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Countertop oven hides healthy cooking in plain sight

It's that time of year again: time to break the New Year's resolution. Or perhaps this time, make it truly a new year.

Just add water.
Just add water. Williams-Sonoma

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 overachieving toaster oven features simple cooking modes that can handle healthy steam cooking as well as the occasional frozen pizza. A 47-ounce water reservoir attaches to the side of the countertop appliance and allows for up to 2 hours of continuous steaming. Just fill, select a steam setting, and healthy foods can snuggle up in the same gadget that was used just hours before to heat up some sugary toaster pastries.

Preset functions account for all the standard features one would expect to find on a toaster oven type contrivance, plus a few more: toast, convection bake, bake steam, broil, broil steam, steam, super steam, bread, warm. While the appliance allows for everything from proofing bread to steaming a quick meal of fish and veggies, of course what you do with all those choices is entirely up to you. Luckily, with simple-to-use, one-dial operation, finding those healthy settings shouldn't be too hard -- providing, of course, that you would want to.