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Vacation Rental Essentials

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  1. Wine Preserver Bundle

    Wine Preserver Bundle

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    Regular Price: $16.00

    Special Price: $15.00

    Why It's Cool: Lays a “blanket” of inert gas over your wine to keep it fresh & tasty for days after it's opened, then the stoppers keep the gas in and look great

    OK ...there are times when you want to stop short of finishing that open bottle of wine: you’re trying to cut back on consumption, you have more than one bottle open, you want to save some for tasting another day …. What technique do you use to preserve that bottle - or bottles - for next time? There are several options, and we’ve recently identified a product that we think works really well.

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  2. 12-cup Muffin Pan

    Trudeau Silicone Muffin Pan

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    $27.99

    Why It's Cool: A muffin pan with the structural and cooking benefits of metal and the non-stick and flexibility benefits of silicone.

    Ever since silicone muffin pans were first introduced, I thought the idea was brilliant and kept buying and trying them, usually with disappointing results. They were either floppy, or not very non-stick, or cooked food poorly...or all three. But the idea of flexible muffin cups that allow you to push muffins out easily still intrigued me, and I knew that not all silicone pans are created equal. There must be someone somewhere who could make one that lived up to my hopes.

    Well, that day finally has arrived…

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  3. Trudeau Mixing Bowls

    Trudeau Mixing Bowls

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    $29.99

    Why It's Cool: Microwave safe, dripless pour spouts, slick interior for easy emptying

    How could a set of mixing bowls be a Cool Tool? We all use mixing bowls … of various shapes and sizes and materials … and sometimes we even have more than one set, to cover the range of features that we want for various purposes at different times. But rarely do you find all those features - and more - in one set of bowls … until now!

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  4. Trudeau Maison Seafood Picks (Set of 2)

    Trudeau Maison Seafood Picks (Set of 2)

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    $3.99

    Why It's Cool: Get into every crevice of your seafood shell to get out all the tasty seafood

    A seafood pick is an indispensable tool when you’re trying to get the meat out of a shellfish shell. Most spoons are not small enough to reach into all the crevices, and your fingernail just doesn’t do the trick. What you want is something long and thin, that can reach deep inside a shell, with just enough curve to pull out the meat out as the pick exits the shell. We’ve found one that really excels at this important task.

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  5. Trudeau Maison Seafood Cracker

    Trudeau Maison Seafood Cracker

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    $7.99

    Why It's Cool: Seafood cracker with 2 positions, biting teeth and a comfortable handle

    A seafood cracker is basically like a nutcracker: it uses leverage to help you crack tough seafood shells. So what you want in a seafood cracker is something sturdy enough to crack hard shells, yet comfortable enough so that you don’t hurt your hand when you squeeze it. We think we’ve found just the one...

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  6. Trudeau Duo Electric Salt and Pepper Mill

    Trudeau Duo Electric Salt and Pepper Mill

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    $59.99

    Why It's Cool: Grind both salt and pepper with one hand

    If you’ve been reading our Newsletter for a while, you know that we love salt (and pepper)...a lot. You also know that I’m a little lazy. So if I can find a tool that makes my life easier, I want to try it. And if it’s well designed, well-made and performs its function well, it joins our list of Cool Tools.

    Well, we did find an electric salt mill that we like, but if you want pepper too, then you have to pick up another mill (I told you I was lazy). So, is there something that works well and cuts down on even that step? There is…

    NB: Trudeau has discontinued this model (although we still love it!), so when these are gone, they are truly gone!

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  7. Tovolo Silicone Spatula

    Tovolo Silicone Spatula

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    $7.00

    Why It's Cool: Heat resistant, sturdy, but flexible, great shape, comfortable to use--it has it all!

    Every spatula has two parts: a business end (the head) and a gripping end (the handle); both are important in choosing a spatula.

    But first let’s start with why you need a spatula (just in case there was any doubt). A spatula, by design, is the best tool for folding, stirring, and scraping everything from egg whites to cookie dough to sauteed meats and vegetables. So to be good, a spatula has to be versatile: wide and sharp enough to cut through egg whites to fold them without deflating, sturdy enough to stir even the stiffest cookie dough, and heat resistant enough to stir fry and saute your favorite meats and vegetables. And all the while being comfortable to hold, because with the ability to do all these tasks, you’ll be holding it a lot! The one we love is also the one that Cooks Illustrated chose as one of it’s 2 top picks and a “Best Buy”.

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  8. Tovolo Flexible Cutting Mats

    Tovolo Flexible Cutting Mats (Set of 4)

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    $9.99

    Why It's Cool: Sturdy enough to stand up to a dishwasher without curling, yet flexible enough to deliver your chopped food to a bowl or pan

    We all have cutting boards of various sizes and materials … and sometimes we have and stick with one favorite … that large professional wood board is a favorite: looks like a mini-butcher’s block and weighs a ton! - as is that white polypropylene model that taught us that cutting boards could go into the dishwasher. But a few years ago, we started becoming accustomed to the convenience of those 4-color sets of cutting “mats” … they combined light weight, space-saving and easy cleanup, and those colors were supposed to remind you to use one color for one food group and another for another, to avoid cross-contamination ...and we found ourselves using them all the time: just grab one, use it, funnel the chopped ingredients into your bowl or pan, and throw it into the sink or dishwasher.

