When I was young, my mom banned plastic wrap from our kitchen because it frustrated her so much when it would invariably cling to itself. Apparently you can avoid this problem though just by storing the plastic wrap in the freezer. The cold temporarily reduces its clinginess. From Mental Floss:
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The cold temperature alters the polyethylene at the molecular level, which helps to remove the static and stickiness...
The freezer only temporarily changes the properties of the plastic wrap, giving you enough time to rip a sheet off and cover your leftovers with it while the material is still cool. Once the plastic wrap warms up, it will go back to its old, clingy self.
Carolyn Forte of the Good Housekeeping Institute tried it out and gave the freezer method a thumbs up. "The plastic wrap was a lot easier to unroll and use," she tells Good Housekeeping. "It doesn't stick to itself when it's cold, but still works to cover up a dish. As it warms up, it goes back to being sticky, but it's definitely easier to handle when cold."
I've been using these silicone dish scrubbers for about a year. They are far less gross than sponges.
All the tales of sponge-nastiness got to me last year. I decided that some silicone scrubbers were worth trying out, and a small expense if they did not work out.
These silicone scrubbers work fantastically!
Pictured are the two that currently live in my sink. The blue one gets more use, but both have been aggressively used for scrubbing over the last 12 months. They have not worn out, they have not become so fouled or toxic that I've had to toss one. There are still 3 others in my kitchen drawer waiting to be employed.
The only trick I find to cleaning with these, is that silicone scrubbers don't hold soap like a sponge does, so I'm either applying soap several times during a big wash-up, or I capture a bowl of soapy water at the beginning of cleaning.
You can just rise these off in the sink with water, but every few dishwasher loads I throw one or the other of the scrubbers into the machine. They come out almost as-new. I have heard tales of folks boiling these, but the dishwasher seems to handle it.
I still use a sponge sometimes, but these are where the cleaning starts.
INNERNEED Food-Grade Silicone Non Stick Dishwashing Brush Kitchen Dish Cleaning (5 mix color) via Amazon Read the rest
If you bake, or diet, this $10 food scale is super helpful to have around.
There was a crepe recipe I really wanted to try, but everything was all in measured grams. I am far too lazy to bother converting the 3 or 4 ingredients from grams to ounces, even with the help of Alexa in my kitchen. Luckily, I had this cheap food scale sitting around.
The included batteries were dead by the time I got around to trying this out, but everything else about the scale is exactly as ordered. You can turn this scale on. You may also zero this scale out. If desired you may easily swap from metric to imperial measurements. The scale turns off automatically, if you forget to do so yourself.
I have been told that baking-by-weight is far superior to baking-by-feel.
Etekcity Digital Kitchen Scale Multifunction Food Scale, 11lb 5kg, Silver, Stainless Steel (Batteries Included) via Amazon Read the rest
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)
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Surprise! Making perfect blackened salmon is easy. Read the rest
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
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
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.
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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.
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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 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
It's pricier than the five-buck alternative, but my Lekue silicone cooking mesh bag
[Amazon] has survived dozens of boils.
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 just ordered a thermal cooker, they sound like wonderful camping tools. Anyone got recipe suggestions?
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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