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POURfect Bowls

Posted on Nov 18, 2009 in Gizmo Girl

Just in time for Thanksgiving.  I discovered the Pourfect bowl collection.  Gadgets just keep getting better every day.  This bowl gives new meaning to multi-tasking.  It’s a measuring bowl, mixing bowl, and pouring bowl all-in-one. That means less dishes to clean and more shelf space.  It also means less chance of spills and dirty counters. Pourfect bowls can be used to measure small amounts from 1 cup to batch quantities up to twelve cups.  They’re ideal for baking, cracking eggs, and transporting flour or sugar from the bowl into a mixer without a dirty countertop.  Instead of a handle, cooks use your palm and thumb instead of grasping with your fingers, which makes it perfect for kids who have a hard time gripping with their little fingers.  POURfect also makes mess-free measuring spoons and cups that can be ordered...

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Thanksgiving Gadgets

Posted on Nov 12, 2009 in Gizmo Girl

Thanksgiving is fast approaching, so we thought we’d round up some of the best tools that will hopefully make dinner go smoothly.  Gadgets really do make life in the kitchen a lot easier. Roast & Serve Turkey Lifter After your turkey is finally ready, you want to get the bird on the table ASAP, which can be tricky.  It takes some maneuvering to remove the turkey from a roasting pan to serving tray without making a mess.  This ingenious roasting rack solves that problem.  All you have to do is put the rack in the roasting pan.   When your turkey is done, grab the rack by its handles and place it on the serving tray. The rack is held together buy a removable red pin, which pulls the rack apart making it easy to get it out from underneath...

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Jaccard Veggie Peeler

Posted on Nov 4, 2009 in Gizmo Girl

Perfect timing.  Thanksgiving’s right around the corner and that means two things: overeating and not feeling the least bit guilty about it.  But for some of us, that also means a lot of cooking and prep work.  Peeling vegetables isn’t hard, but it tends to get messy.   This clever gadget eliminates the annoying cleanup because there’s a plastic chamber that holds peels as you remove them.   When you’re done peeling, you just snap the lid off the chamber and dump the scraps in the trash.  The double-sided stainless blade makes the peeler easy for both righties and lefties to use.  Being a lefty myself, I couldn’t be more grateful that someone’s considering us finally.   This is one of the most practical gadgets we’ve discovered to date.,...

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Strawberry Hill Confectionary’s Whirl-Ease Tea

Posted on Oct 30, 2009 in Gizmo Girl

Some people have a foot fetish. I have a tea fetish.  I love loose leaf teas, but sometimes I don’t have time or the patience to wait for tea to steep.  I’ve seen a lot of oddball inventions, but tea on a stick?  Yep.  It’s called Whirl-Ease Tea and it’s quick: Just dip the stick in boiling water, stir around, and you’ve got yourself a cup of tea in under a minute.  (We’ve clocked it.) Even better, it’s made by Strawberry Hill Confectionary, a green and gluten-free company, that’s come up with sweetened tea “lollipops,” so there’s no need to add more sugar. Whirl-Ease tea pops come in jasmine, green tea, black lemon, mango, and peach.   If you need a little more sweetness, they also make clover honey on a stick as well as a leaf-shaped maple syrup pop....

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Halloween Cookie Pan

Posted on Oct 21, 2009 in Gizmo Girl

It’s almost Halloween — my favorite holiday.  Who doesn’t love to dress up and eat lots of candy?  But if you’re feeling too old to trick or treat, or just lazy, you can still indulge your sweet tooth.  Buying a sack of snack-sized candy doesn’t take much effort.  If you’re a baker, you can make homemade, Halloween-shaped cookies.  If you’re not a baker, you can use ready-made dough. There’s a variety of molds, each with 12 scary shapes, including a ghost, candy corn, and a tombstone.  The pan’s even easier to use than individual cookie cutters. It’s a nonstick pan, so the cookies are easy to pop out.  You can serve as is or decorate with frosting.  They’re perfect to pass out to trick-or-treaters or to bring to a Halloween party. Now, I just need to find the perfect...

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Rub Away Bar

Posted on Oct 14, 2009 in Gizmo Girl

I love garlic.  It boosts the flavor of any dish, but really is delicious all by itself.   Unfortunately, it’s not much fun to cook with since the smell lingers on your fingers for days on end.  Washing your hands repeatedly does little to kill the smell. But washing your hands with this Rub A Way bar does.   Instead of suds, think stainless steel to get rid of the pungent odor of garlic.   Or onions, fish, or anything else that smells slightly unpleasant.  Rub A Way’s even shaped like a bar of soap, so it looks right at home next to your sink.,...

