In high school and college, I finally discovered the arcade classics, and my all-time favorite was Pac-Man. It was easy enough for me to master, and just complicated enough to be challenging and interesting. I'd visit arcades with friends and plunk quarter after quarter into … Read more
If you've been looking for a fun cookie-decorating project to do with your children, I have to recommend the Ice Cream Cone Copper Cookie Cutter from Sur la Table. This cookie cutter lets you turn out cookies that are begging for a little icing and sprinkles. It creates cookies that are a little over-size--one of these cookies is plenty at between 3 inches and 5 inches. But the part of the cookie representing a scoop of ice cream offers a good-size canvas for brightly colored frosting and your favorite decorations. When you're done, you can easily use these … Read more
I have a bad habit of dunking my cookies in my tea, hot chocolate or even hot cider. There's just something about hot drinks and cookies that go together. I try to have at least a few cookies on hand whenever I serve coffee or tea, and the Coffee Cup Cookie Cutters add a little something special to those cookies--no matter how fast I had to whip them up. The cookies that these cutters make provide a handy notch so you can hang the cookies on the side of the mug: they're available in four different shapes that … Read more
Even though my mixer takes a lot of the work out of mixing doughs and batters, there are still a few recipes that leave me reaching for a spoon. Some recipes, like brownies, just bake better when they're mixed by hand because a mixer will overmix the batter--usually still missing clumps of the dry ingredients--and activate the gluten in the flour making a tough brownie. But a spoon just isn't the perfect tool to mix batters: it can't break up clumps and batter can cling to it. The Batter Blender offers an alternative that makes hand mixing … Read more
It's unfortunately easy to wind up with oven-baked food--such as French fries and cookies--that needs just a little more crispness than the oven seems to offer. The reason for that is surprisingly easy: those crispy edges come from heat circulating around your cooking food. If the food is flat on the pan, you're missing out on some circulation. To get crispier food, we need to lift out food up during the cooking process--exactly as the Cookmesh Crispers do. The nonstick fiberglass mesh sits on top of pans and baking sheets, separating your food from the cooking surface by … Read more
You can "bake" a potato in the microwave in a matter of minutes, as long you don't mind one side getting a little hard and the whole thing having a strange texture when you go to eat it. Your other option is to take up your oven for up to an hour, often right when you're trying to get dinner on the table. There seems to be a third option, though: the stove top. The Stovetop Potato Baker has a base that sits over your range's electric cooking element or gas burner, as well as … Read more
I have a few cake recipes that just seem to work well for spring--lemon and orange flavors especially get me thinking about warm weather and sunny days. But those cakes always seem to need a little something to really make them a springtime dessert. I've been thinking that the visual appeal especially needs to be improved, making the Dimensions Tulip Pan the perfect touch. This Bundt pan turns cakes into an elegant circle of tulips--and the details are enough to stand out, unlike those created by many unusually shaped cake pans. It's perfect for all sorts of springtime … Read more
Kitchens can never have enough counter space. Trying to create even the simplest of dishes requires a good workable area. From chopping vegetables to marinating meats, it is essential to have room to work with. Unfortunately, many small kitchens offer very little workable area. Luckily, there are solutions. From tables to additional stands, there are products designed to address this very need. However, the island is the one piece of kitchen furniture that I have found that I cannot live without.
In my family, carrot cake is a sign spring is coming. I don't know what it is about February and March, but something about those months just has me reaching for the carrots and the cream-cheese frosting every year. The Carrot Cake Pan from King Arthur Flour offers a nice touch to my typical carrot cake. The glazed stoneware pan is perfect for baking a moist cake--and you can pop the cake out easily if you're planning to decorate it. However, just adding a coat of cream-cheese frosting on the cake and leaving it in the pan can … Read more
To continue our celebration of Bread Month at The Brooklyn Kitchen, a shop in my neighborhood that's the best go-to spot for appliances and kitchen gadgets, I'm introducing you to this odd-looking blade that breadmakers know as a lame (lah-may).
Maybe you've already been introduced to this curved-blade tool, also known as a grignette. But if you're like me and it's new to you, here's the deal: this little guy is responsible for the pretty patterns that show up in the crust of freshly baked breads like baguettes and round boules. Chefs use the … Read more