Gadget Tree: Pi Day with Dexas Pizza Tools


 Okay, all you math nerds, today it’s your time to shine because we’re celebrating Pi Day (or Π-Day if you prefer) with a pizza pie party using the fabuloso Dexas Pizza tools!

Are you confused? For all of you who struggled with math in school (including me), “Π” is the Greek letter that’s often shortened to 3.14 when you want to find the circumference of a circle. Today is March 14… and so, that’s right, 3/14.

Did your eyes glaze over? Back to the Pi Day with Dexas pizza party!

My pals at Dexas International have three fantastic kitchen tools that will help make your pizza party a success, whether you’re serving thin crust, Deep Dish style or flatbread pizza!

Dexas Pizza Board

Slide your pizza right out of the oven onto Dexas’ 16”-round polypropylene Pizza Board and carry it to the table with the convenient metal carrying rack. Remember, the board is not oven safe, but it can certainly handle a piping hot pizza! I like this board because it can also double as a serving tray.

The reversible pizza board has groves to guide you so you’ll always cut a perfect slice. And to get that perfect slice, Dexas has two great options.

Pi Day with Dexas Pizza Roller

For thin crust pizza, the ergonomic Pizza Cutter Roller lets you apply pressure down on the wheel, so you can navigate your way through all that gooey delicious cheese. The compact roller is easy to control and has a comfortable palm-held grip.

I’ve used the Pizza Cutter Roller to cut pastry dough, but it’s also great for flat breads and sandwiches.

Pi Day with Pizza Cutter Rocker Blade

Here in Chicago, we love our Deep-Dish Style pizza. Dexas has the perfect 15-inch Pizza Cutter Rocker Blade to cut through even the deepest, thickest crust. The polypropylene blade rocks back and forth with just a little bit of pressure on the double handle. The Pizza Cutter Rocker Blade also works on thin pizza crusts (see the image below!).

All of the pizza tools are completely dishwasher safe, too! Every day can be a Pi Day with Dexas Pizza Tools!



posted under Gadget Tree | 2 Comments »

The Best Mortar and Pestle


The BEST reason for owning a mortar and pestle? The fresh pesto you prepare in it will make you famous.

Frieling's Cilio Mortar and Pestle

Well, there are a lot of other reasons, like grinding and mixing spices and even making guacamole. But it will be your pesto that will bring you accolades from miles around.

Frieling’s Cilio Atlas Mortar and Pestle is the best of the best… even Cook’s Illustrated agrees. Nothing bruises the fresh basil leaves and muddles the olive oil like this gadget. And really great pesto is all about freshness and muddling.

The granite mortar (aka the bowl) has a coarse interior to help grind and pulverize, while the extra-tall sides keep roly-poly ingredients, like pine nuts, from escaping all over the kitchen. The wide base gives you great leverage and stability.

The long pestle (the club-shaped tool) is balanced and heavy for easy pounding. It’s also comfortable. See why I say it’s the best mortar and pestle?

What’s cool is that the Cilio’s mortar is cut from one solid piece of natural, uncoated granite or marble. It’s also big… 5-inches tall and holds several cups of whatever you’re making.

And what you’re making had better be pesto! It’s going to make you a star!

posted under Gadget Tree | 4 Comments »

Gadget Tree: What the Heck is This?


Kevin asks: We picked up a box of kitchen gadgets at a garage sale and found this. My wife says it’s an artist’s paint mixer. Looks like an egg poacher to me.


Well… first of all, Mama commends you for being “green” and recycling. It’s less expensive than buying new (obviously) and you’ll likely make amazing discoveries.

Like this porcelain escargot plate. “Escargot,” as in cooked snails swimming in warm garlic butter, with crusty French bread on the side. (Escargot is a French word and is actually a generic term for edible snails.)

The divots in the escargot plate hold the snail in its shell during cooking, serving and eating. It helps if you have escargot tongs to hold the shell while using an escargot fork to lift the snail out before popping it in your mouth.

Dig around in that box you got at the garage sale… maybe you’ll find some more escargot accouterment.

Mama’s eaten escargot (yummy-pie!), but never prepared it at home… she certainly doesn’t have any of those fancy-do escargot dishes. Which leads me to only one thought:

That must have been one helluva garage sale…


Gadget Tree: Demarle Silpat Non-Stick Baking Pan


I love it when the stars align and things fall into place just as you’d like.Silpat Box

Sometimes when I test a new product or recipe, I don’t get the results promised. So I re-test. And re-test. And re-test.

But sometimes things come together perfectly on the first try (of course, I still have to re-test and re-test and re-test).

I wanted to try Demarle’s new Silpat Silicone Baking Pan AND I needed to make a new recipe for gluten-free brownies. So… I made the brownies in the Silpat Baking Pan.

Perfection. The Silpat Baking Pan AND the Brownies!

SilpatI’ll talk about the Gluten Free Chile Brownies tomorrow, just ahead of Valentine’s Day. Right now, I’m going to sing the praises of my new favorite baking tool.

If you don’t know, Silpat is a great non-stick liner for cookie sheets that makes clean up extra easy. Now they’ve come up with this 10-by-13¾-inch reusable pan that’s also non-stick… you just wipe it clean.

I know some people are wary of using silicone in the oven, but Demarle makes sure all of their products are food safe, Kosher and NSF certified and approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

The Silpat Baking Pan needs to be used on a cookie sheet so it stays stable… and you can’t use knives or sharp utensils. I flipped the brownies onto a cutting board to cut them. Oh, and they advise against putting it in the dishwasher.

This is a great addition to my baking battery. Like I said, I love it when the stars align!


posted under Gadget Tree | 7 Comments »

I’m Christina Chavez

I was a TV journalist for many years, but with a house full of kids I decided to come off the road, go to culinary school and follow my passion for cooking. Mama’s High Strung is all about food… everything from creative recipe ideas to some really cool kitchen gadgets and cooking tips. I live in Chicago, but I love to travel and write about my food discoveries! You can reach me by email: