The Aerolatte – Another Really Cool Tool

Another one of my favorite unessential-but-cool to-have utensils, the Aerolatte,  makes a great cappuccino and really adds to the enjoyment of your morning coffee. It’s fast, inexpensive, easy to use and simple to clean. One of the cool things I do is add flavorings to the milk before I froth. This morning I sprinkled in some cinnamon and a little sugar before I frothed and it made an amazing topping for my French Roast coffee. Also, immediately after frothing, I put the mixture in the microwave for about 15-20 seconds (keep an eye on it because it will expand quickly) and then top my coffee with it for a nice warm, delicious first sip to start the morning. It also makes a great gift (that’s how I got it…thanks to my sister) for any coffee lover.

Cool Tool…The Cast Iron Bacon Press

You gotta CRUSH that bacon flat!

One of the great all time nonessential-but-cool-to-have kitchen tools is the cast iron bacon press. You use it to keep bacon from curling up as it cooks, and that makes it great for topping sandwiches (like killer BLTs, bacon cheeseburgers, grilled cheese and The Ultimate Breakfast Sandwich). Used in conjunction with a heavy, seasoned Lodge 12″ Cast Iron Pan (an essential addition to any kitchen because of its excellent heat retention and diffusion properties), it’s also perfect for weighting down chops, burgers or steaks while pan-frying, which helps to keep more of the surface area of the meat in contact with the pan. This  browns them more evenly and helps develop complex flavors and aromas via the Maillard Reaction, all while forming a tasty caramelized crust. The cast iron bacon press is magic!