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COOKING tools

COOKING tools FOOD + DRINK

On my Wish List: The Sticks Silicone Moulds by Lekue

make your own bread sticks

make your own bread sticks
photo: Lekue World page on Facebook

Sticks is a silicone mould that let you greet your guests this holiday season with 30 delicious, crunchy homemade bread sticks. Cooking time is 15 minutes on the oven, or 5 minutes on the microwave. I see it as a perfect bakeware tool for the hostess.

What I like about the Lekue Sticks mold is that the stocks are the right size to be served as appetizers.

lekue sticks
sourcing: Lekue Sticks

They are not just for appetizers. You can serve bread sticks, instead of crackers, with a warm soup at lunch time or you can include them in your dessert table. On Lekue Web site, I found two basic savoury bread stick recipes  (parmesan and orange sticks, black olive sticks) and three basic sweet bread stick recipes (spice sticks, cacao sticks, citrus sticks).

bread sticks with a soup for lunch

I already own the Decomax. Since I really want them, I ask a local shop to investigate if they could order them for me. I have my doubts since Sticks is a new product that seems to be available only the European site. Fingers crossed!

COOKING tools FOOD + DRINK

Cookware on Sale at The Bay (last day)

cookware

cookware
sourcing: Lagostina Academy-Clad 5-ply stainless steel cookware set  | Jamie Oliver’s Stainless Steel Copper cookware set at The Bay

One thing that I never buy at regular price is cookware. I always wait for the Bay Days sales. Today is the last day!  You could grab two awesome cookware set under $300, which is more than half price. This is a sweet deal before the Holiday season. Both cookware sets can be used on gas, electric, ceramic and induction cook tops. It is important to cover the widest range of cook tops when you buy cookware that can last a lifetime.

Oven safe up to 500° F/260° C, Jamie Oliver’s Stainless Steel Copper cookware  features a base made of heavy gauge copper and aluminum core base encapsulated in stainless steel. This mix delivers superior heat distribution. I own an older model of the big frying pan that I use several times at week. A comfy addition, that I wish I had in mine, are the soft silicone inserts on the handles. This set is on sale at $238.

Another great choice is the Lagostina Academy-Clad 5-ply stainless steel cookware set on sale at $294. And if you need a roaster, there are several models at 30% off at The Bay until tonight.

Know that I didn’t test drive these particular models. Therefore, I can’t tell you which one is the best. If you are used to non-stick cookware, you will find these cookware pretty heavy but it is all worth it. One last thing, make sure to read How to Select a Cookware? before you buy.

 

COOKING tools FOOD + DRINK

Karoto, the Vegetable Sharpener, Peeler and Curler

karoto sharpener and peeler

karoto sharpener and peeler
photo: Karoto for Monkey Business $15 USD

If you are looking for a small and unique hostess gift, have a look at Karoto. When Israeli-based designer Avichai Tadmor imagined Karoto for Monkey Business he started by enlarging the basic pencil sharpener. He then added a vegetable peeler to one end. The end result is a 3-in-1 kitchen gadget that lets you peel, sharp and create curly ribbons from vegetables.

Available in yellow or black, Karoto makes it easy to style carrots, zucchinis, cucumbers for a vegetable platter or a salad. And the best things is that everyone will be able to give you a hand with your food preparation.

You can watch this short video to see Karoto in action. At $15 a piece, you may want to stock a few for your small Christmas gifts.

+ via designboom

COOKING tools FOOD + DRINK

Three Hostess Gift Ideas for Bakers

hostess gifts for bakers

hostess gifts for bakers
Gingham Spatulas on sale at $3.00 to $5.99 at Sur La Table | Progressive Brown Sugar Keeper $14.95 at Sur La Table or Chefs Catalog | Chicago Metallic Individual mini pie pan $24. 95 USD at Sur La Table or Crate & Barrel

I suggest pretty, useful and stylish for these mini gift round up. The Gingham Spatulas will add pretty in your kitchen. It reminds me of something that the girls in Pushing Daisies who uses to bake.

