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This Week's Cool Tools

Pick one recipe for each item you buy, add it to your cart, and we'll include it in your package as our gift to you.

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  1. Charles Viancin Silicone Coasters

    Charles Viancin Silicone Coasters

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    $2.99

    Why It's Cool: Protects your furniture from glass marks and drips, designed not to stick to your glass, prevents sliding if used between your glass and a tray... and they're beautiful!

    Coasters are an interesting subject. What, exactly, are they supposed to do? Are they supposed to be absorbent, like the bar napkin that always accompanies your drink? Are they also intended to be protective (which bar napkins surely are not!) against liquids and watermarks on your furniture or countertop? If so, then how protective? Is merely lifting the glass off the surface enough? Or should they also contain, or absorb, the condensation from the glass? And finally, in the midst of all these functional questions lies the question of beauty … should the functional winners be merely plain and simple? Or does beauty deserve extra credit in your selection criteria?

    We think that it does, and that’s why we’re so excited about these Silicone Coasters from Charles Viancin.

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  2. Sea Collection

    Charles Viancin Silicone Glass Covers (XSmall Lids) - Set of 2

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    $8.99

    Why It's Cool: Keeps the heat in and the bugs out

    OK, it’s a beautiful afternoon, you’re enjoying the outdoors with a lovely glass of wine, and all of a sudden you notice that a fruit fly is doing the backstroke in your wine glass--ugh!

    Unfortunately, bugs are a fact of outdoor life, but they don’t have to be a source of protein in your drink. These small adorable silicone lids form Charles Viancin in a bunch of different designs are perfect for keeping the bugs out of your glass or (in the case of coffee or tea) the heat in your cup. At 4 ½” in diameter, they fit just about any wine glass, highball or cocktail glass, cup or mug, and look good while they’re doing it.

    And they also make great covers for cups of soup at your table--try a different cover on each bowl for a charming and whimsical table setting!

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  3. Charles Viancin Sippers (Set of 4)

    Charles Viancin Sippers (Set of 4)

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    $19.99

    Why It's Cool: Protect your drink from bugs and debris while having easy access to drink it

    The latest issue of Cooks’ Illustrated has a reader’s tip about using a paper muffin pan liner with a straw poked through to protect your drinks from bugs. While you’ve got to admire the McGyver creativity of this, we don’t always have muffin liners and straws lying around, I’ve never been able to successfully poke a straw through paper without bending the straw and tearing the paper, and it’s a single use, throw it away solution, which I try to avoid.

    However, this does highlight a summer problem: bugs are as attracted to your drinks as you are. And debris just floats through the air, looking for someplace to land. So while we’re spending more time outside and enjoying beverages (adult or otherwise), there is a need for an elegant solution to keeping the bugs and debris out of your drink, while still allowing you to enjoy it easily. And we have one for you…

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  4. Chef'n FreshForce Basting Brush

    Chef'n FreshForce Basting Brush

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    $17.99

    Why It's Cool: Holds sauce like a champ, silicone “bristles” clean up easily in dishwasher

    One of the keys to good grilled food is the layers of flavor you get when use first a dry rub of various herbs and spices (the combinations are endless) and then a mop of some sauce that provides more flavor to the protein, and then can caramelize into a delicious crust.

    We love silicone basting brushes, whether it’s for spreading oil in a pan or smearing sauce on meat, fowl or fish. Silicone withstands heat, doesn’t lose bristles into your sauce or pan, and cleans up like a dream. But sometimes a silicone brush has even more to offer...

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  5. Photo courtesy of Laudie Freed

    Colbrook Kitchen Picnic on the go!

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    $37.50

    Why It's Cool: Makes you ready to picnic, any time, any where--everything you need but the bread, wine and cheese!

    Picture this: you're driving down a beautiful country road, it’s about noon, and you see a wonderful little country store, with wine, a variety of sausages, maybe some beautiful artisan bread, and some lovely cheeses. Everything you need for an impromptu picnic, right? Well, almost everything.

    But now you ask yourself: How will I open the wine? What will I drink the wine out of, that doesn’t make it taste like waxed paper or bad plastic? How will I cut the bread, cheese and sausage ...and on what surface? If I bought spreads or salads, how will I eat them without resorting to flimsy throw-away flatware? And what if I don’t finish the wine, but want to save it for later (in my car trunk, of course!)

    Well, at Colbrook Kitchen, we’ve been there, so we have you covered with our new Picnic on the go!™ Kit. It’s compact enough to throw into (and keep) in your car, and it’s ready to picnic whenever you are. It’s also great to take with you to a summer concert, to the beach, or even in your backpack on a hike. In short, it’s the perfect picnic companion to give you and a friend the freedom and ability to enjoy a picnic wherever and whenever you want.

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  6. Burgers on BBQ Xtra

    COOKINA Cooking and Oven Sheets

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    $19.99

    Why It's Cool: Non-stick sheet for your grill, baking pans and ovens

    Anyone who has ever cooked knows that cooking can be messy. Food can stick to your grill or roasting pan, or spill over to the floor of your oven. And all of that requires elbow grease to clean. In addition, when food sticks to the cooking surface, you often lose portions of it, and the results are not nearly as attractive as you would like.

    COOKINA®, a small family company out of Montreal, set out to solve all those problems...and they did!

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  7. Evo Oil or Vinegar Sprayer

    Evo Oil or Vinegar Sprayer

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    $19.99

    Why It's Cool: Sprays a fine fan-shaped mist of oil or vinegar without propellants or pumping

    How do you get just the right amount of olive oil on...everything? Olive oil is one of those tough things to spray because it can clog ordinary sprayers. And cookware manufacturers warn against using aerosols on cookware because the propellants are flammable and can leave an almost permanent film on the surface (and if does that to cookware, what is it doing to your stomach?)