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Wine Label Remover

Posted on Oct 7, 2009 in Gizmo Girl

How many times have you fallen in love with a wine and forgotten the name of the bottle?  Maybe you were a tad too tipsy or it was impossible to peel the label off the damn bottle.  That makes it difficult to remember which wines are exceptional and which aren’t worth buying again. This wine label remover makes it easy to keep track of your favorites.  Just remove the back of the clear sticker, rub it over the label, and the laminated label peels right off.  (You can even keep a few labels in your purse.)   Now you can start a wine journal to keep track of labels and wine notes about each varietal and vineyard you taste.  I think we should start a little wine club of our own, so sign up for the weekly newsletter (in the...

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Herb Savor

Posted on Sep 30, 2009 in Gizmo Girl

Dried herbs don’t stand a chance against the flavor of fresh one. I love buying fragrant bundles of just-clipped tarragon and mint from the farmer’s market, but they often wilt before I get a chance to use them a second time. I end up having no choice but to toss the sad, brown leftovers after a couple days. Prepara’s Herb Savor solves the problem, prolonging the life of herbs for up to three weeks.  Where cooking’s concerned, that’s a major breakthrough.  It’s like having an edible plant in your kitchen.  The ends stay submerged in water and the see-through plastic lets you see when you need to add more water.  The Herb Savor works on all kinds of herbs from rosemary to parsley, and even asparagus, and is compact enough to fit in your refrigerator door.

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Measure Up Bowl

Posted on Sep 24, 2009 in Gizmo Girl

You ever the read the serving size and nutritional information on the side of a box?  Most of us glance at it from time to time, but few people actually take the time, or even have the time, to measure out out the right amount and end up consuming lots of extra calories. Not many of us can distinguish between one or two portions just by looking at our plate. So we found a bowl to do it for us.  Measuring cups feel like punishment.  This bowl has subtle lines on the inside that calculate everything from 1/4 cup to 2 cups, taking the guesswork out of eating.   The Measure Up Bowls come in 2 sizes  — one for soups, pasta and cereal and the other for high-fat foods like ice cream and potato chips.  Even better, both...

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Tortilla Press

Posted on Sep 15, 2009 in Gizmo Girl

This is a big year for Mexican cooking, mezcal, tequila, and tacos.  From La Superior and Mesa Coyoacan’s carnitas to Julian Medina’s  refined fish tacos at the new Yerba Buena Perry, there are countless places to get a terrific taco in the city.  But making them at home just got a little easier. The key to any good taco is a warm, soft tortilla.  I usually buy them in the store, but this tortilla press makes it easy to prepare your own at home.   All you need is corn flour and water to make the masa (tortilla dough.)  Roll the two ingredients together,  then place each ball into the press and press down, which flattens into an even, round disc. Put the masa disc onto a hot griddle or in a pan and bake.  That’s it.  It’s ready to...

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Sushi Platter

Posted on Sep 9, 2009 in Gizmo Girl

One of the pleasures of eating sushi is the presentation.  Everything has its own precious dish and arrangement.  Order in sushi and most people eat it straight out of the plastic carton or toss it on some boring plate.  Use this sushi platter and you’ll feel like you’re eating in a restaurant without leaving the house.   The circular white platter has a built-in chopstick holder, space for soy sauce, ginger and wasabi.  Even better, it’s made for two, so you can share maki or nigiri on this sleek plate in your pajamas. $50, Uncommon...

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Wine Thermometer

Posted on Sep 2, 2009 in Gizmo Girl

Most wine lovers know the basics — white wine should be chilled, red served at room temperature.  But do you know the ideal temperature for drinking rose, champagne, or a pinot grigio?    Neither did I.   But there are optimal conditions for drinking different wines.  For instance, sparkling prosecco should be served at a lower temperature than full-bodied whites, like a French Chardonnay.  This thermometer slips easily around the bottle  and lets you know when you’re wine’s chilled enough to taste at its best.  Even better, it comes with a guide of optimal temperatures to ensure you’re tasting every wine at its best. $38...

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Cherry Pitter

Posted on Aug 26, 2009 in Gizmo Girl

The only good thing about the end of summer is ripe, red cherries at the farmer’s market.  I love eating them raw, but they’re just as good baked into pies.  The only trick is getting the pits out, so we don’t endanger dinner guests or loved ones.  Pies look prettier when you can get the pit out and keep the whole cherry intact.  I just found this cherry pitter at Sur La Table.  It pits 4 cherries at once and the pits fall into the chamber below making pitting not only easy, but mess free and stain free.  (I still have cherry stains on my counter from last summer.) $15, Sur La...

