IMG_0743.JPGIt arrived in the mail in a surprise attack…like, well, like a ninja might make.

It was my first-ever blog-related freebie: a product that someone wants me to write about. And so I shall, keeping in mind, of course, the Bloggers With Integrity pledge that I signed (because Mom-101 said we should).

First I should mention that Husband thinks it’s marvelous that people are sending me products and he’s wondering when someone will want me to write about a three-bedroom apartment with a garden and a river view somewhere in the West Village.  I say, let’s start with the food processor thing and work our way up.

Second, I have to say that Liam and Caleb thought that the name–and the Ninja figure on the box–were “totally awesome.”

So having told you that this is a product review for a freebie, and that my kids approve of the packaging, I should tell you how it works, right? Short answer? Works great. 

I’ve had a little bitty Cuisinart mini-prep for a while, which is fine for when I want to make just a soupcon of pesto, or a dollop of guacamole, but that’s about it. I’ve got an almost vintage Osterizer blender with a very powerful motor (although it’s been making ominous noises lately), but it’s a pain in the butt to make anything in it other than smoothies and milkshakes: only the very bottom layer gets pulverized, so there’s lots of stopping, scraping and smooshing. 

The Ninja, however, has its motor on top and it comes with a tall pitcher and a smallish mini-prep.  You pile your ingredients in whichever container, pop the motor on the top, and vroom, vroom, vroom: smoothie is done, guac is done, chicken salad is done… Presto. All the parts go in the dishwasher; the containers have storage lids so that whatever is left can get covered up and stashed in the fridge, and it fits very tidily on the counter where the Osterizer used to sit.  Someday (maybe in that West Village apartment) I’ll have enough counter-space for ALL the appliances to happily co-exist, but at the moment, counter real estate is at a premium, so the Osterizer gets relegated to the closet.

Online, the Ninja retails for about $59, plus shipping/handling; the Cuisinart mini-prep is almost $30, without shipping/handling.  The Ninja doesn’t have a bread hook, the way a big Cuisinart does, but hey–isn’t half the fun of making bread pounding out your aggressions on the dough? Who among us really, really uses that bread hook?

Now… who do I talk to about that three-bedroom West Village apartment?