I kinda think this tater tot cookbook defines my generation

Tots!: 50 Tot-ally Awesome Recipes from Totchos to Sweet Po-tot-o Pie is the tater tot recipe book to rule them all. Read the rest

Cutlery from 2001: A Space Odyssey is available on Amazon

In 1957, Danish architect Arne Jacobson designed a exquisite set of minimalist cutlery that Stanley Kubrick personally selected as the flatware aboard the Discovery One in “2001: A Space Odyssey" (1968). Now you can buy it on Amazon.com for $100/set. This is the future, baby! From the New York Times:

Jacobsen designed (the cutlery) at the height of his career, in his mid-50s, for one of his most prestigious assignments, the SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen. Having established his reputation as Denmark’s leading Modernist by designing first houses and then public buildings, Jacobsen sealed it in 1956 by bagging the most coveted position in Danish design, as professor of architecture at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. The SAS commission offered an opportunity for him to create a new national landmark, a grand hotel for the jet age. This would require him to design not just the building but all of its contents: chairs, furnishings, curtains, lighting, even the cutlery.

Ignoring convention, Jacobsen started from scratch by imagining what eating utensils would be like if they were natural extensions of the human body, and came up with abstractions of the traditional shape for knives, forks and spoons. The light, slender slivers of metal are designed to fit neatly into the hand at one end and the mouth at the other, with wide, flat surfaces for the fingertips to hold on to.

"The Cutting Edge" (New York Times, 2009)

(via Kottke) Read the rest

How to tell good meat from the mediocre

Meat master Eli Cairo explains how to spot good meat from the not-so-great. Read the rest

Sous vide blackened salmon fillets

Surprise! Making perfect blackened salmon is easy. Read the rest

Slicing and dicing with an 8" santoku knife

I was told that chopping vegetables and fruits would be easier with a Santoku knife. For $25 I gave it a shot. Read the rest

Fantastic $7 Victorinox paring knife

This $7 paring knife feels good in my hand, and unlike my other paring knives it is not lost.

In my home, paring knives disappear almost as frequently as socks and Apple Lightning cables. I was buying really cheap replacements at the dollar store, but they'd pretty much come apart in my dishwasher after a few cycles. This Victorinox will be lost long before it breaks.

Victorinox 3.25 Inch Paring Knife with Straight Edge, Spear Point, Black via Amazon Read the rest

Silicone dish scrubbers: because I'm tired of being told kitchen sponges are gross

I've been trying these silicone dish scrubbers. They work great and don't get disgusting like sponges.

A few weeks ago some internet meme thingery got into my head, and made me throw out all my sponges. Even before I thought they were dirty! I then made the mistake of cleaning some stuff that immediately had me tossing said new sponges out. I was sick of it! I decided to try some reusable, sterilizable silicone scrubbers.

Guess what? They work.

Not absorbent, but most of what I've used sponges for in recent years is the blue or green scrubbing surface. These do that nicely. You can also just boil them in hot water every once in a while to clean them off.

These scrubbers also double as silicone pot-holders, if you need.

4 pack of Silicone Dish Scrubbers via Amazon

Also, because sponge.

Read the rest

Human skull bowl

Catacomb Culture's Human Skull Bowl is great as Halloween decor, but it's perfect for eating cereal like a savage cannibal all year-round.

Each bowl is $100 and made to order by artist Jeremy Ciliberto. Added bonus: spells or blessings can be cast on your skull bowl by a certified & experienced shaman minister.

(Nerdcore) Read the rest

Fantastic deal on 14 pc non-stick ceramic cookset

I've long wanted some new pots, and this $80 14 pc ceramic cookset was too good a deal to pass up!

Well made and easy to cook on, these turquoise pots and pans match the odd-but-pleasing tiles in my 1983 kitchen perfectly. These three pots will see frequent use, and three pans will likely split between the Vanagon camping set and my house. Cooking tools are always usefuL!

While Greenlife's ceramic "Thermolon" coating is a wonderful cooking surface, I offer no opinion on the cookware's freedom of PFOA, PFAS, lead or cadmium. I did not test for these and trusted the marketing. The coating is easy to clean, however! The pots seem to both conduct and hold heat well, but it aint cast iron. The soft handles are pretty much the same silicone material with I use on my cast iron skillet.

The set also comes in red and in black, but I love my turquoise.

GreenLife Soft Grip 14pc Ceramic Non-Stick Cookware Set via Amazon Read the rest

This butcher's twine dispenser helps keep things in place

This stand stops my spool of kitchen twine from rolling off the counter.

Years ago I bought a loose spool of kitchen twine. My cat constantly knocks it off the counter. I finally finished that spool, and replaced it with this spool on a stand!

