Traditional recipes

Melon Ballers and Other Kitchen Tools That Make Entertaining More Festive

Melon Ballers and Other Kitchen Tools That Make Entertaining More Festive

There are useful, multipurpose implements and vessels all over your kitchen… you just need to get a little creative

You won’t believe how many ways you can use these little gadgets!

Planning a party? You might not have to look further than your kitchen for many of the things you need to host a creative get-together with minimal effort.

Gadgets That Make Entertaining More Festive

Kitchens are treasure troves of tools, gadgets, and ingredients that in the right hands can turn out something creative — and delicious. The kitchen, with all those doodads and thingamabobs, might also be the most cluttered and overstocked room in the house.

Some drawers are filled with those utensils that we use every day — forks, knives, teaspoons. Giant jars on the counter by the oven hold those most-used tools — whisk, spatula, wooden spoon. Worn baking sheets and large metal bowls tucked into cabinets are for quick weeknight dinners.

But then, in the dark corners of the kitchen, like that overhead cabinet or that third drawer from the bottom, there are the tools and gadgets that rarely see the light of day.

That is probably because you think they are only good for one thing. Cake pans are for cake and muffin tins are for muffins. But what if those forgotten items are just the things you need to help make you the host with the most?

The first big cookout of the season, a kiddo’s birthday bash, or even a fancy dinner party might be the best opportunity to whip these underappreciated utensils out to make entertaining easier. It might just be that little-used melon baller or those wedding gift ramekins that save the day at your next warm weather party.

Baking Sheet

Baking sheets get a lot of use, but there isn’t a ton of variety in their repertoire. Why not turn them into serving trays for a delicious spread at your next low-key gathering? They can also be used as surfaces for decorating cupcakes at a birthday party or Christmas cookies at your holiday celebration. Just make sure that all of the sides are raised and don’t taper off for easy to tidy up sprinkles.

Ice Cream Maker

That ice cream maker with the detachable freezer bowl has a use beyond making frozen treats. Its freezer bowl is ideal for quickly chilling wine or other drinks when guests arrive early and there is no time to waste.


9 Top-Rated Fruit Salad Recipes

Easy, versatile fruit salad is a refreshing addition to any meal, from backyard barbeques to weekend brunch to festive dinners. Whether you&aposre looking for a side dish or dessert, we&aposve got fruit salad recipes to suit all seasons and reasons. Here are 9 top-rated favorites.

This solid 5-star recipe features a refreshing mix of melons and berries folded into a honey-kissed lemon and yogurt dressing. "One suggestion would be to not add the sauce to the fruit until you&aposre ready to serve," says lutzflcat.

One of our most popular fruit salad recipes, its creamy sweet dressing lands this solidly in the dessert salad category. Susankay says, "It is so refreshing and I can&apost stop eating it."

This old-fashioned potluck favorite has 1,000+ 5-star reviews. If you don&apost want to use frozen whipped topping, try substituting this sturdy stabilized whipped cream.

Crisp, tart apples and sweet vanilla yogurt are combined with dried cranberries, dried cherries, and slivered almonds in this refreshing salad. "This is a healthy, quick, and easy salad to make," says LovetoBake.

Fresh strawberries and spinach make a winning pair in this classic salad that&aposs earned 2,000+ 5-star ratings. "A great way to get kids to eat spinach," says recipe submitter TOZENUF.

This eye-catching salad showcases summer&aposs most gorgeous fruit. A citrusy syrup adds the finishing glaze that brings it all together. Recipe submitter Nicole Graham Holley says, "This salad is tastier the longer you can let it soak in its juices. I perfer 3 to 4 hours in the refrigerator before I serve it."

There&aposs something so right about the combination of juicy crisp watermelon and lightly salty feta cheese. Beth Jones says, "Excellent recipe, ingredients go well together, light and fresh, can even be used as dessert."

"To keep the bananas from browning, I tossed them with a splash of lemon juice," says Sarah Jo, who thanked her grandmother for the tip.

Crisp apples and juicy pears take the spotlight in this seasonal salad. A mainstay during colder months, it&aposs one of the most popular fruit salads for autumn and winter feasts. "Super easy and makes a great potluck salad," says Linda P.


