5 Easy Summer Heat Hacks: Stay Cool this Summer

Hot Summer Days
Those Hot Summer Days Can Be a Challenge

The dark and cold winter days made us long for the warmth of the summer sun. Now that we’re in those dog days of summer, reality has set in. It’s hot! At Kimball Corner, we’ve put together some summer heat hacks that will help you beat that heat and stay comfortable when those temperatures soar.

#1 Heat Hack: Use Cooling Items to Stay Comfortable at Night

Sometimes, the toughest part of the summer heat is getting comfortable at night when you go to bed. This is even tougher if there is no air conditioning in your home; the heat can really damper a good night’s sleep. Miles Kimball has some great products that will help you stay comfortable at night and escape that heat of the day. Sheets made of 100% cotton often have a soothing, cool touch when you crawl into bed at night. A light sheet and blanket will also help; no need to have that comforter on-hand during those summer months. A cooling under sheet will also help you stay comfortable. Our cool-to-the-touch Simply Cool Under Sheet uses cooling technology that feels amazing when your room is hot. This product is also a great barrier between your cotton sheets and your mattress. Mattresses often contain materials that can cause discomfort in the summer (think hot memory foam). Another way you can stay cool is to take a cool shower before bedtime, dry off lightly and go to bed when slightly damp, while a quality oscillating fan circulates the air in your room. Cooling pillow wraps also add a measure of comfort to your nighttime routine.

#2 Heat Hack: Opt for Cool, Comfortable Clothing

Staying cool during the summer days can also be challenging when the temperatures are high. When you’re choosing your clothing for the day, opt for cotton fabrics that are cooling and comfortable to beat that summer heat. Loose-fitting clothing is a must-have in your closet, as are comfortable undergarments. Miles Kimball has you covered in both areas. Check out our selection of cool, comfortable clothes, like our Poly Knit Lounger by Sawyer Creek and Cool Comfort Clogs . These items not only keep you comfortable during the heat of the day, they are available in colorful styles that look great when company drops by.

Cool, Comfortable and Stylish

Comfortable, non-binding undergarments are also important — particularly bras. Miles Kimball has cooling bras that will help keep that heat away from your body with thoughtful mesh fabrics, while providing support that you need throughout your day. Opt for our Easy Comforts Style™ Mesh Cooling Comfort Bra or the easy-on Easy Comforts Style™ Cooling Zip Front Bra. To help alleviate moisture underneath the bust, our Cotton Bra Liners are available in convenient sets of three. We also have a great selection of cooling socks and leg items, such as our Cooling Therapy Knee High Socks.  For tired legs after a long day, don’t miss our Cold Gel Calf Wraps, which can be refrigerated to provide cooling support to your legs.

#3 Heat Hack: Keep the Heat Out During the Day

It is often tough to keep your home cool during the day. This might be the most important summer heat hack of them all, especially if your home is not air conditioned. Keeping your windows open at night and closed during the day will help you stay comfortable and those temperatures down. This trick will keep cooler temps “trapped” inside your home. During the day, deflect the hot summer sun, which can cause the temperatures within your home to soar. A good pair of insulated window panel curtains is a must-have during the summer months (as well as the winter months, too!). Check out our Microfiber Energy Saving Curtains in a wide range of colors to help your home remain cool throughout the hot summer days. Leave your fans running to help keep that cool air moving during the day. At night when the sun goes down and the temperatures drop a bit, open your curtains and your windows to ease discomfort and stuffiness in your home. The old-fashioned trick of placing a bowl of ice cubes in front of a fan is a great way to keep cooler air moving, too.

#4 Heat Hack: Add Cooling Items to Seats

Individuals who lack mobility face special challenges during the summer. For those who are homebound and are confined to chairs and wheelchairs, the summer can be particularly uncomfortable. Miles Kimball has ways to keep your seating from overheating during the day.

Adding a cooling pad to a chair, a recliner or a wheelchair can help keep your bottom cool. Cooling gel technology adds comfort to your seating areas. These versatile pads are also portable: add them to the seat of your car to keep you comfortable when running errands or taking road trips during the heat of the summer day.

#5 Heat Hack: Choose No-Bake Meals and Stay Hydrated

Sometimes during the heat of summer, it is tough to think about cooking. The heat of the oven can really cause your indoor temperatures to rise. For this reason, think about no-bake meals that are healthy and filling. Fruits and raw veggies are great ways to stay sated and hydrated. Check out our large section of Microwave Cookware, these gadgets make no-bake cooking a breeze.

Be sure to drink water throughout the day, too. Adding ice to 100% fruit juice and water will cool you down from the inside out. Our Polar Ice™ Cube No Spill Honeycomb Ice Tray is a great way to have ice that is easy to access when you need it. Freeze cucumber slices, fruit and other tasty items to your ice cubes for a cooling treat.

Summer: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

Although they may be uncomfortable, summer days are fleeting. If you’re able, now is a great time to get out and enjoy the warm days and soak up the vitamin D, replenishing those depleted vitamin levels in your body that may have dropped during the dark winter months. Enjoy these summer days and apply our tips to help you manage the heat of summer.

Thank you for reading our Blog. Feel free to comment with your favorite summer heat hacks and please share on your favorite social media outlet.

Until Next Time,

Your Friends at Kimball Corner

July is National Blueberry Month!

Although we consider certain things, like baseball, apple pie and Coca-Cola, as 100% American, did you know that blueberries are a native American fruit? That’s right! The genus Vaccinium (which also includes cranberries, huckleberries and bilberries) is native to North America.

Unique Facts About Blueberries

Today, we understand the rich antioxidant effect that that these small berries possess; they are now grown commercially in more than 38 states, as well as in the Canadian provinces. More than 42,000 metric tons of blueberries are cultivated each year throughout the world, according to the United Nations Food & Agricultural Organization. To help celebrate national blueberry month, we’ve put together some facts and information so you can enjoy this very special, all-American fruit.

Blueberry Recipes

With its easy availability in fresh, frozen and canned varieties, it’s easier than ever to incorporate this versatile fruit into your favorite foods. Blueberry recipes are abundant in cookbooks and across the internet; one of the most popular recipes for summer is blueberry pie. If you’re making blueberry pie, our Non-Stick Pie Pan by Home-Style Kitchen is the perfect pie pan to use. Blueberry muffins and blueberry lemon cakes are ideal to bake in our Mini Loaf Pan and our Brownie Bar Pan muffin tins. Our favorite blueberry cake recipe is below.

Blueberries have the highest antioxidant capacity of any fruit. These antioxidants are important to help boost your immune system. They also help prevent infections, such as urinary tract infections. There are so many reasons to consult blueberry recipes and add these special fruits to daily diet!

Blueberry Lemon Cake

1 ¼ cup frozen blueberries

1 lemon

1 tbsp. powdered sugar

¾ cup white sugar

¼ cup melted butter

¼ tsp. salt

2 tsp. baking powder

2 eggs

¼ cup sour cream

1/3 cup milk

1 2/3 cups flour

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Grease our mini loaf pan or our brownie bar pan.

For Topping

  • Grate lemon zest onto a small plate.
  • Cut lemon in two halves and squeeze juice from both halves.
  • Whisk together 1 tbsp. of the lemon juice, 1 tsp. of the lemon zest and the powdered sugar in a small bowl. Set aside.

For Cake

  • Whisk white sugar, sour cream, melted butter, eggs, the remaining lemon zest and the remaining lemon juice in a large bowl. Stir in the milk, then set aside.
  • Whisk salt, baking powder and the flour in a large separate bowl. Remove 3 tbsp. of the flour mixture and set aside.
  • Make a well in middle of the flour mixture, then pour the milk in the well. Stir the batter until it is just combined.
  • Fold the blueberries into the reserved 3 tbsp. of the flour mixture. Then fold the blueberries into the batter.
  • Pour batter into the pan.
  • Bake until a knife or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (about 60 minutes).
  • Remove from oven.
  • Immediately poke holes over the top of the loaf with a toothpick.
  • Pour the topping evenly over the loaf.
  • Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing the cakes to cool completely on a wire rack.

Stock up and Enjoy

If you’re in a climate that is conducive to growing blueberries, you may be fortunate enough to have an abundance of berries nearby, just ripe for picking! Those who have had the pleasure of blueberry bushes in proximity know that a ton of berries can be produced by one blueberry bush. Because of this, it’s often necessary to learn how to store your blueberries. Even if you don’t have easy access to these power-packed fruits, sometimes during the peak of the season blueberry pints are so inexpensive, it’s a great idea to stock up and store them for a sweet treat throughout the winter months. Anyone who has tried to keep blueberries in their fridge knows that they can quickly turn moldy, however, so time is of the essence when dealing with a large number of blueberries.

How to Preserve Your Blueberry Bounty

Until you’re able to cook or preserve your blueberries, it is important to keep an eye on them to spot mold. If one of your blueberries is moldy, it’s important to remove it from your existing blueberries. One bad blueberry can cause your others to become inedible in the blink of an eye. To keep your blueberries fresh, don’t rinse them until you’re ready to use them. If they are rinsed, it’s important that blueberries remain dry until they’re used. Our set of two produce keepers are great to keep blueberries, as well as other fresh fruits and veggies, fresh until they’re needed. Keep your blueberries inside a crisper drawer in your fridge, away from the circulating air of the main compartment. If they are dried and stored properly, refrigerated berries will stay good for up to a week. Very ripe berries should be prepared for storage immediately. They can remain frozen and stored for several months. The best way to freeze blueberries is to spread them out in one layer on a rimmed baking or cookie sheet. After they are frozen, add them to a plastic freezer bag. Miles Kimball also has great selection of kitchen organization and food storage products that can help you keep these berries in great condition until they can be used in your favorite blueberry recipes. Check out our ten-piece Memory Seal Silicone Storage Set by Homestyle Kitchen or ten-piece Sealed Storage Set by Chef’s Pride. These storage solutions not only keep your blueberries fresh, but they can also keep other summer fruits and veggies safely in your freezer until they are ready to be enjoyed.

Blueberries: Small but Mighty

Blueberries are not only yummy, they are a healthy, easy way to get concentrated vitamins and antioxidants! It’s no wonder they have been popular for so many years and have been important enough to get their very own month to shine. We hope you’ll take the opportunity while they’re in season this month to enjoy these treasures and incorporate them into your very own favorite blueberry recipes at home.

Thanksgiving Dinnerware & Table Décor Ideas

What’s your favorite thing about Thanksgiving? Is it the cozy, comforting spices, like nutmeg, cardamom and anise, blended together into your favorite beverages, desserts and dishes? Or is it the warmth of those Thanksgiving dinnerware décor colors — muted sages, golden yellows, brilliant crimsons — that are incorporated into styles that range from whimsical to traditional? From everyday meals as a family to large Thanksgiving meal gatherings, we love a good opportunity to spice up a tabletop with festive colors, designs and goodies that will help you make the most of your memories together.