I read good things about the next product. Who does not look for a solution that prevents its brown sugar from drying out? There is nothing more annoying than to find out in the middle of a recipe that your brown sugar is hard as a rock. A moist terra cotta disc does the trick. Remember to re-soak the disc every 3 months for 15 minutes if you do not wish to have a bad surprise. You can store the disc in the airtight lid of Progressive brown sugar keeper when not in use. I own a few Progressive products and they work well.

Last but not least, have a look at this individual mini pie pan set that will enables you to serve beautiful savory and sweet pies to your family and friends. It comes with a neat two-sided dough cutter that will assure the perfect top and bottom crust size. The best part is the festive design.

http://www.surlatable.com/product/PRO-899286/Sur-La-Table%26%23174%3B-Gingham-Spatulas

COOKING tools FOOD + DRINK

Tatau: A New Kitchen Knife Collection by Alessi

tatau knife set

tatau knife set

Anna and Gian Franco Gasparini designed for Alessi a 5-knife collection with a unique design feature. Grip styles and food icons that identify the knife usages are printed on the blade like tattoos. That explains the name tatau, that is tattoo in Polynesian.

tatau knife printed instructions on the blade

Each knife has a symbolic name: “Peel” (paring knife), “MPK” (small cook’s knife), “Thick” (the traditional chef’s knife). “Thin” (filleting knife), “Tusk” (for bread and crust desserts). You can buy each knife separately or as a set. The Tatau knife collection could make a nice graduation gift or for someone who is new to cooking.

SOURCING:
+ Tatau Kitchen Knife from $42 to $69 USD at Alessi

 

COOKING tools FOOD + DRINK

Amusing Chop Knife by Normann Copenhagen

chop knife

chop knife

No, these are not donuts! Lucidipedere Studio created for Normann Copenhagen a fun version of the classic mezzaluna. I always use a mezzaluna to chop herbs. Believe me when I tell you that the round shape of the blade makes it more comfortable and efficient to chop herbs.

A pretty coloured rubber band hides the handle, and the blade when it is not in use. I predict that you will not want to hide the Chop Knife in a kitchen drawer. I only wish that they sell it with a mezzaluna cutting board.

SOURCING:
+ Chop Knife by Normann Copenhagen $35.19 at Scandinavian Design

COOKING tools FOOD + DRINK

Add Color in the Kitchen: Joseph Joseph Kitchenware

joseph joseph stretch trivet pot holder kitchenware

You don’t need a designer’s eye to spot the biggest trend of the year – just walk into your favourite décor and fashion shops and it will be everywhere you look: color! (Just ask Pantone’s colour of the year, Tangerine Tango!)

But with so many shades to love and choose from, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, and just as easy to go overboard. Keep it simple by adding color through accessories, whether they’re on your sofa, perched on a shelf or found around your neck.

Love your all-white kitchen but want to inject a jolt of color? Don’t pull out the paint just yet. Contemporary kitchenware design company Joseph Joseph creates clever and cool tools in shades of hot pink, chartreuse green, vibrant purple and more. When you’re ready to return to minimalist land, just tuck them in a drawer until your next kitchen encounter.

Here are a few of our faves:

Scoop Colander, $7
Wire-mesh scoops work well for Asian cooking, but small pieces of food require a finer sieve. We love this scoop colander because it eliminates the cumbersome process of draining liquids from a pot, and works well as an everyday serving utensil.

joseph joseph scoop colandar twist whisk

Twist 2-in-1 Whisk, $10
When is a whisk more than whisk? When a simple turn of the handle transforms it from sauce stirrer to egg white whipper. Store it folded flat to maximize storage and keep other utensils from becoming tangled.

Arena Self-draining Dish Rack, $45
If you have to do the dishes, you might as well stack them in style. Though not made for large loads (it will hold up to four place settings), this round design slopes toward the sink so water can easily drain. This is a great option for small kitchens without a lot of counter space.

joseph joseph arena dish rack kitchenware

Stretch Expandable Silicone Pot Stand, $16
The problem with most trivets is that you need more than one to accommodate large sized platters and or multiple pans. The Stretch pot stand does just that to fit a variety of cook- and servingware.

joseph joseph stretch trivet pot holder kitchenware

SOURCING:
+ Joseph Joseph

 

COOKING tools FOOD + DRINK

Cool Kitchen Tools: Deglon Meeting Knife Set

deglon meeting knife set

deglon meeting knife set

Counter space at a premium? Bulky knife blocks can be part of the problem, but this one slices through the kitchen clutter (though we think it would be equally at home on a gallery wall).

