed, it usually means that I want everything on it…and I do NOT want everything on my chip.
I had already experienced the beloved ketchup chip (beloved by the crazy Canadians, that is…not myself) and further explanation that the chip was “kinda like ketchup chips with vinegar, salt, and pepper” really didn’t make the case for me to jump on the bandwagon.
The description, however, was surprisingly accurate AND it turns out the chips are delicious. Weird, I know. They really do kinda taste like a ketchup chip met up with a salt ‘n’ vinegar chip and said “hey, let’s experiment with a whole bunch of spices and seasonings that no one will be able to distinguish” and voila, Canadians favorite chips were born!
I suppose it’s kind of like the “everything bagel” of chips. You think it’s going to taste weird if you heard everything they put on it, but once you have it, you find that it’s actually pretty good (albeit, not for everyone, of course). They’re perfect for people who innocently dip their chips in ketchup or like stacking their chips directly on their sandwiches.
You’ve seen these, too, right? The quick commercials tell you how you can have your own ice cream in only 3 minutes and that even kids can do it! And for under 20 bucks, it’s a lot cheaper than a real ice cream maker, and it doesn’t insist on hours of time in the freezer and no special salt required!
But does it work?
Yep! It actually does!
Now does it work exactly like the commercials promise? Er, no, not quite. I made ice cream a few times with it and while it does come out like ice cream eventually, even with following the instructions perfectly, it still took longer than 3 minutes for me. And yes, it took longer than the 4 minutes that include that “shake for an extra minute if the consistency isn’t how you like it” recommendation.
Also, do you have any idea how long 3 minutes feels like when you’re shaking like crazy?! What a workout!! I know a small child would burn out quickly and they’ll end up with more like a milkshake at best.
I did improve my technique a bit by actually placing the metal cup into the freezer before using and on another attempt, I chilled the ingredients in the freezer together for a while, too. The key really is for it to be super cold if you want it to turn out harder. I found that shaking for 5 minutes and then tossing it in the freezer to harden up some helped, too.
Unfortunately, that kinda delays the whole “instant gratification” part of it and the fact that the serving size is….well…and actual serving size (read: tiny), then I ended up wanting more by the time I finished my creation each time. It also means needing more than one of these if you have a whole family because 3-5 minutes back to back for a while to try to create some for everyone would be exhausting!
The ideal situation:
I really wish I would’ve had a whole set of these back when I was with the girls. It would’ve been AWESOME to grab a pint of whipping cream, tossed some crushed ice into each of their cups, and watched them shake for a few minutes. Add some flavors or cookie crumbles, etc, and each one could have their own, personalized, delicious ice cream. And for everyone to have a unique dessert, it realistically could’ve been done in under 10 minutes total, even with having to do some extra shaking or measuring out extras for each person.
I wouldn’t want to do it every night and I’m sure we would’ve tired of the half-melted tasting ice cream we’d end up with after getting tired of shaking, but it would’ve been fun as a novelty item to pull out every so often. It makes me think back to when I used to make fresh butter with the kids at camp….shaking a baby food jar for much longer than 3-5 minutes was ridiculous, but it was satisfying to get to taste what you made all on your own. The kids loved doing it and I can say that they’d love making ice cream way more than butter! The fact that it doesn’t require a special salt like many recipes insist on is quite nice, too.
The bad reviews:
I’ve read a lot of bad reviews about these little guys and for the most part, I understand why they insist it’s a ripoff. I think it’s about having realistic expectations more than anything, though. Seriously, you’re spending 15 bucks for a tiny cup that looks like a cute ice cream cone and it’s telling you you’ll have ice cream in 3 minutes.
We all know that high quality, amazing ice cream, is going to take longer than 3 minutes, so why expect the best thing ever to come out of a tiny plastic cup 5 minutes later? Instead, focus on the fact that….holy crap, you can have ice cream in 5 minutes! It might be a little softer than your favorite and it might take a few extra minutes of shaking, but you didn’t have to go out to the store to buy it late at night either.
And if you’re buying it as a single adult without kids, then it also cuts down on the likelihood of eating an entire quart of ice cream after a bad day. :P You’ve really gotta earn this! If you’re buying this for the kids, be prepared to do more of the shaking yourself to help them round out the last of the minutes and simply let them enjoy it instead of fussing about how it’s not perfect. Chances are, your kids aren’t going to care if it’s a little softer or maybe a little liquidy around the edges; they have their own ice cream in a special cup!