Thanksgiving Dinnerware and Tabletop Décor Ideas

Thanks to Miles Kimball, your fall and Thanksgiving dinnerware tabletop décor options have never been easier. We offer a fantastic selection of Thanksgiving dinnerware and fall items that will dress up everything from your dining room table to your landscaping. We’ve brought together some Thanksgiving holiday table tips and tricks, so you brighten these spaces up quickly and easily and add some fun to your dinner. You can even enlist your smallest family members to participate in dressing your family’s Thanksgiving Day table. Read on for some tips to make this year’s Thanksgiving dinner your family’s most memorable!

Choose Fun, Functional Thanksgiving Table Covers

There’s something appealing about fully draping your dining room table in the colors of the season. These Thanksgiving-inspired table covers and colorful tablecloths also pull double duty: they not only look great and add a simple, all-in-one décor option, they also help protect your table from everyday wear, spills and mishaps. Choose a waterproof, durable Thanksgiving tablecloth that has a soft cotton fabric back that will help keep your table in top shape, preventing scratches, indentations and moisture damage. Bonus: When you incorporate an autumn-inspired tablecloth to your Thanksgiving tabletop décor, cleanup is super-quick and easy.

From drop tablecloths and table covers in multiple shapes and sizes to our ultra-convenient Falling Leaves Blessings elasticized tablecloth that has elastic edging for non-slip security, our effortless décor items take only an instant to swap out for each occasion. Choose a high-quality table cover that is warm and inviting. With our selection of tablecloths and table covers at Miles Kimball, you have a great choice of patterns, designs and colors that will add so much to your table.

Thanksgiving Kitchen Essentials

There’s nothing like the Thanksgiving main course, of course. Thanksgiving is a time to bring out your family’s favorite culinary traditions to be enjoyed by all generations. What’s your favorite Thanksgiving Day treat? Is it your grandma’s sweet potato pie? Mashed potatoes? Turkey or ham? Luckily, Miles Kimball has the kitchen essentials that will help create these items. Need measuring spoons, liquid and dry measuring cups or cooking aprons? What about glassware, dinnerware sets or silverware? Miles Kimball has the kitchen must-haves to create a spectacular Thanksgiving meal that your entire family will be talking about for years to come. Don’t forget to shop our food and candy selections for everything from appetizers to after-dinner drinks for the kids. Shop here for cheese spread, caramel candy, coconut macaroons and hot chocolate. Yum!

Thanksgiving Table Décor

With so many options in Thanksgiving décor options available today, creating a festive Thanksgiving tabletop has never been easier. Shop the traditional tabletop finds and add some of Miles Kimball’s favorites, such as William Roberts designs, tabletop must-haves and special occasion add-ons (like our acrylic leaf-shaped gems) that will add an extra-special touch to your Thanksgiving décor. Love the look of fall flowers yet don’t like the mess or the upkeep of fresh flowers? Decorating with the colorful look of mums is easy and hypoallergenic when you use our artificial mum bush by Oakridge™ to add instant color to your Thanksgiving table. (This is also a great option for those who cannot tolerate fresh flowers because of allergies.)

Our artificial mums are available in some of the season’s most vibrant colors, such as gold, rust, yellow, cream and purple. Add these realistic-looking artificial flowers to our personalized “Grateful, Thankful, Blessed” wooden planter box for a rustic centerpiece. These lovely mums can also be added to one of our personalized stoneware crocks. Check out our other unique Thanksgiving accessories that feature the delightful scenes of the season, available at Miles Kimball.

A Family Affair: Thanksgiving DIY Tabletop

Incorporate some fun finds from your kids’ nature walks to your Thanksgiving tabletop décor. Take advantage of fall’s rustic décor options by leaving the decorating task to the littles of your family. Send them outside with bowls and buckets to collect pretty pinecones. These lovely textured pieces can be left au naturale; they can also be spray painted (with an adult’s help, of course) gold for a tabletop centerpiece addition that is guaranteed to pop. Kids also love collecting colorful maple leaves, acorns, fallen magnolia pods or other nature-inspired finds from their neighborhoods. You can even find good (and great smelling) decorating options in your pantry (think cinnamon sticks and anise stars). For a super-simple minimalist lighted centerpiece option, have children collect sticks and other downed branches. Tie them together with a piece of raffia and add them to a clear glass centerpiece vase, along with some battery-operated string lights, for a delightful, easy piece.

Unique Thanksgiving Tabletop Décor

Since 1935, Miles Kimball has been dedicated to bringing you charming, nostalgic and unique décor items that will set the tone for your holidays. We’ve been part of the Thanksgiving dinnerware and décor tradition for American families for decades, and we’re proud to offer the best selection of essential home products and décor. We’re all for making memories throughout the entire year. Stop back often to get ideas for your home, décor and other special family times at Kimball Corner.

Do you have a special family Thanksgiving meal or décor tradition? Leave a comment below to let us know something your family does to make Thanksgiving memorable!

Top 7 Thanksgiving Kitchen Gadgets

The holidays are the time of the year when you can flex those culinary muscles. Thanksgiving is your chance to shine: bring out those family-favorite recipes, both new and old. It’s a time for traditions — for both those old-fashioned traditions as well as newly created traditions. Regardless of the details, the highlight of Thanksgiving is often the food. Thanksgiving is the time to add those sweet details to savory dishes (cranberries or raisins in stuffing, anyone?) and to experiment with cool kitchen gadgets that make your life easier. Let’s get ready. Incorporate some of your favorite Thanksgiving and fall home décor, create a welcoming table and let’s talk about some fantastic kitchen gadgets that no kitchen should be without this Thanksgiving holiday.