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Cookie Press

Posted on Aug 19, 2009 in Gizmo Girl

I love dessert, especially freshly-baked cookies.  But there isn’t always time to make them from scratch.  It can take forever to roll out the dough, cut, and decorate each cookie. This cookie press is a foolproof, time-saver.  Just put the dough in the barrel and with the touch of a button it dispenses perfectly formed cookies. The press comes with various-shaped discs to make star, flower-shaped treats, among lots of other shapes.  It’s just not a press.  It can also be used for filling deviled eggs, pasta, and decorating cakes. $29.99...

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Thermal Beach Cooler

Posted on Aug 12, 2009 in Gizmo Girl

I like gadgets that multi-task.  It means more counter space and less spending.  This isn’t just a thermal cooler, it’s also a blender, which comes in pretty handy in the heat.  I hate feeling like I’m racing the clock when I’m drinking a frozen margarita poolside.  The second half usually ends up a watery mess.  You just put it on the base, blend ice and whatever you’re making — milkshakes, slushees, margaritas — then tote the cooler outside.  It keeps beverages frosty for up to 8 hours. $39.99 Thermal...

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Home Canning Kit

Posted on Jul 30, 2009 in Gizmo Girl

Tomatoes, berries and cucumbers are in their prime during summer.  It’s only ashame that fresh, ripe produce only lasts a few months, so I’ve discovered canning.   When summer is over, I’ll be able to enjoy strawberry jam, tomato sauce, pickles, and some great relish. This 5-piece canning kit comes with a jar lifter and magnetic lid lifter for removing jars and lids from boiling water, kitchen tongs, and a funnel to get ingredients into the jar without making a huge mess.  The kit includes a jar wrench when you’re ready to break open your homemade strawberry jam or perfectly sour pickles. $14.74 on Amazon...

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Citrus Wedger

Posted on Jul 23, 2009 in Gizmo Girl

Whether you’re making iced tea or mojitos, citrus is essential to summer drinks.  Unfortunately, cutting up dozens of lemons or limes can take forever, not to mention you almost never get every piece the same size. This citrus wedger saves time and gets it right every time, cutting lemons, limes and tons of other citrus fruits into 6 identically-sized wedges.  The wedges are all cut in one swift motion making preparation easier for the home bartender.  Garnish a glass with a slice or throw a bunch in homemade sangria. $15 William...

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PizzaQue Grill-Top Pizza Stone

Posted on Jul 15, 2009 in Gizmo Girl

It seems like everyone’s opening a pizza joint these days.   First, it was butchers and now pizzaiolas are becoming the food celebrities.  You can become a pizzaiola yourself.  Instead of waiting on line for the latest cult favorite, you can make your own pie at home. We found this grill-top pizza stone that you put right on top of the grill.  It’s got a built-in thermometer, so you can monitor the temperature.  The best part about making it on the grill top is that it  will pick up some of that smoky flavor and texture as if it were cooked in a wood burning oven.  If rain’s in the forecast, you can remove the stone from the stainless steel base and cook the pizza in your oven.  At $90, it’s not cheap, but time is money – and you won’t get stuck...

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Fruit Infusion Pitcher

Posted on Jul 9, 2009 in Gizmo Girl

There’s nothing better than ordering a glass of peach iced tea or a fruit-infused cocktail in restaurants come summertime.  But infusing anything at home always ends up being too complicated – they’re messy to pour and you often end up with big chunks of fruit in your cup. This fruit infusion pitcher by Prodyne solves both problems (and even makes a great centerpiece). The fruit goes inside the cylindrical insert and the juice mixes with the liquid via slots in the bottom of the cylinder. You can also add more liquid to the pitcher without having to add more fruit, so each piece of fruit goes a long way.  And at $24, this is a great summertime gift to take to the host or hostess of your next barbeque. Prodyne Fruit Infusion...

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No-Mess Corn Stripper

Posted on Jun 25, 2009 in Gizmo Girl

The best part of summer is all of the wonderfully fresh produce of the season.  There’s something new, just-picked farm stands or the grocery store.  Sometimes, there’s strawberries, sometimes ten different kinds of tomatoes, and heaps of fresh corn stalks… especially in August when corn season is at its peak. The ceremony of eating corn off the cob is great most of the time.  There’s drawbacks like getting kernels stuck in your teeth, or making a mess at a summer soiree, or times when you want to throw a few kernels into a salad.   We found this corn stripper by oxo for $12.99.  Just run the stripper down the corn and there’s a ½ cup container to catch the kernels.  Plus it’s easy to use and dishwasher safe. oxo corn stripper...

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