Pestos Tapenades and Spreads

Forget the onion dip or the guacamole. Why go bland when you can go grand? These recipes are for tremendously flavorful and easy to prepare spreads and toppings, and feature goodies like Portobello mushroom and thyme tapenade. One of the best ways to lose weight is to substitute strong flavors for richness, and since a little of these treats goes a long way, you'll save money, too.

Cowgirl Kitchen Towels

Cotton flour sack cloth towels for the kitchen, with sepia printing on them like old time genuine flour sack towels. The printing however, extols the glories of the cowgirl, with trenchant sayings like "a gal's gotta do what a gal's gotta do," and "does this saddle make me look fat?" Cute, but it's a safe bet a real cowgirl would soon be having her cowboy drying the dishes, toot sweet. And that's no bull.

Betty Crocker's Box 'O Recipes

The old gal is still going strong as a cultural force to be reckoned with, even though she doesn't exist. This retro-decorated file card box is filled with 55 recipe cards to cook dishes from the original 1950's vintage Betty Crocker Cookbook, so you can whip up some nostalgic American cuisine any time you like. The biggest female name in American cuisine next to Julia Child (who actually did exist).

Cookbook Page Tags

For the avid cook, tomes like The Joy of Cooking, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, or the Larousse Gastronomique are as frustrating as they are delightful, because looking up a favorite recipe amongst the multitude can be a chore. These little gummed flags can get you cookin' with gas in no time. Five categories of dishes lets you narrow down which recipe you're looking up, and the fact that they're cheap and plentiful lets you go hog wild with the bookmarking. Tasty.

Avocado Salt & Pepper Shaker

No, they don't shake avocado salt…they're ceramic avocados that are salt and pepper shakers. Cast from real fruit and hand painted, the set looks like half an avocado with the pit nestling in its center. Pick up the "pit" and sprinkle salt, and use the "avocado" to strew pepper where you like it.

King Cube Ice Trays

James Bond to the contrary, one stirs one's martini with a special spoon to avoid chipping the ice cubes and diluting the drink. The logical extension to this is: the bigger the ice cube, the more surface area per volume one brings to bear, so the ice melts more slowly and cools more efficiently. Along comes Williams-Sonoma to offer these Godzilla-esque 2" cube Ice trays for that perfect drink cooling without watering it down. Four to a tray, two trays in a package, and the tray is made from silicone so extracting them won't require the Hulk as a barman.

GSI Halulite Ketalist

The thing is, lately everything that's come to market that's utilitarian and functional is also blessed with elegant design. The Ketalist is no exception. Looking like anodized aluminum but made from Halulite (whatever that might be), it's a one liter kettle-cum-cook pot for camping that's harder and lighter than titanium, with nifty orange accents like the lifting bail and the cover lifting ring. Comes with some accessories, notable the "Foon." It's just like a spork, but with the same gray and orange color scheme to make it stand out.

Williams Sonoma Mesh Chefs Pan

The old question of how they keep barbecue beans from falling through the grate is answered by this spiffy mesh grill top pan. It has the contours of a medium large saucier, with a keep-cool detachable handle and a separate locking top, and it’s made entirely of stainless steel mesh. This is the way to cook those things on the grill you may have had to take inside to the stove to finish. Cooking small vegetables over the fire to get a smoky taste has never been easier, and of course it’s made to Williams-Sonoma quality standards.

Grill2Go Portable Grill/Cooler Combo

The Char-Broil Grill2Go is an infrared propane grill, with a lid and side shelves, in a nifty black and orange color scheme, that’s built onto a frame with wheels and that carries two portable coolers in the base. It provides 290 sq. in. of cooking space over 10,500 BTU burners. For transport, just remove the side shelves, collapse the grill down onto the coolers, extend the telescoping handle, and trundle away. Very economical: just set it up at the tailgate party and the coolers make it easy to pilfer food from your fellow grillers.

Fruit Infusion Water Pitcher

When you go to infuse your drinking water with a little lemon, there’s the problem of what to do with the lemon, and its pulp and seeds. The Infusion water pitcher has a hollow column that fits in the lid and projects into the pitcher, with holes, that can be filled with said lemons, or strawberries, or cucumber, or whatever you please. You can fill the pitcher without replacing the fruit, and without dredging the bottom for pulp. It can be used as a regular water pitcher, too. Just take the tube out of the lid.