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Gift Guide

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  1. AdHoc DuoMill Pure

    AdHoc DuoMill Pure

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    $49.99

    Why It's Cool: Both salt and pepper in one tower with 2 adjustable ceramic mills; great functionality and beautiful too!

    Salt and Pepper: essential ingredients in almost every recipe, and therefore in every kitchen and on every tabletop! And there are so many ways to ‘deliver’ these ingredients to your food … we offer electric (Piper’s primary faves!) and manual (Kennedy’s personal preferences!) But the good ones have a few things in common:

    • rapid, consistent and evenly distributed throughput,
    • adjustable grinders for individualized preferences,
    • comfortable ease of use, and
    • no messy “leave-behind” on your countertop or tabletop.

    Over these 5+ years of searching worldwide for truly Cool Tools, we’ve learned a lot, our requirements have become stricter, and the possible field of acceptable choices has narrowed. But this product truly is one of the best! And it’s from one of the first companies we worked with when we started our business!

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  2. Escali SAVU Space Saving Scale

    Escali SAVU Space Saving Scale

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    $19.95

    Why It's Cool: Small, sleek, and incredibly talented!

    Precision in cooking may not be as important as it is in baking, but when no two potatoes or carrots or apples are the same size, weighing your ingredients can really help make sure that your dish turns out the way you want it to, with the ingredients in the right proportions. And for baking, it's essential (see our Cool Tip "For the Cookie Monster in all of us: Weigh Your Way to Baking Success!")

    But there are various choices in scale designs that need to be considered ...and the Escali SAVU Scale, with it’s very sleek and compact design, presents a comprehensive set of “positive answers” to these questions.

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  3. fusionbrands CitrusZipper

    fusionbrands CitrusZipper

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    $5.95

    Why It's Cool: Everything you can do with a citrus (except juice it) in one compact Cool Tool!

    IOHO (In Our Humble Opinion) nothing brings a dish alive better than a touch of citrus: either from juice, or zest, or, very often both. And almost every cocktail (from a martini, to an old fashioned, to a cosmopolitan) benefits from a little citrus. That’s why we are always on the look-out for great citrus tools that make adding citrus that much easier. And we’ve found one that is compact (only a little larger than a stick of gum), effective (we were wowed by how it accomplished each of its tasks), and very reasonably priced!

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  4. Clear

    fusionbrands PopMeasure

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    $3.99

    Why It's Cool: 2 microwave safe measure cups in one, with easy clean-up in the dishwasher

    Has this ever happened to you? You have your measuring cup out and you’ve just measured your liquid, and now you have to measure something dry. So what do you do? Do you wash and dry your measuring cup in the middle of your preparations? That’s a pain! Do you curse because you didn’t read the whole recipe and reorder the ingredients to measure all the dry ingredients first? Who of us is that organized? Or do you get one of our favorite Cool Tools from those clever folks at fusionbrands?

    The PopMeasure is a great concept that is beautifully executed. It’s a 2-sided measuring cup: so you have a dry side even after you’ve measured a liquid. But what’s additionally creative about it is that it pops down for both storage and for easy cleanup in the dishwasher without collecting water in either side.

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  5. Gefu Bivita Sprouter

    Gefu Bivita Sprouter

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    $27.99

    Why It's Cool: Grow your own sproutss, easily, quickly and deliciously!

    OK, we admit it: we used to laugh at people who ate sprouts. Yes, we live in Northern California, and, yes, we know that sprouts are supposed to be really healthy, but we always thought that they tasted sorta like grass, and if you ate them at all it was ONLY for the health benefits. We even asked waiters to take them off our salads when offered. Our “Ah ha” moment came when one of our vendors talked us into trying their new sprouter (which, incidentally, just won the GIA - Global Innovation Award - at the 2017 International Housewares Show!) we sent away for some organic French Garden (Clover, Arugula, Cress, Radish, Fenugreek, Dill) seeds and gave it a go. Wow!

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  6. GEFU Potato, Juice and Spaetzle Press

    GEFU Potato, Juice and Spaetzle Press

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    $89.99

    Why It's Cool: Beautifully silky smooth riced potatoes with much less effort

    Ahhh potatoes, that much maligned but often secretly enjoyed staff of life that adds so much to any meal. And while there are any number of ways to prepare a potato (or sweet potato for that matter), the richest and most decadent and probably most satisfying is in a silky smooth puree with the add-in of your choice (think cheese, sour cream, butter, garlic, celery root, creme fraiche, etc.), whether it’s just served on a plate, stuffed back in the shell to make a twice-baked potato, a seasonal favorite like Kennedy’s Drunken Sweet Potatoes, or our favorite French comfort food: Aligot Potatoes, that cheese-enhanced mashed-potato dish from central France that is somewhere between buttery mashed potatoes and pure melted cheese. And what is the hands-down best way to get that silky texture? In our opinion it’s ricing the potato.

