Cool tools

Get a handle on this hot gear for the home and garden

1. Silicone cookware

1. Silicone cookware

Your garlic press is officially passé. That old hoe you’re using is wearing you down. The next generation of gear for the home and garden is fun, versatile and unexpected. Read on for a list of some of the hot must-haves.

2. Viking mixer

1. Filling the needs of desperate housewives everywhere, the new material for getting hot in the kitchen is silicone. Yes, silicone. Floppy silicone muffin “tins,” silicone baking pans, silicone everything. Nothing sticks to silicone, so—bottom line: no more fighting with your food.

3. bamboo cutting boards & kitchen accessories

2. Inspired by TV’s home makeover shows, with their emphasis on quality, now come high-end marble countertops, copper pots and $10,000 stainless steel ranges such as Viking’s. The company’s mixers and blenders are as hot as Emeril’s cookware and Rachael Ray’s knife.

4. Toaster Bags

3. Bamboo—it isn’t just for panda bears anymore. Everyone who’s anyone is turning toward this natural source for everything from cutting boards and plateware to salt shakers and pepper mills.

5. Ecofan

4. From the home-party folks who brought you the kitchen spritzer, pizza stone and iSlice coupon cutter comes another kitchen item you never knew you needed—Pampered Chef’s Toaster Bags. They’re $10 for a four-pack, with each bag good for 10 uses. Just pop your garlic bread or cheesy pizza slice in a bag, toast and chow down.

6. Hula Hoe

5. The latest in efficiency for those who heat their homes with a wood stove is the Ecofan. The $99 device sits merrily and quietly atop your stove, using a thermoelectric module to generate energy and circulate warm air about the room.6. Is all that hoeing getting you and your back down? Along comes the Hula Ho, “the weeder with the wiggles,” designed to work in a less-muscle, push-pull motion to cultivate your garden without disturbing the top soil. We found it at Collier Hardware for $13.99, and it’s also online at

7. Weber kebob set

7. No more letting your kebobs loaf on the grill, cooking unevenly. Weber has come up with this $24.99 kebob set with frame, skewer holders and skewers. It’s also at Collier.