white base, 5 inches in diameter and 4.5 inches tall, can turn any bowl or
plate into a stand that can display your cakes, pies or other achievements to
their best advantage. The key is a strong suction cup at the top. Just affix
the plate or other dishware to the suction cup. The plate can be turned on the
base. Two bases can be stacked. A convenient tab allows for easy removal.
--Salt Block ($30) and Salt Mortar and Pestle ($40 for both, or $20 for just the pestle), The Stocked Pot. Impress your party guests or just have some fun by cooking right on an edible salt block, or pounding pesto in a mortar and pestle made of pure salt. Place a salt block in a cast-iron skillet, heat it up, then cook your chicken, steak or other meat right on it. The meat will season itself from the salt. The pestle, about 8 inches long, can be bought separately and the salt can be grated straight from it. "It's just something fun and different, but it also gives a nice flavor to food," McMillan said. These potentially can last for years. The trick is to keep them dry. "If you sat this in a bucket of water, it'd be gone by morning," McMillan said.
--Eucalyptus Stoneware Baskets, $40 to $48 each, The Golden Apple. These attractive baskets all feature a woven basket look in various shapes, sizes and colors. This isn't just any basket, though. It can be heated in the oven, then used to keep bread warm at the table. Fifteen to 20 minutes in a 375-degree oven is enough to keep napkin-wrapped bread warm throughout the meal. Of course, you don't have to use it for bread or even heat it. "It also makes a beautiful fruit bowl," Adams said. Colors include blue, red, white, beige, green and yellow.
--GurglePot Pitchers, Small $25, Large $45, The Stocked Pot. These stoneware pitchers add a little fun and whimsy to the table. The fish-shaped pitchers come in fun colors, such as salmon, mustard, aqua, green and oatmeal. The real fun comes when you pour from them; they make a gurgling sound no matter what the liquid, with or without ice. The large is 9.5 inches tall and holds up to 42 ounces. The small is about 6.5 inches tall and holds 12 ounces.
--Epicurean Cutting Boards, small $13 to large $52, The Stocked Pot. Epicurean specializes in cutting boards made with eco-friendly materials. These cutting boards are made from wood composites and are knife-friendly, meaning they won't easily dull knives. They also are heat-resistant to 350 degrees and dishwasher safe. They are certified by the National Sanitary Foundation because they will not harbor bacteria. The small board is 6 by 8 inches. The large, which features a juice groove, is 11.25 by 14.25 inches. McMillan uses them during cooking classes. "I like that you can throw them in the dishwasher and they don't warp like plastic," he said.
--Zwilling Spirit 3-Quart Saute Pan with Glass Lid, $130, The Stocked Pot. Zwilling, owned by famed knife maker Henckels, is a line of eco-friendly, nonstick pans with a ceramic coating that is free of the controversial PTFE and PFOA used in conventional nonstick coatings. Zwilling uses the trademarked Thermolon ceramic coating. The pan is oven safe to 500 degrees and dishwasher safe. It features a stay-cool handle. Its three-ply construction has stainless-steel interior and exterior layers that sandwich an aluminum core for quick and even heating.
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