Rocketship salt or peppermill


This peppermill is really great. Not something I replace more than once a decade, I wanted a grinder that stood out and was fun. I've had a set of Shaker style ones, purchased in my late 20s, that just needed to go.

This Rocket is looks great. Standing at 14" tall this grinder is certainly part of the conversation. The Rocket feels well made, has adjustable coarseness and grinds pepper.

Potential buyers will be happy to know the fins appear slotted in, and unlikely to break off. They appear to be the weak link in the design. If a tip breaks, you can easily re-level the rocket with a few cuts.

Suck UK Salt and Pepper Rocket Mill, Brown via Amazon Read the rest

High-carbon Japanese whale-shaped chef's knives and pencil-sharpening knives

The Shiroko High Carbon Steel Kurouchi Kujira Whale Utility Chef's Knife is available in four models (the Type B has some clever handle-stuff going on -- and the charming, hand-forged kids' pencil sharpening knives are now available in the US! Read the rest

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Review: The Bitterman Himalayan Salt Block


I’m not much of a chef, but I really enjoy my newest culinary purchase. It’s the Bitterman Himalayan Salt Block, and it sure is pretty. Read the rest

Krups electric kettle with tea infuser


Amazon has a good deal on a glass Krups electric kettle. This model holds a liter of water, and you can set the temperature for different kinds of tea. It's regularly $156, and is on sale now for $50. Read the rest

Beautiful portable camping kitchen


The Camp Champ is a stately and elegant mobile kitchen with equipment and utensils for six that collapses into a compact wooden box. Its construction reminds me of a magician's stage illusion! Read the rest

Jackson Pollock has a cookbook and it's delicious

I used to have a bad attitude about Jackson Pollock’s drip paintings. I thought they were junk. Then one day a friend asked me if I’d ever looked at one of Pollock’s paintings in a museum. I hadn’t. He suggested I do and see if my attitude changed. I followed his advice, and after about 5 minutes of staring at the painting and trying not to judge, it won me over. I love Pollock’s paintings now.

Dinner with Pollock is a spiral bound cookbook that combines Pollock’s art with his own recipes. He was an accomplished cook, and especially good at creating tasty dishes from the kind of food typically available during the Great Depression and wartime rationing. Robyn Lea’s photos of Pollock’s borscht, blintzes, johnny cakes, hummus, Long Island clam pie, and dozens of other recipes are mouth watering. It’s another reason to love this amazing person.

See sample pages from this book at Wink. Read the rest

Chop Sizzle Wow: cookbook / comic mash-up with 50 recipes


The name Chop Sizzle Wow sounds vaguely like a Japanese cooking show, so I was surprised to discover that this delightful cookery and comix mash-up is actually derived from a classic 1950 Italian cookbook called Il Cucchiaio d’Argento, or The Silver Spoon. That grand work had 2,000 recipes, boiled down here to a svelte “50 step-by-step kitchen adventures.”

This large-format cookbook is categorized into the usual suspects: appetizers, pasta, main courses, and desserts & baking. But the main difference from most cookbooks is that each recipe is presented in a page or two of sequential art. It’s Mario Batali for the Marvel and DC crowd – or for anyone who learns best from visual aids. The illustrations, though, are less superhero and more quaintly utilitarian. These aren’t the gorgeously rendered drawings in Cooks Illustrated, but they do the trick and fit the format. Aside from the occasional size relativity issue, it’s quite clear what each of the illustrations is portraying, and they make it easy to envision the dish from start to finish. In an age of effortless photography, one has to marvel at the time taken to put each of these little drawings on paper.

The recipes are quite basic as well. Each set of ingredients is depicted at the top of the page and is a good reminder that tasty, wholesome food can be made with few ingredients and basic methods. There’s no molecular gastronomy here to scare off the kitchen first-timers. Kids will no doubt enjoy learning with this book, and the slick splatter-resistant cover will keep the book looking good when they do. Read the rest

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Simple, space efficient grater set

Easy to use, clean and store, this grater/slicer set has replaced my box grater and my mandoline.

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The best can opener I've owned

Fighting with a can opener is zero fun. This OXO locking can opener is my absolute favorite!

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Quickly peel a hard-boiled egg by shaking it in a glass of water

I haven't tried this fast eggshell-peeling method yet, but I hope it works as well as it does in the video. Read the rest

How to cut a bell pepper without getting seeds everywhere

A good video that shows you how to prep a pepper for cutting. Read the rest

Collapsible silicone kitchen strainer

This silicone kitchen strainer is an absolutely awesome kitchen tool!

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Plastic storage caps for wide mouth canning jars

They are easier to handle than two-piece metal lids, don’t rust or dent, and clean easily.

Replacing our plastic containers with Pyrex food storage dishes

A few months ago I bought a bunch of these Pyrex food storage dishes in various sizes and got rid of the old plastic containers we'd been using for years. I am sorry I didn't make the move sooner. They are great for microwaving, and they don't get stained when I store tomato sauce in them. I haven't put these in the freezer yet, but the manufacturer says you are allowed to. The lids are BPA free and can go in the top rack of the dishwasher.

To start, get four 1-cup dishes ($17), a 2-cup dish ($4.50), and a 4-cup dish ($10). Read the rest

Silicone spoon spatula: essential kitchen tool

When I need to scoop, scrape, or stir, I reach for my silicone spoon spatula. It's got a steel interior to make it rigid (but springy), and is covered in silicone, which can handle 600 degrees F without burning. The surface is slightly textured so it doesn't slip out of my hand when I'm scraping out precious morsels of buttery pressure-cooked sweet potatoes from the cooker.

Also: it's skinny enough to fit in most jars, and cleans up with hot water and a wipedown.

It's the best $10 I've spent equipping my kitchen.

iSi Basics Silicone Spoon Spatula ($10) Read the rest

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