Pizza WheelHow many times do you use a pizza wheel at your house? If the answer is none, well, then you can stop reading right now. However, if you make any sort of pizza at your place - frozen or homemade - then you’ll be interested in this high performance Kitchen Aid pizza blade wheel made of stainless steel.

Like all KitchenAid items, this pizza wheel looks modern and streamlined. It has a hole in the handle for easy hanging as well as a rubber blade protector and a bottom finger guard. I bolded that word “bottom” because there is no guard on the top - you need to remember to hold this in a particular way and be careful about the top handle edge of the blade when running this back and forth.

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Zojirushi Bento - Kitchen Conversation at Bloglander

These Zojirushi Bento Stainless Steel Lined Jars are an interesting take on the traditional Japanese Bento Boxes that people take for lunch. Basically, they are lunchboxes. I took many a bento box to work in my college days - saved a ton on buying lunch. What’s cool about these lunch jars is that they all fit together in a vacuum insulated container that sort of looks like a big thermos. You can store either hot or cold food (but not both).

There are four food bowls that stack inside the stainless steel container. I actually had to look at one of the pictures on Amazon to figure out how they accomplish storing the food together. Basically, two of the bowls are meant for room temperature foods and stack on the top. Then there is an insulating lid under that. It’s followed by the larger bowl for your hot main dish, and underneath that you can put a jar that contains soup.

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Oster Wine Opener

May 19, 2008

Oster - Kitchen Conversation at BloglanderHave you ever struggled mightly with pulling out that wine cork with a screw-type wine bottle opener? I sure have. And although I’ve gotten a little better at getting the cork out of bottles, I’ve always been interested in something that would do it quicker and with less chance of broken corks. There are a number of different “automatic” type bottle openers, but this is the first electric one I’ve taken a look at.

The Oster Electric Wine Opener is a surprisingly compact device that is fairly easy to use. You just push the button and the screw enters the cork immediately. Press the button again and cork comes right out of the device. Now, because the device is electric and quite small, it needs to be charged up after doing a number of bottles. That number that Oster claims is 30. I don’t see too much of a problem with that, even if it was 15 it’d be ok. If you’re opening 30 bottles of wine frequently for parties - then opening the wine bottles is probably going to be the least of your worries!

I like the design of this opener which is pretty sleek and stylish. The handle seems to be very ergonomic. There is a foil cutter in the charging base that can be used to remove wine seals. I believe it will fit most traditional wine bottles. What I’m curious about is about the screw that removes the bottles. On some other wine openers, like the Rabbit I’ve had friends have problems with the vinyl on the corkscrew eventually wearing out - and when that happens it becomes much, much harder to get a cork out. I’m wondering if the Oster will have any issues with that since it is electric - like maybe it will do less than 30 bottles because of the extra power needed to get the cork out.

Mezzaluna Chopper with BowlI’ve always been curious about Mezzaluna choppers. On the one hand, they seem to be perfectly built for chopping up herbs - on the other it seems like a uni-tasker, and at the price that this one goes for I’m not yet convinced its a worthwhile purchase. It does seem like a good gift to get for a cooking enthusiast, however.

The mezzaluna is basically a curved blade with a handle that you rock back and forth on a wooden surface that’s usually curved like the maple bowl this one comes with. It’s an interesting way to cut things up, and I suspect it might take some getting used to.

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Presto Pressure Cooker

March 31, 2008

Presto Pressure Cooker - Kitchen Conversation at Bloglander

If you’ve never used a pressure cooker before, it can certainly seem like “magic” - presto, and your food is cooked in a fraction of the time it’d normally take. There’s no more room in our tiny kitchen for yet another large pot, but I still often eye pressure cookers wistfully online. It’s a great way to quickly cook “slow-cook” food.

This is the 6 quart stainless stell variety from Presto which looks like a pretty simple device without any unneeded bells and whistles. As with most modern pressure cookers it has a lock-down saftey mechanism that prevents you from catastrophe if you try to open the lid when cooking. It also has the usual valve to release steam.

