Browsing Tag

stainless steel

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

FOOD + DRINK TABLEWARE

Stainless Steel Snack Bowls and Cats

stainless steel snack bowls

stainless steel snack bowls

It is fun when you discover new usages for every day objects. Take these modern snack bowls, for example.  A cat owner bought two stainless steel snacks at CB2 to feed and serve water to her cats. At last, you could get affordable cat bowls that you will not want to hide in a corner of your apartment. And I think that your cat will make less mess than with the traditional flat hole bowls due to the slopped shape.

stainless steel snack bowls used as cat bowls

If you prefer to stick to their original usage, a buyer commented on the CB2 Web site that she uses the larger one to serve pistachios and the mini bowls for the discarded shells.

SOURCING:
+ USA:  Stainless steel snack bowls at CB2, $19.95 USD, mini at $10.95
+ Canada: Stainless steel snack bowls at CB2, 24.95 CAD, mini at $12.95
+  Cat bowls from Modern Cat

COOKING tools FOOD + DRINK

Coolest Dish Rack and Fruit Bowls from Alessi

tempo dish rack and drainer by pauline deltour for alessi

tempo dish rack and drainer by pauline deltour for alessi

Thursday night, I went to a media event at the Montreal Alessi store on Crescent Street. One thing that I learned about Alessi is that they do not commissioned designers for projects. Instead, designers presented to Alessi their ideas and Alessi selected the best ones for their brand. This is why their catalogue of products is so diversified.

Let’s have a look at my favorite items from the Spring 2010 collection or the Fall 2010 collection.

The French-born, Munich-based designer Pauline Deltour created a series called Tempo. Her Tempo dish rack with its resin drainer is the most gorgeous dish rack of market. You would not mind that it sits on your counter. The dish rack and the cutlery drainer are made in 18/10 stainless steel. An optional thermoplastic resin tray not only acts as the drainer but it enables you to bring plates and bowls from the table to the sink.

Fruit Bowls and Bread Baskets

pauline deltour wire baskets for Alessi

This is not all. Look at the beautiful wire basket collection by Pauline Deltour. She designed a fruit basket with an optional fruit plate, a citrus basket, and a waste basket. I like the simple lines of their utilitarian design.

peneira mesh baskets by fratelli campana for alessi

A fine 18/10 stainless steel mesh is used to produce the Peneria baskets designed by the Campana brothers. The Brazilian duo finished it with a natural fiber rim. The result are baskets that look delicate and organic. They are stunning. I like the small one as a bread basket and the middle size as a fruit bowl.

Finally, it gave me a chance to see and touch the Ovale dinnerware collection by Studio Bouroullec. The plates and dishes are smaller than I imagined but I see it as a plus. I’m getting tired of oversized tableware. And it probably why the collection feel modern Scandinavian. The double walled ice bucket is superb.

SOURCING:
+ Tempo dish rack by Pauline Deltour for Alessi $116 USD
+ Tempo draining tray by Pauline Deltour for Alessi $34
+ Tempo wire basket by Pauline Deltour for Alessi from $52 to $95
+ Peneira basket by Fratelli Campana for Alessi from $69 to $190

COOKING tools FOOD + DRINK

Accessories for Stuffed Jalapeño Peppers

jalapeno Pepper Roaster at williams-sonoma

jalapeno Pepper Roaster at williams-sonoma

When I showed the pictures of the Jalapeño Pepper Roaster to my husband, he immediately exclaimed : I want it! He knows how to make me happy. The Jalapeño Peppers roaster at Williams-Sonoma caught my eyes not just for his intended purpose. I feel that I could use it as a server for cone shaped food. You could add the Jalapeño Pepper Corer to ease the prep stage.

jalapeno Pepper Corer

SOURCING:
+ Jalapeño Pepper Roaster $19.95 USD
+ Jalapeño Pepper Corer $9

COOKING tools FOOD + DRINK

Stainless Steel Smoker Box

stainless steel smoker box for a gaz grill at williams-sonoma

stainless steel smoker box for a gaz grill at williams-sonoma

I will go to Boston next week. Before my trip, I started to look at what is new at my favorite kitchenware and tableware shops, that we do not have here in Montreal. For sure, the Stainless Steel Smoker Box will be sitting inside the trunk of my car when I returned home.

You see, my husband does not want to get a charcoal grill since we live in a row house.  He is right; the smoke would not be kind to the neighbors. But as many foodies, I wish to infuse a smoky flavor to our BBQ dishes. The smoker box is a good compromise. And to my delight, it is dishwasher-safe.

With Father’s day a few week away, I thought that it would make a delightful gift for dad. It is a gadget that he will use.

