When it comes to small great gifts, kitchen tools can’t be beat.  Items like the above Benriner mandoline, a tool you’ll find in just about every professional cook’s knife kit, is perfect. But there are many many ridiculous small brightly colored kitchen items out there tempting those who don’t cook with promises of ease and convenience . Last year my mom got me these pink silicone trussing bands —I do not recommend! This is the kind of stupid product that makes me crazy. But a great pepper mill, that’s something truly valuable—there are good ones and bad ones. Pugeot’s are excellent. This one from opensky is top of the line with an adjustable grind. The side towels I offer at opensky (there’s lots of great stuff in my kitchen collection there). Any of the products Mac Read On »

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This week’s posts will be devoted my personal kitchen tool gift guide, starting with the big guns. I got my first KitchenAid stand mixer 20 years ago as a Christmas gift from my mom’s boyfriend, Hap, and it was one of the best gifts I ever got. It’s the most used appliance in my kitchen. I’ve beaten the hell out of it, even flipped it off the countertop while trying to grind something particularly difficult. And it still runs. When Donna and I began doing photography for Twenty, we wanted something a little better to look at and so now use the above “Artisan” 5-quart model (linked to above). If you’re looking for that over-the-top gift for the one in your family who loves to cook, this can’t be beat. It’s what we tested all Read On »

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The dastardly minds at OpenSky have created an extraordinary collection of kitchen tools to lure you into their clutches. You are hereby forewarned! But the fact is, they really are offering all of these great tools to one lucky winner who will get all of the above.  All you have to do is follow me on OpenSky and you’re entered.  (For those who already follow me there, you are already automatically entered!) Click here for a chance to win these kitchen essentials at OpenSky. For those of you not familiar with OpenSky, it’s a relatively new ecommerce site sourcing cool stuff recommended by food, health, style and design experts. They allow me to recommend kitchen tools I personally love. I only offer tools and food products I would buy and use myself, and only if Read On »

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This one was all Mac.  Mac Dalton who, at a New Years All Day Eat and Drink party at our house, arrived early and shoveled the walk, dry-humped guests at random (“Cut it out, Mac” was the typical response), helped me cook and feed thirty people laughing the entire time, dropped trou to show us his favorite Christmas gift (Scooby Doo boxers), and single handedly did every dish and glass in the house at the end of the night (and at parties like that you use every single glass available). That’s Mac. He did one other thing that day. He said, “Hey, Michael. I gotta show you what I do. I make things. I can make anything, what do you want to make?” I picked up the offset spoon, one I bent myself pictured in Read On »

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One of the amazing and gratifying facets of internet e-commerce and communication, is that when I and my business partner Mac Dalton created the coolest wood paddles around we were told loud and clear that we hadn’t done enough.  We had a small one and a humongous one, the awesome Spanker, but there was nothing in between. Now there is, thanks to you: The Spankette, created for readers who asked for it.  You were right, and we got it right, we hope: the Spankette is the perfect all-purpose flat-edged wooden spoon for daily cooking, stirring that bolognese sauce, that mushroom risotto, gently scraping the bottom of the pan as you stir to prevent scorching and sticking. And they’re beautiful, as Donna’s photo below shows.   We’re offering them four different ways, one set of each Read On »

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