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posted: 4/2/2014 6:01 AM

New kitchen gadgets cater to those who want to be plugged in or unplugged

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  • The George Foreman moves from the kitchen counter to the apartment balcony with its Indoor-Outdoor electric grill. It comes with a removable stand, and the removable cooking grate is large enough to hold 15 servings. $99. Available now on QVC; at brick and mortar stores later this year.

      The George Foreman moves from the kitchen counter to the apartment balcony with its Indoor-Outdoor electric grill. It comes with a removable stand, and the removable cooking grate is large enough to hold 15 servings. $99. Available now on QVC; at brick and mortar stores later this year.
    Courtesy of George Foreman

  • Confession time: I've never been able to roll pie crust into a circle. My dough ends up looking like a trapezoid at best. Talisman Design's Pastry Guide allows bakers to cut any-sized dough discs for pie and tarts. $14.99. Available in July.

      Confession time: I've never been able to roll pie crust into a circle. My dough ends up looking like a trapezoid at best. Talisman Design's Pastry Guide allows bakers to cut any-sized dough discs for pie and tarts. $14.99. Available in July.
    Courtesy of TalismanDesign

  • No need to unpack your electric mixer when Prepara's Better Batter Beater is in the house. This hand-held mixer gets its power from four AAA batteries and makes quick work of boxed cake and brownie mixes. $29.95. Available now.

      No need to unpack your electric mixer when Prepara's Better Batter Beater is in the house. This hand-held mixer gets its power from four AAA batteries and makes quick work of boxed cake and brownie mixes. $29.95. Available now.
    Courtesy of Prepara

  • Lemon slices for iced tea and tomato wedges for salads stay fresh and unadulterated by other refrigerator odors with Prepara's Chop Savor. $14.99 for set of three. Available now.

      Lemon slices for iced tea and tomato wedges for salads stay fresh and unadulterated by other refrigerator odors with Prepara's Chop Savor. $14.99 for set of three. Available now.
    Courtesy of Prepara

  • I've become a huge fan of chopped salads lately (who wants to mess with a knife on your first course) so Microplane's retractable, dual-blade Herb & Salad Chopper is on my wish list. With it's rocking action, it excels in chopping greens, radishes, onions, herbs and even tomatoes and nuts. $13.95. Available in June.

      I've become a huge fan of chopped salads lately (who wants to mess with a knife on your first course) so Microplane's retractable, dual-blade Herb & Salad Chopper is on my wish list. With it's rocking action, it excels in chopping greens, radishes, onions, herbs and even tomatoes and nuts. $13.95. Available in June.
    Courtesy of Microplane

  • Yes, you can roast, steam, saute, boil, fondue and stir-fry all in the same appliance. Salton's 5-quart 8-in-1 Multi-Cooker does all that, plus slow cook and shallow fry with a heating element that adjusts from 175 to 400 degrees. The nonstick cooking bowl and cover are dishwasher safe. Great for small kitchens and dorms. $99.99. Available now.

      Yes, you can roast, steam, saute, boil, fondue and stir-fry all in the same appliance. Salton's 5-quart 8-in-1 Multi-Cooker does all that, plus slow cook and shallow fry with a heating element that adjusts from 175 to 400 degrees. The nonstick cooking bowl and cover are dishwasher safe. Great for small kitchens and dorms. $99.99. Available now.
    Courtesy of Salton

  • Fresh ice cream can be ready in less time than it takes to clear dinner dishes from the table with Chef'n's SweetSpot. The shallow bowl is filled with freezable gel (freeze it for 24 hours), then pour in pre-mixed ice cream ingredients a half-cup at a time. Within two minutes you have a scoop of ice cream. It comes with a recipe book and even works for making slushy margaritas. $49.99. Available May 1 at Williams Sonoma.

      Fresh ice cream can be ready in less time than it takes to clear dinner dishes from the table with Chef'n's SweetSpot. The shallow bowl is filled with freezable gel (freeze it for 24 hours), then pour in pre-mixed ice cream ingredients a half-cup at a time. Within two minutes you have a scoop of ice cream. It comes with a recipe book and even works for making slushy margaritas. $49.99. Available May 1 at Williams Sonoma.
    Courtesy of chef'n

  • This kitchen thermometer is perfect for the cook with ADD, and I should know: I am one. Insert the probe into the meat you're cooking and Bluetooth Smart technology sends the temperature info to your iPhone, iPad or iTouch. You can attend to other meal prep or get caught up with E! News and not overcook dinner. There's also a model for the grill. $39.99. Available in May at iDevicesinc.com.

      This kitchen thermometer is perfect for the cook with ADD, and I should know: I am one. Insert the probe into the meat you're cooking and Bluetooth Smart technology sends the temperature info to your iPhone, iPad or iTouch. You can attend to other meal prep or get caught up with E! News and not overcook dinner. There's also a model for the grill. $39.99. Available in May at iDevicesinc.com.
    Courtesy of iDevices

  • Fresh ice cream can be ready in less time than it takes to clear dinner dishes from the table with Chef'n's SweetSpot. The shallow bowl is filled with freezable gel (freeze it for 24 hours). Simply pour in pre-mixed ingredients a half-cup at a time into the bowl, scrape it along the surface and in two minutes you have a scoop of ice cream. It comes with a recipe book and even makes slushy margaritas. $49.99. Available May 1 at Williams Sonoma.

      Fresh ice cream can be ready in less time than it takes to clear dinner dishes from the table with Chef'n's SweetSpot. The shallow bowl is filled with freezable gel (freeze it for 24 hours). Simply pour in pre-mixed ingredients a half-cup at a time into the bowl, scrape it along the surface and in two minutes you have a scoop of ice cream. It comes with a recipe book and even makes slushy margaritas. $49.99. Available May 1 at Williams Sonoma.
    Courtesy of chef'n

 
 

There's something to be said for the movement that eschews smartphones and 24/7 Web access and longs for the simpler life at home. And then there's the security of knowing that the burgers on your grill aren't burning while you're inside getting the rest of dinner ready.

No matter what side of the fiber-optic cable you stand on, there was plenty to get excited about at the recent International Home and Housewares Assocation show at McCormick Place in Chicago.

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Every March, housewares manufacturers large and small -- more than 2,100 companies from 45 countries -- convene to show off their latest and greatest products.

Some lure buyers and media types into their booths with celebrity chefs like "Cake Boss" Buddy Valastro and Guy Fieri of "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives," or samples of fresh-pressed apple carrot juice and white chocolate cake pops. In some booths, company presidents or product inventors tout their own products.

After logging 10-plus miles on the show floor and viewing hundreds, probably thousands, of new products, I've pulled together a list of the plugged-in and unplugged ones that sparked my interest.

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