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Welcome to the premiere installment of Double-Awesome Lifestyle: Better Living Through Gadgetry!  Today, I’m going to show you how to turn your kitchen from a locus of drudgery and horror to a wonderland of space-age appliances that whirr, buzz, and hook up to your Wi-Fi for some reason.

Chocolate Fountains

I’m starting my ultimate awesome kitchen guide with the most important appliance of all: The chocolate fountain. “But Steve,” you’re probably saying, “I’m no millionaire! Aren’t chocolate fountains only available at the wedding receptions of the ultra-elite?” The answer, surprisingly, is no. The maturation of industrial capitalism has finally placed quality home chocolate fountains within the grasp of even the lowliest prole.

Fountaineers can choose from dozens of chocolate fountains for all budgets and lifestyles, from this NOSTALGIA ELECTRICS CFF1000 Cascading Chocolate Fondue Fountain ($71.99) that features five tiers of chocolate, to starter fountains designed for newlyweds and college students on a budget. This fountain sells for only 40 bucks. Its three-tier design says, “I’m trying.” But it’ll still get the chocolate on the strawberry.

Warning: Do not get cute and fill a garden fountain with melted chocolate. It will not work, and someone will yell at you for sure.


Cooking: Appliances That Make Food Molecules Move Faster

I will decline your dinner party invitation (with extreme prejudice) unless you use the following appliances to prepare our meal.

  • Hot dog steamer: No more are you forced to shove hot dogs directly from the package into your mouth. The bright red J-JATI Hot Dog Steamer Cooker Maker Machine proudly shows off your wieners (get it?) to guests with its transparent viewing-chamber and can even be used to simultaneously steam your buns. (Am I not hilarious??)
  • Corn dog presser: Sure, hot dogs are good, but have you tried them on a stick?
  • Cotton candy machine: Cotton candy is no longer an “only when the circus is in town” treat. While there are tons of cotton candy machines designed for everyday use, most of them are for dabblers. When you want to get serious about your candy floss, you need something like this industrial machine with an attached cart and glass cotton candy bubble.
  • Mini pretzel maker: Yes, I do have enough counter space for a mini-pretzel maker. I’ll just shove my cake pop maker behind the black garlic fermenter, next to the egg boiler.
  • Refrigerated cake showcase: Nothing is stopping you from displaying your desserts in a refrigerated cabinet with automatic defrost, humidifying feature, and digital temperature controls. All the hottest Hollywood stars do it, you know.


Drinking: Eating’s Misunderstood Cousin

When planning the perfect kitchen, many overlook liquid preparations. Don’t be one of those a-holes. Get these gim-cracks to impress your guests with exciting drinks.

  • Robot bartender: Maybe you can afford to waste the time it takes to mix a stiff drink, but I need to get drunk now, not 45 seconds from now. That’s where Bartesian 55300 beverage maker comes in. Rather than waste time pouring liquor in a glass and stirring it, you can insert a cocktail capsule in your robot bartender, press a button, and enjoy a “mixologist crafted and approved cocktail” in seconds. It’s like living in Space 1999!
  • Beer aeration technology: If my house was on fire and I could only save one thing, it would be my Sonic Foamer Beer Aerator. It works like this: You place your headless beer on the platform, press a button, and an invisible ultrasonic soundwave creates a new head on your brew, allowing you to “actively manage your beer head throughout the entire drinking process,” which is all I have ever wanted to do in my life.
  • Serious coffee: While there are endless, fiddly products to help you make expresso and cappuccino, my friend Marty taught me the real secret of coffee: The most evocative, plaintive coffee comes from an urn. So find something like this percolating NESCO 30-cup stainless steel machine, brew up 30 cups of Joe, then host your own a Unitarian church social or AA meeting.
  • The perfect drinking glasses: (NSFW!) After a long search, I have finally found the ultimate awesome drinking glasses. These high boron vessels fit perfectly into your hand, can hold any cold liquid, and are bound to impress… no, I don’t think they’re shaped funny. Why do you ask?


Self-Stirring Coffee Mugs: A Lifestyle Guide


Together, we can end the drudgery of stirring. Every mug in my house stirs itself, but if you’re just starting out, you might be overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices in self-stirring mugs. Here’s a quick guide to choose which self-stirring mug is right for you.

  • Vortex auto-mixer: Unlike many self-stirring coffee mugs, the Vortex does not require batteries or a generator. It uses heat differentials to agitate your beverage and even stores thermal energy for later use. It’s the best choice for conservationists and eco-warriors.
  • USB-powered coffee stirrer: This USB-powered auto-stirrer and warmer proudly marks you as the kind of person who has a spare USB port.
  • Self-stirring mug with Groot graphic: If Debbie from HR won’t let you clutter your desk with action-figures, you can still show off your love of Guardians of the Galaxy with a self-stirring Groot mug.
  • Self-aware self-stirring mug: This battery-powered self-stirrer is emblazoned with the words “SELF STIRRING MUG” in huge, all-cap, easy-to-read letters, so co-workers cannot possibly mistake you for the kind of person who stirs their own beverage like a damn caveman.
  • Self-stirring mug with funny saying: Be the hit of the office with this electric mug that says, “Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won’t expect to get it back.” The mug makes a good point; you can’t argue with a mug.
  • Ultimate self-stirring solution: While the Stir Crazy is designed for making sauces and soups, there’s no reason you can’t stick it on an ordinary mug and be the ultimate king of self-stirring.


Author Steve Johsnson

Stephen Johnson is a writer, filmmaker, and man-about-town. He has written for G4TV, Blumhouse, LifeHacker, FearNET, Gawker, Offspring, and many other outlets. His short films have screened at the Sundance Film Festival, Palm Springs International Film Festival, and more.

More posts by Steve Johsnson