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November 11, 2014 at 12:24 AM

Kitchen prep: Cook up some holiday cheer with new gear for the heart of your home


By Sara Kennedy / Sunday Market

Fall is a great time to add a little spice to your kitchen.

The weather is cool enough to use the oven again; there are 101 new pumpkin treats to try; and guests will soon start showing up for holiday events.

Here are a few products to make your kitchen time a little easier and more fun.


Get some inspiration from “Pie School: Lessons in Fruit, Flour & Butter” ($25 at bookstores). Written by Kate Lebo, who attended the University of Washington and now lives outside of Portland, the book includes recipes for 50 pies served up with a side of humor.

Toss out your mishmash of measuring spoons and replace them with the Epicurian Solo Measuring Spoon ($30 at The all-in-one gadget marries sleek design with efficiency and utility.

Ikea’s Vinterkul Pastry Cutters ($4 for five) allow you to create unique place cards at your holiday table. Cut cookies into the extra-long shapes, add names in icing and set them inside a glass at each place setting.

Moving back and forth between a whisk and a spatula can get tiresome. The Tovolo Better Batter Tool ($13 at Sur La Table) does the job of both, with tapered silicone fins that beat and scrape. Bonus: It comes in an array of bright colors.

For a visually impressive dessert, bake your favorite cake in a Nordic Ware Heritage Bundt Pan ($28 at Williams-Sonoma). Pop it out, drizzle with icing, sit back and accept the compliments.


Fry or bake your favorite
appetizers while keeping the oven free for turkeys and cookies with the Philips Digital AirFryer with Rapid Air Technology ($300 at Williams-Sonoma). The compact convection oven heats up and cooks food fast so you can keep the cheese puffs coming.

Present a beautiful baked side in the Le Creuset Burgundy Covered Baker ($100 at Sur La Table). The color, a rich red exclusive to the Seattle-based retailer, is perfect for fall.

Progressive’s PL8 Professional Mandoline ($60 at Kitchen N Things, Ballard) lets you slice potatoes and other veggies like a pro. The Seattle company made it easy to switch between the machine’s slicing and waffle blades with a turn of the knob.

Give your holiday turkey or roast a lift with the Prepara Silicone Roasting Laurel ($20 at Cost Plus World Market). It allows heat to circulate around the meat to create more even browning.


Add some glamour to your bar with West Elm’s Deco Barware Collection ($63). The set includes four gold-plated tools on a marble stand.

Tovolo’s Sphere Ice Molds ($11 for two at Bed Bath and Beyond) raise your cocktail game even more, creating oversized round spheres that look stunning in a lowball glass.

Aerate wine on the fly with the TRIbella Perfect Pour ($40 at A Portland company invented the attachment, which slips into a bottle and sends three streams of wine into a glass, enhancing the flavor as you pour.

Provide the option of post-dinner coffee with the Bodum Eileen Coffee Press ($30 at Starbucks). The steel frame features a modern geometric design.


Whether chopping, stirring or washing up, it’s wise to cover your party clothes with an apron. If guests have already arrived, make it one that’s good looking, such as a Hardmill Rugged Apron ($220–$235 at A pair of Seattle brothers handcraft the heavy-duty aprons, meant to last for generations.

Clean pots and pans with the Twist Dish Dumpling ($3.50 at Ace Hardware). The natural dish scrubber is 100 percent plant based, dye-free and biodegradable — and it’s much cuter than a plastic scrubber.

Wallingford Co. Linen Pinecone Tea Towels ($25 each at add to the spirit of the season, with a homey but modern screen print in red or green on 100 percent linen.

At the end of the night, tackle all those wine glasses with Joseph Joseph’s Edge Glass Brush ($7.75 at Mrs. Cooks, U District). The clever brush has a round head for quick cleanup and a resting arm that allows it to drain into the sink.

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