Posts in Kitchen
Best ice cream scoop

This OXO Ice Cream Scoop ($13) makes serving dessert painless. The pointed scoop makes it easier to break into frozen ice cream and the eject trigger just drops it right in your bowl. I like to run it under warm water right before I scoop to soften the ice cream. — CD 

KitchenClaudia Dawson
Whimsical wine pourers

I came across Menagerie wine pourers/aerators at a winery and wish I would have bought more. They’re made from stainless steel and they definitely feel heavy and high-quality, but mostly they’re just really cute. They have almost 100 different creatures to choose from — animals and make-believe — I chose an octopus. – CD

KitchenClaudia Dawson
Keep champagne fresh longer

I love drinking sparkling wine, but unless I have guests over it takes me 4-5 days to get through a bottle. I’ve tried a few different champagne stoppers, and this Fantes Champagne Stopper is the best designed. Others have broken or don’t seal as tight. Even on the fifth day, my champagne will still be bubbly. — CD 

KitchenClaudia Dawson
Chill champagne faster

One of my favorite hacks helps to quickly chill a bottle of bubbly — very useful when you are a dinner guest. Fully wet a paper towel, wrap it around the bottle, then place it in the freezer. In about 10-15 minutes, the paper towel should be hardened and the wine will be chilled. — CD

KitchenClaudia Dawson
Best wine opener

I’ve had the same lever-style bottle opener — like this one — for years now, and compared to the classic corkscrew or electric openers it’s definitely the easiest to use. I’m always surprised when I find that my friends and family don’t own one yet, so I’ve decided it’s what I’m gifting from now on. — CD

KitchenClaudia Dawson
My favorite coffee maker

I drink coffee every day, and I use the Bialetti 6-Cup Espresso Coffee Maker ($40) more often than any of my other coffee making machines (I have a few). I fill the lower chamber with water, add ground coffee in the funnel, screw on the top, and put it on the stovetop. In about three minutes I pour a cup of strong, delicious coffee. — MF

KitchenClaudia Dawson
Backyard eggs

Backyard eggs really do taste better than farm-raised ones. At least ours do. It may be because they get a more varied diet: we include our kitchen scraps, which they devour. Chickens will eat anything. I had always resisted raising chickens because of what I imagined would be a daily chore. But they are really very low maintenance. We’ve had half a dozen chickens for 6 years now. Their feed trough can hold a week’s worth of feed, and an automatic water feeder keeps them watered indefinitely, so we can leave them alone for days at a time if we need to. We can always find someone willing to pick up some free, yummy backyard eggs. You can buy chicks from a mail order like McMurray Hatchery, but most feed stores, even urban ones, will sell chicks one by one. The best intro book is Raising Chickens for Dummies. — KK

KitchenClaudia Dawson
Strawberry huller

Gimmicky kitchen tools are usually worse than the knives, graters, and other kitchen tools you already own. This little strawberry huller is an exception. The spring-loaded jaws make it a breeze to remove stems, making short work of baskets of berries. I’ve used this $7 tool dozens of times since I bought it in 2015. — MF

KitchenClaudia Dawson
Stiff nonstick pan turner

I got rid of all of our flimsy floppy pan turners. They were useless. Why does anyone even make them? We have two of these $19 nylon turners and use them daily for everything we cook in a pan. The nylon won’t scratch the pan, and the stainless steel handle looks nice. — MF

KitchenClaudia Dawson
Kitchen knife gift

Everyone can use a perfectly balanced, lifelong kitchen knife. It’s an ideal gift. One I like to gift is the Kuma Chef Knife which gets rave reviews from kitchen knife aficionados who normally review two-hundred dollar knives, yet the Kuma only costs $25. It’s ergonomically optimized for your hand, easy to keep razor sharp, and will last generations. When I lift mine, I smile. — KK

KitchenClaudia Dawson
Good grilling

During the summer, we barbecue a couple of times a week. I have the classic Weber charcoal grill. I grill beef and chicken directly over the coals, but I’ve been using these grill mats to cook vegetables and fish. They are so thin that they look like they would incinerate in a second, but they are impervious to high heat. They are easy to clean, too. Nothing sticks to them. — MF

KitchenClaudia Dawson
Amazon grocery delivery

Amazon Fresh is Amazon’s grocery shopping and delivery service. They sell everything a large supermarket sells, often at better prices. You can sometimes get same day delivery, but it usually takes 24 hours. This is a huge time saver for our family. You must be an Amazon prime member. — MF

KitchenClaudia Dawson
Keep produce fresh longer

Buying in bulk does save, but when we buy the large plastic container of mixed greens from Costco, it usually gets slimy after 4-5 days. I tried the paper towel hack and placed one sheet in the middle and one on top and it extended its shelf-life by one week! — CD

KitchenClaudia Dawson