    Ricing forces the potatoes through small holes and produces a silkier, smoother, fluffier texture that makes your potato the perfect vehicle for your next step. But the main problem with ricing is that it usually requires some physical strength on the part of the cook: it helps to peel before cooking (otherwise you have to remove the peels after each press), but most Ricers require more strength than most of us possess: Even before we started this business, we were on a hunt for an effective “Ricer”, without success, until now! Finally, we’ve found it!

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  7. 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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  8. Kitchen Grips Chef's Gloves (Pair)

    Kitchen Grips Chef's Gloves (Pair)

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    $29.99

    Why It's Cool: The protective, comfortable, flexible oven gloves that almost feel like you're not wearing gloves at all!

    I’m a little protective in the kitchen: of my space, of my clothing (although not as much as Kennedy sometimes thinks I should be), but most of all, of my hands. While burns in a professional kitchen are supposed to be a rite of passage (according to Anthony Bourdain), burns certainly don’t have to happen in a home kitchen. So that brings us to the various choices for protecting your hands while grabbing hot pots and pans.

    While there are many choices of form factors (potholders, fingertip grabbers, mitts, and gloves) in many fabrics (quilted cotton, asbestos, silicone, neoprene), I’ve always been a glove kinda gal. I love leather gloves when it’s cold, and I love oven gloves when I’m putting my hands into a very hot oven, or grabbing a hot pot. Gloves give me a sense of security to know that the back of my hand is protected, as well as my finger tips.

    And when it comes to oven gloves, we have a few other requirements, in addition to the basic (and crucial) #1: hand protection …

    • Flexibility: you need to be able to pick up dishes from the counter or oven rack without dropping them; as if they weren’t sizzling hot and your hand wasn’t encased in a glove
    • Comfort: you don’t want sweaty hands inside your gloves that will make you hate to wear them; and
    • Cleanliness: let’s face it, we will spill or slosh something on our gloves: it’s inevitable; so the key is - how easy are they to get clean again?
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  9. Norpro Mini Popover Pan

    Norpro Mini Popover Pan

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    $26.99

    Why It's Cool: Make popovers for a crowd--12 at once with great non-stick properties!

    OK, I admit it, I’m late to the party--the “popover party”! I didn’t discover the wonder of popovers until relatively recently when a local Napa Valley restaurant featured them freshly made every half hour--you ordered them and waited (note: you should always wait for popovers, not the other way around!), and they would arrive hot, buttery, crispy on the outside and almost custardy tender on the inside. But the idea of tackling these myself never occurred to me… until recently.

    We have a potluck women's luncheon group, and this month had a gluten-free theme. Without remembering the theme, I volunteered to make homemade bread and butter...I have a killer bread recipe, and homemade butter is so much fun with the Butter Maker. Then it hit me that this had to be gluten-free. "Oh, fudge (polite version)", I cried, "what do I do now?" Well, thank goodness for the Internet! After rummaging around for awhile, I found a great starter recipe, added a few touches of my own, and, Voila! Gluten-Free Lemon Parmesan Popovers. And everybody at the lunch loved them!

    What I did learn in this process is that the key to a great popover is a great popover pan. You need the depth and straight sides of the cups, you need metal to transmit the heat for browning, and you need nonstick so you’re not trying to dig out these delicate airy treats while they deflate before your eyes. And, as far as I’m concerned, you have to be able to produce a sufficient quantity to serve them to company, and the popovers have to be the right size so you don’t overwhelm the rest of the meal.

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  10. Tovolo Citrus Reamer

    Tovolo Citrus Reamer

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    $9.99

    Why It's Cool: Reams every last drop out of your citrus and measures it for your recipes

    A little fresh citrus juice adds a brightness to almost any dish. And there are times when you need a specific quantity of citrus juice for a recipe, so finding an easy efficient way to to both extract it and measure it becomes important. The Citrus Reamer from Tovolo is one of our favorite tools to accomplish this.

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  11. Zeal Calla Lily Flat-edge Silicone Scraper Spoon

    Zeal Calla Lily Flat-edge Silicone Scraper Spoon

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    $12.99

    Why It's Cool: Sturdy silicone flat-edged spoon that is comfortable to hold and beautiful to look at!

    A cooking spoon is an extension of your hand: it allows you to stir in ingredients, to keep the contents of a pot from burning, and to help turn a group of individual components into a unified and delicious whole. As a matter of fact, a cooking spoon is such a fundamental tool for cooking, that we named our corporation for the German (or Yiddish) word for cooking spoon: Kochloeffel!

    There are a number of recipes, our recipes for gougères and melted tomato sauce among them, that ask you to stir pretty continuously so the ingredients don’t stick to the bottom of the pan or risk burning.  If what you’re stirring is thick, then you need something more sturdy than a spatula. But most spoons have a rounded point and just aren’t that effective to scrape the bottom and corners of your pan. That’s why a flat-edged spoon is one of our favorite Cool Tools! And our other spoon issue is that if your spoon has too narrow a handle, your hand just plain gets tired when it's stirring. So one of our key tests is whether the handle is thick enough to make wielding the spoon a comfortable experience.

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