Miles Kimball’s Top 7 Picks for the Must-Have Gadgets for This Thanksgiving

#1: A Quality Baster

Whether you’re a turkey fanatic or opt for ham, no kitchen should be without a high-quality baster. Our Chef’s Pride multi-function turkey and barbeque baster set comes within everything you need to keep those meats juicy. Are you a baster? A brusher? A flavor-infuser? Whatever your method is for maintaining that optimal flavor and tenderness during cooking, this baster set has what you need to create something amazing. One of the biggest woes about basters is their cleaning. No worries — this baster set comes with its own cleaning brush, so you can maintain cleanliness without hassle.

#2: A Marble Cheese Slicer

Appetizers are the mainstay of every holiday home. And who doesn’t like cheese? Everyone knows that those store-bought cheese trays are at least twice as expensive than buying blocks of cheese and doing it yourself. Those store-made options also can be quite boring. With your own marble cheese slicer, you can incorporate gourmet cheeses and meats into your finger foods. Cut your own gouda, asiago, experiment with cheddars, add some brie and some blue cheese. Then, throw on some almonds, Greek olives, figs, jellies and crostini. Voila. You’ll have an epic charcuterie tray and cheese board that will be the highlight of your Thanksgiving get-together.

#3: My Favorite™ Knife

Who doesn’t struggle when cutting and serving? (With Thanksgiving dinner, as you know, there’s a heck of a lot of cutting and serving.) Whether you’re cutting pies, cakes, bars, lasagna or meatloaf, My Favorite Knife will get the job done. This knife is not too big, not too small and will get into the sides of your pans with almost zero effort. Best of all? My Favorite Knife won’t scratch your non-stick pans and is heat-resistant up to 410°F.

#4: Bamboo Toast Tongs

Think these bamboo toast tongs are only for your morning toast? Think again. Although they’re fantastic for safely removing hot toast from your toaster, they’re also fantastic for serving your breads, cheeses and other foods during Thanksgiving dinner. They allow you to take one piece of bread — without the use of fingers (something that’s extra important now when we are so conscious about spreading germs.). Avoid hands and fingers touching food with this bamboo toast tong — purchase several for multiple platters. These bamboo toast tongs are also ideal to use on your charcuterie tray and cheese board (see above).

#5: Clever Food Preservers

Thanksgiving means baking (duh). With all that baking, however, comes those half-used bags of staples, such as flour and sugar. We all know that the packaging these items come in do little to keep out moisture, humidity and (eeek.) sometimes bugs. Check out our super-clever food preservers and ingenious food storage items — all which are particularly helpful around the holidays. Check out our flour and sugar keepers, pie keepers, bread keepers, bun keepers, deviled egg keepers and square and round cracker keepers. Looking for an interesting way to keep your brown sugar free from those gross dried-up clumps? Check out our set of two brown sugar preservers, made from all-natural terra cotta.

#6: Three-Piece Cooling Rack

Still looking for a good cooling rack? How about three? These stackable three-piece cooling racks make the most out of your counterspace when you’re making those gingersnap cookies for Thanksgiving dessert. They’re also great to use while making those famous Christmas cookies of yours. There will be plenty of room for those cookies to completely cool so you can move on with your family’s cookie decorating tradition.

#7: Jadite “Drippings” Bowl with Lid

Does anyone really know what to do with meat drippings? You can’t pour them down the sink and dumping them into the trash makes a huge mess. As grandma used to say: “A place for everything, and everything in its place.” We think this is ideal for drippings, as well. Whether you’re a bacon grease saver or need a secure, lidded place to drain your hamburger, this jadite drippings bowl with a lid by Home Marketplace is the perfect place to put them. You can then allow them to cool so they can be disposed up properly at a later time.

Miles Kimball for All Your Kitchen Helpers

Miles Kimball has a ton of cool kitchen gadgets that make your holiday cooking ventures easier, including measuring spoons, liquid measuring cups, cooking aprons, microwave egg cookers and dinnerware sets. From kitchen linens, towels and kitchen chair cushions to cookbooks and instant pot cookbooks, we have everything you need for a well-stocked kitchen — all throughout the year.

Top 5 Baking Must-Haves – 5 Kitchen Essentials

At Miles Kimball, we know that buying the best cookware, bakeware, microwave cookware and cool kitchen gadgets can sometime seem overwhelming. That’s why we’ve put together our favorites in these five categories that will help you get started in the kitchen on the right foot. Whether you’re looking for a useful wedding or housewarming gift or you’re starting out on your own and are stumped, we’ll help you navigate those often confusing culinary kitchen waters to help you find the most useful pieces that you should not be without.

#1: Cookware Must-Haves

Humans cannot live on takeout alone. Even if you’re experience in the kitchen is limited to fried or scrambled eggs, a frying pan or a skillet is a must-have in the kitchen. Skillets are even better when they come with lids. Miles Kimball offers many different styles and skillet products, including our set of three ceramic copper non-stick fry pans, our 12” ceramic sauté pan with a glass lid and our 8” ceramic non-stick pan. They can be used to fry hamburgers, make grilled cheese sandwiches, brown meat and more. They can also be used in the oven to make those super-convenient premade chocolate chip cookies.

To boil pasta, a lidded sauce pot or a stock pot with a lid is a must have. Shop our 8-quart stockpots or our 3-quart ceramic non-stick saucepan. To obtain just about everything needed in one fell swoop, we offer both eight-piece copper cookware and 6-piece non-stick cookware sets. These sets include just about all of the cookware you may need in the kitchen. Check out Miles Kimball for our cookware selections for additional accessories and items, too.

