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
It’s that time of the year – as Chanukah approaches, doughnuts (or sufganiyot) call to us from the corner of every supermarket and bakery. I happen to love doughnuts and this is the one time of year I allow myself to indulge. It’s a mitzvah, right? I’m also excited this year because I’m going to try something I haven’t done in a while – making doughnuts at home. I’m about to purchase Top Pot Hand-Forged Doughnuts: Secrets and Recipes for the Home Baker by Mark Klebeck (Author), Michael Klebeck (Author), Scott Pitts (Photographer), and Jess Thomson (Collaborator). The Klebeck brothers sell 1.3 million doughnuts per week in their Seattle coffee shop so I figure they must know what they’re talking about. And the cookbook is meant to help the home cook who doesn’t have elaborate equipment make fresh, delicious doughnuts – yum! Yes, I know, they’re fried in oil – but hey, it’s Chanukah! If you make some before I do, let me know how they turn out. I can’t wait to get started…
This classic menorah finished in polished nickel is both sleek and functional. Perfect for extra guests or any child, it is sophisticated and reasonably priced.
Available at Crate & Barrel $32.95.
The brief winter season in Los Angeles is the only time of year that The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf sells its Winter Dream tea. This is a particularly delicious tea that evokes that cozy, around the fireplace winter feeling. With the flavor of cinnamon and other like spices, it is reminiscent of the mulled warm drinks of past generations. You can also add milk or whipped milk to make a winter dream latte which is a particular favorite. So, if you’re not in the mood for these hot coffee drinks, curl up with a nice cuppa winter dream tea, a few yummy cookies and a good book. And shut out the cold outdoors.
For years I have denied that a potato ricer is necessary for perfect mashed potatoes, after all I like them chunky anyway. But upon testing various potato recipes and personally experiencing the "gummy-ness" that can easier occur when mixing the cooked potatoes, I am now a convert to the need for a fantastic potato ricer. It "rices" the cooked potatoes without breaking it all down so that the final texture when mixed with the scrumptious flavorings (like salt, garlic, pareve sour cream, pareve milk, margarine etc.) is creamy and delicious.
They come in a variety of sizes and price points. The larger ones have the great feature of being able to work with larger quantities but also separate the peel from the flesh of the potatoes so there is no need to peel the potatoes, just boil, rice, and mix in the extras.
I like these two from Williams-Sonoma.com
Potato Ricer $29.95
Food Mill $149.95
Although significantly more expensive, this one is from All-Clad and can be used for soups, fruits, and holds a large quantity. Many other companies make food mills for a more competitive pricing like Amazon.com
We all need just a little boost to get back into cooking and serving after the marathon of the High Holidays!! These colorful linens from April Cornell are the perfect answer to those hostessing blues. Just looking at them perks me up and makes me want to invite some guests over immediately. They always have some great patterns on sale so you can indulge your fantasies and be thrifty at the same time! Do I want flowers or plaids or maybe both??! Check these out and add a bouquet of vibrant color to your next Shabbos table!
I love the variety of Bundt pan shapes available and enjoy presenting cakes in different shapes. I am so excited to get this new, well actually vintage, shape that has been released by Nordicware and Williams-Sonoma. Its a recreation of the 1950's original that was modeled from an old German stoneware mold. It's simple and chic and is updated to today's needs, meaning it's totally non-stick.
Available at Williams-Sonoma.com for $34.95
Last year I bought these whimsical spheres of clear handblown glass and used them for tea lights and flowers in the Succah. I hung them them with clear fishing wire so it gave the illusion of floating lights. At $3.95 each, they are an inexpensive way to decorate the Succah. Buy a few extra though, I did break a few while hanging them.
Available at CB2.com for $3.95 each
Just saw these pretty honey dishes at the new Breezy's in Cedarhurst, 917-885-0366. They are made by Mosser Glass in Cambridge, Ohio. I love the idea of a burst of color on the Yom Tov table. They are available in green, blue, red, white, and amber. the price is irresistible at only $30. I bought a few to use outside in the Succah too.