SOURCING:
+ Stainless Steel Smoker Box $39.99 USD at Williams-Sonoma

FOOD + DRINK TABLEWARE

The Magisso Cake Server really Works

how the magisso cake server works

When Jean-Luc Bouchard of Urban-Butik, the North American distributor of Magisso products, offered me a sample of the new Magisso Cake Server I accepted immediately. I like the concept but I was curious to see if it really works. After all, the practicality of a single serving ware piece instead of the typical cake knife and server set is appealing.

I first discovered the Magisso Cake Server through a NYC Gift Fair report done by Maxwell of Apartment Therapy. But the video posted on AT did not convince me because Miika served a sponge cake at the fair. Too easy! I wanted to make sure it cuts through more demanding cakes before introducing the Magisso Cake Server on my blog.

To simplify my life, Jean-Luc offered to bring me a cake. He showed up at my door the next day with the co-owner Anne Foged. They brought me a soft interior cake with an icing top similar to what you get on a mille-feuilles minus the pastry. This is more what I was looking for. Plus, the cake was delicious.

How the Magisso Cake Serve Works

magisso cake server cuts and serves cake pieces with one tool

The curve side down, you start on an angle by pressing at the center of the cake and move the cake server flat to neatly cut a cake piece. You squeeze a little bit the handle while you transfer the cake on a plate. Release. Voilà! It is super easy and it works every time. Your kids will be able to do it.

Get one for yourself and stock a few for your Christmas gifts. Your friends and family should appreciate it.

SOURCING:
+ Magisso Cake Server – you can buy it online $69.95 CAD

HOME + GARDEN HOME decor

Modern Stainless Steel Cat Tree

modern cat tree by distance design

If you live with a cat, you know what I mean. The typical cat tree does not help our decor. A Danish design company decided to change this by creating modern style pet gears. You won’t have to hide the cat tree and the cat bowls when you have guests over.

This modern cat tree has a stainless steel post with a steel base. The perches with pillow and the sisal scratching area can be mounted on the post as you wish. It looks sharp. The only unknown at this point is how big a hole it will make on your budget.

+ Distance Design
+ via Moderncat

FOOD + DRINK TABLEWARE

Stylish Stainless Steel Water Bottles

stainless steel water bottles by earthlust

As a pursuit to reduce my consumption of plastic water bottles, I am looking for a reusable water bottle that would look great while I walk in the city. I wish for a funky or cool modern print. The SIGG bottles have a trendy look but they are made of aluminum which means that they can corrode. I trust more the food grade stainless steel bottles.

Earthlust

First let’s look at Earthlust. This small brand started by a mother from San Francisco has a cute line. I would like if the drawing theme extends beyond nature. I like the cute poppies and the silver Crow. Earthlust bottles use non-toxic paints and BPA-free safe polypropelene caps.

Klean Kanteen

stainless steel water bottles and accessories by klean kanteen

For a minimalist look, look at Klean Kanteen. They started selling stainless steel reusable water bottles in 2004. Their line is quite extensive with all kinds of caps to fit your lifestyle and preferences. Plus, more of their range is dishwasher safe.

They launched not long ago an extra-wide mouth bottle which is more practical if you like to put ice cubes or fresh berries into your drink. The wide-mouth is only available in brushed metal finish. It has a lightly shorter profile, more compact and lighter than the Classic model.

The sleek stainless steel Classic bottles also come in 6 colors: green moss, orange sunset, ocean blue, black eclipse, pink renewal, tree bark and indicator red. The Classic model feels more like a bottle versus the wide mouth model which feels more like a Mason jar.

The outside of Klean Kanteen caps is made 100% BPA-free with the inside made of 100% stainless steel. Therefore, your drinks will never touch plastic. And their bottles fit totes by Built NY.

I still have to find a brand that make stainless steel bottles with hip designs than are as good as the SIGG Lifestyle series. If you know one, I would like to know who it is.

SOURCING:
+ Growing Tree Stainless Steel Water Bottle by Earthlust 13  oz. $15.95 USD
+ Earthlust Crow Stainless Steel Water Bottle – in red or silver 20 oz. $15.00 USD
+ Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Colored Water Bottles on sale $9.95 – $25.49 USD
+ Built NY Totes for Klean Kanteen 27 oz Stainless Steel Bottles $27.50 – $35.50 USD
+ Built NY Totes for Klean Kanteen 40 oz Stainless Steel Bottles $40 – $45 USD

COOKING tools FOOD + DRINK

Magisso Kitchen Cloth Holder Available in North America

magisso kitchen cloth holder :: curved stainless steel model in a square sink

Do you recall this fabulous discovery from the IDS 09 in Toronto? Magisso exhibited at the IDS in the hope to find a distributor. They did! Urban Butik opened a couple days ago their online store, which delivers in Canada and the Unites States.  I used my kitchen cloth holder since the IDS and I am very pleased with it.

