Testing 1-2-3 Testing 1,2,3: The Magic Bullet

| Friday, 23 October 2009 12:00

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There was a brief time in my life when I was plagued by insomnia. I couldn’t sleep and when I did, it wasn’t very well. Naturally I developed an unhealthy addiction to watching infomercials. Naturally. Rest assured that I’m not the type to “act now” and place my telephone order for a truckload of Sham-Wows, nor do I own a variety of revolutionary mops and do-it-your-self Bedazzlers. I simply enjoy watching infomercials.

If it wasn’t for my intense, yet unusual, interest in infomercials, I wouldn’t have been able to present to you this week’s Testing 1, 2, 3 segment.

Bitchin’ Lifestyle followers – Meet the Magic Bullet.

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The infomercial for the Magic Bullet is in itself organized to captivate its audience. It starts off with a couple – an overly excited and peppy blond woman and her British (or possibly Australian) counterpart – a no-nonsense, determined to make a quick meal type guy. If you can get past the aching feeling that their relationship is mildly dysfunctional, you’ll notice that they are quite accommodating to their guests, who seemed to appear out of nowhere.

As their kitchen is quickly infiltrated by hungry visitors – everyone from a hung-over quasi-bald guy who had a rough night, to a guy in a Hawaiian shirt and his Stepford Wife, to a creepy, chain smoking, middle-aged cougar named Hazel – the couple begins to enthusiastically prepare them breakfast. No need to worry, says the British dude; they can have food ready in no time. This is when the Magic Bullet prepares a variety of foods just like… magic.

The Magic Bullet is designed to act as a “personal versatile countertop magician” that saves time, space, and is easier to use than your boring, more complicated blender. And it also claims that it will make anything in less than 10 seconds. What’s the ultimate difference between this so-called countertop magician and a normal blender? The Magic bullet doesn’t have those pesky on/off switches – God, who can deal with those?

In all fairness, the Magic Bullet does have a few more razzle-dazzle features than the traditional blenders we’re all used to. When you buy the Magic Bullet, along with it comes a variety of party mugs, microwavable lids, a recipe and owner’s manual, “comfort lip rings” (coloured rings to color code the cups), two screw-on blade attachments, and a partridge in a pear tree, which when pureed amazingly makes a pretty tasty beverage.

To test the Magic Bullet, Bitchin’ Lifestyle made smoothies and an Alfredo Pasta Dish.

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Making the smoothies is easy; just throw your ingredients into the cup – we used bananas, raspberries, yogurt, berry juice, and some ice – then simply screw the cup to the blade and attached it to the base.

Once the top feature is fixed firmly to the blade mechanism, attach it to the power base that’s plugged in. When the devise is pressed down, the motor spins the blade. When you stop pressing down on the device, it stops spinning. Simple enough. But for such a revolutionary product you’d have thought they figured out how to make this machine less noisy. They didn’t. This “personal versatile countertop magician” seems to be just as loud as your average blender… or chainsaw.

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Unlike the infomercial would have you believe, it doesn’t always take five Mississippi seconds to have everything completely blended to perfection. Most of the time, it actually takes the same amount of time as it would for a normal blender to do the same job. Ten seconds does puree the fruits, however, it isn’t nearly enough time to have it completely and magically smooth. Unless you like chunky bits of banana and ice in your beverage, you need more than ten seconds of blending time to have the right consistency.

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For our next Magic Bullet recipe experiment, we attempted a more difficult task… whipping up a tasty meal. Now, the infomercial promises that we can make an Alfredo sauce in less than five minutes, feed a party of six, and more importantly, that it actually tastes good. I don’t know about you guys, but if I were those hungry guests, I’d be less inclined to ask for food immediately if it meant I was getting it from the microwave.

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To be honest, we opted for the Pasta Alfredo because we were curious to see if it would actually turn out. Tossing our ingredients – butter, Parmesan cheese, cream, one clove of garlic, and parsley – into the cup, we repeated the same process as with the smoothies. After two minutes of “blending” we, reluctantly went against our foodie nature, and put the cup into the microwave for three more minutes. Let me tell you what happens when you microwave raw garlic: It smells. A lot.

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Now, the recipe says we should switch to the flat blade for another four minutes, blend, and serve. Aside from the remnants of pungent garlic in the air, the sauce smells pretty good… but its consistency is not sauce-like, at all. It’s actually very soup-like and not nearly as appetizing as it smells. Regardless, we here at Bitchin Lifestyle will go the extra mile for our viewers so one of us had to taste it. Conveniently, Justin left for “lunch” and Kristin “wasn’t hungry.”  I tried it. Needless to say, Magic Bullet should put a disclaimer on this recipe saying: “horrible indigestion may ensue.” In my books, that’s pretty un-magical.

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Altogether, the Bitchin’ Lifestyle Crew can conclude that our smoothies tasted fantastic… but we’d definitely pass on cooking anything with the microwave. The Magic Bullet does its job, it blends. It blends a lot and blends it well. The Magic Bullet cannot, however, feed an army of unwanted, famished guests.

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If your main goal is to clear guests out, I would in that case, serve them some of the Pasta Alfredo. That should send all the Hazels and creepy alcoholic uncles of the world packing. The magic bullet is not a bad upgrade from the blender – it’s just not the revolutionary magic meal maker they would have you believe it is.

Photos by Kristin Johnston

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