    But the problem has been that, after a relatively short while when we’ve ignored the manufacturers’ “handwash only” admonition and put them in the dishwasher (after all, isn’t that the point of having “plastic” mats, so that you can sanitize them in the dishwasher?), they curled up and didn’t store flat anymore, and you couldn’t keep them flat on the countertop to do the chopping and slicing for which they were intended. So you tossed out that set (or some of it) and got another … and then it happened again, and again. OK, they’re cheap and replaceable and … but it’s still aggravating. Well, no longer! As confirmed fans of flexible cutting mats, we were always looking for a better example … and we’ve found it!

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  9. Tovolo Flex-Core Spatulas

    Tovolo Flex-Core Spatulas

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    $12.99

    Why It's Cool: Flexible, yet strong, mixing and scraping ability with a comfortable stainless steel handle for easy clean-up

    Every kitchen needs multiple spatulas … it’s an unavoidable fact of cooking! Wherever anything is, you need a spatula - of one size or another - to scrape or fold one ingredient out of one place into another. This becomes especially important when you have multiple ingredients prepared in advance - your mise-en-place - or folding egg whites, or if you’ve simply measured out one ingredient to go into a larger dish, like a marinade. You’re always going to need multiple spatulas, in various sizes.

    There are numerous problems with traditional spatulas: the blades are too soft and flexible for many ingredients, you cannot get a firm grip on the handles, they’re either too big or too small for the task at hand, they don’t clean-up well, and some wooden handles deteriorate with repeated washings, especially in the dishwasher. We’ve discovered a solution to each of these issues … the Flex-Core spatulas with stainless steel handles, from Tovolo.

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  10. Tovolo Wine Table

    Tovolo Bamboo Wine Table

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    $22.99

    Why It's Cool: Holds 2 wine glasses and a plate of food—great for concerts in the park or picnics at the beach

    One of the great joys of summer is concerts in the park. Just grab a blanket or a couple of low-backed chairs, a bottle of wine, and your favorite foods to snack on. Then sit back and enjoy the summer and the sounds. But this activity, as delightful as it is, has its own hazards: rarely is the ground ever level enough to support your wine bottle and wine glasses, so you risk not only making a mess, but losing some of your delicious wine.

    Enter the clever design team from Tovolo...

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  11. The Butterie Butter Dish

    The 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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  12. Tappi Champagne Stopper from AdHoc

    Tappi Champagne Stopper from AdHoc

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    $12.99

    Why It's Cool: Preserves the bubbles, looks great, takes up very little space in the drawer or fridge

    There are at least 2 major issues with Champagne stoppers: they take up too much space in use on your refrigerator shelf, or out of use in your drawer, and they’re awkward to use. Often they simply don’t work, because they cannot withstand the pressure from the bottle. And many are just plain ugly.

    Now you can banish all those issues from your bar!

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  13. Cuisipro & Gefu

    Stainless Steel Serving Tongs

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    $14.99

    Why It's Cool: Single-handed stainless steel serving tools make serving food easy and elegant.

    We’ve all become accustomed to using tongs for cooking--they’re like an extension of your fingers (but without the potential to get burned!) They’re a better solution for moving meat around, because they don’t pierce the meat like a fork, causing the juices to run out. But what about using that same idea for serving? Very few of us can master the one-handed fork & spoon grab, but using two pieces together is the most effective way of moving food from a platter to your plate. Enter the serving tongs (some call them salad or pasta tongs, but they really can be used for so much more!) These beauties (we offer two, because we love them both) make serving food a snap ....

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  14. Salsabol

    Salsabol

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    $25.00

    Why It's Cool: Top lip puts your salsa firmly on your chip with no dripping

    How many times have you made (or have you watched your guests make) a mess of the seemingly simple act of dipping your chip into Salsa (or some other delicious, but messy, dip)? And how many times have you thought … there ought to be a solution for this problem! Well, … you can take that question off your list of life’s great mysteries, because two very clever, motivated guys have answered that one! And now you can ask yourself - why didn’t I think of that?

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  15. RSVP Salt Cellar with Spoon (like Alton Brown's)

    RSVP Salt Cellar with Spoon (like Alton Brown's)

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    $21.95

    Why It's Cool: Keeps your salt in easy reach, but protected from splatters

    Party like a rock star... dispense salt like Alton Brown!

