You could go out. But, there’s nothing more cozy, relaxed and fun as entertaining friends at home. These five tools will help speed up and streamline prep, so you can spend more time with your loved ones!
There’s a new nonstick cookware in town: HexClad. Each pan, from 8-inch to wok size, features a tri-ply layer of stainless steel, aluminum and stainless steel, coated with a patented hexagon-patterned, nonstick surface on both the inside and outside of the pan for easier cleaning. The PFOA-free combo offers durability and faster, even heat conductivity. And unlike other nonstick pans, you can use metal utensils on the surface. Starts at $89.99 for 8-inch pan. hexclad.com
The simple yet smart Websun Salad Cutter Bowl is a combo colander and cutting board that allows you to wash and chop your salad quickly, using just one dish. A bonus for kids and others still developing knife skills: The design makes it very hard to cut yourself as you chop. As for the directions on the box…let’s just say English may not be the first language of the person who wrote them, but fortunately the bowl is simple enough that directions aren’t really needed. $11.99, amazon.com
It’s a rice cooker, it’s a slow cooker, it’s a sauté pan, it’s a steamer, it’s a yogurt maker, and—perhaps most interestingly—it’s a pressure cooker, which means it can cut cooking times dramatically (30-minute baked potatoes, anyone?). The Instant Pot can revolutionize the way you cook. That said, it does demand a learning curve. Shorten that curve with How to Instant Pot (Workman, 2017) by Daniel Shumski, which also includes 100 Instant Pot recipes. Units start at $79.95. instantpot.com
Craving some restaurant-quality homemade pizza? The T-fal Airbake Nonstick 16-inch Copper Pizza Pan can help. Made from durable carbon steel for even heating and a copper nonstick coating to prevent burning, the pan is perforated to evenly release moisture for that perfect pie. For a crispier crust, roll out and bake dough solo 8 to 10 minutes before adding toppings. Pan is oven-safe up to 450 degrees. $14.99, t-falusa.com
You’ll be a hit at breakfast or brunch with the Krups 4 Slice Belgian Waffle Maker. The unit features five adjustable browning settings, from light to dark, to suit your preferences. While you entertain guests, red and green indicator lights and audible beeps let you know when the waffle maker is on, when it’s ready to bake and when waffles are ready. Removable nonstick die-cast plates make cleaning easy. $59.99, krupsusa.com