Blog Posts by Daily Grommet

  • The art of pasta

    Monique Deschaine, Al Dente PastaMonique Deschaine, Al Dente Pasta

    If you live in Michigan, you may already know the story behind Al Dente Pasta, a local treasure. Monique Deschaine was just a regular pasta lover back in 1981 when she read an article about an artisanal pasta business and was inspired to start one herself. She traveled to New York City to study under Italian cooking legend Marcella Hazan, and then headed back to Michigan to give birth to her very own hand-rolled pasta business.

    Thirty years later, Al Dente Pasta is the perfect marriage of traditional methods and modern taste. While other handmade pastas are extruded, Al Dente makes its pasta according to the northern Italian tradition of rolling sheets of dough. This yields pasta with an exceptional texture - tender but firm - that cooks in just three minutes.

    Some of Monique's pastas are available at fine food stores throughout the U.S., but many ofAl Dente Pasta's whole wheat pasta, low carb pasta or organic pasta.Al Dente Pasta's whole wheat pasta, low carb pasta or organic pasta. her most innovative recipes aren't sold in stores. We're featuring four different samplers that showcase her knack for

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  • Dive into an underwater concert

    Workouts are just better with music. It's easier to cycle through a spin class or run another mileThe FINIS SwiMP3 waterproof MP3 player.The FINIS SwiMP3 waterproof MP3 player. when you've got music to motivate. But what about when you're in the pool? Combining a swim workout with your favorite tunes was a challenge until SwiMP3 came along. Now it's so easy to swim to the beat of an underwater concert that you might forget to come up for air.

    Pablo Morales and John Mix FinisPablo Morales and John Mix Finis A company called FINIS, founded by John Mix (top left) and Olympic gold medalist Pablo Morales (bottom, left), created the SwiMP3 music player. It attaches to swim goggles or a snorkeling mask. There are no ear buds required. Instead, the SwiMP3 relies on bone conduction technology. That means it transmits high-fidelity sound through the cheekbone to the inner ear, creating crystal clear underwater sound without disturbing nearby swimmers.

    You can listen to music while you're swimming laps, and use the tunes to help you stay motivated and maintain your ideal rhythm and pace throughout the workout. SwiMP3 has all

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  • Better crowd-control starts right here.

    Looking for an alternative to plastic pitchers this summer? Take a sip from the Beehive drink dispenser, perfect for serving lemonade, sun tea or sangria. The classic beehive shape makes your beverage the centerpiece by showing off fresh fruit and herbs that are kept cool inside the generous but not massive glass jar.

    Constructed of hefty ribbed glass in a cool retro style, the Beehive dispenser has a Beehive 2 Gallon Glass Drink DispenserBeehive 2 Gallon Glass Drink Dispenserwide mouth that makes it easy to fill with beverages, ice and sliced fruit, and also a cinch to Beehive 2 Gallon Glass Drink DispenserBeehive 2 Gallon Glass Drink Dispenserclean. The easy-pour spout controls the liquid flow so there's no mess. It holds two gallons, so it's large enough to accommodate a group but still fits nicely on a countertop or patio table. Whether you're serving a crowd of thirsty guests or looking for an irresistible hostess gift, the Beehive drink dispenser is an elegant way to show off your style.

    Buy Beehive 2 Gallon Glass Drink Dispenser here.

    Never miss a Special Offer: See what Daily Grommet has discovered today!

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  • We searched and found: The best frozen crab cakes

    Angelina's crab cakes.Angelina's crab cakes.We tend to get really crabby when the crab cake we ordered with great gustatory anticipation turns out to be mostly breadcrumb filler and tasteless stringy crabmeat. So Daily Grommet went on the prowl and located the most spectacular crab cakes of all-Angelina's of Maryland award-winning crab cakes.

    Angelina TadduniAngelina Tadduni It's a pretty well-kept secret that most crabmeat in this country comes from Asia, EXCEPT the true blue lump crabmeat from the Chesapeake Bay where Angelina Tadduni (pictured at right) once owned a popular Italian restaurant with her husband for many years. Though the couple passed on, and the restaurant is no longer, Angelina's famous mouthwatering lump crab cakes can be yours for the asking.

    Angelina's PartnersAngelina's Partners New owners DJ, Chad, and Joseph do a booming mail order business year round-with just these succulent cakes-that we think any father, grandfather, uncle or husband would love to receive as a father's day gift. The timing couldn't be better either, June is the height of crab season in

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  • Double-duty skincare

    Most of us are conditioned to slather on the sunscreen before we dive into summer fun. But that doesn't mean we like it. Sunscreen often makes you feel sticky and smells unpleasant. And what about all those mystery ingredients that make you wonder if it's even safe to use on yourself or your kids?

    Holly ThaggardHolly ThaggardHolly Thaggard and her physician father-in-law set out to find a better alternative after a young friend was diagnosed with skin cancer. The goal was to create safe and advanced UV products that meet stringent international sun protection standards and are also free of possible carcinogens and endocrine-disrupting ingredients such as parabens. Their toxin-free creation is called Supergoop.

