One of the positive effects of this down economy is the resurgence in home cooking. Everyone loves to get kitchen gadgets, but they seem a timely addition to any household this holiday season. UnicaHome sells literally hundreds. Here are five you’d benefit from having around.
Cuisipro Splatter Screen, $20.
The last time my wife made Sunday bacon and eggs, we used thick sliced bacon from Allen Benton of Tennessee that we bought at Valley Cheese and Wine, in Henderson, NV. It is great bacon, but it splattered all over her, and she vowed “never again.”
Now, with this elegant chrome handled screen, which fits nicely over the top of most frying pans, grease in the eye is a thing of the past. If you do anything in a frying pan, wok or skillet, this item is a no-brainer.
But she’s still making me cook the bacon.
Kyocera Adjustable Ceramic Slicer, $22.50.
The mandoline is a kitchen prep item that no French or Italian chef can do without; a fancy one, usually made of stainless steel on a base of wood, can cost hundreds of dollars.
Kyocera, the Japanese ceramics giant that makes cameras, bracelets and just about anything else you can name, goes the Europeans better with this handy gizmo, requiring no setup. It will produce four different slice widths, and has a plastic hand guard that makes it almost certain that you won’t cut yourself. It cuts onions, cabbage, carrots and celery with the best of them, but also works with hard cheese or cold cuts.
Club Shotglasses by Sagaform, Set of Four, $30.
The Swedish company Sagaform makes beautiful hand-blown glasses, and these catchy shot glasses, with individually colored stems in lime, amber, blue and pink, are sure to cause a buzz with your guests. Each glass is 4.5 inches tall and holds 1.75 oz. Skal, as they say in Sweden.
Skerton Coffee Mill by Hario, $36.
If there is one thing that irritates me, it is when the motor jams on my electric coffee mill. Now, with this black and clear glass screw top mill from Hario, one of Japan’s leading coffee accessory companies (for an aficionado of home brew, they make a peerless siphoning system), you won’t have that problem again.
It’s operated by a sturdy handled top crank. When you finish grinding your beans, you unscrew the top. The grinds are in a beaker under the mill. For a finer grind, simply repeat the process. I flunked shop, but I get perfect results every time.
Staub Round 2.5 Quart Dutch Oven, $149.95 in various colors.
If there is one kitchen item I can’t do without, it is my cast iron Dutch oven, sand molded, beautifully designed, enamel coated and a hundred percent stain resistant. It’s what I use for bean soup, coq au vin, boeuf en daube, and dozens of other one-pot dishes.
Staub is a French company that’s been around for nearly one hundred years, and their cookware is nearly as durable. Their line is beautifully designed, appealing to the eye, and virtually foolproof in execution. An enamel coated cast iron pan radiates heat evenly. The ceramic bottom makes it usable on various heating surfaces, and so it can move easily from the oven or stove top to a trivet on the dining table.
Pass the salt.
Unicahome.com was founded in 1998 by Hugh and Bonnie Fogel. Featuring over 65,000 products, Unicahome.com is a complete lifestyle store for home, office and contract use featuring Bridal Registry, Furniture, Lighting, Accessories, Barware, Food and Great Gifts from noted designers and top brands sourced worldwide. Our 18,000 square foot store is located in Las Vegas, Nevada, just minutes away from the world famous Las Vegas Strip. We hope you enjoyed your visit to Unicaworld!