I found a great new gadget that is both useful and colorful (my two most important criteria!) to enhance our cooking experience. It’s called a Recipe Rock and it holds up all those recipes you printed off your computer (you know those great ones from GKC!!) And it comes in every color – green, red, turquoise, titanium (a little dull for me but no accounting for taste…) It keeps your recipes upright for easier reading and away from that mess on your counter. And best of all, they’re only $9.95 each. So if you can’t decide which color or you want to look at more than one recipe at a time…
Rosh HaShanah is just around the corner and I love to set my table with a wide variety of honey jars. I’m always looking for something new, something just a little different. This year I found a great honey pot from Mackenzie-Childs. If you are already a fan, you know her colors are whimsical and fun and that all her products enhance your home and table – in fact, why stop at just the honey jar? And if you aren’t already a fan, this will make you one! Her products are expensive but they are truly beautiful. So, as you begin to think about having a sweet new year, think about adding this honey pot to your Yom Tov table. Or if you want a modern, more silver look, try this piece from Mary Jurek.
Since I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, I like my kitchen to be bright and cheery, full of color and inspiration. And I like to feel that way myself! I find that it helps to wear a great apron – something clean (most of the stains gone), bright, colorful and even flattering. That’s why I was delighted with the new vintage-style selection from SurLaTable. Each apron is different – slightly different patterns or looks, unique and attractive in its own way. Most come with matching potholders and dish towels to make the ensemble complete. The biggest problem is choosing which one to get! If you’re looking for a little pick-me-up as you get back in the kitchen after summer vacation, and in anticipation of the High Holidays, look no further. And speaking of the High Holidays, stay tuned for our 2012 High Holiday Cookbook, starting Sunday, August 26th.
I love these salt and pepper mills from williams-sonoma.com
They make a great gift, hint hint, and are incredibly useful for a foodie like me. They are decorative and personalized and readily available for that finishing touch of freshly ground salt and pepper.
Exclusively online at williams-sonoma.com for $49.95
I think I’ll get one with the GKC initials
With picnic season, baseball season, and all other warm outdoor activities in full swing, the Rabbit Chilling Carafe has taken center stage for GKC. The is ingenious, lightweight and a fantastic solution to chilled wine on the go. The carafe holds a full 750 ml bottle of wine and keeps it chilled for 90 minutes or more. Its easy to use and works for fruit juices, iced tea, iced coffee, and more.
What’s one of GKC’s summer favorite white wines to drink? We love the ELVI “Invita” from Spain. It’s best chilled so try both the carafe and the wine this summer.
This great new cookbook by Levana Kirschenbaum is sure to be your new go-to cookbook. The recipes are fabulous – fresh and inviting. We love the Miso Soup and the Chocolate Salami was last Shabbos’ favorite dessert.
Leaf through the book – you won’t know what to try first – the jams, the soups, the dips, the salads….just looking is half the fun. Levana’s son-in-law, Meir Pliskin, did a spectacular job with the photography. I know you already decided you don’t need any more cookbooks but take it from us; this one is worth buying. You’ll get a lot of use out of it!
Just in time for summer from our friends at Breezy’s are these adorable straws. We use them as straws, popsicle sticks, lollipop sticks, and cupcake toppers. Great for BBQ’s, birthday parties or just a little summer fun. Best yet, they are an inexpensive treat, just $11 for 50.
Call Breezy today and get them before they are gone!
Breezy’s 516 374 1544
374 Central Avenue, Cedarhurst, NY 11516
See other new hot items from Breezy’s at http://www.facebook.com/breezysny
Burgers are popping up everywhere this year. To enhance your burger repertoire, we recommend Rachel Ray’s latest publication, The Book of Burger. Of course, there are some recipes you have to skip but with some judicious substitutes (tofutti sour cream for the dairy version, nondairy creamer and vinegar for the buttermilk) most of the recipes can be made – and taste delicious! I’m not a big fan of the soy cheese but a nicely spiced juicy burger stands better on its own anyway. So, instead of buying dad the grilling tools and apron this year, splurge for a cookbook. Then sit back, relax and have a drink as you await the magic he will perform on the grill.