#2: The Best Bakeware

Even if you’re not planning on baking a cake or preparing muffins from scratch, having certain bakeware items on hand if you pick up a just-add-water or oil mix at your local grocer will be necessary. Cake mixes and muffin mixes are super-easy and can be whipped up in minutes, even by children, and make fantastic after-school treats or rainy-day snacks. They also are great activities to enjoy with kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews.

With our 12-cup muffin pan from Home-Style Kitchen™, you’ll be able to properly whip up some muffins or cupcakes from the comfort of your own home. And thanks to the red silicone handles, our muffin pans will be cool to the touch. Baking sheets are also an essential part of a well-stocked kitchen. Baking sheets can be used to make cookies and can also be used to bake meats, chicken breasts, veggies and more. Looking for something a little out of the ordinary? Check out our 10” fluted cake pan, which will transform the most basic cake recipes into an extraordinary creation.

At Miles Kimball, we have something that all bakers will enjoy, no matter how experienced or inexperienced they are in the culinary arts. For delicious baked apples, be sure to take a look at our set of two stoneware apple bakers. Simply core an apple, top with brown sugar, cinnamon, sugar and/or raisins and bake in a microwave or an oven for baked apple perfection!

#3: Microwave Magic

The microwave is a magic do-all in the kitchen. It’ll do everything from heat up last night’s hibachi dinner to cook eggs, popcorn and potatoes in minutes. Our microwave cookware is a must-have in any kitchen. Shop microwave corn steamers, microwave egg boilers, and our 20-piece microwave storage sets with lids. Some of our most popular items in our microwave cookware section are our microwave soup mugs with vented lids, microwaveable bowls with lids and our microwave popcorn poppers.

#4: Cool Kitchen Gadgets Galore

At Miles Kimball, we think that the best kitchen gadgets are not just fun — they’re necessities! That’s why we’ve stocked some of the best kitchen tools in the business that will help accommodate every cook. Shop kitchen utensils and holders that will help keep your items all in one place, like our personalized stoneware crock, our personalized spoon rests and our bamboo organizers. Spatulas are always needed in the kitchen, as is a good set of knives and utensils that will withstand the heat of skillets and frying pans. In our measuring, mixing and prep category, measuring cups are always useful in the kitchen — as are good measuring spoon sets. Don’t forget kitchen timers, some good stainless-steel colanders and a good cutting board. Choppers, graters and slicers are also essential. Check out our wildly popular ChopStir™ — a handy food chopper and stirrer in one. From apple peeler/corer/slicers to meat grinders, our kitchen gadgets offer something for everyone’s kitchen.

#5: Kitchen Organization and Storage

Clever kitchen organization and storage has become quite popular. Because of this, however, more and more organization and storage gadgets have come onto the market. Although we offer dozens of kitchen organization and storage items, we have some favorites. These favorites include our reusable plastic bowl covers in a set of 24, which make it easy to keep dishes, bowls and other serving items fresh with elastic covers that are a cinch to put on. Our square and round cracker keepers are great additions to your pantry and will eliminate those stale crackers that are opened and not closed tightly. From food storage containers and refrigerator organizers to freezer labels and storage, storage racks and bins, there’s a kitchen storage solution for just about every organizational challenge.

Miles Kimball

When it comes to must-have kitchen items, Miles Kimball has everything you need to create a well-stocked kitchen. Our website is always an adventure in shopping, and we hope you’ll take a moment to check out our many departments, including items for the home, holidays, personalized gifts, clothing and accessories, hobbies and books, health and beauty, kids, foods and candy and more.

Top 10 Kitchen Gadgets and Tools for Every Home

The time has finally come to revamp your kitchen tool collection. Perhaps you’ve made a New Year’s Resolution to cook at home more and eat healthier food. Maybe your budget has gotten tight from eating out too much. Or it could be your knives have gotten so dull they couldn’t cut through snow, never mind a pork chop.

Whatever the reason, you’ll want the best kitchen gadgets and tools at your disposal. The folks at Miles Kimball have put together the list of our 10 favorite kitchen tools for food prep that are practical, affordable and easy to use. Cooking a meal in your own home doesn’t have to be a hassle — and with these useful kitchen tools at your disposal, it might even be fun! These unique finds and many others can be ordered through our online store, so start your journey towards high-quality home cooking today.

1. Rubber Spatulas

A rubber spatula is one of the best kitchen tools for food prep you can own. They can be used for scooping batter from a mixing bowl, flipping a burger on the stove, spreading mayonnaise on bread and so much more. We recommend having three different sizes in your drawer or stoneware crock to fit various containers or foods

2. Kitchen Shears

Scissors aren’t just for arts and crafts. Shears are another kitchen gadget you need. Uses include opening food packages, removing fat chucks from meat, cutting herbs and trimming aluminum foil or parchment paper to fit a pan. These heavy-duty kitchen scissors are safer than knives for these tasks to prevent injury.

3. A Good Knife Set

You don’t need your kitchen to look like a butcher shop. However, you’ll at need at least a few good ones. A 6-piece knife block set will have all the essentials for carving, slicing and pairing, and a steak knife set is perfect for the table. You’ll want a knife sharpener as well to keep them working their best. We also recommend a large plastic knife for slicing through brownies, lasagna and other softer foods without scratching the pan.

4. Food Grater

Try it and see: home-grated cheese tastes way better than bagged store-grated cheese. A grater is also a must for shredding vegetables and will help you add that “zest” of citrus you thought only existed in high-end restaurant. Whether it’s a simple one-side microplane grater or a four-sided stainless steel grater, they’ll save you plenty of time and elbow grease.