If you really hate it or think it’s a waste of time, then ditch the whole ‘magic’ side of it after your first few attempts and just enjoy the cute cup. I had some store-bought ice cream out of this little guy the other night because I put the metal piece in the freeze over night with the intent of making some before bed…but had forgotten about it and then didn’t feel like bothering the next night. So I just tossed some ice cream in the cup and ate it in bed. I like the handle and I liked that the metal piece kept my ‘real’ ice cream from melting….but that I didn’t have to have my hands freezing the entire time like I would from a cold bowl. ‘
I received the Ice Cream Magic Personal Ice Cream Maker as part of a review from Ice Cream Magic and FuelMyBlog. The opinions above are my own, of course.
Sure you all have seen the ads for this by now. They’re not just on late-not infomercials and I’ve seen them all around the net. My mom even sent me a link at one point and I saved it with the intent of potentially buying a set.
Turns out, my procrastination paid off this time because I was actually asked to review to review them by PopChef via FuelMyBlog!
The ultimate question that everyone wants to know when buying “as seen on TV” items is….
Does it really work?
And the answer you don’t really want to hear?
Yes AND No
It really is as easy as it looks when it comes to assembling and creating shapes. The plastic pieces pop together easily and it’s simple to switch shapes in a matter of seconds.
The difficult part is actually getting the shapes to come out of the plastic, though. Depending on the food that you put in there, it has a tendency to get stuck. Fortunately, the kit comes with little skewers that will help you easily push it out of the tube, but it somewhat slows down the process of being able to just “pop” the end and force the food out. I found that if a food didn’t easily come out immediately, that it didn’t really make any difference whether I just pushed on the end or really smacked the end of it like they do in the videos.
It’s also worth noting that this IS plastic. That sounds like a “duh” comment, but think about it….. do you cut pineapple with with a plastic knife? No? Well then chances are, it’s not going to be so easy to cut through the stringy edges of a pineapple with these plastic cookie cutters of sorts either.
I mean… not only is it cheap, but it really does do what it says it will. You can create nice fruit bouquets in a matter of minutes and the most time consuming part is really just slicing and/or peeling the fruit in the first place.
I highly recommend choosing soft fruits….strawberries, kiwis, watermelons…or really solid, harder fruits like apples. Don’t bother with pineapple. While it does work, you may find yourself having to clean up the edges with a knife after anyway. And some super hard items like green peppers end up being the same way.
I tried it with cheese, too, and loved my little butterfly cheeses! Again, the potential for sticking is there with foods like that, so simply do it one at a time instead of trying to stack several cuts at once. The same goes for sandwiches…. it cuts through the meat, cheese, bread easily, but don’t be surprised if you can’t do multiple stacks at once.
Following the instructions is key here! It does give tips in the package materials of which foods you shouldn’t stack too much of or how to remove stuck food.
The best part? Even though I got mine for review purposes, they’re actually really cheap. I think they’re well worth the 10 bucks they’re going for, assuming you have the space to store all the pieces. You may not use it very often, but if you have kids, they’ll love playing around with it and it helps add a little flare to gatherings where you’re the one providing the veggie trays or the finger sandwiches.
I saw one woman complain that while the items were cute, she ended up with a bunch of wasted food. I don’t see the “scraps” as wasted at all, though! Just toss all the scraps of the veggies into some soup…..the fruits into a Ziploc bag to be turned into smoothies later….and the cheese into some macaroni and cheese. Nobody is going to even realize that they weren’t whole fruits or veggies being used.
Oh, and as for the sandwich scraps? Who likes eating the crusts anyway….? ;) If you do, then fine…considering those your snacks while you ‘taste test’ the varieties. Definitely don’t waste them, though!
I have NOT gotten to try these on all the different foods that they recommend. I’ve seen them used for cookies and such, but I feel like regular cookie cutters work fine for those. The PopChef is more for items that you wouldn’t normally be able to use cookie cutters for. For example, most cookie cutters have a ‘top’ of sorts that would make it nearly impossible to cut sandwiches with. And cookie cutters are often larger, too, so you’re not going to be making delicate butterflies and flowers out of kiwis with them for a fruit basket.
I haven’t used it much for veggies yet, but I’d like to see how it holds up for making a full tray of stars and hearts. I have a feeling that the “pop” portion works better with veggies that aren’t potentially moist or sticky like fruits and bread.
Want Your Own?
You can get it online for 10 bucks plus shipping and handling (6 bucks) at their website. I’ve seen them in stores at this point, too, but I don’t know how much they’re going for.
Again, I received my set for free as a review, but you guys know the routine about the opinions being my own. If I were being swayed by the fact that it was free, I wouldn’t say anything negative at all….or I would buy the product myself and skip the moral dilemma entirely. ;)