Bye-Bye, Soggy Pie
A pie bird (also referred to as a pie vent, pie chimney, pie whistle, or pie funnel) is a small ceramic or metal figurine that is placed in the center of a double-crusted pie before baking. Using a pie bird during baking helps prevent the crust from getting soggy and ensures that the filling is evenly cooked. How does it work? The pie bird allows steam to escape from the pie as it bakes, which helps prevent the filling from becoming too watery. It also helps the crust bake more evenly by allowing hot air to circulate around the pie.
Keep It Cool
With a portable ice maker, you can rest assured knowing you’ll never run out of ice for drinks and cocktails. It can quickly produce enough ice to keep up with the demand—some models can produce ice in as little as six minutes, and some can make up to 50 pounds of ice per day. Unlike traditional ice makers built into refrigerators, portable ice makers are compact and easy to move around, making them perfect for holiday gatherings and events.
Upgrade the Gadgets
Investing in high-quality kitchen gadgets can save both time and energy during an already busy time of year. Equipment worth purchasing or upgrading? A food processor and an immersion blender (pictured here). Work smarter, not harder, with a food processor that can be used to chop, slice, and shred vegetables and fruits for salads and side dishes, as well as make dips, sauces, and spreads. An immersion blender is perfect for making soups and sauces and allows you to blend ingredients right in the pot, making it easy to puree hot ingredients without the fuss and mess of transferring them to a blender.
Stack the Deck
Just in time for holiday entertaining and the gift-giving season, these two food and drink deck sets will inspire home chefs and entertainers to new levels of creativity. Plus, the decks are perfect for those with limited kitchen counter space, as the individual cards take up far less space than a full cookbook. Priced at $24.99 each, the “Cheese Boards to Share” and “Cocktails at Home” sets consist of a 50-card deck and 64-page paperback book, featuring recipes, shopping and preparation tips, and more. (Available wherever books are sold and on bookshop.org.)
Low and Slow
A slow cooker is a great tool to keep food warm and ready to serve throughout festivities. Up the ante with removable slow cooker inserts to make it even easier. From soups and appetizers to veggies and dips, these silicone liners help keep food separated and warm for hours after cooking—all while saving precious counter space, too. Cleanup is also a piece of cake, as most inserts are dishwasher safe.