5. Electric Mini Food Chopper

Tired of manually cutting every single piece of food? An electric mini chopper does the hard work for you. Add meat, vegetables, fruit, nuts and anything else you can think of, then chop them as large or fine as you want for a salad, stew or stir-fry. These gadgets mix and dice as well, so you can make salsa, guacamole and other dips in your kitchen.

6. Bamboo Cutting Boards

Whether your beautiful kitchen counters are made of hardwood, marble or granite, you’ll want to protect them from scratches. While cutting boards can be made of many different materials, we like the bamboo cutting board the most. They’re heavy enough to stay balanced on a table, light enough to move and clean with ease and strong enough to withstand constant pounding and slicing. These renewable resource boards look amazing, too!

7. Burger Press

Anyone who loves a good burger can create their own with a burger press or hamburger maker set. Both of these useful kitchen tools allow grill-masters to make perfectly-shaped hamburgers, turkey burgers and sausage patties at any thickness. You can then toss them on the grill, store them in the refrigerator/freezer or put them in the cooler for a camping trip. They’re not just for meat-eaters, either — vegetarians can make black bean burgers or tofu burgers just as easily.

8. Large Colander

A colander is another useful kitchen gadget that you can use practically every day. Set your stainless steel mesh colander or plastic colander in the sink to rinse vegetables, fruits and meats. They’re also a safe way to drain pasta and other boiled foods after cooking to reduce the risk of burns or water spills.

9. A Spiral Slicer or Spiralizer

A spiralizer set might seem like one of those weird made-for-TV gadgets that doesn’t have much use in a real kitchen. But as soon as you use one, you’ll wonder why you didn’t sooner! Among other things, this cool kitchen tool can be used to easily make homemade pasta noodles, veggie pasta, French fries and salads. You can spiralizer many other fruits and vegetables as well for dipping, party snack plates or to make them easier for kids to eat.

10. Juicer

If you own a citrus juicer, you can enjoy fresh-squeezed juice in your own home with almost no effort. Make a glass of orange juice that tastes great and doesn’t have the added sugar and preservatives of store-bought juice. Add fresh lemon and lime juice to recipes or make your own lemonade and limeade instead of using powdered mixes. An electric juicer can also be used for vegetables, letting you create unique summertime drinks!

Fun Coffee Décor & Gifts

There’s no substitute for a good cup of coffee in the morning — but cool coffee decorations and gifts are a close second. Miles Kimball knows how many people out there love their brew, and we’ve picked out some of the best ways you can celebrate that love.

With coffee-themed kitchen décor, you can create a home coffee bar, brighten the living room or expand your coffee horizons. Our selections for the best coffee décor and kitchenware will pay the ultimate respect to java. You’ll also find plenty of coffee-themed gifts for family, friends, employees and others who can’t live without their morning Joe. We’ve stocked unique gifts and unexpected finds at an affordable price since 1935 and will do the same for coffee-lovers everywhere.

Coffee-Themed Décor

Tabletop Adornments

 Turn any flat surface — whether it’s a rustic coffee table, kitchen counter or work desk — into a coffee shrine with the right decorations. A metal coffee cup clock is proof that any time is a good time for your favorite brew. Set it by your bed or hang it above the coffee maker for a well-timed alert. Personalized vanity trays are another cool gift. These trays are a perfect place to set down your mug without sloshing any liquid onto the table.

Coffee-Loving Animals

Do you own a large white goose statue or other garden figurines? You can turn them into coffee lovers, too! Simply order an “I Heart Coffee” T-shirt for them to wear proudly in the garden, on the front porch or in the living room. After all, any home can always use an extra messenger of this drink’s power.

A Coffee Nightlight

Just because the sun goes down doesn’t mean coffee time ends. Coffee nightlights are cute and functional coffee-themed décor that can show the way when it’s dark outside. Get up before the crack of dawn, find your way to a late-night snack or give your kids some extra security without waking up the entire house.

Coffee Wall Art

Everyone will know how much you love your coffee when that love is covering the walls. Hang a coffee plaque with a simple but to-the-point message such as “Coffee is Always a Good Idea” and “All You Need is Love and a Lot of Coffee”. They just might spur you or the recipient to make an extra cup. If you prefer something with a more vintage or industrial vibe, metal coffee cup wall art is an instant pick-me-up that will have a kitchen buzzing.

Affordable Coffee Gifts

Whimsical Coffee Mugs

Everyone who drinks coffee can use more mugs — especially when it’s a mug chosen and designed just for them. Personalized coffee mugs with a name or message printed on them will quickly become a loved one’s new favorite hot beverage cup. Kids can give their dad a tear-jerking Father’s Day gift with a personalized father mug. Is someone you know a huge fan of both coffee and football? Help them wake up for the big game with an NFL coffee mug. Every team is available so you can enjoy good java no matter who you cheer for.

Coffee Warmers

If you’ve made a great cup of coffee, you want to savor it, not chug it down. But that’s hard to do when the coffee gets cold halfway through. A compact mug warmer will keep your beverage at the right temperature so you can drink it as slow as you want to. Give it to anyone who is tired of lukewarm or cold coffee as they’re getting ready for the day. Insulated coffee carafes will keep larger amounts of coffee hot longer for a second cup that’s as good as the first.

Coffee Holiday Sample Packs

A sampler pack is a great coffee-themed gift for someone who wants to try new brews without going to a shop or buying huge bags of each. The Twelve Coffees of Christmas gift set will be the perfect holiday present. It contains a dozen gourmet blend packets that each make 10-12 cups of coffee — all for an unbelievably low price. You might just end up giving it to yourself! A single-serve Christmas coffee pack is also available. If you want to get a holiday beverage for the whole family, get the Christmas sampler trifecta that includes all the great holiday coffees plus 12 gourmet teas and 12 hot cocoas.

