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Miscellaneous

These are some more Cool Tools that we love, but they didn't fit neatly into one of the other categories.

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  1. Architec Recipe Rock

    Architec Recipe Rock

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    $9.99

    Why It's Cool: Holds a recipe sheet or card off the counter and at a great angle

    With more of us printing recipes off the internet (maybe even some from Colbrook Kitchen!), someone had to come up with an elegant solution for getting the recipe off the counter and into an upright, readable position...and someone did!

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  2. Confessions of a Serial Entertainer by Steven Stolman

    Book: Confessions of a Serial Entertainer by Steven Stolman (signed by the author)

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    $29.99

    Why It's Cool: Witty, entertaining and informative book about how to be a gracious, relaxed and confident host.

    We love cookbooks and have a huge library of them, but it’s not something we’ve chosen to carry at Colbrook Kitchen… until now. But then, this isn’t just a cookbook--it’s a guidebook for anyone who invites people over (or would like to) and wants to do it with a maximum of style and a minimum of stress.

    Steven Stolman, clothing designer, former president of Scalamandre Fabrics, author, and self-proclaimed serial entertainer, shares his secrets, not only of how to be a gracious host, but how to be a great guest as well. Steven is the author of 40 Years of Fabulous and Scalamandré: Haute Décor. And he's our cousin!
    He freely admits to using lots of shortcuts and packaged products to make life easier, and these tips and many others are part of the wit and wisdom that fills these pages and will make everyone from the novice to the veteran party thrower a more confident and successful host. And along the way Steven shares recipes for everything from Pimento Cheese through Chicken Milanese to Sorta Strawberries Romanoff.

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  3. Butterie Butter Dish

    Butterie Butter Dish

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    $12.99

    Why It's Cool: One-handed access to soft butter

    How many mornings have you fought with hard cold butter, just to get a decent slice of buttered toast? Or what about the last time you made a grilled cheese sandwich (yum!) and wanted to spread a little butter on the bread before you grilled it? All of these problems stem from the fact that we have all been under the erroneous impression that we needed to keep butter cold in the refrigerator in order to ward off evil germs.

    Well, the folks at Butterie (makers of the truly better butter dish) challenged that assumption and commissioned an ISO/IEC 17025 accredited laboratory to perform a study that determined that butter can be stored without refrigeration - at ‘ambient temperatures’ of 68F/20C - 77F/25C - for up to 21 days, without danger of microbiological spoilage or rancidity. Then they developed a butter dish that took advantage of those conclusions and created an on-counter home for your butter.

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  4. ChefSpecs

    ChefSpecs

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    $24.95

    Why It's Cool: Recipe “readers” in all strengths with magnetic holder that keeps glasses handy in the kitchen--looks very cool with spoons on ear pieces

    OK, admit it … even if we’ve had Lasik surgery or wear contacts all the time, there are times, especially in the kitchen, when we can use some help ...assembling the ingredients, double-checking the next step in recipe … in short, being able to see clearly and conveniently. Right?

    And the run-of-the-mill “cheaters” don’t do the job: even if you can find them handily, at that exact moment when you need to see clearly or risk ruining your mise-en-place, then they’re very likely to have been bent, stretched, or twisted to the point that they don’t fit  ...or they won’t stay in place as you sweat over a hot stove, so you keep pushing them back up on your nose and … and they won’t stay in place so that you can both look through them to read, while peering over them to see how things are progressing on the other side of the kitchen, so you keep adjusting and coating them with flour or chicken yuck … right?

    No longer! All these issues go away with Chefspecs®!

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  5. Plastic Wrap

    ChicWrap

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    $14.99

    Why It's Cool: Takes the frustration out of using kitchen wraps: plastic wrap, foil and parchment.

    OK, I’ve already admitted that I’m a klutz when it comes to plastic wrap; that’s one of the reasons that we love the Charles Viancin Lids. But there are times when plastic wrap can be the best solution. And there are fewer alternatives to foil and parchment, both of which have a hallowed, if frustrating, place in our kitchen. But these always have been hate-love-hate relationships because, try as I might, the grocery store dispensers of all the various products in this category get messy, don’t tear evenly or well, start breaking down the moment you start to use them, and are generally unsatisfactory kitchen “helpers”. In short, most are badly designed and function poorly: the very opposite of Cool Tools!

    That’s why we were so excited to discover ChicWrap...

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  6. OXO Silicone Bowl Scrapers (Set of 2)

    OXO Silicone Bowl Scrapers (Set of 2)

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    $9.99

    Why It's Cool: Flexible silicone edge for getting the last bit out

    How does a humble bowl scraper (a pair, in fact) become a Cool Tool? We’ve all seen, had and/or used bowl scrapers; they are those straight or curved bits of plastic that usually are a medium for advertising, and secondarily a handy tool in the kitchen. They’re useful not only to scrape out the contents of a bowl, but also to pick up the food that you have carefully chopped (you don’t want to use your knife for this--it dulls the knife and can be a little dangerous).

    But what elevates a scraper to Cool Tool status?

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  7. OXO Steel Lever Corkscrew (Wine Opener)

    OXO Steel Lever Corkscrew (Wine Opener)

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    $39.99

    Why It's Cool: Easy, effective cork removal with a built-in foil cutter

    We are on a continuous hunt for the best way to open a bottle of wine. We want something easy to use, effective and convenient, with a nice design, because it lives on the counter for easy access.

