Camping, grilling in style

Tired of the same old marshmallow on a stick routine when you're camping in the woods? Had it with yet another frozen burger off of yet another one of those ubiquitous squat little grills? Well, next time try cooking up a treat with a portable flattop grill. With its retro look, this line from Evo might just be onto something new.

Some people just aren't any good at outdoor cooking. When camping their marshmallow falls into the fire every time. Or you take them to a tailgate and the shish kabob they brought slips through the grate and … Read more

A kitchen accessory for the jet set

Longing for a stylish way to create more storage in your tiny kitchen? Borrow a solution from one of the tiniest food-prep areas known to man: the airplane kitchen. Thanks to trendy travel retailer Flight 001, you can get your hands on a vintage airline food cart for use as a dry bar, serving vessel, or kitchen storage.

The carts were actually used on planes, so they come complete with small dents and scratches. Fortunately, Flight 001 has prettied up the exterior with a number of groovy finishes to appeal to your modern sensibilities. Inside you'll find a retractable … Read more

A drawer you'll never have to slam shut

These drawers immediately reminded me of my parents.

Not because they are great admirers of modern classic design. No, it's because they have the most annoying kitchen drawer on the planet. It never closes completely, no matter how hard you slam it.

Since it's unlikely they will ever fix that drawer, I've decided they need to replace it with a Poggenpohl drawer.

These drawers, from the Germany-based luxury kitchen designer, use the company's +Motion and +Motion Drive technology to open and close automatically.

With +Motion, all you do is touch the center of the drawer and … Read more

The old dry-erase board grocery list gets a facelift

A few years ago, I saw a feature segment about the Microsoft Smarthouse kitchen. The kitchen had virtually every technological feature you would ever need to impress the modern chefs in your life, including a computer that projected recipes right onto your countertop.

Most memorable for me was the ingenious electronic inventory system, that not only would keep track of what you had in your cabinets, but would predict what you were making by what you began removing from the cabinets (in other words, if you took out the flour, sugar, and baking soda, and put them on the counter, … Read more

Greening up the restaurant

Earlier this week the National Restaurant Association unveiled its new green-centric Web site. Green is in, and the 90-year-old trade group does not wish to be left behind. The new Web site offers tips and tricks on how to conserve energy, and therefore money. At the heart of its new conservation-minded site is what it's calling the "Virtual Green Restaurant." It's Flash-based and interactive, allowing users to better visualize what they can do to improve efficiency in their own restaurants.

Understandably, the National Restaurant Association is focused on saving money for its members and the bulk … Read more

Meals on wheels (but without the gasoline bill)

We at the CNET appliance blog network are no strangers to portable appliances; we've already shown you the perks of portable grills and portable ride-on freezers. But in our busy-bee age, where almost everything has been resized and reshaped to be more conveniently transportable, single portable appliances just don't seem to be enough anymore. So how do we satisfy our appetite for portability? By combining all of the appliances that we'd ever need into one all-inclusive, gloriously compact package.

Enter the Transportable Kitchenette. Powered by only a wall socket plug, the unit includes a stowaway cubby for … Read more

Minikeg redefines 'counter-culture'

Though Heineken's recently developed miniature keg (the DraughtKeg) is a great idea, I'm glad that someone figured out that it needed a more portable refrigeration system. After all, what good is a portable keg if you can't carry it far from the very unportable standard refrigerator?

As a solution, Krups and Heineken have partnered up to deliver us the BeerTender, a counter-friendly miniature version of the kegerator. For those of you who wonder what that is, a kegerator is a full-size refrigerator specifically designed to hold a keg, or barrel of beer. The tap, regulator, and CO2 … Read more

Bringing the grill master back to the party

As the weather gets warmer, we can prepare to see a lot of companies that will try to push our summertime cookout buttons. CDS has hit on something big with their line of teppanyaki-style Cook N Dine cooktop tables. The dining table is a solid piece of stainless steel that has a powerful heating element inside it that allows you to grill meat, fish, vegetables, and kebabs in the center of your table while you and your guests eat on the edge. And all you have to do is plug it into an outlet, eliminating the extra trip for propane … Read more

RC cooler for the world's laziest host

This may be the best way to deliver beverages since the "Flying Barstool."

The radio-controlled cooler can take the place of a poolside cabana boy and you won't even have to give it a tip. We suggest only sealed containers, however, not any fruity drinks that can easily spill their umbrellas.

There are other drawbacks: The cooler holds just six beverages and has a range of only 30 feet, according to GeekAlerts, so your guests will have to stay reasonably nearby whether you like it or not. But if you team it up with a beer-fetching RoombaRead more

Know any phone addicts who are engaged?

We're tempted to give these to a couple we know but, frankly, their marriage probably won't last anyway and we don't want to expedite the process. But if you know of pending nuptials involving cell phone addicts with a good sense of humor (if that's possible), this might be impossible to resist.

These figurines seen on GeekSugar are made of hand-painted porcelain, which makes us worried that someone might actually use them atop their wedding cake. If that's indeed the case--and you're trying to send a message to one of them--you can even mix … Read more