Who knew? Every once in a while I come across a kitchen item that completely baffles me. Usually it is some sort of Frankenstein creation that merges two common tasks into one unit. Another popular item to find, however, is an appliance that is dedicated to one task, and one task only. These devices are likely to be large and priced to attract would-be gift-givers, but ultimately they turn out to be mostly useless. But every now and again I stumble across something that just seems to arise out of a natural need.
With all the holiday gifting going on, consider taking a little time to treat yourself. This Primula flowering tea set comes with a 40-ounce clear glass tea pot and a canister of flowering teas.
Choose a flower and drop it into the pot. Then boil water in a separate kettle and pour it into the pot. The flower--which is actually tea leaves--blooms in a spectacular burst of color and design. Let it steep for 2-3 minutes as you enjoy the visual display and the enticing aroma. The presentation is spectacular, and the cup of tea is a flavorful bonus after … Read more
Looking at the Alphabet Cake Pan, the first thing I think is that I would be able to bake two (or three, or four...) different cakes in one pan--at the same time. I have often wrestled with the age-old question, which type of cake should I make? Ultimately, as I wait for the whichever cake I chose, I realize I should have made both. Now, with the Alphabet Cake Pan, I can.
The pan measures 14 inches long by 8.5 inches wide and comes with 12 hollow blocks. An imprinted grid on the bottom of the pan serves as … Read more
San Francisco is not well known for its pizza. It's sad, but true. And while there is a smattering of decent pizza available, the options are few and far between. As a result, I did what any rational pizza-starved adult would do: I formed a pizza club.
So far this 'club' consists of just me and a fellow pizza-hungry buddy searching about for delicious area pizza. There's not much to it; basically, we find a promising spot and go eat there. No pictures. No arguing over thick or thin crust, to fold or not to fold; just a … Read more
Thanksgiving is over, but that doesn't mean you can't take it with you. The start of the workweek may mean getting back to the grind, but it doesn't have to mean trudging off to the same old sandwich shop. Put those rapidly diminishing Thanksgiving leftovers to use and bring them to work. Not only do you get to enjoy the flavor of the holiday in your cubicle, but you can also save yourself from having to endure yet another tasteless sub.
Woot Wine, an offshoot of one of the original "deal-a-day" Web sites, has branched out from its usual tempranillos and cabernets to offer a few gifts aimed at gourmets this season. Today's deal, the GRIND Reflex II Salt and Pepper Set, caught my attention because it's just the kind of useful and lovely item that makes an excellent hostess gift.
The 6-inch-tall salt and pepper grinders feature a pump mechanism that you operate with your thumb, so you can grind salt and pepper with one hand. (Obviously, this set is designed for use at the table … Read more
The Superbowl will be here before you know it, and if you're anything like me, you've been too busy to catch live every game leading up to it. DVRs, of course, let you record and replay programs you've missed, but if you don't have TiVo or a similar device, you often have to rely on low-fidelity videos watched on your home computer.
With inventions like the MicroMatic v-POD Tower, however, replaying your favorite games gets a little more exciting and a lot more high-tech.
The v-POD beer dispenser has a built-in 10-inch LCD screen, and a … Read more
If you want to buy someone a gift that you'll get to take advantage of next year, then consider these Moscardino Sporks from the MoMA design store. You can use the scoop and fork ends, so they're perfect both for spearing meats and cheeses and for spooning salsa and dip onto … Read more
I'm already looking forward to my favorite part of Thanksgiving: leftovers. The days immediately following Turkey Day are filled with delicious morsels of every imaginable color, shape, size, texture and most importantly, taste. We will ponder sandwich combinations that aren't seen any other time of year. A mashed potato, turkey, and cranberry sandwich topped with a glazed carrot drizzle? Sure, why not? One can only eat so many plates with nicely compartmentalized leftovers. Sometimes the party just has to come together. (Note to self: This year find something to mix in with that all-too-familiar green bean casserole).
As … Read more
There's just something so perfect about a cup of hot tea and a few gingersnaps on a cold night. I dip the cookies in my tea--I can skip adding sugar, and I get a little bit of the ginger mixed into my tea as well, making for a truly tasty treat. Product designer Matilda Sunden Ringner has taken that delicious taste a step further: she created the Gingerspoon, a spoon shaped from gingerbread dough and meant for a quick dip in your tea, coffee, or other hot drink in need of a good dunking.
The Gingerspoon actually works a … Read more