Boing Boing 

Beautiful portable camping kitchen

camp-champ

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!

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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.

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. Further informational gems reside in the introduction and the back of the book: recipe notes, techniques in detail, glossary, index, and menu ideas. Will you like this book as much as I do? I cannoli hope so. – Aaron Downey

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

The best hot sauce recipe

I usually avoid hot sauce because I'm afraid it might contain onions and/or cilantro, both of which are loathsome by any objective standard. Here's a hot sauce recipe from my friends Kelly and Erik at Homegrown Evolution that sounds perfect.

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Simple, space efficient grater set

OXO Good Grips Complete Grate and Slicer 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

OXO Good Grips Locking Can Opener

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.

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How to cut a bell pepper without getting seeds everywhere

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

Collapsible silicone kitchen strainer

Food Strainer / Food Steamer Combo Colander - The Magic Strainer - Collapsible to 1" Flat and Fits in Any Kitchen Space.

This silicone kitchen strainer is an absolutely awesome kitchen tool!

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Plastic storage caps for wide mouth canning jars

I use white plastic one-piece screw-top lids sized to fit either regular or wide-mouth canning jars.

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Replacing our plastic containers with Pyrex food storage dishes

pyrexA 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).

Silicone spoon spatula: essential kitchen tool

spatula-spoon

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)

Espresso cups that spark joy

cups-1

I measured the Bialetti 06816 Bicchierini Espresso Cups using Marie Kondo's yardstick.* I'm keeping them.

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OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Measuring Cup Set

The sheer number of OXO products available and the variety of price points they are built to makes it inevitable that some of them will be duds. Indeed, over time it has become clear that the presence of the brand on an item does not necessarily guarantee good design or build quality. That said, I have found their Good Grips steel measuring cups to be a great success in both regards. After more than a year of daily use, I still can’t think of anything that would improve them.

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Tomato Shark tears through tomatoes

I have dozens of tools and gadgets in my kitchen. Years working in the restaurant and catering world left me with an inventory of items that I bought for this job or that party.

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Floppy Tube quickly pops skin off garlic

When you are pulling together a meal, anything you can do to minimize prep time up front — or more importantly, along the way — helps make things run more smoothly and cleanly.

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Useful kitchen tools from the previous homeowner

Author of the new book, Borg Like Me, Gareth Branwyn tells Cool Tools about the set of household tools he inherited from the former occupants of his house that have proven their usefulness and longevity over the years. In this episode of the Cool Tools Show he talks about what makes these tools so special and how we all can prepare to pass on our household’s best suited tools to the next generation of homeowners.