Memorial Day is an important holiday in the United States, a chance for the nation to honor those who have died serving in the military. While it's a solemn day of remembrance, it also marks the unofficial start of summer and is often celebrated with parades, picnics, and family cookouts. To make your Memorial Day festivities as delicious as ever, we rounded up 30 of the best recipes for the holiday&mdasheverything from potato salad to fruit crumbles, a no-bake cheesecake, and burgers and hot dogs galore.

This holiday is also when many people will commence grilling on a regular basis, but outdoor cooking is not the only way to serve up summertime fare. While you could certainly grill your ribs, our recipe for Tuscan Ribs, pictured here, puts the oven to good use. Three racks of baby back ribs marinate with olive oil, paprika, fennel seeds, sage, thyme, and rosemary. They slow-roast in the oven for two hours until the meat is fork-tender and releases its juicy flavor. Serve the ribs with another Memorial Day classic: potato salad. There's a recipe for potato salad that has rich balsamic glaze that pairs oh so well with these ribs, but you'll also find a recipe for a classic mayonnaise- and mustard-based potato salad in this collection, too.

Other favorite Memorial Day recipes you'll find are are baked beans with homemade barbecue sauce, seasonal fruit desserts such as berry cobblers and pies, homemade ice cream, plenty of crowd-friendly main courses (most of which are, yes, cooked on a grill), and a few cocktails and mocktails to keep you cool all weekend long.

Have a festive and fabulous Memorial Day cookout with these casual recipes that everyone will love.


1. Fun Dessert For Kids Animals Shaped

So cute orange garnishes for kids Idea! I used a large orange, fruits, and berries. So simple easy birthday dessert ideas with fruits. We can serve other kids party desserts inside the orange shape as well. For example, place a small cup instead of fruits and berries. The animal shaped oranges a fun design for desserts for kids to make because of not much fruit carving and so simple design. Great to serve for a Birthday party or other children events.

How to make a healthy kid dessert from the orange I am going to show step by step in the example of a bear. The bunny I made the same way, just difference is bunny ears. To hold my fruit animals I don’t use any picks to hold together. In my opinion, it is very dangerous because kids like to try everything and we never know what can be tested by them. Check out this kid friendly holiday desserts ideas! So cute and easy to make. We can also make other animals as well, limit just our fantasy. On the photo below, I made a triangle ears and add whiskers and I have a cute cat from orange is holding dessert.

Recommended ⇒ 5 Cute And Fancy Ways to Serve Orange and Mandarin


3. How To Make A Bow From Salami

I like cute garnish from salami in the shape of the bow because so simple to make it. We can use it to garnish meat or cheese platters or small appetizers. On the photo above I decorated meat and cheese platter with a salami bow. Salami bow look so nice on small appetizers. As an example, I cut squares of cheese and attached with a skewer olive and salami bows.

Recommended ⇒ Cheese for an appetizer I cut with a crinkle cutter. Very inexpensive garnish tool. So many ways to use crinkle cutter and some ways (seven) I am going to share with you!

Salami Bow Technique


50 Easy Toast Toppers

Find 50 ideas for quick and easy toast toppers from Food Network Magazine.

Related To:

Recipes courtesy Food Network Magazine

Step 1: Slice 1 to 2 loaves of French bread into 1/4-inch-thick rounds.

Step 2: Brush each slice with olive oil or melted butter.

Step 3: Place the rounds on baking sheets and bake at 350 degrees until crisp throughout and lightly golden around the edges, about 15 minutes.

