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Prep bowls in flexible slicone and fun colors

These silicone prep bowls can save you a few steps--and some dirty dishes--in the kitchen.

Form and function in a flexible package. iSi North America

I resisted the lure of silicone baking tools for a long time. I have friends who won't bake in anything else these days, but I didn't see the allure for quite some time.

Then my husband brought home a silicone brush for painting egg yolk on breads or brushing turkey, and I tried it once. Wow. If you've ever spent a frustrating 20 minutes trying to get egg yolk or greasy junk off a regular basting brush, you know what I'm talking about. So I began exploring other silicone treats, cautiously, but with less disdain than before.

Although they're not quite as awesome as the Head Chefs baking tools Thursday found, these prep bowls from iSi get the job done.

Offered in sets of three 1- or 2-cup bowls with lids, these bowls have flexible rims that effectively form a spout anywhere on the bowl so that you can pour ingredients into a pan, pot, or skillet--or right into your food processor's chute. Try that with a regular prep bowl! They're also microwave and dishwasher safe and heat resistant to 490°F--so you can melt the butter and then mix it right there, rather than dirty an extra glass bowl.

These bowls let you drizzle liquids smoothly, and their light weight makes them easy to maneuver. Slap a lid on to keep ingredients fresh, and toss the bowls in the dishwasher when the cooking is done.

Need something larger? You can also find mixing bowls in 1, 1.5, and 2 quart sizes.