Rachael Ray Cucina Stoneware EVOO Dispensing Bottle - $17
In full disclosure, Rachael Ray sent me this bottle a few months back and I fell in love (with the bottle, that is). It’s heavy and perfectly stable on the counter. It holds a lot of oil (24 ounces), and the pouring spout is small and easy to direct for a perfect pour. It also has a tiny hinged lid on the nozzle to seal off the contents when not in use.
Lékué Cooking Mesh - $15
This is absolutely not the type of kitchen tool I would be likely to use, but I have found it indispensable. The concept is simple: a mesh bag that holds food and goes right into boiling water. We used it to make hard-boiled eggs, corn on the cob (cut in half) and poached shrimp. The mesh makes it easy to transfer the food all at once from the hot water to an ice bath, so nothing gets overcooked. And the long silicone drawstrings keep your fingers away from the heat.
Zoku Iced Coffee Maker - $30
If one is organized (and I am not), iced coffee is a snap. Brew a pot the night before and leave it in the refrigerator. For the rest of us, the Zoku Iced Coffee Maker provides immediate gratification. Leave the mug in the freezer, and you are ready to grab and go in the morning. The steel mug instantly chills 10 ounces of coffee.
iGrill Mini - $40
It was inevitable. Even grilling is now managed by my iPhone. This simple remote thermometer is intuitive, easy to set up and has app support built in, so no need for a complicated manual. We found the range outdoors to be about 60 feet, though when we went inside we lost the Bluetooth connection faster. (It did reconnect itself the moment we were back in range.) For the price and ease of use, it’s worth the investment.
Hiku The Shopping Button - $59
This magnetic button and its app let you manage your shopping list like magic. When you run out of an item, either scan it with Hiku’s barcode reader or press the button and say the product’s name to add it to your list. The app sorts the list automatically by grocery aisle, connects with online stores and allows you to share the list.
Mastrad Silicone Egg Poacher - $8
I love poached eggs and have tried just about every tool available to make them. These are a breeze to use. Just coat each poaching pod with cooking spray, add an egg and float in a covered saucepan of simmering water. In 6 minutes you have poached eggs. The silicone handles make the pods easy to remove. And, of course, they take up no room in the drawer. I am not usually a big fan of silicone tools, but the Mastrad is cheap and effective.
Imusa 12-Inch Sunburst Cloth Tortilla Warmer - $15
The South of the Border design on the outside of this tortilla warmer is not quite in keeping with my white-on-white New England kitchen, but it does solve a problem. The cloth pocket keeps corn and flour tortillas warm for well over an hour. It also can be used to heat tortillas in the microwave (the instructions are printed right on the back of the pouch). When we used it while making corn tortillas and pupusas, it kept the tortillas warm and let them steam, leaving them soft and pliable. It worked much better than the kitchen towel we usually use.