    Supergoop does double-duty to protect your skin from head to toe, combining sunscreen with moisturizing lotion for your face and body. As a sunscreen, Supergoop provides SPF 30 wide-spectrum UV protection. It's water, sweat, and sand resistant - and it's blissfully free of fragrances and

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  • Reinventing "on-the-go"

    GoCrib inflatable, portable crib/playpenGoCrib inflatable, portable crib/playpenThe fun of traveling with a baby means cramming an unweildy portable crib into the car, battling to set it up (the process can derail even the most experienced parents), and discovering your tot isn't keen on being relegated to "baby jail" once you reach your destination. At least that's how it used to be, before the GoCrib came along. The GoCrib is nothing like the portable cribs you've wrestled with in the past. It's fun, easy to use, and lightweight enough to be carried with one finger.

    The creator of this revolutionary inflatable travel crib is Scott Crumrine. Scott Crumrine, GoCribScott Crumrine, GoCribHe and Jenny Barchas, who submitted the product to Daily Grommet, started developing the idea for GoCrib while they were in business school. Jenny Barchas, GoCribJenny Barchas, GoCrib Scott was inspired by the technology behind kiteboarding and began devising ways to apply the same attributes (strong, lightweight and compact) to a portable crib. GoCrib combines high-end strut materials with PVC- and phthalate-free materials. It fits through doorways so you

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  • Create a bug-free zone with the flick of a switch - and 0 chemicals

    Given all the right conditions, those pesky mosquitoes come out with a vengeance. Some lucky people never get bitten, but others us are the complete opposite. We can be covered in itchy bites in no time whatsoever if we aren't covered from head to toe. But who wants to bundle up on a beautiful, warm night? With ThermaCELL, you don't have to.

    ThermaCELL mosquito control products.ThermaCELL mosquito control products. ThermaCELL isn't like most mosquito repellent devices. There's no open flame, and ThermaCELL doesn't contain DEET or any other harsh chemicals. Instead, it uses butane cartridges and a repellent called allethrin, which is a synthetic form of a natural insecticide found in chrysanthemums. The combination repels up to 98% of mosquitoes, black flies, no-see-ums and sand flies. The technology has been tested and approved by the EPA and the U.S. Army, and it's currently used in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan.

    Daily Grommet is offering two styles, a patio lantern and a portable unit. Each covers a 15′ × 15′ area. The lantern doubles as a muted

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  • Hands-down, the hippest all-in-one salad set up.

    You're hungry, it's too hot to bake, and your garden (or the local farmers market) is ripe with fruits and vegetables. It's the perfect time for a summer salad, and Daily Grommet has found the ideal vessel.

    Joseph Joseph worktop savers or salad bowl set.Joseph Joseph worktop savers or salad bowl set.The HandsOn salad bowl from Joseph Joseph is brilliant. It's design is clever and fun with a generous dash of wit. The integrated salad servers are shaped like hands, and when you're not using them, they snap into place on the sides of the melamine bowl, creating sculptural, contrasting graphics.

    We're also featuring Joseph Joseph's round multi-function worktop saver. It's made from toughened glass and easily Joseph JosephJoseph Josephmakes the transition from cutting board to trivet to serving tray. The bright circles are modern and fun, which is just what we've come to expect from the British company headed by twins Antony and Richard Joseph. We've featured their chic kitchenware in the past, including their hinged chopping board, adjustable rolling pin, citrus reamer, scoop colander, and

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  • Our favorite eco-chic bag for the farmer's market

    Leslie DinabergLeslie Dinaberg Leslie Dinaberg turned us on to ChicoBags, citing their convenience and portability as a huge draw. "ChicoBags are designed with their own little pouches to fit directly into your purse, backpack or beach bag so you always have them ready to use. It's a simple little innovation, but it has really made it easier for me to be a 'bag lady,'" says Leslie, who is the winner of Daily Grommet's product discovery contest with, a community connecting moms.

    Andy Keller, ChicoBagAndy Keller, ChicoBag We agree that creator Andy Keller hit the mark with the compact portability of these reusable shopping bags. Andy's inspiration came from seeing his local landfill overflowing with plastic refuse, most of it single-use bags, and he began working on a viable alternative. The first ChicoBag designs were fittingly sold in Chico, Calif., on Earth Day in 2005. Although the bags come in a variety of fabrics, those made with rePETe™ contain recycled PET (polyethylene terephthalate), the main ingredient in plastic drinking

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  • Weighty matter: What to pack, so you don't overpack

    Daily Grommet visitor Jeannette K. introduced us to one of the smartest travel accessories we've seen lately: the Balanzza Digital Luggage Scale. As you probably know, airlines haven't just cut back on the peanuts and in-flight blankets-they're now charging for, well, LUGGAGE. As if the $15 fee for your checked bag wasn't bad enough, the penalties skyrocket if your bag is deemed too heavy (usually 50 lbs or more). These "special handling charges" can run you upwards of $300, and that's not even counting the cost of your mid-flight snack.
    Balanzza Luggage ScaleBalanzza Luggage Scale The Balanzza Digital Luggage Scale is an ingenious device that lets you easily check the weight of your bags before you even leave home. It's compact and strong enough to weigh up to 100 pounds of suitcase, so you can redistribute those too-heavy items ahead of time-much better than frantically digging through your stuff in front of a line of grumpy travelers.

    If your next trip is right around the corner, pick up a Balanzza scale now!

    Here are a

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