This is kind of genius. The Standing Rice Scoop solves the conundrum of where to put the rice paddle after you've served rice.
Put an ordinary paddle back in the pot, and the cover remains ajar, letting the rice cool and dry out. But, leave the paddle out, and you'll get sticky rice on the table. Instead, this brilliant standing paddle from Japan stands upright, so you can completely re-seal your rice pot and keep your table clean. Brilliant.
Made of polypropylene, with an embossed surface to prevent sticking. Dishwasher-safe. $8.00 at MoMA.
The forks, knives, and spoons in Anthropologie's new Sushi Queen Flatware set have slender faux-wood stems designed to look like disposable chopsticks.
Made in Italy of stainless steel and resin.
Dishwasher safe.$24 for a set of four at Anthropologie.
Pewter Mushroom Salt and Pepper Shakers have textural details that make them look almost like they were cast from the real thing.
$48 at Terrain.
These kids eating utensils brings new meaning to playing with your food. The Constructive Eating utensil set includes a "Fork Lift" Fork, "Bulldozer" Pusher, and "Front Loader" Spoon. The utensils are designed with textured handles, made with PVC-free, phthalate-free plastic, and are dishwasher safe. $19.95 at The Spoon Sisters.
Called a Slow Cooker, Dutch designer Margriet Foolen's terracotta baker is really an updated version of the traditional Moroccan tagine.
Use it as you would as a traditional tagine and the white-glazed base, which has a heatproof silicone ring, can go straight from the oven to the table. Invert the device, and the top becomes a serving bowl, with lid.
$64 at the A+R Store.
Japanese designer Kouichi Okamoto's Glass Tank brings new meaning to the concept of a bottomless wine glass.
As you sip your wine from a goblet that's joined at the hip to a bulb-shaped carafe, a combination of air and water pressure automatically causes more wine to flow and refill your glass.
The tank will set you back a whopping $359 at Generate.
Expensive? Sure. But, so much classier than a drinking helmet.
Worldwide Fred has updated the iconic matryoshka doll as a useful kitchen gadget. At right, Fred's M-Cups ($12.50 at perpetual kid) are a set of six plastic measuring cups that nest like the real Russian tchochkes. Anthropologie's version (left) -- a set of three Matryoshka Measuring Cups ($28) -- aim for a more traditional look, though they are dishwasher and microwave safe.
It might look like one of those Japanese "unuseless" inventions, but the Calamete noodle fork is for real. Engineered specifically to enhance the journal of noodles from bowl to mouth, the design takes a standard fork and adds an extra short, stubby tine -- intended to simulate the thumb -- to help grab a forkful of noodles (or pasta).
$44 for a pair at Japan Trend Shop.
Over the weekend, I found myself at the just-opened LEGO store at New Jersey's Garden State Plaza.
While I had a hard time pulling myself away from LEGO's ultra-cool new "Architecture" series featuring the Guggenheim Museum, Frank Lloyd Wright's Falling Water, and landmark skyscrapers, I also noticed a series of new products intended to outfit your kitchen in the contours of the classic toy bricks.