    But the idea of spraying a thin film of oil is very appealing, because it cuts down the amount of fat in your diet while providing great even coverage. So there are two basic types of sprayers, and we like them both. One is the Ad Hoc Tutto, which is a beautiful pump-style sprayer. But sometimes you want more coverage than the pump sprayer will give you without an arm workout. In that case you want the award winning Evo Trigger Sprayer, designed by Michael Graves and winner of the 2014 International Housewares Association Innovation Award.

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  8. Fox Run Outset Wood Chip Soaker

    Fox Run Outset Wood Chip Soaker

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    $12.99

    Why It's Cool: Easily and thoroughly soaks your wood chips for smoking without mess or waste.

    Regardless of your preferred smoking flavors - driven in no small part by your geographic origin and your food preferences, the common denominator is that your chips need to be soaked before use … after all, we’re not putting firewood into the mix: it’s smoke that we want to include in our grilling exercise.

    Soaking is easy … throw some chips in a bucket and wait awhile. Yes, but … the simplest approach creates a number of issues: wasting and contaminating too much water, a messy sloppy bucket, floating chips that don't get uniformly soaked, etc. … a mixed bag of inefficient, and somewhat messy, unintended, and unnecessary, consequences.

    But no more!

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  9. Jaccard Pig Tail Food Flipper Set

    Jaccard Pig Tail Food Flipper Set

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    $34.99

    Why It's Cool: Two sizes of sturdy, handy flippers that make it so easy to turn food on the grill or in the oven

    We’ve always been big fans of tongs… we have several on the site, and love them all. But we were recently introduced to a new technique for flipping and moving food...and we were blown away! There are times when you want the minimum contact possible with your food while turning it or moving it from place to place. Often this is when you’ve developed a nice crust while grilling, or other good coating that you don’t want to disturb. That’s when the Pig Tail Food Flipper from Jaccard just shines. But once you start using the Pig Tail, you will begin to realize how both fun and useful it is, and you will use it for so much more.

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  10. Tomato Knife

    Kyocera Advanced Ceramic Knives

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    $19.95

    Why It's Cool: The sharpest, easiest cutting, least contaminating knife you'll ever own

    Knives have been a part of my life since my earliest memories … I love knives, and I’ve been cast as “The Knife Guy” in our business. My collection includes knives from the US, Germany, France, Japan and Spain. I love to use, and care for, all my knives. But it does take time and effort.

    I recently had an epiphany: instead of getting hung up on incremental and microscopic improvements to the ancient process of transforming iron into steel, why not consider an entirely different material: something very hard, that can be shaped and customized to traditional and modern specifications from the outset and require minor maintenance, if at all. Let’s consider … ceramics! Ceramic knives are a revelation … the source of my epiphany!

    Ceramics are one of the strongest natural materials: second only to diamonds. Ceramics are used on the exterior of space vehicles, to protect against the extreme heat of atmospheric reentry, and in artificial joints for humans, where wear-n-tear must be minimized. And now this material is used to make knives that cut like a dream and hold a wonderful edge for a really loooong time!

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  11. Nuance Basting Brush

    Nuance Basting Brush

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    Regular Price: $19.95

    Special Price: $10.00

    Why It's Cool: Silicone bristles can handle any heat up to 572°F, handle is ergonomatically shaped, and it's beautiful!

    Remember back awhile ago we promised that we would have a silicone basting brush on the site? Well we’ve been looking around and testing various brushes for both great appearance and great functionality, and trying to find good value as well. Now, do we have a deal for you...

    A silicone brush is something we can’t do without--we use it to spread oil in a pan so that we use less, to spread melted butter on a hot griddle to make blinis or pancakes (because it’s silicone, the bristles don’t melt on a hot surface), or to spread sauce or marinade on meat or fish before we cook it.  In short, it’s an indispensible Cool Tool for any kitchen.

    One of our favorite manufacturers, the Danish company Nuance (think the Wine Finer and the beautiful Mortar and Pestle), offered us a deal, so we were able to pick up these brushes at a very good price--and we’re passing that on to you. But quantities are limited, so don’t wait!

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  12. Nuance Multiforks (Set of 4)

    Nuance Multiforks (Set of 4)

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    Regular Price: $30.00

    Special Price: $15.00

    Why It's Cool: Great for serving tapas or salumi

    Almost every kind of hors d’oeuvres - from simple chunks of cheese or sausage slices, to olives, shrimp, meatballs, or almost any form of tapas - needs some kind of tool to pick it up from its serving dish, and either to put it on a small individual plate, or just to pop it in your mouth. Yes, sometimes your fingers will do, but that’s often messy, and almost always inelegant. Toothpicks can be OK, but don’t always survive more than one or two bites.  Regular forks are for the dining table: not for the cocktail bar or coffee table. So what to do?

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  13. Salsabol

    Salsabol

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    $20.00

    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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  14. The Cheese Knife

    The Cheese Knife

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    $15.99

    Why It's Cool: Cuts cheese cleanly without sticking

    What’s wrong with this picture? It says it’s a knife, but it’s made of plastic. And real knives are made of steel (and ceramics), right?  Can this really be ‘THE’ Cheese Knife, to the exclusion of all others?  Maybe not.  Was I skeptical?  Yes.  But this IS a Cool Tool.  Seriously.

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  15. 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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  16. 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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  17. Tovolo Steady Sticks Wine Holders

    Tovolo Steady Sticks Wine Holders

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    Why It's Cool: Keeps your wine glass or bottle from tipping over—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.

    You want something that is effective, but doesn’t take a sherpa to schlepp it.

    Enter the clever design team from Tovolo...

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