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Guest Picks: My Summer Kitchen
When it's hot I try to take my cooking outdoors as much as possible. Food always tastes better outside, even if it's just an impromptu picnic on the lawn. Easy-to-prepare foods are key for keeping the house cool and enjoying the leisure of an evening with friends, and these products will help add some fun and deliciousness to your summer meals. — Mariko from The Little Foodie
Takeya 64-Ounce Iced Tea Maker with Silicone Handle, Avocado/Olive - $21
The Takeya pitcher is a beautiful piece. The strainer within the base makes brewing my cold barley tea even simpler.
Push Pop Containers, Clear Plastic - $21.69
I recently rediscovered push-up popsicles. You can make cake or parfaits in these, but the classic frozen dessert in a tube wins everyone's heart.
S'More To Love S'More Maker - $18
I'm obsessed with a good s'more, and I like how this gives me the option of toasted graham crackers over an open fire or in the oven.
Calphalon Simply Calphalon Nonstick Panini Pan - $39.95
With a million and one ways to eat sandwiches out there, I'm going to make good use of my panini pan in July.
All-Clad Nonstick Grande Grille - $99.99
Sometimes it's not convenient to barbecue outdoors, and a grill pan is great for a stove top. I want grilled asparagus and zucchini on my dinner plate, even more than red meat.
OXO Good Grips Stainless-Steel Locking Tongs - $11.99
Tongs are my main cooking utensil during the summer because they're great for flipping things — whether on the barbecue or on the stove top.
Yonanas™ Ice Cream Treat Maker - $49.99
The Yonanas is the ingenious soft serve machine — that only uses frozen bananas! I can live without some of my favorite frozen treats if I can have this every night.
Zak Designs Ice Cream Container, Pint Size - $11.99
With this, you can bring dessert to the barbecue. Homemade ice cream during a late afternoon outdoors just sings summer to me.
Wusthof Five-Blade Herb Shears - $19.99
The thing I adore about herb scissors is that you don't have to get out a cutting board to add fresh herbs to your salad, pizza or whatever you're cooking — just snip. If you're like me, you love freshly picked herbs.
Salad Dressing Shaker - $14.99
This is truly my favorite kitchen product this summer. I eat a lot of salad when it's hot, and this shaker has a flip top pouring lever that does not leak when shaking. I will always prefer my own salad dressing over anything I can buy at the store.
Kuhn Rikon Watermelon Knife - $19.99
I adore this knife. It's fun and serves its purpose. I'll be eating watermelon as often as possible in this heat.
Kettle Pizza Deluxe Kit for 22-1/2-Inch Kettle Grills - $184.40
If you don't have the moolah for an outdoor wood-fired pizza oven (like me), then this Kettle Pizza Deluxe Kit is the answer to perfect homemade pizza. This could mix things up at your next barbecue.
Grill Comb - $11
Despite all the innovations made in cooking, it's amazing that we've only just now figured out how to keep the kebab from spinning. The Grill Comb is just smarter than a stick.
Moroccan Midnight Talavera Coasters - $49
These will be conversation pieces at your next dinner party. The colors of these coasters and trivets fit so well with sunny afternoons and late evenings.
Wooden Plates - $75
Monkeypod wood has a diverse grain, and these are lovely enough to use on the table and durable enough for schlepping to a picnic.
Soba Tray - $11.25
Cold soba (buckwheat) noodles are my favorite lunch on a hot afternoon, or even all year long. This bamboo tray lets the noodles keep draining while waiting to be dipped into the savory, cold soup.
Smart Planet Corn Dog Maker - $23.44
I never buy corn dogs, but now I want to make my own — especially if I could choose what to put in them! I'm dying to try these with some jalapeños.
Electric Shaved Ice Machine - $27.49
I'm lucky enough to be able to get shaved ice any time I want. But are you? Shaved ice is nothing like a snow cone — it's soft and, ironically, more like snow. Put a scoop of ice cream at the bottom of the cup and you'll wish you could have some every day.