Home and Housewares Show 2014

From March 15th through the 18th, McCormick Place in Chicago was crawling with kitchen-gadget gurus and geeks. It was the annual International Home and Housewares Show, and Cooking Club was on the scene, checking out the newest pizza ovens, grill mats and espresso machines.

Below are five of our most memorable finds on the show floor.

Riedel is known for its impeccably designed glassware for wine. If you've got a nice bottle of Chablis, you ought to taste it out of a Riedel wine glass. Each glass's shape is meticulously designed to accentuate the bouquet and flavor of specific types of wines. Their latest glass design isn't about wine—it's about soda! Riedel is releasing a glass that's designed for drinking Coca-Cola. Pour the soda into the glass and take a whiff. That's ginger, vanilla and orange zest you're smelling! And you'd swear you were hearing angels sing the familiar jingle, "I'd like to buy the world a Coke." Sipping this iconic soda from this glassware is a paramount experience for Coke lovers.

Batting at a piñata in the backyard is one of those magical birthday activities. That is, until the blindfolded batter accidentally whacks something (or someone) that's not made of paper mache. Now, Nordic Ware has an edible alternative to paper-mache craziness. It's the piñata cake! Using their cake molds, you can create a cake with a hollow center where, in true piñata tradition, you stuff candy. The best part is cutting open the cake.

Portion control was the hot-button topic on the show floor. How can we remember what's a single serving of anything anymore? Talisman Design's answer to that question is a funky gadget that attaches to your box of pasta. The attachment works as a seal for the box, and the circular opening allows only a single-serving portion to pour out of the box. The good news: You won't eat too much pasta for dinner! The bad news: You don't get as much pasta for dinner! Don't stress; your waistline will thank you.

Ah, Le Creuset. You're so fancy with your French name and your glorious colored enamelware. So high-end and so expensive, yet so worth it. A pot roast made inside a Le Creuset pot will be legendary. It will be the pot roast to launch a thousand ships. It will be the pot roast to earn you a raise, the pot roast to woo the prince. You get the gist. Anyway, every now and then, Le Creuset releases a new color for its line of pretty pots. This year, the color is palm. Cool, serene and calming green. I want a whole set.

It's always a good idea to have edible googly eyes at the ready. You never know when you're going to have a cupcake, donut or pie begging to see and be seen. Wilton knows this and is always coming out with playful baking accessories for creative bakers. We love these bloodshot eyes for Halloween. Imagine having a zombie-themed bash this October and serving a pile of wild-eyed cupcakes to your guests. Scary-cute.

Let us know what you think of these products (and other sweet kitchen gear) by visiting the forums. Click here.

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