Kitchen equipment and cooking techniques that make food preparation easier.

one-click-butter-cutter

Pat Down: We Love The One Click Butter Cutter

This handy kitchen gadget measures out perfect pats of butter that are easy to spread.

one-click-butter-cutter

 

MONEY WELL SPENT | Yes, I know butter is healthier for you than margarine is (CLICK HERE for an excellent Globe and Mail article on the subject), but tell that to my knife in the morning when I’m trying to have my way with toast.

My biggest beef with butter is that it’s always cold and hard when it comes out of the fridge when I need it to be soft and ready to spread like margarine. For this reason, until recently, I always chose a schmeer of oleo rather than a chunk of butter when it was time to slather warm buns. Read more

All-Clad

Where To Find The Best Pots & Pans For Less

Stratospherically expensive All-Clad pots are among the most coveted cooking equipment on the planet, and for good reason: they last forever! Here’s how to slice their price.

All-Clad

 

SHOP WISE | My family and I have been in a horribly abusive relationship with our All-Clad Master Chef pots and pans (pictured below) every day for the past 15 years. Poor things! We cook on an open burner gas range and routinely scorch their bottoms; we’ve also allowed them to cook dry and blacken more times than we’d care to mention (gotta love built-in smoke detectors). Read more

Jamie Oliver Pizza Slicer

Why The Mezzaluna Is Best For Slicing Pizza

Seriously, this is the only utensil you’ll ever need to cut perfect pizza slices every time.

Jamie Oliver Pizza Slicer

 

BUY RIGHT | Google pizza slicer images and you’ll find an amusing looking assortment of scissors, wheels and other contraptions designed to cut effortlessly through homemade pie. The only trouble with most of these gizmos is that they don’t work all that well. I know because I have a drawer full of them and not one delivers a decent wedge without struggle and concentration, including Jamie Oliver’s pizza wheel pictured above. Read more

TopChips Cooked

Make Fat-Free Pototo Chips In 3 Minutes

Potato chip lovers rejoice—TopChips makes fresh, yummy, fatfree crisps at home.

TopChips Cooked

 

EASY & DELISH | I’m a complete potato chip queen, though most people who know me don’t know it. I seldom buy this yummy could-there-be-anything-unhealthier-with-more-empty-calories snack because I have a tendency to overindulge. Now, thankfully, with my new TopChips chips maker I never have to think about the quantity of crisps I consume or whether or not they’re good for me because chips made using this inexpensive, inventive microwave tray are 100 percent fat free—really. Read more

Handpainted Easter Cookies iStock

How To Paint Cookies Without A Pastry Bag

For decorating cookies, there is an alternative to both tricky pastry bags and pricey tubes of store-bought frosting.

Handpainted Easter Cookies iStock

 

SHOPPING AROUND | Nothing says spring (and Easter) like hand-painted sugar cookies. My kids are begging me to make some, but since I didn’t inherit Cake Boss genes, I decided to YouTube for decorating advice where I ran across Iron Chef America’s Cat Cora channelling her inner Martha by cranking out these adorable designs on holiday cookies. Hopeless at using a pastry bag, I was about to settle for uneconomical grocery-store tubes of icing with clip-off tips when a girlfriend suggested a cool alternative: squeezable frosting bottles with interchangeable decorating tips. Read more

My Pizza by Jim Lahey

You Need A Pizza Stone

The secret to cooking perfect pizza really is a pizza stone. Here’s how Jim Lahey uses one.

Williams-Sonoma Emile Henry pizza stone

 

WHAT THE PROS KNOW | No matter how you do pizza at home—from scratch, from half-scratch with premade dough and store-bought sauce or from take-and-bake (doctored Dr. Oetker anyone?)—the taste and consistency of your pie will be infinitely improved if you bake it on an pizza stone.

I was seriously shocked at how much better my frozen pie tasted a few months back when I baked it on an inexpensive no-name ceramic pizza stone ($13 from HomeSense) rather than on my Cuisinart non-stick pizza pan. And I was shocked again this week at how much better the crust performed when I used the stone precisely as described in no-knead bread guru Jim Lahey’s new cookbook My Pizza: The Easy No-knead Way to Make Spectacular Pizza at Home. Read more

Cheesecakes in Jars - My Baking Addiction

Awesome Ways To Put Weck Jars To Work

You needn’t be an ace with a canner to find awesome ways to put gorgeous Weck jars to work.

Cheesecakes in Jars - My Baking Addiction

 

BEAUTIFUL & EASY | “Now this is a full-circle moment,” said my friend Anne, pointing to the Weck canning jars prominently displayed in the chi-chi San Francisco kitchen shop we cruised through last week. “I was so happy to get away from these things when I moved here from Germany and to discover canning jars with screw-top lids. They’re much easier and more convenient to use.” Read more

26MINI-span-articleLarge-v2

The Best Little Cooking Videos On The Internet

New York Times columnist Mark Bittman has made dozens of the best little cooking videos on the Internet—and they’re free for the watching.

 

FREE & EASY | Last January, after 13 years, Mark Bittman, The New York Times food columnist who is now formerly known as The Minimalist, stepped away from the weekly production of his immensely popular how-to-cook column and instructional videos. And though he says he may put on his Minimalist apron from time to time in the future (he left this gig to join the NYT’s opinion pages and Sunday magazine), the 200-plus easy-cook videos he made during his Minimalist period (none more than five minutes long) are screen gems for Frugalbits readers looking for quick, doable, interesting things to cook. Read more

Williams-Sonoma Citrus Reamer

2 Gizmos Good Cooks Could Use Right Now

The right tools make kitchen tasks easier. Here are two must-have gizmos that infinitely out perform their insignificant price.

Williams-Sonoma Citrus ReamerPoke, Squeeze, Twist—You can juice a fruit by hand—or by mouth as Oprah did on her now famous televised camping trip with Gayle last October (WATCH HERE)—but a tool devised for this task will extract juice more efficiently.

Stylish low-tech juicers abound, including Philippe Starck’s iconic Juicy Salif, but unless you’re looking for countertop décor, why would you pay a hefty $100 for a Salif, a product that serves but one purpose, when an inexpensive citrus reamer will do the trick and tuck away nicely in a drawer. Read more