1. Spread with goat cheese top with finely chopped canned beets, an orange segment and fresh mint.

2. Spread with fig jam top with gorgonzola cheese and prosciutto.

3. Spread with fig jam top with goat cheese and chopped walnuts.

4. Spread with butter top with thinly sliced bread-and-butter pickles.

5. Spread with hummus top with olive tapenade.

Toast with Figs and Honey

6. Top with sliced figs drizzle with honey sprinkle with sea salt.

Toast Toppers

Photo by: Marko Metzinger ©Copyright Hearst Commmunications Inc., 2008

Marko Metzinger, Copyright Hearst Commmunications Inc., 2008

7. Mash avocado with salt and lime juice spread on toasts top with shrimp.

8. Spread with ricotta cheese top with chopped roasted red peppers sprinkle with salt and pepper.

9. Rub with a garlic clove top with sliced plum tomatoes sprinkle with sea salt.

10. Spread with butter top with thinly sliced radishes sprinkle with sea salt.

11. Toss canned tuna with lemon juice and zest, olive oil, chopped parsley and salt spread on toasts.

12. Spread with gorgonzola cheese top with sliced pears.

13. Top with chopped grapes and wrap with prosciutto.

14. Top with pesto and shaved Parmesan cheese.

15. Top with pesto, crumbled bacon and chopped tomatoes.

Toast with Pesto and Sundried Tomatoes

16. Top with pesto and chopped sun-dried tomatoes.

17. Spread with mashed avocado top with crumbled bacon and sprouts.

18. Spread with ricotta cheese drizzle with olive oil add a dash of salt and pepper.

19. Brush with olive oil add a thin slice of manchego cheese top with chorizo.

20. Chop rotisserie chicken meat and toss with barbecue sauce spoon onto toasts top with chopped pickles.

21. Combine mayonnaise with wasabi paste spread on toasts top with lump crab meat.

22. Combine mayonnaise and wasabi paste toss finely chopped sushi-grade tuna with sesame oil spread wasabi mayo on toasts top with tuna.

23. Whip cream cheese with chopped dill spread on toasts top with thinly sliced smoked salmon.

Toast Toppers

Photo by: Marko Metzinger ©Copyright Hearst Commmunications Inc., 2008

Marko Metzinger, Copyright Hearst Commmunications Inc., 2008

24. Spread with Taleggio cheese top with candied pecans or walnuts.

25. Spread with apple butter top with crumbled blue cheese and chopped fresh sage.

26. Saute finely chopped mushrooms in butter and season with salt and thyme spread on toasts top with shaved Parmesan cheese.

27. Saute thinly sliced onions in butter until caramelized spread toasts with Brie cheese top with apple slices and caramelized onions.

28. Top with thinly sliced apples and grated cheddar cheese broil until melted.

29. Spread with butter top with thinly sliced ham and a cornichon slice.

30. Spread with cranberry sauce top with thinly sliced turkey sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.

31. Saute thinly sliced fennel and golden raisins in olive oil until soft spoon onto toasts.

32. Combine cream cheese and chopped chipotle chiles in adobo sauce spread on toasts top with thinly sliced smoked turkey.

33. Top with fresh tomato pulp sprinkle with sea salt and fresh basil.

34. Combine refried beans with chopped green chiles spread on toasts top with pepper jack cheese and broil until melted.

35. Combine equal parts sour cream and cream cheese with horseradish spread on toasts top with thinly sliced roast beef.

36. Halve asparagus tips lengthwise steam until al dente and season with salt spread premade egg salad on toast top with an asparagus tip.

37. Wilt baby spinach and toss with crumbled bacon spoon onto toasts top with chopped hard-boiled eggs.

38. Toss finely chopped romaine with Caesar dressing and grated Parmesan cheese spoon onto toasts top with an anchovy.


23 Delicious Squash Recipes You Can Cook in Any Season

Think squash is only good for soup or serving on Thanksgiving? Think again. Whether it's fall, winter, spring, or summer, you can count on at least one delicious type of squash to be in season. From spaghetti squash and classic butternut to acorn, kabocha, and pumpkin (it's a squash!), you've got a delicious array of options to work with.

Squash isn't just a sweet, rich addition to your menu, either. It&rsquos also loaded with vitamins, fiber, and healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Here, we've rounded up 23 of our favorite squash recipes that'll give you something silky, soothing, and seriously healthy to eat all year round.


17 Genius Kitchen Gadgets That Make Cooking From Scratch So Much Easier

The kitchen always has been and always will be the workhorse room of the home. And that’s especially true come fall &mdash between all the holiday meals to prep for and the warm, cozy foods we’re craving. But as much as we may love our kitchens, the fast pace of life (especially now) doesn’t really accommodate marathon cooking sessions. We’ve got to-do lists to work through, busy schedules to tame and a literal laundry list of minutiae to tend to. It’s for all these reasons and more that we need to equip our space with genius kitchen gadgets that help us get a meal on the table in a quick and delicious manner.