    You know how we feel about salt, so we’re always looking for the best way to dispense it. We have a couple of great salt mills on the site, but sometimes a recipe calls for a specific amount of salt, and then it makes sense to be able to spoon it out (or even pinch it out). To do that you must have a container that will fit your measuring spoons or fingers (the box of kosher salt just is too cumbersome here.) There are lots of different salt vessels around, but it’s nice to have one that has a cover (so it doesn’t get splattered from whatever when you’re cooking nearby), that is easy to open with one hand, leaving your other hand free to dispense the salt. And it should be big enough to use easily without taking up too much space on your countertop.

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  16. RSVP Herb Scissors

    RSVP Herb Scissors

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    $9.99

    Why It's Cool: Chiffonade herbs (cut into thin strips) with ease

    The question ringing in my head - and therefore presumably in yours - is “if you (Kennedy) are a self-proclaimed ‘knife guy’, then why are you recommending what some people would call a “gadget” that arguably performs the same function as your knives?”

    And the answer is ...because this well designed scissor-like device performs its task exceptionally well, especially in those situations when you just need to cut-up a small amount of something - often quickly or at the last minute - and you don’t want - or can’t justify - the counter space or the additional cleanup of a knife - or 2 - and a cutting board, and a mise-en-place bowl … right? That’s when you need the RSVP Herb Scissors: a legitimately Cool Tool that simplifies those situations and allows you to assure that you have added all the ingredients you want: whether you forgot earlier, or you decided at the last minute that ‘a little something more’ was a good idea.

    The RSVP Herb Scissors always seem to be ‘in hand’ when we need to cut up some chives: often as last minute garnish on Asian soups, but also for salads, or even scrambled eggs. Same for scallions - aka green onions - and for cilantro, parsley, or any other flavor element like fresh dill or fennel fronds, where a fine, even cut allows the flavor and color to distribute throughout the dish. And it’s super convenient to be able to cut directly into the dish or onto the plate.
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  17. RSVP Endurance Collapsible Colander

    RSVP Endurance Collapsible Colander

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    $37.99

    Why It's Cool: Bring style to every day kitchen helpers--a beautiful and effective colander!

    The primary job of a colander is: to allow you to drain liquid off of solids, whether it’s rinsing fruits or vegetables, draining pasta, to hold fruit and allow air to circulate around it, and the hundreds of other uses that a colander does, day in and day out.

    But a colander has a secondary, and perhaps even a tertiary job: not take up a lot of room and not look ugly. In the “not take up a lot of room” function, let’s face it, most colanders are just big and clunky. True, some collapse, but they usually have holes only at the bottom, so their functionality isn’t all that we could desire. In the “not look ugly” function: well, how many colanders have you seen that you could really say: “wow, that looks great!”

    Well, at Colbrook Kitchen we never stop looking for what we think are the best designs, most functional, and, if possible, most beautiful tools for your kitchen. And, have we found a good one for you .…

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  18. RSVP Endurance Cheese Slicer

    RSVP Endurance Cheese Slicer

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    $18.95

    Why It's Cool: Blade (instead of wire) cuts cheese easily

    Slicing cheese into even and uniform slices is always a problem: you want these slices for your cheeseburgers or grilled cheese sandwiches, or simply to grill for a side to your sauted chilis or almost any Greek dish. And when you’re serving cheese, you want to make it easy for your guests to cut themselves a nice slice.

    But whatever the quality of the knife, it’s next to impossible to cut an even straight line. And those wire-based cutters … well, they just don’t cut it, if you’ll pardon the pun. So what do you do?

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  19. Rösle Smoker Box

    Rösle Smoker Box

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    $19.99

    Why It's Cool: Give your food the flavor of smoke, easily and elegantly.

    We love smoked food, starting with pork barbeque (there is no other kind, you know!) and evolving to include chipotles of a variety of chilies, and smoked tomatoes for homemade ketchup and tomato sauce. And all manner of fish and meats! But these have been major day-long projects in the Big Smoker - done very low and slow for hours. So it doesn’t get done as often as it might, because it’s a bit of a hassle.

    In the Big Grill, imparting the right amount of smoke has also been a bit of a problem … how do you add a bit of smoke flavor on your favorite grilled meats and fishes? Those small trays that come with your Big Grill don’t provide the controlled amount of smoke you need for the desired amount of flavor. What to do?

    Finally we have a high quality, small Smoker Box for this purpose.

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  20. Rösle One-handed Locking Tongs

    Rösle One-handed Locking Tongs

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    Why It's Cool: Easy one-handed locking operation

    Everybody has tongs ...probably several.  And there is a choice between the non-locking versions you see in professional kitchens and the locking versions preferred by most home cooks, who have limited drawer space instead of overhead rails for storage. But most locking tongs require two-handed operation, which is awkward and inconvenient in almost any cooking situation. And other designs that offer one-handed operation require mental re-training, which isn’t always top of mind when you’re focused on preparing your dish.

    Select Stainless Steel or Stainless Steel with Silcone on the next page.

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