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Tag Archives: Cooking

Parmesan Pencils

Parmesan Pencils (Image courtesy The Deli Garage)
By Andrew Liszewski

Sometimes all it takes is a clever packaging and marketing approach for an every day product to become a best seller. Case in point, parmesan cheese. It’s certainly delicious in its own right, but at the same time it’s not the most exciting looking thing at the grocery store. At least until Germany-based ad agency Kolle Rebbe put a clever spin on it for food cooperative, The Deli Garage.

Instead of having you go at a regular block of parmesan with a grater, it packages the cheese as large ‘pencils’ that you grate with an included pencil sharpener. The shavings not only look decorative, but in lieu of graphite the centers of the ‘pencils’ feature three different flavorings: truffles, pesto and chilli. The back of the Parmesan Pencil packaging also shows the calorie count in relation to the length used, as well as a guide for how much is recommended for a given recipe. Sadly they were only created in a limited run of 500 sets, which sold out in just 2 weeks.

[ Jazarah! - Meet the Parmesan Cheese Pencils ] VIA [ Motley Food & Tessie ]

Simple Silicone ‘Link’ Kitchen Tool Turns (Almost) Any Two Items Into Tongs

Link Kitchen Tool (Images courtesy studio dreimann)
By Andrew Liszewski

Once again it’s the simplest of gadgets that seem like they could completely change your life. Well, maybe that’s getting a bit carried away. But I still think the Link, created by Konstantin Slawinski of Hannover, Germany-based studio dreimann, is brilliantly clever. It’s a moulded piece of soft silicone with a couple of X-shaped slots that let you insert any two kitchen utensils, turning them into a pair of tongs. Genius! So instead of having to buy the right tool for the job, which may end up buried in a drawer most of the time, you can simply build one yourself from what you already have on hand. So if anyone has any idea where this can be purchased, we’re all ears.

[ Link ] VIA [ BLTD ]

OhGizmo! Review – CleverWraps

CleverWraps (Image property of OhGizmo!)
By Andrew Liszewski

The real beauty of the iPhone and the iPad is that their simplicity allows them to be different devices for different users. The large touchscreen and endless assortment of applications means they can be far more than just tablets or phones. And an incredibly prolific third-party accessories market further enhances what each device can do. If you’re an artist, drawing and painting apps coupled with a stylus turns either device into a blank canvas. If you’re an automotive enthusiast, with dashboard mounts they can become navigation devices or even performance monitors. And if you’re a foodie, they can become a cookbook with an infinite number of recipes.

The only problem with that last application is that neither device goes too well with foodstuffs. In fact, we all know that Apple has hidden away moisture detectors in both the iPhone and iPad so that if they do get caught up in a spill, you’re completely out of luck when it comes to making a warranty claim. So keeping your iDevice in the kitchen while you work through a recipe is like playing a dangerous game of Russian Roulette with your investment. Unless you take precautions. But do you need to go as far as to buy custom plastic wraps for either device? We’ll do our best to determine if CleverWraps are worth the investment in our full review after the jump.

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Karate Chopper Lettuce Knife

Karate Chopper Lettuce Knife (Images courtesy GAMA-GO)
By Andrew Liszewski

I don’t care what Cook’s Illustrated has to say about it, if they made a stainless steel version of this Karate Chopper lettuce knife, I’d use it for anything and everything in my kitchen. They say that Bruce Lee was able to halve an onion with his hand from just an inch away (yes, I know his discipline was Jeet Kune Do, not Karate) but with this knife anyone can feel like a martial arts master, even if they’ve never broken a single board in their life. This version is made from dishwasher safe high-impact plastic, and is available from GAMA-GO for just $12. It’s fine for vegetables and breads I suspect, but until a metal butcher knife version is available, I’d avoid going to town on meats with it.

[ Karate Chopper Lettuce Knife ] VIA [ Fancy ]

Sharp Act Knife Sharpener

Sharp Act Knife Sharpener (Image courtesy NeatoShop)
By Andrew Liszewski

Novelty items and sharp kitchen knives probably shouldn’t go hand in hand, but we can’t help but be enamored by this clever sharpener that’s designed to look like you’re about to saw a woman in half. The magic trick might be old hat and pretty uninspired when compared to today’s magicians and their ‘mind-freaking’ illusions, but anyone with even a passing knowledge of Harry Houdini and magicians of yesteryear should appreciate its novelty. And if you’re wondering how the knife goes from dull to sharp after being dragged through the device, I’m afraid the explanation is just good old fashioned magic. (And possibly a ceramic sharpening stone.) $11.95 available from the NeatoShop.

