January is a time of renewal. It also happens to be when appliance makers show off their visions of what is to come. The event is CES 2013 and this year, according to those that make kitchen gadgets and appliances, everything is going to be very, very smart. While we have been promised automated kitchens in one form or another since the time of the Jetsons, there is one important factor in the modern world that may see the smart kitchen finally grow up: mobility.
The annual changing of the calendar brings with it a multitude of promises that nobody intends to actually keep. That's OK; it's just all part of tradition. Things get said, feelings get hurt, but in the end, what really matters more: a couple of extra pounds or never seeing a frozen pizza again? Better to err on the side of caution, apologize to all those fatty and greasy foods -- but keep a little room for healthy steam cooking hidden in plain sight.
Never say never again with the Cuisinart Combo Steam and Convection Oven ($299.95). The … Read more
The circus that is the end of the year is one that is filled with family, friends, and, of course, food. While all these hectic gatherings certainly do represent good times, the occasion can be fraught with danger. As the turkey, ham, or roast rests waiting to go under the knife, the inside of the beast is plotting against you. The anticipation of the first slice is tempered by the reality of the released juices -- inevitably rolling straight to your new tablet, phone, or e-reader.
The same juiciness that makes the centerpiece of a meal delicious also makes it … Read more
Coffee has become an indispensable part of modern culture. And while there happen to be many locations dispensing the beverage in all its incarnations, when the need for a refill hits, time is of the essence. Sure, there are coffee locations that feature drive-through caffeinating, but when it comes down to it, the nearest coffee purveyor could be too far away. While that may be hard to believe in this day and age, there is an even quicker way to fuel up.
The rise of the tablet device as a quick go-to kitchen helper has come as no surprise. Having information available at the fingertips is a good way to improve kitchen skills. The only problem with said fingertips is that often they end up coated in whatever happens to travel from the pantry and the refrigerator to the countertop. Baking can be messy business, but despite the danger of a destroyed tablet, the practice continues.
There are plenty of plastic sleeves and other accessories are available to help keep the device from being contaminated by food. So, we grab the expensive … Read more
What could be better than the smell of a loaf of bread baking? The answer is as simple as it is obvious: the smell of two loaves of bread baking. Yet, in home kitchens everywhere, there is a major stumbling block hindering this wonderful and enticing experience. Alas, the bread machine can only handle one loaf at a time. The answer, again, is as simple as it is obvious: use two bread-making machines. Or just double down on one.
The Cooks Essentials Dual 1 lb. Bread Maker w/12 Programmed Settings ($99) is a double-barreled bread maker that can bake … Read more
America has fallen behind in the space race, folks. Oh sure, NASA may have little dune buggies rolling around up on Mars, but can Curiosity or Opportunity pop a bag of popcorn? Didn't think so. That makes it kind of hard to watch such outer-space classics such as "2001: A Space Odyssey" or "Spaceballs." There is only way to settle in with a bag of popcorn for a true sci-fi experience, and that is with a space-age microwave. And it's the U.K. that has it.
In a world of cookie-cutter cookie cutters, it is not uncommon to find uninspired shapes. But then again, who cares? Cookies are delicious; it doesn't matter how they are cut. End of conversation. Except it does kind of matter; cookies not cut into circus animal shapes may taste the same, but don't tell that to the kids (or the adults who lamented the near death of that classic cookie). But even more unforgivable than carbon-copy cookie cutters, is when they become unrecognizable shapes. That is unless they combine to form a new whole.
The level of sophistication in both professional as well as in home kitchens keeps increasing at a seemingly exponential rate. Part of this acceleration is perhaps due to increased specialization and availability of kitchen gadgets and accessories. Certainly interest in new recipes and procedures seems to be at an all-time high. No matter what one can dream up, equipment as well as online instructions are never very far away. And of course, that goes for booze, too.
The craft cocktail movement of recent years has brought with it the need for specialized tools -- or at least constantly accessible familiar … Read more
Contrary to common perception, New Year's resolutions do not actually start on January 1. The idea is instead created some time between Thanksgiving and the end of the year. Perhaps the inception happens while chowing down on the umpteenth turkey-and-cranberry sandwich or maybe the spark of the idea comes while staring at yet another plate of mashed potatoes and gravy. No matter when it starts, it is probably safe to say that the bulk of these New Year plans involve eating healthier. Or, as the case may be, drinking healthier.