Seriously a spool of thread lasts so long that I want a stand for it. I like to keep it on the counter, and not in a drawer. I do not like it on the floor. I don't like it rolling around.

Thoughtfully, this stand even has a string cutter on top!

Regency Cooking Butcher's Twine on Handy Dispenser with Cutter for Meat Prep and Trussing Turkey via Amazon Read the rest

Lekue Cooking Mesh makes boiling veggies fun again

It's pricier than the five-buck alternative, but my Lekue silicone cooking mesh bag [Amazon] has survived dozens of boils.

Kitchen shears to spatchcock a chicken

I needed kitchen shears, so I might spatchcock a chicken. These do the job nicely.

This fantastic video from America's Test Kitchen has kept me busy. It involves fun uses of cast iron.

I'm eager to try the 500F heated cast iron steak searing method, the chicken was fantastic. I also just like saying spatchcock.

KitchenAid Shears with Soft Grip Handles, Black via Amazon Read the rest

I'm excited to try out a thermal cooker

I just ordered a thermal cooker, they sound like wonderful camping tools. Anyone got recipe suggestions? Read the rest

EveryDayCook – A welcome evolution from what Alton Brown did with Good Eats

I discovered Alton Brown during the last few seasons of Good Eats, and I was instantly a fan. You’ve got to appreciate someone who can make a good martini. Brown’s Monty Python humor and Bill Nye nerdiness was right up my alley. Since the show ended, he seemed to publicly take off his apron and put on a jacket, acting as host and performer in many popular shows, a podcast, and live road show. But, if you’re like me, and missed Alton behind the stove, then get excited. EveryDayCook feels like his triumphant return as a cook.

The book’s a welcome evolution from what Brown did with Good Eats. While you won’t find yeast puppets, you will find his familiar humor and meticulous attention to detail. Each recipe is broken down with Brown explaining how to prepare the dish in a simple and clear way. It’s very apparent that this was a personal project for him, and that he had a hand in every aspect of the book, even the photography.

Each and every picture in the book was taken using an iPhone. A 6s Plus to be specific. Why? Because he uses an iPhone. But then, because he’s Alton freaking Brown he takes it a step further, and uses a top-down perspective for all of the photos. Now for non-photographers out there, just know, this is an incredibly difficult angle to shoot at. There are lighting issues, shadows can be a nightmare, you’re left wondering what kind of masochist would do this? Read the rest

Joule turns sous vide from an experiment into an everyday cooking technique

ChefSteps Joule sous vide eliminates all the niggling inconveniences of other models and turns sous vide into a really useful, everyday technique. I've been cooking with it for months now, and I'm in love.

Sous vide cooking is a method of bringing the foodstuffs you want to eat up to their cooked temperature in a gentle bath of heated water. The protein changes are more predictable, flavors far bolder and less cooked out, textures not destroyed by high heat. I love the results sous vide produces but even the best of last years circulators kept it as an every-so-often technique.

The containers I found I had to use to match up with the depth, clips and mounting hardware of most units was a total pain in the butt. Over time I settled on using an igloo cooler with the then favorite circulator. It was larger than I wanted to keep in my kitchen, and needed more water than a California felt great about for making a few steaks. Sure, I could recycle the water but it just never felt like something I could do every day.

Here is what is so great about Joule: it has a magnet in its bottom instead of using a mounting clip. Even the best mounting hardware doesn't compare to this. If you have any pots that a magnet will stick to, you can sous vide in them. The Joule also runs with much less water than other units I've tried. You do not have to fill the pot up to where the exhaust hole in the unit is. Read the rest

Kraut makers delight! A $9 cabbage shredder

Xeni got me addicted to making my own kraut. Life has me addicted to specialized kitchen tools. Combine the two and I've decided I just love this cabbage slicer/shredder.

The strong handled, wide stainless steel bladed tool easily converts a cabbage into kraut size slivers. Perfect for mashing and smashing in your kraut jar. Gone are the careful slicing and cutting down of a cabbage with my chef's knife. This feels a lot safer!

Cleaning is as easy as rinsing the blade off and lightly wiping it down. The tool is also dishwasher safe.

If you like making kraut, this shredder is a cheap and easy way to cut down the cabbage.

Westmark Germany Cabbage Slicer with Stainless Steel Blade via Amazon Read the rest

Simple silicone garlic peeler

I am amazed at how well this simple, silly tube of silicone works. Simply crack the outer layers of skin on a clove of garlic, pop it into the cylinder of silicone and roll. The skin comes right off. My hands don't smell of garlic.

Rinse this off in the sink, set it aside to dry and it is ready for next time. One of the most useful, overlooked $6 kitchen tools I've got!

Zak Designs E-Z-Rol Garlic Peeler (Red) Read the rest

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