[ Sharp Act Knife Sharpener ] VIA [ Fancy ]

Electrolux Powermix Silent Blender Is Ten Times Quieter

Electrolux Powermix Silent Blender (Image courtesy Electrolux)
By Andrew Liszewski

While not particularly new, yesterday’s 100+ degree day (where I live at least) has gotten us thinking about ways to beat the heat. And Electrolux’s Powermix Silent blender will not only come in handy for mixing up smoothies and other frozen drinks, but it also does it in a way that’s 10X quieter than your standard blender. Now referring to it as ‘Silent’ is a bit of a stretch since it still produced about 80dB of noise, similar to being inside a car at 50MPH. Compared to 90-95dB of a regular blender which is more like the roar of a motorcycle.

The quieter performance is thanks to the blender’s patented ‘Sound Reduction System’ which incorporates reduced vibrations and better airflow around the motor. But as far as blending goes, it also apparently improves on older models there too with a triangular jug design which better creates a vortex effect, pulling materials down to the blades. Unfortunately though, like a lot of products under the Electrolux brand, it’s only available in certain parts of Europe.

[ Electrolux Powermix Silent Blender ] VIA [ Fancy ]

Alessi’s Grooved Chopping Board Could Oust The Wheel As Greatest Invention Of All Time

Alessi Chop Cutting Board (Images courtesy Alessi)
By Andrew Liszewski

Now seriously, why has it taken mankind so long to make such a simple improvement to the wooden cutting board? Chop was created by French designer Patrick Jouin for Alessi’s Fall & Winter 2010 collection, and simply adds a concave groove around the rim that allows you to slide a plate below the cutting surface and easily scrape chopped food onto it. Unfortunately it’s $100, but fortunately it looks like it’s less complicated to make than a grade school wood shop project. Now where’s my router?

[ Alessi Chop Cutting Board ] VIA [ Core77 ]

S’More To Love Rack

S'More To Love Rack (Image courtesy The Fulham Group)
By Andrew Liszewski

If you’re keeping score, humanity loses another few points today with the creation of the S’More To Love rack which manages to simplify a ‘cooking’ process already easy enough for monkeys and dolphins to follow. And if your kitchen isn’t already filled with enough unitasking contraptions, the S’More To Love will be a welcome addition, particularly if the act of heating a marshmallow, a piece of chocolate and graham crackers has you completely befuddled.

I’ll agree that starting a small camp fire in the kitchen sink just to make s’mores hasn’t always turned out the way I had hoped, but as an alternative the microwave does just as good job at heating the aforementioned ingredients without the risk of burning. Well, with less risk of burning. Of course as always I’ll leave it to you to decide if the $19.95 asking price is worth it, and it just might be if you think you’re as hopelessly inept as the actors appearing in this promotional video.

[ S'More To Love ] VIA [ Gear Patrol ]

Ventu – The World’s Most Advanced Serving & Straining Bowl

Ventu Strainer Bowl (Images courtesy Quirky)
By Andrew Liszewski

I’m a big fan of Quirky, and like that it gives amateur inventors the real opportunity to bring their creations to life. But at the same time it can be really frustrating to stumble across an innovative new product you really like, only to discover it’s a Quirky project still waiting for enough commitments to become a reality. Such is the case with the Ventu. It’s a combination serving/straining bowl that uses a unique pivoting armature to seal up a built-in colander once you’ve drained foods like freshly cooked pasta.

Made from brushed stainless steel with acacia wood handles the Ventu also looks as good as it functions, and the pivoting part can be removed for easy cleaning. At the moment it’s even on pre-sale for just $49.99, but unfortunately it’s only received 55 of the 1800 commitments needed for it to move into production, which could mean it’s going to be a long time before this sees the light of day.

[ Ventu Strainer Bowl ] VIA [ 7Gadgets ]