There are three models to choose from: the curved stainless steel, the straight stainless steel and the curved plastic handle. The two models are identical except for the material used for the handle part of the holder. Until now, I used the plastic model. I will give it to my sister in law now that I received a complimentary stainless steel model. The stainless steel suits more my style.

2 models of stainless steel magisso kitchen cloth holder

The straight model is designed to satisfy the aesthetics of people that opt for a sink with square corners. By opting for the straight handle, they maintain the integrity of their straight line kitchen.

I am happy to report that the distributor are from Montreal, my home town. Urban Butik is the love child of Anne Foged and Jean-Luc Bouchard.

Update: Besides buying online, retailers in the United States currently sell this practical kitchen gadget. I guess that it will not take too long before Canadian retailers follow. They update their retailer lists regularly.

MORE:
+ Magisso Kitchen Cloth holder all stainless steel model $59.95, plastic handle model $24.95 at Urban Butik

COOKING tools FOOD + DRINK

How to Select a Cookware Set?

stainless stell cookware by lagostina all-clad j.a. henckels :: copper calphalon cookware

The high-quality cookware makes a difference when cooking. They last longer but more importantly they will cook better because they distribute heat more efficiently.

A set provides the basic pots and pans that you need on a daily basis. You will add specialized pots as you need them.

Although a superior cookware set can cost a lot, it is money well spent. Cookware in large retail chains go on sale at 50% off a few times a year. So check the store flyers to spot your favorite cookware.

Finishes and base compositions

Copper pots and pans work incredibly well. I like their charming look. But they require too much work to keep their beautiful shine. This is why, stainless steel rules on my house. The only exception is my enameled cast iron Dutch oven by Le Creuset.

My basic cookware set has a copper inlay base. Some higher-end sets have a copper core with a stainless steel finishes. This is the case of the Copper-Core collection by All-Clad. I just added to my wish list.

Stay away from non-stick

I know that non stick cookware is really popular. Believe me, I do not enjoy cleaning and modern stainless steel cookware is a lot easier to clean. Except for the average size frying pan to cook your eggs, stay away from non-stick cookware. I am sorry but you cannot cook properly in those.

I used the stainless steel cookware all my life. In the worst case, I do a couple turns with a light duty scour pad. I let my pots and pans soak in hot water and dish liquid (I used Sunlight or Dawn) for a few minutes after they cooled down. As clean as new!

What to look for when buying a cookware set

Bring this checklist when you go shopping for your next cookware.

  1. Extra-thick base. A superior cookware is heavy because of its 3 to 5-ply construction.
  2. Double-rivet handles are more robust and durable.
  3. For safety reasons, go for long, stay cool handles. But also select a handle that feels comfortable in your hands. Hold the pots and pans in your hands before buying a set. Like I said, you will use it for a long time. So take the time
  4. Heavy lids stay in place. Look for a shape that promotes water circulation.
  5. Oven safe cookware is a must; broiler safe is the ultimate solution. Make sure the lids are also oven safe.
  6. A 12″ (30-32 cm) everyday pan with loop handles and a lid is practical to move the pan from the stove top to the oven to the table. Buy it separately from the set. I own two such pans and use them several times a week.
  7. All metal handles, because they support higher oven temperature. I bought my second everyday pan with loop handles because the handles of the first one are not all in metal. I was preparing a delicious recipe that was calling for an oven temperature higher than 350 °F. Luckily, I bought my Jamie Oliver Italian Series Ragout pan at 50% off at The Bay two years ago.
  8. Buy a set that supports all stove top types. If you buy a gas, glass, ceramic and induction stoves all have their requirements. The finest cookware sets are typically built for all stove top types.
  9. Here is a quick test if you are tempted by the new Electrolux  Induction Hybrid cooktops, do the magnet test. You can use a decorative kitchen magnet. If the magnet sticks to the base, the cookware is induction cooking ready.
  10. Dishwasher safe is a matter of a personal choice; some people do not like to put their cookware in the dishwasher. I am lazy when it comes to cleaning; therefore dishware safe cookware is a must for me.

I selected 5 high-quality cookware sets for you or to give as a wedding gift. See Sourcing for details.

>>> Sourcing:
Buy online: Lagostina Pro-Clad 10-Piece Cookware Set [sears.ca] – price: $899.99 CAD
Buy online: Tri-ply Copper 10-pc. Cookware Set by Calphalon [cooking.com] – price: $449.99 USD
Buy online: Copper-Core 10-pc. Cookware Set by All-Clad [cooking.com] – price: $1,199.99 USD
Buy online: J.A. Henckels 7-Pc. Classic Clad Cookware Set [sears.ca] – price: $599.99 CAD
Buy online: MC2 Master Chef 2 7-pc. Cookware Set by All-Clad [cooking.com] – price: $339.99 USD