    Our new favorite corkscrew - the Steel Corkscrew from Oxo - is an improved design of the classic ‘Screwpull’ or ‘Rabbit’ lever design, sleekly rendered in brushed die-cast zinc with black rubber and plastic. The ergonomics are excellent and very attractive: from the soft non-slip grip of the lever to the hand-sized collar to guide the worm (or screw) into the neck of the wine bottle, this is a well-designed tool. In two simple motions (after removing the foil), you squeeze the collar around the neck of your wine bottle and lower the lever all the way down, and the ~3”/7.5cm non-stick worm easily penetrates the length of most corks. Simply remove the cork from the bottle and pump the lever one more time to remove it from the corkscrew. Easy to use and highly effective!

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  8. Progressive Canning Products

    Progressive Canning Products

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    Why It's Cool: The funnel covers the jar rim to keep it clean and a space to show headroom, the lid lifter and jar lifter both work great to retrieve jars and lids

    When gardens and farmers’ markets start going into overdrive, we start thinking about capturing all of this bounty and preserving it for later consumption--in other words: canning. Whether it’s making jams or marmalades, tomato sauce or ketchup, chutneys or pickles, or any other overwhelming quantities of summer’s bounty, canning is an easy way to enjoy the produce of summer throughout the year.

    I used to think canning was mysterious and difficult, but it isn’t. There are lots of good books out there about how to do it, and there is very little more satisfying than sharing and enjoying your treasures from the summer when the weather is dismal.

    To get started in canning, you need a really big pot and canning jars and lids, but there are also a few essential tools that make canning a lot easier: a good funnel for putting things in your jars, a jar lifter to take jars in and out of the water bath without burning your fingers, and a lid lifter to lift the jar lids out of the sterilizing water bath (again, without burning your fingers).

    Progressive has thoughtfully packaged a set of well-designed tools to make your canning exercise easier; each of the tools in this set  is a model of efficiency and functionality. Cool Tools, each and every one!

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  9. Progressive Canning Scoop

    Progressive Canning Scoop

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    $7.99

    Why It's Cool: Holds a lot and reaches into the corners of the pot; handy hook hangs it on the side of the pot

    We all have ladles that we use for soups or sauces, and we often use them for canning. And I thought that a good ladle was enough. That is, I thought that until I tried the Progressive Canning Scoop.

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  10. RSVP Endurance Stainless Steel Scrubbie (Package of 2)

    RSVP Endurance Stainless Steel Scrubbie (Package of 2)

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    $2.50

    Why It's Cool: Cleans like a champ and doesn't rust

    OK, so clean-up is definitely not the most exciting part of cooking. But, alas, it is always a necessary set of tasks. So when you find something clever, effective, and reasonably priced that will make these otherwise unpleasant tasks easier and better-performed, it make sense to check it out. And we did just that with the Scrubbie from RSVP.

    The Scrubbie is an all-stainless steel coil that doesn’t rust, but does really clean any non-coated pot or pan, thoroughly and quickly. It’s long lasting, and the rough surface really helps scrub-away stuck-on or burned-on food. And the Scrubbie itself cleans up easily in your dishwasher.

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  11. Blue

    Tovolo Perfect Cube Silicone Ice Trays (Set of 2)

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    $14.99

    Why It's Cool: Freezes a variety of things in perfect cubes, from ice to herb nuggets and more!

    If you’re like us, then you may think: why do I need an ice cube tray? My freezer makes all the ice I need without human intervention. That’s what we thought until we saw the video below from Team Chefsteps in Seattle. Making flavor nuggets seemed a good reason to have an ice tray. Then we pureed some tomatoes from our garden (but farmers’ market tomatoes are just as good), cooked them down, and froze them in the ice cube tray. Now we have another kind of nugget that adds a wonderful flavor note to so many dishes. (And the tomato puree never discolored the trays!)

    Next we saw just how pretty square cubes could be, and even prettier if you freeze fruit, flowers or herbs in them.

    Then there’s the idea of freezing coffee to make non-diluted iced coffee, or tea for the same purpose. How about freezing cubes of fresh citrus juice, when citrus is plentiful and cheap to use later? We’ve all become accustomed to time-shifting - think DVRs and their equivalents. Now we can season-shift: save special fruits and vegetables when they’re readily available, to enjoy in the off-season when they’re not!

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  12. Trudeau Dripless Spout

    Trudeau Dripless Oil Spout

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    $11.99

    Why It's Cool: Truly dripless pouring from any bottle.

    We all buy - or receive - bottles of olive oil or vinegar that we store for another day … they come either corked or with a screwtop that has to be removed and/or replaced every time we use it …. But when we want to use it immediately - without having to unscrew the top or re-pull the cork in the midst of executing a recipe - we need a pour spout, in order to avoid using the “thumb on the bottle” drizzle technique ….

    But most pour spouts are dreadful refugees from cheap cocktail bars: they don’t seal well enough to maintain freshness and don’t keep out the tiny insects inevitably attracted to your delicious oil or vinegar. And, when in use, they don’t control the flow and then inevitably drip, creating a mess on your countertop or the side of the bottle, and in your cabinet … yuck! Right?

    No longer!

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  13. Trudeau Silicone Glass Drying Mat

    Trudeau Silicone Glass Drying Mat

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    $9.99

    Why It's Cool: The best solution for draining and drying glassware – whether hand-wash only, or just more than the dishwasher can handle

    We all know this scenario … it’s late at night, after a lovely. leisurely dinner with friends featuring many dishes and glasses (bottles?) of wine … it seems like every guest needed yet another glass to taste that ‘other’ wine … and now your last duty as the host is cleanup …. But your dishwasher is full, or maybe you brought out the “good” - hand-wash only! - glasses … and so you need additional space to drain all your glasses … OK, yes you can use a towel on the counter, but that, or those thick microfiber drying mats, aren't very stable, and tomorrow morning those glasses will still have moisture inside the bowl and you’ll have to hand-dry them again anyway … have I got it?

    Well, no longer … this Glass Drying Mat will provide that extra draining & drying capacity that you need, and will store away conveniently until next time …

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