Although I would have loved this for my Shavuos cheesecake, I certainly can use this glass bottom spring form pan all year round. The metal bottom on the traditional spring form pan was always a challenge for serving, remove the cake? Or just place the metal piece on a cake plate? The glass bottom settles nicely on any cake plate and makes elegant serving easy. Available in both 9 inch and 10 inch. Only $13.61 at amazon.com. Click here to order.
My latest favorite gift idea is the Portmeirion Botanic Garden Bread Knife, available through amazon.com. It enlivens every Shabbos table, making cutting the challah a more elegant experience. It’s also perfect for a summer garden party with the botanical theme and the white background. Not to mention that the price is right and they are great shower gifts for a new bride – ‘tis the season! I buy them a few at a time (one for a gift, one for me!) and get lots of compliments every time they appear. You will too!
It’s not easy to find a good gift. Especially for our husbands. What does he really need? What would he really enjoy? Based on a friend’s recommendation, on my husband’s last birthday, I sprung for the Nespresso CitiZ C110 Automatic/Programmable Coffee Espresso and Lungo Machine. Available through Amazon, these machines are super-easy and super-quick. And the espresso is really good. We use it every day – it takes little pods so it couldn’t be simpler – sometimes a few times a day (Now that all the studies say that caffeine is actually good for you!) So, if anyone in your family needs gift – it is Mother’s Day after all – I couldn’t recommend this more highly. Enjoy your espresso with a nice piece of Mandelbrot for the perfect break.
I’m loving these CLONGS, click-lock-sit up tongs! Stainless steel arms, silicone tips that are both heat resistant and safe for non-stick pans, and single hand click-lock mechanism for easy storage. These awesome tongs stay off the counter top for easier cleanup and less kashrut confusion. I can understand why they won best new product for both design and use. They are available in both red and charcoal for $19.95 from www.dreamfarm.com.au
Chocolate is in the air and I am happy to report that I have discovered a great chocolate decorating pen, the Cuisipro Deluxe Decorating Pen, available through amazon.com. If you’re used to giving your kids amoxicillin with those plastic syringes, then this should be a no-brainer. It works the same way! It’s made for klutzes like me who just can’t work a pastry bag and, best of all, it’s only $9.99. Now that’s the kind of kitchen tool I like. And you will too….
These seed balls look like perfect chocolate truffles but DON’T BITE! Inside they’re the novice gardener’s best friend.
A combination of clay, seed, and soil mixed to form a dense clod that can be tossed into the garden, then let rain and sun do their magic and voila, instant herb garden!
This ingenious invention and great packaging comes from Moultonology.com
I tried the the set with basil, chives, and parsley and they really work. Box set of 8 is just $15.
Also available in edible flower, herbal tea, and specialty basil.
Just in time for Purim, Breezy’s has great Purim cookie cutters. Masks, hats, flowers, and so many more! Plus they have all the decorating supplies too, including frosting, fondant, sugar flowers, decorating tools, and tons of kosher embellishments. Call Breezy’s to get your supplies and make some delicious cookies with your kids today. Breezy’s 516 374 1544 576 Central Avenue, Cedarhurst, New York
It’s not that easy to think up creative Mishloach Manos. And if you finally come up with that perfect idea, it frequently requires hours of work and attention. That’s why I was so excited to discover 101 Gourmet Cake Bites. There is a wonderful variety of cake balls and pops with clear and (here’s the best part) easy instructions. In fact, some of the reviewers complain that the cake balls are all made from mixes. For me that was the selling point!! With everything else we have to do for Purim (the seudah, the costumes, the delivering of the mishloach manos), wouldn’t it be nice not to have to make those cake balls from scratch??!! Order your copy today. You can make the cake balls in advance and freeze them. Better yet, you can have your kids make them…
Move over cake pops, here come Push Up Pops! They are the latest hot item at parties (I had one at a Bat Mitzvah last night!) and for Purim. They look adorable, are super fun for kids and adults and can be dressed up in any assortment of colors.
The instructions are simple: layer cake, frosting and toppings, and cover.
Breezy’s has them! Set of 12 is $15 but mention GKC and get $2 off!
Order them online or for quicker delivery call 516 374 1544 to get them in time for your next simcha or for your mishloach manot.