Coffee Snacks

A cup of Joe is even better with a tasty treat on the side. Some bakery snacks or candies are a delightful holiday present or addition to the Christmas party coffee table. Coffee cakes are a clear option, and a pumpkin streusel or apple streusel cake will be gobbled up fast. Dark chocolate espresso beans and caramel macchiato candies also add that coffee flavor to an edible form. Plenty of other breads and cookies also pair well with a coffee palate.

Countertop Holders

Every coffee drinker needs a place to store their coffee-making accessories. A wire coffee pod holder is a creative gift for organizing up to two dozen single-serve pods, whether they be store-bought K-cops or reusable coffee pods. They also can be used for utensils, napkins and other coffee supplies. A ceramic cow creamer is another fun option. Pour milk or cream from these elegant holders at lunch and say goodbye to wasteful disposable containers.

Must Have Gadgets for Quick and Easy Meal Prep

Whether you are cooking for your family or expecting guests, food is the best way to show others how much you care. While spending all day in the kitchen making an elaborate meal can definitely let people know you value and appreciate them, you probably don’t have that much time. Thus, easy meal prep is necessary, and you are probably always on the lookout for easy meal prep ideas.

When it comes to making meals quick and easy, you need to have the right food prep tools. There are many gadgets in the world that can help you accomplish a variety of tasks, but below are some of the meal prep must haves that you should add to your list.

Easy Twist Jar Opener

One of the most frustrating parts of cooking is not being able to open your supplies. This can add time to the meal prep, and may make you consider making a completely new dish. To make things easier, you need an easy twist jar opener. This tool has the ability to help you open a variety of different sized jars quickly and easy. Whether it’s a jar of pickles, sandwich spread or another item, you won’t have to worry about hurting yourself or asking for help after adding this tool to your kitchen.

Bamboo Expandable Cutlery Drawer Organizer

When it comes to easy meal prep, one of the best ways to make food quick and easy is to be organized. When you know where everything is, you can grab it and get to work. To save yourself precious time digging through drawers to find your meal prep tools, get the bamboo expandable cutlery drawer organizer and always know where your utensils are.

Multi-Function Turkey & Barbeque Baster Set

Getting together with friends and family for holidays or other special occasions can be a lot of fun. When it comes to meal prep tools that make feeding the crowd quick and easy, you’ll want to get the Multi Function Turkey & Barbeque Baster Set.

These food prep tools can be used for a variety of different chores and are good at Thanksgiving and for the 4th of July—as well as any time in between. Once you add these to your kitchen accessories, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them. The set comes with a baster, brusher and infuser, so you can add spices and injections to any food you might be cooking.

Bamboo Rooster Cutting Board

When it comes to tools to make meal prep easy, having a cutting board is imperative. It protects your countertops from damage and contains messes to an easy to clean surface. Of course, you don’t have to pick a boring cutting board. If you want to add some style and whimsy to your kitchen, then you should consider getting a bamboo rooster cutting board.

Once you are done using this item, you won’t to hide it away in a cupboard. It is functional as well as aesthetically pleasing, so when it’s not in use, you can use it as a decoration. Since it is constructed of bamboo, you can rest assured knowing it is mold- and mildew-resistant, as well as incredibly durable and strong. It is also made from a renewable resource, so you can feel good that you are doing something nice for the environment.

Rolling Meat Tenderizer

Every so often, the meals you decide to make for your family needs some extra attention. However, that doesn’t mean it should take more time to prepare. If you have meat that needs some tenderizing, then you need the rolling meat tenderizer.

This gadget is made from stainless steel and has a jagged surface and the right amount of weight to make steaks, pork chops or chicken nice and tender for you and your family’s eating pleasure. The long handle keeps your fingers away from the sharp edges, and the fact that it rolls means you won’t have to overexert yourself to create a delicious meal.

Stainless Steel Cake Server

If you enjoy having guests over, then you probably enjoy serving cake. To ensure that every slice is the same size and the cake doesn’t fall apart during the cutting process, you need the stainless steel cake server. This useful gadget can also lift the cake away from the plate for you. This utensil will add style and sophistication to any get together, include birthday parties, holidays, anniversaries and more!

You enjoy cooking for friends and family, but you don’t want to spend the entire day in the kitchen. If you’re always looking for easy meal prep ideas, then you are looking for ways to make the process faster. There are tools to make meal prep easy, and investing in them is worth the time and effort.

Spice Measuring Spoons

Letting your family and friends know you love them through food means adding the right amount of spice. When it comes to meal prep must haves, you should look into getting spice measuring spoons.

These measuring spoons are designed with smaller spice bottles in mind, and the narrow shape makes it possible for even the tablespoon to fit into a spice jar. They are constructed from stainless steel and are dishwasher safe. Not only do they make meal prep quick and easy, but cleaning them is also a breeze.

Slow Cooker Holiday Recipes & Helpful Hints

Crock-Pots and slow cookers became extremely popular in the 1970s. Subsequently, they dwindled to near extinction before recently undergoing a revival. The best thing about the resurgence of this handy appliance is that now, there are so many more options in slow cooker design (e.g. both manual and digital models, ceramic or stoneware insets, availability of non-stick coatings such as Teflon, portable models and even choices in lid design). During seasons when the weather is cold, and at busy times around the holidays, slow cookers can be invaluable for the following reasons:

  • Nutritious and balanced one-pot meals can be prepared inside a slow cooker, cutting down on meal prep time.
  • Slow cooker recipes can be set up hours in advance, allowing a hot meal to be ready and waiting for you when you come home from work or school.
  • Crock-Pots and slow cookers don’t heat up a kitchen the way an oven can. They also utilize less electricity, cutting down on your energy usage.
  • The slowness of the cooking process helps to tenderize less expensive cuts of meat.