But honing in on the right kitchen tools can feel like finding a needle in a haystack. Do we really need a food processor, or can we just use a blender? Is an apple slicer worth it, or are we just being lazy? And do air fryers really deserve all the hype they keep getting? Each time we answer one of these questions, another must-have item seems to appear. Another kitchen gadget is invented, another cooking fad hits the zeitgeist, another friend introduces us to a product they swear by. And with holiday meal prep season quickly approaching, we want to make sure our kitchen is fully stocked with the items that will take the stress out of getting a four-course meal on everyone’s plate.

Thankfully, there&rsquos a vast array of kitchen tools out there designed to help the masses. These gadgets tackle tasks any home cook could reasonably be expected to accomplish, regardless of skill or experience level (or difficult toddler palate). In some cases, these kitchen tools will eliminate a common problem (like herbs that go bad too quick? Problem solved!). In other cases, they&rsquoll speed up the cooking process (your festive cake pops have never been easier to make). And in yet more cases, they&rsquoll do most of the work for you (to answer your question: yes, air fryers have made life abundantly easier). But all of them will do something that actually needs doing, making them foundational additions to anyone&rsquos culinary arsenal.

Our mission at SheKnows is to empower and inspire women, and we only feature products we think you&rsquoll love as much as we do. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale and the retailer may receive certain auditable data for accounting purposes.


15 Clever New Ways to Use Classic Kitchen Tools

Thought your French press was only for coffee? Think again!

Whoever told you a potato peeler is just for potatoes is dead wrong. In fact, most of the gadgets you already own serve multiple purposes when it comes to cooking. These are all the jobs you should enlist your utensils to tackle from now on.

The easiest way to make sure all your burgers are the same size? Use an ice cream scoop. Just make sure you dedicate this utensil to your raw meat and don't dip it back into your ice cream carton later (yuck).

Use your pizza cutter to slice up your lettuce and other goodies in your homemade salad to get perfect sized bites every time.

No mixer? No problem. Add a little heavy cream to your French press, put the lid on tight, then push and pull the lever until it's thick and dollop-ready.

Raise your hand if this idea is so amazing you can't believe you didn't think of it. Us too. The press keeps the loose tea leaves separate in the same way it does with coffee grounds.

For your next festive cocktail, swap in your normal cubes for big, giant ones with the help of a muffin tin. Trust us, they're just the touch your party is missing.

If you only used half of your bunch of parsley, chop the rest up and freeze it with a little olive oil in your ice cube tray. That way, the next time you need some flavor you can drop a cube into your pan and you're all set.

If you thought your egg slicer was only good for hard boiled snacks, think again: It's actually super versatile and can be used for avocado, butter, mushrooms, strawberries, you name it.

Put down the forks: All you need is your stand mixer to shred cooked chicken for your nachos, enchiladas and more recipes that require this usually (but not more!) high-maintenance ingredient.

Instead of boiling water on your stovetop, just sit your bowl of instant oatmeal under your Keurig (or any single-serve coffee maker) and let the hot water pour out the next time you need a satisfying breakfast.

If you hate those strings in celery that always gets stuck in your teeth, we have good news: All you need to do is run a vegetable peeler over the curved side to remove said fibers with ease.


OXO Good Grips Double Melon Baller

Use an OXO double melon baller to scoop and form fruits, vegetables, or ice cream giving snack trays or fruit salads a delightful and engaging semblance. Two stainless steel scoops give unique size options to scoop and form and a soft grip makes this melon baller comfortable to use. From cleaning seeds out from a hot pepper or balling watermelon for a snack the OXO double melon baller is a must have tool for any kitchen.

  • Double ended baller for two unique sizes
  • Stainless steel construction
  • Soft and comfortable grip
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Satisfaction guarantee, return for replacement or refund

The OXO Story

OXO began with the response to the problems with handling kitchen utensils with slightly arthritic hands. The solution was to incorporate the concept of Universal Design. This idea, to design for the masses, was how OXO created their standard of product design. Male, female, left and right handed, young or old, each product is created to facilitate the ease of use for practically anybody. Specific examples include liquid measuring cups that can be read from above without bending over kettles with whistle lids that open automatically when tipped to pour and tools with a grippy, non-slip and forgiving handles that make them more efficient to use.