What's Hot, What's Not from Cooking.com

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Trends and classics in kitchenware gift-giving.

Last year's runaway hit, the chocolate fountain, is not the novelty it once was and the jury is out on this year's entry, the beverage fountain. Yogurt makers and egg cookers have also been bumped from top spots, the victims of fast-moving diet fads.

Still wondering what to send Tom & Katie? Pound for pound, you can't go wrong with cast iron. Not convinced? Maybe you're better off selecting a mango splitter for their next tropical getaway.

What's old is new again. Remember your mom's stodgy, black cast iron skillet? With bold new colors and designs, celebrity chefs are turning traditional cast iron cookware on its head. Fashionable, must-have pieces introduced by Rachael Ray, Mario Batali and Michael Chiarello are everywhere this season at affordable prices.

"Cast iron continues to rise in popularity, and this year celebrity chefs fueled the trend by putting their own stamp on kitchenware lines that include cookware, cutlery and tools," noted Kari Taylor, Director of Marketing for Cooking.com. Asked what the perfect gift from the new collections would be Taylor commented, "I'd go with any of Mario's pieces, but my personal favorite is the 6-qt essentials pot in persimmon."

"Holidays are traditionally family-oriented, and this season there are a number of items that families can enjoy together," said Alexandra Mack, Cooking.com's Director of Merchandising. "Items like the new Cuisinart Soft-Serve Ice Cream Maker, the Waring Professional Belgian Waffle Iron and the Whirley Pop Popcorn Popper make family time in the kitchen fun and functional." noted Mack.

Also hot this year are quirky kitchen tools including Kuhn Rikon's Corn Zipper, Oxo's Mango Splitter and the Simply Mash Potato Masher from Chef's Planet, all of which make easy work of tedious tasks.

Mack commented, "Last year's runaway hit, the chocolate fountain, is not the novelty it once was and the jury is out on this year's entry, the beverage fountain. Yogurt makers and egg cookers have also been bumped from top spots, the victims of fast-moving diet fads."

"Certain items top the list of our best sellers year after year. Everyday pans, santoku knives, hand blenders and bread machines have long-lasting appeal with customers," noted Mack.

"Not only are these items among the most popular products on the site, but they also receive the highest ratings and best reviews from customers who have purchased them, added Taylor." Unlike other shopping sites, Cooking.com only publishes reviews from customers who have purchased the product."

Top 10 Most Popular Items

1. Electric Griddle/Grill Combo by Cuisinart $129.95 (sku# 220499)

2. Professional Belgian Waffle Iron by Waring $79.95 (sku# 203041)

3. Sandwich Makers by DeLonghi (Panini from Retro Collection) $59.95 (sku# 203195)

4. Stand Mixers by KitchenAid (Professional 6 quart 600) $399.95 (sku# 309154)

5. Bread Machines by Zojirushi $199.95 (sku# 205876)

6. Everyday Pan w/glass Lid by Calphalon (Commerical Nonstick) $39.99 (sku#119296)

7. Food Processors by Cuisinart (14 cup Custom Brushed Stainless) $199.95 (sku# 188796)

8. Ice Cream Maker by Cuisinart (1.5 quart) $129.95 (sku# 624217)

9. Santoku Cutlery Set by Calphalon $29.95 (sku# 741145)

10. Hand Blenders by KitchenAid $89.95 (sku# 310302)

Other Products Featured in this Article:

Mario Batali Essentials Pot, $99.95 (sku# 512469)

Kuhn Rikon Corn Zipper, $11.95 (sku# 744428)

Whirley Pop Popcorn Popper, $21.99 (sku# 219862)

Simply Mash Potato Masher, $9.95 (sku# 400112)

This holiday season, Cooking.com is offering free shipping on orders of $79 or more through Thursday, December 14th. For more great gift ideas, visit Cooking.com at http://www.cooking.com.

In addition to these savings, Cooking.com has a "Rein In Our Rascally Reindeer" Contest. Prior to the 24 days of Christmas, one great prize each day is given out including big brand-name best sellers and products that have received 5-Star ratings from customers

Founded in 1998 and located in Santa Monica, CA, Cooking.com is a leading online kitchen and housewares destination with over 1.6 million hits per month. They have more than 45,000 products for cooking, dining and entertaining. Customers can shop for all major housewares brands including All-Clad, Calphalon, Cuisinart, Henckels, KitchenAid, Le Creuset, and Wusthof. Cooking.com is committed to providing customers with an exceptional shopping experience and is the recipient of the 2006 i.Merchant Gold award for overall excellence as an online retailer.

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John Gabaldon

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