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Three for the kitchen – at home or on the road

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Here’s a trio of cooking/drinking products we found at the International Home & Housewares Show earlier this year. After months of testing each, we are happy to recommend all three.

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Cookina Cooking Sheets

This is one of those products you wished had been created years ago. Cook, barbeque or bake and speed your cleanup with reusable cooking sheets made for dozens of different jobs.

If you do a lot of barbequing on grills while traveling, you know that chances are, the person who used it last didn’t clean it. Instead of worrying about it, it’s now so simple to unroll the Cookina sheet, lay it on the grill and start cooking. Your food never touches the grill, but you still get those great grill marks and the food tastes fantastic.

It’s also terrific for grilling vegetables and fish, where they typically might flake and fall through the grilling surface.

When you’re done, simply wipe off the Cookina sheet, reroll it and save it for next time. The sheets last almost forever with a non-stick coating five times as thick as that in most non-stick frying pans. You can also cook on both sides of the sheet.

Pastries and bakery goods can also benefit from the non-stick sheets and the products don’t change cooking times or temperatures. You can now cook without having to grease or spray your pans so nothing will change the flavor of your creations.

Check the website as they offer a number of different sheets in different sizes.

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This product is has been awarded the Senior Citizen’s Thumbs-Up rating on DougBardwell.com. Check the Senior’s page for more recommended products for those 65 and up.

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Eco-Fill K-Cup Replacements

If you can’t go anywhere without your coffee, this little gem will save you money and give you a great cup of coffee time after time. Having Keurig coffee wherever you go is getting easier, with their compact travel size machine and with many hotels now providing them in the rooms. But buying K-cup after K-cup gets expensive.

Enter the perfect solution – the reusable and portable Perfect Pod Eco-Fill reusable coffee K-cup replacement. With a wire-mesh bottom and a hinged lid, this reusable K-cup alternative can be filled with your favorite brand ground coffee – over and over again. Between uses, it’s a simple matter of opening the hinged lid, dumping the grounds, rinsing the filter under running water, letting it drip dry and then refilling again.

The Eco-Fill is the same size as a standard K-cup so it fits your standard machine with no adapter needed. I’ve calculated the cost comparison and I’m making the same amount of coffee now for ½ the price (or less) of buying K-cups (even at Costco prices.) When you fill your own, you’ll also discover you can fill it fuller or not as full depending on your tastes. Hey, it’s good for the environment as well as your wallet.

Grayl Water Purification

Whether you enjoy drinking sparkling fresh water by itself or you enjoy your tea or coffee made with crystal clear water, you know that water supplies when traveling are a bit of a crap shoot. A few great, most okay and some – well – you’d rather be not drink anything.

Be afraid no more, with the Grayl Filtration Cup, you can easily have crystal clear water wherever you go. Just like a French Press, simply fill with water, press down with the plunger and in 15 seconds your water is rid of impurities and 99% of bacteria. Viola – water you are happy to drink (or use for your tea or coffee.)

Unlike other filters, there’s no waiting, stirring or sipping required to filter the water. After pressing, you can simply drink from the handy BPA-free stainless steel travel bottle or pour it into your teapot/coffee pot.

There’s even a special purifier for use overseas to prevent intestinal virus troubles. Check them out at http://www.thegrayl.com.

Doug Bardwell, based in Cleveland, OH, writes about interesting new travel technology topics, across the country and around the world at DougBardwell.com. Feel free to drop him a line at travel.dougbardwell@gmail.com with suggestions for future products to be reviewed. If you've ever used one of the products he's reviewed, please leave your thoughts in the comment box below. To get his stories delivered to your inbox, click the RSS feed or the "Subscribe" button above or follow him on Facebook , Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. To read Doug’s disclosure notice, click here.

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