Designed by Mia Schmallenbach, the Deglon Meeting Knife Set is ergonomically designed and appears to be created from a single piece of stainless steel. The set includes a paring knife, a utility knife, a chef knife and a slicer cozily nested together.

deglon meeting knife set individual

Removing the knife you need is as easy as pressing near the tip of the blade to raise the handle for safe removal from the set.

Beautiful as it is, one can’t help but think the knife set’s hefty price tag may be better used to invest in a kitchen renovation to get the counter space you need.

SOURCING:
+ Deglon Meeting Knife Set, $740 USD, Amazon.com
+ Via Mmminimal.com

COOKING tools FOOD + DRINK

Colorful Y-Peelers

colorful y-peelers

colorful y-peelers

I am a huge fan of Y peelers. It’s probably because that was the favorite potato peeler of my mother. Still to these days, I use the straight peeler once in the blue moon. Brands have made them more cheerful. Here is a round-up of what is available if you are in the market for a colorful y-peeler.

Since I think that every kitchen needs two y-peelers, the set of 3 Swiss Classics by Kuhn Rihon (1) will enable every family member to participate in the preparation of dinner. This 20-year old product is proven and tested. It includes the handy potato eye remover on one side. Beware that you must hand wash them.

Karim Rashid designed a curvy ceramic blade y-peeler for Slice (2). The advantages of a ceramic blade is that it supposed to last longer than a steel blade, plus it won’t brown food, transfer smells, or leave a metallic taste. The built-in potato eye is located at the top center.

If you are looking for a cheaper option, you can for the $2 STÄM Peeler (3) from Ikea. It goes in the dishwasher but it lacks the potato eye.

Speciality Blades

Swissmar Y-peelers with three edge types

Swissmar produces peelers with three edge types. The scalpel is what we all know. The serrated edge is made to handle the skins of delicate fruits and vegetables while you can easily create julienne sticks with the julienne edge. They are dishwasher safe.

SOURCING:
+ Kuhn Rikon Original Swiss Peelers $11.95 USD for set of 3 at Cooking.com
STÄM Peeler $2 CAD at Ikea
+ The slice Y-Peeler $14.99 USD at Slice
+ Swissmar Y-peelers $14.72 USD for set of 3 (scalpel, serrated, julienne)  [affiliate link]

COOKING tools FOOD + DRINK

New Uses for Old Things: Muffin Tins

muffin tin ice cube tray cookie bowl

muffin tin ice cube tray cookie bowl

There seems to be no end to the versatility of baking tins: from container gardens to home office organizing stations. Though as useful as they may be elsewhere in your home, turns out they can be put to creative use in the kitchen too.

With its inverted moulds, Wilton’s Non-Stick Ice Cream Cookie Bowl tray makes a simple scoop of ice cream practically gourmet. The fluted edges of each “bowl” mimic vintage ice cream sundae dishes, but you can create the look (and the taste) for less by flipping over a regular muffin tin, adding a generous coat of cooking spray and forming your cookie dough around the mounds.

Lest you work up a sweat baking these sweet treats in the summer heat, keep cool by adding oversized ice cubes to your drink. Place slices of lemon and lime in muffin tins, fill with water and freeze! Try freezing cucumbers and pairing them with this recipe for Spa Cucumber Water, or use berries and plop the ice cubes in a punchbowl. If you don’t have a large freezer, remember to make room to balance the muffin tin.

We want to know: have you re-purposed kitchen tools or utensils in creative ways? Share your tip in the comments!

SOURCING:
+ Wilton Non-Stick Ice Cream Cookie Bowl, $11.99 USD
+ Lemon-Lime Ice Cubes from Industrious Justice