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Five Fun Food Finds Winter 2014

I’m recovering from my trip to Mexico, Super Bowl Sunday, and two kids worth of basketball playoffs. While I work on some new recipes, here are some new cooking gadgets I’ve got my eye on.

1. Weber’s new skewers

I bought Weber’s new Essential Skewer Set for myself (late Christmas present…I felt like I deserved it), and I love these skewers. They’re thick enough to keep food from rolling around when you turn the skewer, but not thick enough to split food as you skewer it. Highly recommended.

Also, take a look at Weber’s funky Elevations Tiered Cooking System. It’s a grill rack that lets you stack skewers three levels high over your grill. I’m not sure about this one – it looks like it adds a ton of grilling space, which is great, but I worry about it lifting the food too far from the heat of the grill. My blog-buddy Mike at Another Pint Please seems to love it, though. [h/t AnotherPintPlease.com]

2. Ball Heritage Collection Green Canning Jars

Last year’s blue canning jars must have been a hit; Ball is releasing two different sizes of limited edition green canning jars this year – regular mouth pint jars, and wide mouth quart jars. I’m a wide mouth jar fan, so I’m glad to hear about the quart jars, but they don’t seem to be available yet – I can only find the pint jars for sale. [h/t FoodInJars.com]

3. Lodge Cast Iron Scrubber Brush

As you can see from my recent recipes, I’m using my Lodge cast iron skillet a lot this winter. And…I’ve already warped bristles on the old style scrubber brush that I bought with it. I’m going to get one of their new brushes as a replacement – it looks a lot more durable than the old one.

4. Seasons of my Heart Mole Pastes

The story about my week at Seasons of My Heart cooking school in Oaxaca, Mexico is coming. I promise. But, I couldn’t wait to share this: mole paste, like you can buy at a Mexican market in Oaxaca. I spent hours making Mole Negro at the cooking school – sharing the work with two other people. These pre-made pastes take Mole from a multi-hour (or all day) process down to about an hour, without losing the deep, complex flavor of the peppers, spices, nuts, and chocolate. Available in Mole Rojo, Mole Coloradito, and Mole Negro. [h/t SeasonsOfMyHeart.com]

5. Oxo 2 Cup Fat Separator

I have one of Oxo’s 4 cup fat separators, and I use it all the time. But, sometimes it’s too big, like when want to defat the juices from a sous vide bag. I just noticed this 2 cup Oxo fat separator on Amazon – I’m going to pick one up for smaller jobs.

FCC Notice

I was not paid to mention any of these items – I’m recommending them because they look interesting. If you buy them (or anything else) through the Amazon links on my site, I get a small commission. Thank you!

What do you think?

Any new kitchen gadgets catch your eye? Share them with us in the comments, below.

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Filed under: Ramblings


Hi! I’m Mike Vrobel. I’m a dad and an enthusiastic home cook; an indie cookbook author and food blogger with a day job, a patient spouse, and three kids who would rather have hamburgers for dinner.


  1. I think you will love the Elevations, Mike! I was skeptical at first, but love the space and options.

  2. So excited about that mole paste! Not to mention jealous of your time at the school- I can’t wait to hear all about it.

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