Good, inexpensive silicone kitchen sink strainer

I like almost everything OXO makes. This OXO Good Grips Silicone Sink Strainer ( on Amazon) was a welcome replacement for the wire mesh one we had, because some of the wires had broken. Those little protruding wires hurt when they poke your finger. The OXO strainer is made of soft silicone and that won't hurt you. To clean the collect food debris, just pop the cup inside out in the trash. One reviewer on Amazon said it is still in good condition after four years of use. I've had mine since 2016 and it is working perfectly.

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Company sells square tip knives to help reduce knife violence

In 2019, knife crime in England and Wales hit record highs with police counting 44,000 offenses over a year span, half of which were stabbings. In an effort to help (and also probably to, ahem, get some press), UK cutlery brand Viners is now selling a line of knives with squared-off tips. From Insider:

Due to be released later this week, (a Viners press release states that the line) has been "repeatedly tested to ensure the tip does not pierce skin intentionally or otherwise."

"With knife-related crime incidents at a record high and a reported 285 fatalities in the last 12 months alone, the UK government has taken the decision to reclassify kitchen knives as an offensive weapon with the new Offensive Weapons Act 2019, leading some retailers to remove single knives from sale in retail stores," a press release for the knife collection stated.

"The new Assure collection from Viners has been created in response to this new legislation, with the team extensively testing a new shape knife that is highly functional for the modern cook but shaped to reduce and prevent injuries, accidents and fatalities."

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Excellent lemon/lime squeezer

Carla didn't like the glass citrus juicer we've had for years. She said it hurt her wrist when she twisted a lemon half on the cone. I agreed with her. It's an unnatural way to move your wrist. She also didn't like having to lift out the seeds with a spoon before using the juice. Again, I couldn't argue. I told her I wanted to do some research for a good squeeze handle juicer, but I took too long so she ordered a cast aluminum juicer like this one ( on Amazon).

It does a good job of getting almost all the juice out of a lemon, and is pretty easy to squeeze. It keeps the seeds inside the cup, too. My main concern is with the pin in the hinge. When will it break, and what kind of pin replacement will I be able use? It may not be an issue, though, because I didn't see a review where someone said the hinge pin broke. Read the rest

This silicone 'Scoop and Spread' is one hell of a kitchen tool

This set of useful silicone kitchen tools includes my new favorite for mixing, spreading and stirring.

I needed something that could stir sourdough starter inside a milk bottle. I wanted to be able to scrape the sides of said bottle clean as I did it. The 'scoop and spread' in this great set of Tovolo kitchen tools does the trick amazingly well.

The 'scoop and spread' is the strange double-headed device pictured second from the left. Much like Darth Maul's lightsaber, this thing kicks ass.

Strong enough to cut through sticky clumps of dough as I make batches of pretzels or a loaf of bread, the 'scoop and spread' also replaces my danish dough whisk. The tool is also wonderful at getting peanut butter out of a jar, or mixing up separated peanut butter in a jiffy.

I also like the rest of the set, but holy cow! The 'scoop and spread' is my new hero.

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Great deal on a 6qt enameled cast iron dutch oven

This enameled cast iron dutch oven should last longer than we do.

I use a dutch oven for baking sourdough bread and cooking with my sous vide circulator. It is also wonderful for cassoulet, which I have been challenged to prepare by a young lady this week...

Second or third in-line behind my cast iron skillet, the enameled Dutch oven is one of my most-used kitchen tools.

The lid is only rated to 450F because of the button-style handle on top. Replace it with a stainless one and the whole deal is good to go at 500F.

Vremi Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven Pot with Lid - 6 Quart Capacity Deep Large Ovenproof - Red via Amazon Read the rest

Silicone dish scrubbers: one year of use, far less gross than a sponge

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

I love this airfryer

This $75 air fryer is getting an awful lot of use in my kitchen. 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

These kitchen towels are cheap and good

Once a year or so I buy another dozen of these cotton kitchen towels to replace the stained ones (which go into the cleanup rags drawer). They're large (26 x 15 in.), absorbent and comfortable to use. They look really nice, too. At $(removed) for a dozen, they are a bargain, too. Read the rest

Silicone stretch lids

At my house, we've started storing leftovers in mason jars, glasses, and bowls. It's more convenient than buying separate food storage containers. To cover them, we use these silicone stretch lids. They even fit square shaped containers. Amazon has them on sale: 7 for $(removed) Read the rest

Electric carving knives for the holidays

My parents gave me a Hamilton Beach Electric Carving Knife about 10 years ago, and even though I use it just a couple of times a year, I'm glad I have it when I have to carve a large turkey. If you've never experienced the joy of using an electric knife, this is your chance. Amazon is selling it for $15, including the fork. Read the rest

Dig into hard ice cream with this pointy tip scoop

The old ice cream scoop we had wasn't really an ice cream scoop. It was a disher, and was more suited for scooping mashed potatoes than ice cream. When the trigger mechanism on it finally broke, I happily got rid of it and replaced it with the OXO Good Grips Solid Stainless Steel Ice Cream Scoop ($15). This surprisingly heavy scoop is made from a solid chunk of stainless steel with a comfortable rubber grip, and comes with a pointed end that digs right into hard ice cream, especially if you run hot water over it. It's supposedly dishwasher safe but why put it in the dishwasher? Just rinse it and dry it with a towel. Read the rest

Set of 3 mesh kitchen strainers for under $7

Amazon has a good deal on this set of fine mesh steel strainers today - $6.79 for three in different sizes. I bought them to replace the one we have that has a tear in the mesh and pokes my finger. Read the rest

Once you use this, you won't ever want another jar tool

The reason it's hard to open jar lids is because the vacuum seal is pulling the lid tightly against the jar. Once in awhile, the vacuum seal is so strong that I can't open it. That's when I grab my Jarkey, a $(removed) plastic lever that effortlessly breaks the seal, making it easy to open. I always try to open jars with my bare hands, then use the Jarkey as a backup. My wife goes straight for the Jarkey, because she's smarter than I am. Read the rest

This crisper pan makes incredible sweet potato fries

Soon after I started using my Paderno vegetable slicer in 2015 to cut sweet potatoes into curls, I bought an oven crisper pan. This thing is great. Instead of drenching the slices in hot oil to fry them, I just put them in a bowl, add a bit of salt and olive oil and stir until the slices are lightly coated. Read the rest

Still my favorite way to smash garlic into little juicy bits

I've yet to find a hinged garlic press that I love. The ones I've tried are inefficient, fragile (especially the hinge, which inevitably fails), and not that easy to clean. I end up having to peel the unused garlic from the inside of the press, and my fingers stink for days. Everyone has their opinion about crushing garlic - my top choice is Joseph Joseph Rocker Garlic Crusher, Press, and Mincer ($(removed)). I've had it for over two years and I use it almost daily. 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

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