Obviously, for people with hectic schedules, the timesaving aspects of slow cooking can be a huge benefit. You may be surprised at the number and variety of mouth-watering recipes that can be made with this relatively low-cost appliance. Below are some suggestions on making meat, soups and stews, and desserts in a slow cooker, and a few yummy recipes to check out:

Meat Dishes:

  • All types of meat can be slow-cooked, even whole chickens and large cuts of beef, but for better taste and texture, choose meats that have a firmer texture and are higher in fat, such as chuck roasts, short ribs, pork shoulders, lamb shanks and dark meat chicken. The extra fat makes the meat tender and flavorful when cooked with the moist, low heat of a slow cooker. Leaner meats like chicken breasts and pork tenderloin tend to dry out with when slow-cooked.
  • Another tip with meat is to trim the excess fat; otherwise, you’ll wind up with your meal stewing in an unappetizing, greasy liquid. This includes removing the skin from chicken, too.
  • If you are cooking meat along with vegetables (potatoes, carrots and onions work well in a slow cooker), make sure you layer the vegetables on the bottom of the cooker and put the meat on top.
  • Finally, consider browning your meat and sautéing the vegetables before you put them into the slow cooker. The payoff is food with an extra layer of rich, caramelized flavor.

Try these delicious meat recipes:

Slow Cooker Turkey — Perfect for holiday meals.

Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Meatballs — These make a delicious appetizer or holiday potluck dish.

Crock Pot Ham with Brown Sugar Glaze — Another holiday meal crowd-pleaser.

Soups and Stews:

Combine colder weather with an active family and a crockpot, and voilà — delicious slow cooker stews make the perfect mealtime solution. Stews can be a combination of meat and vegetables, as in Slow Cooker Beef Stew, or tasty vegetarian dishes like Classic Lasagna and Slow Cooker Stuffed Peppers.

  • Remember, avoid opening the lid of your cooker while in operation, as this can add considerably to the cooking time required.
  • Regarding cooking time and slow cooker settings, it generally takes twice as long to cook a dish on the “low” setting as on “high.” Different recipes call for specific settings to yield the best results.

Soup is another Crock-Pot-friendly dish which can be made using any of countless recipes, with or without meat. To make it even easier, consider using a pre-prepared soup mix, possibly even adding a few additional ingredients of your own. A couple of holiday soup classics to make in a slow cooker include Healthy Crockpot Potato Soup with Chicken and Easy Crockpot Vegetable Lentil Soup.

Desserts:

There is no skimping on decadence when using a slow cooker to make desserts. Crockpots are excellent for making moist cakes and crumbles, and even some kinds of pies, cookie bars and fudge. People with experience using slow cookers to make desserts comment on how easy it can be: “Just dump all the ingredients in and let the slow cooker do the work.” Of course, we love that.

Since the holidays go hand-in-hand with sweet indulgences, check out these recipes:

Slow Cooker Hot Fudge Turtle Brownies — Fulfills every sweet-tooth

Slow Cooker Blueberry Cobbler — Serve a la mode with vanilla ice cream or your favorite whipped cream.

Cookies and Cream Slow Cooker Fudge — Perfect homemade gift

If you threw away your slow cooker sometime during the ‘80s, it’s time to get a new one and try some of the recent recipes made possible with improvements in this appliance. Think of all the gift-wrapping and Santa-letter-writing you could do while your dinner or party recipe is taking care of itself inside your Crock-Pot.

Cookbooks Never Go Out of Style

Dining out isn’t the only way to add variety to your everyday meals. Cookbooks can be a fun way to change up your at-home menu and learn new skills in the kitchen, saving you the expense and hassle of a restaurant meal and making it easy to prepare a variety of delicious meals. With a well-rounded collection of cookbooks, you’ll never run out meal ideas.

Miles Kimball carries a selection of excellent cookbooks to add to your collection, including options for healthy eating, quick meals, and more.

Copper Skillet Cooking Cookbook
Kickstart your eating with the Copper Skillet Cooking Cookbook, packed with 58 nutritious, easy-to-make recipes that are bursting with flavor. With meal-planning ideas and suggestions for foods to eat, limit, and avoid, this informative cookbook puts eating within easy reach. The Copper Skillet Cooking helps you unlock all the magic of this durable, versatile nonstick pan!

Air Fryer Cookbook
Make the most of your air fryer with the Air Fryer Cookbook, a collection of 117 recipes that anyone can prepare. Designed to serve as the perfect companion to your electric air fryer, this cookbook is filled with recipes for every meal of the day, including vegetables and appetizers, desserts, meats, and side dishes.

Woman’s Day Easy Everyday Dinners Enjoy delicious dinners every night of the week with this compilation of recipes from the popular Women’s Day magazine. Organized into useful categories like “No Cook,” “20 Minute Meals,” and “Under 400 Calories,” this cookbook makes dinner prep easier than ever.

Make Now Eat Later Book
Save yourself time by mastering the art of meal prep with this handy cookbook, which provides detailed information about easy ways to simplify your approach to delicious meals.

Rediscover your cooking creativity and learn a variety of new, delicious recipes by stocking your kitchen shelves with cookbooks from Miles Kimball.