I have an affinity for cooking equipment.
Just last week the most intriguing little gadget found its way to my kitchen: the Kuhn Rikon Corn Zipper, which zips corn off the cob and right into the bowl. It s supposed to be easier than using a knife, and the patented blade cleanly and safely removes three or four rows at a time.
There is at least one person in our family who routinely cuts corn off the cob rather than eating it on the cob, so I am eager to test this little tool.
The suggested retail price is $12. It is available at specialty retailers, including Sur La Table at 800-243-0852.
When my daughter asked me what I wanted for Mother s Day, I happened to be making a cake in her kitchen and was searching for a cake rack when I spied her cutting boards.
I could use a new wood cutting board a big one, I said.
Well, lucky me. That s exactly what I needed and received. She asked me if I wanted bamboo, which is a grass that is renewable, or traditional wood. Because I wanted a very large one, she gave me a traditional wood board.
Sharon Dela Hamaide of Kitchen Tools & Skills in Perrysburg reports that Epicurean Cutting Surfaces has a wood composite cutting board that can go in the dishwasher. They make several different ones, she says. I like the ones with the groove for cutting tomatoes or meat the groove catches all the juice. Prices range from $12 for an 8-by-6-inch board to $130 for 27-by-18-inches. The store carries a variety of cutting boards and mats.
Two items that are standards in my kitchen are my hand-held mixer and my stand mixer.
According to Consumer Reports, stand mixers are the go-to appliance for mixing big batches of cookie dough, kneading bread dough, and whipping cream so that it is light and airy.
You can add attachments that transform a mixer into a grinder, ice cream machine, or freshpasta maker.
For consumers who can t live without homemade cookies (and I am one), Consumer Reports named two CR Best Buy stand mixers, the Kitchen Aid Classic and the Hamilton Beach Electrics.
If you re interested in learning more about pie baking, there are three new cookbooks sure to help you get your rolling pin ready.
A variety of pie plates and tart pans are used in The Complete Book of Pies by Julie Hasson (Robert Rose, $24.95) which has chapters on apple pies as well as berry pies and tarts. Recipes such as Raspberry Lemon Crumb Pie and Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp are listed as vegan-friendly.
Hand Pies include Cherry Jam Half-Moon Pies and Quick and Easy Blueberry Turnovers. There are crisps, cobblers, crumbles, galettes, and savory tarts.
The international appeal of pie is evident in Pie by British food writer Angela Boggiano (Mitchell Beazley, $16.99) with treacle pie (Harry Potter s favorite), Cornish pasty, Italian torta, Spanish empanada, Greek spinach pie, and Russian fi sh pie filled with salmon, rice, and mushrooms.
Elegant game pies are steeped in history. They are noble because of the time and effort needed to make them, with all the pastry curves, fl utings, cornices, and roses used for raised pie molds that are normally hinged on one side. And Pastry Savory & Sweet by Michael Roux (Wiley, $24.95), with technique photos, makes me want to bake a quiche or an Asparagus and Red Pepper Tart. Puff pastry can be used for Cheese Straws, Palmiers (cookies), and Apple Turnovers.
Brioche dough is baked in a buttered brioche mold.
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