Editor's Note: Nester's Needs is a new column focused on finding innovative kitchen and home
gadgets that are worth buying.
The kitchen counter is lined with dirty bowls. Measuring cups are haphazardly thrown in the sink. Cookie sheets are caked with burnt limbs from gingerbread men. From the looks of the kitchen, the holiday baking rush is here. To aid the season's chefs, several products are on the market to ease the
burden of baking and hassle of cleanup.
- Staff writer Anna Ferguson is trying to outfit her new but bare kitchen. She can be reached at 770-963-9205, ext. 1308 or at email@example.com.
Mario Batali's Mix and Measure Bowl Set
Food Network star and author Mario Batali knows his way around the kitchen. With his cooking line, he's helping others get a feel for the space, as well. Batali's eight-piece Mix and Measure Bowl Set eases the baking process. The set's three prep bowls feature 1⁄2- and one-cup outlines in the bowl for more convenient measuring, and the five remaining bowls come in a variety of sizes for various cooking needs. Made of melamine, with a matte textured exterior, the bowls are sturdy, stack one inside the other for easy storage and are dishwasher safe. The set retails for $39.99 and is available at Macy's and Bed, Bath and Beyond, and online at www.italiankitchen.com.
Chef'n Sleekstor collapsible measuring cups
Throw those old-school measuring cups out the window. Chef'n Sleekstor has introduced the collapsible measuring cup, an easier way to measure and store baking tools. Expanding and contracting to stack and store, the cup set includes a clip to avoid a missing link. Safe for the top dishwasher rack, the cups can withstand temperatures higher than 400 F. Colored in vibrant shades including avocado, huckleberry and tangerine, the cups - in one, 1⁄2, 1⁄3 and 1⁄4 cup sizes - liven up the measuring process. Retailing at $19.99, the collapsible cups can be purchased at Kitchen Collection, Bed Bath and Beyond, Linens N' Things, and online at www.chefn.com.
Sur La Table Silpat Baking Mats
Avoid scraping the stuck-on pieces of cookies from the baking sheet with the Sur La Table Silpat Baking Mats. While the mats have been used in professional kitchens for nearly 30 years, they have only circulated in the mainstream in the last five years or so. The nonstick mats provide an even transfer of heat to make for an easy release from the baking sheet. Constructed of a silicone-reinforced glass weave, the mats wipe clean with a sponge and can withstand temperatures ranging from 480 F to minus 40 F. Silpat mats are made in three sizes: the petite, 81⁄4 inches by 113⁄4 inches ($14.95); the regular size, 115⁄8 inches by 161⁄2 inches ($19.95); and the jellyroll, 11 inches by 17 inches ($19.95). The baking mats are available online at www.surlatable.com.