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Bialetta Moka

March 17, 2008

Kitchen Conversation - Bialetta MokaI have to admit that I’ve been thoroughly making use of my Senseo coffee machine lately - so I’m posting about the Biatletta mainly because I just like the way it looks. This is the three cup aluminum version which makes three 2 ounce cups of espresso in 5 minutes. I really like the old school Italian octagonal shape (they say it was originally introduced in 1933).

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Bodum Columbia - Kitchen Conversation at Bloglander

I’ve been using a standard glass Bodum Coffee Press for years now to make the morning coffee. But the sleek lines of their Columbia Stainless Steel line caught my eye the other day. This french press style coffee Bodum is interesting because you also can use it as a warming thermos - supposedly the coffee or tea you brew in itwill stay hot for 2 hours. It’s definitely elegant in appearance with the mirror finish, but I am really curious about whether it will really keep your brew hot for that long. It seems an awful long time and a little too good to be true. I read a few reviews that say that it seems to keep it hot for more like 45 minutes to 1 hour. The lid on the coffeemaker is supposed to keep in the heat. You turn the lid in order to seal the vacuum pot. The pot holds 34 ounces or about 1 liter of liquid.

V-Slicer on Kitchen Conversation at Bloglander

I’ve been researching a bit on mandolines and came across this interesting alternative slicer by Borner. It’s the Swissmar V-Slicer Plus which has three different inserts that allow you to slice, julienne, chop or shred vegetables and fruits. The blades are German surgical steel and there is a food holder to keep your fingers away from them. You can slice various types of food in different thicknesses, as well as julienne food using the insert attachments - onions, potatoes, carrots, celery and other veggies are good candidates.

This slicer seems to be extremely rugged despite being made of plastic - because of that it can also be a bit cheaper than the pro-models of mandolines. It measure 15 x 6 inches - the inserts all fit within the slicer itself for storage.

Presto Orville Corn Poppper

January 28, 2008

Orville Corn Popper - Kitchen ConversationAfter picking out one too many unpopped kernels from those microwave popcorn bags lately, I certainly felt like looking up the electric hot air popcorn machines like this Presto Orville Redenbacher Popper. We used to have a similar one at home long ago but I don’t know what happened to it. There are obvious health benefits of air popping versus oil popped or microwaved corn, and many people who bought this machine seem to really like it (some had the same machine for 15 years!) The machine just uses heat to pop the kernels of corn which are poured into the top. The top has a little measuring cup where you can melt butter - obviously you don’t pour the butter into the machine, but this is good because cleanup is much easier. You just wash the cup, the machine itself does not have to be cleaned. It’s nice to be able to control how much butter and flavoring you put on the popcorn.

The machine is quite fast - popping a batch (or about 16-18 cups) of corn in less than 3 minutes using nothing but hot air. I heard that sometimes in the beginnning you may get a few unpopped kernels coming out, but as the machine heats up they stop. This is probably a good gift for a college student…

Cool Touch Griddle

Presto, chango - instant cool griddle? Well, sort of. This is a jumbo sized electric cooktop that will give you a whole lot of room to cook hamburgers, sizzling fajitas, pancakes and pretty much anything that requires a large cooking surface. It’s a non-stick surface which is great, but requires a bit of care not to scratch it up with metal utensils. The “cool touch” attraction is a bit misleading - it’s simply that the edges of the griddle are turned up and cool to the touch. The handles are similarly safe to grab - but the cooking surface does remain hot. Keep that in mind when you’re using it. It should be treated like any hot cooking pan, but the cool edges do provide a small amount of safety protection for the younger ones.

This is a cast aluminum pan with a non-stick surface. There’s a grease “trough” that will channel the grease into a tray that you can remove. The whole thing is about 12 x 24 inches so that’s a good amount of space to work with.

Presto Cool Touch Electric Griddle - $32.44
available at Amazon.com

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