Need a PB&J makeover?
These clever little sandwich cutters come in four fun themes, with shapes like frogs (that’s my fav!), gumball machines, airplanes (and more!), and are BPA-free and dishwasher safe. Kids will love making their own sandwiches for school. And as a mom, it’s really satisfying to see their faces light up; not to mention, the extra time and effort is minimal. The Lunch Punch makes for a great gift and also encourages quality time in the kitchen! We give The Lunch Punch an A+ for creativity and fun!
If you are serving a great punch at your Super Bowl party, you need to serve it in a great bowl. GKC scoured the web for punch bowls and arrived at this simple yet classic version from Pottery Barn. We wanted glass not plastic and the crystal ones just seemed…well…too much, more suited to a southern debutante party than a rousing salute to football and friends. This version is elegant without being over the top. And the price – $49.00 – is right too. Monogramming is available if you want to turn it into a family heirloom. Try it out with our warm red punch or the alcohol-laced drink we are recommending in our blog.
Upon awakening in Paris, the hotel delivers delicious French press coffee to your room. I am an official coffee snob and am particular about coffee beans, freshness, flavor, type of cup and what type of machine it was brewed in. So I was hesitant about a more “instant” coffee method. To my surprise, the French press coffee was fantastic. Maybe it was just Paris and the fantastic view of the Louvre, but the coffee was bold, hot, and flavorful. No bitterness or muddiness and really, really fresh tasting. When I arrived home, I immediately ordered a Bodum French Press. It’s perfect to use for a quick cup or two for guests and my new favorite afternoon treat. The French say that the French press method extracts the best flavor from the coffee bean. I agree.
Available at Starbucks, Amazon, and I got mine from Surlatable.com for $29.95
I recently discovered a truly great product! We were invited to a friend’s house for coffee and I offered to bring the cake. And I knew just the recipe I wanted to use – my favorite chocolate cake. The only problem was that it makes a huge bundt cake and they are a young family with one small child. While I could have made a huge dent in the cake myself, I didn’t think that was polite. I was unsure of what to do when I discovered these Half-Size Bundt Pans at www.kingarthurflour.com. They are the perfect solution. You can make a whole bundt cake – perhaps this Amaretto Cake – and pour half into this pan and half into another of the same (Yes, I bought two!) Voilà – two desserts!! Now I’m thinking of all sorts of occasions where a smaller cake is more appropriate and the possibilities seem endless. They look great too. So snap some up – now when you bake, you can make one for now and one for the freezer with NO extra effort (how great is that?!) – and when guests show up unexpectedly, you are totally prepared.
Gotta have GKC in the kitchen to follow all your favorite recipes? I do! I love the new kitchen mounting docs for the ipad. Now I mount my ipad to the cabinet or to the fridge and I can pull up all my favorite recipes without printing them.
This one from Belkin.com, mounts to a fridge, cabinet or wall.
No tools or hardware are needed and no permanent installation is required. Supplied with Maximum-strength 3M™ Command™ Strips snap the iPad 2 firmly in place and securely to a fridge, cabinet or wall without damaging surfaces when removed.
From Belkin.com for just $39.99
Sometimes the simplest products are the most useful. My chicken soup just wouldn’t be the same without this mesh skimmer. This particular one is available from Target but you can try any kitchen goods store. Your chicken soup will be clear and beautiful – even with all the vegetables left in (which is the way we like it!). It is not fancy or expensive but it does the trick. I just picked up an extra one for Pesach. Snap yours up today; your family will never look at soup the same way again. To test your new product out, try it on this flavorful chicken soup recipe.
Really sleek and useful in modern kitchens, this simple spice rack is made from 1 piece of 18 gauge folded stainless steel. A narrow slot on the front provides a glimpse of the spices hidden behind, framing your eight favorite spices (that’s a bit tough!) into a colorful abstract line. Includes glass spice jars with cork tops. Mounts on the wall with two screws.
Dimensions: 18″L x 2.50″W x 4.25″H
Available at www.desudesign.com
Essential to great latke and doughnut-making is a good, reliable classic candy/deep-fry analog thermometer that has sturdy, heat resistant clip. This one is great and very inexpensive.
Available at amazon.com for $10.64