Father's Day is just around the corner, and if the dads in your life find their happy place in the kitchen or behind the grill, these cookware items should hit the spot. Bonus: You might just get some tasty meals out of his gift as well.
1. FOOD PROCESSOR
Any dad who appreciates efficiency shouldn't cook without a food processor on hand. The 450-watt motor on this one has two settings and a manual pulse control, which will allow him to choose how he wants to chop up ingredients for any sort of recipe. Find it:Amazon, $30
2. PIZZA STONE
For the dad who would never do delivery, a pizza stone is an essential for home movie nights. This baking stone is three-quarters of an inch thick, perfect for even the thickest crusts, and is versatile enough to work in both ovens and outdoor grills. Find it:Amazon, $40
3. WIRELESS COOKING THERMOMETER
Since no dad wants to spend the entire party hanging out at the grill, this wireless cooking thermometer allows him to monitor temperatures from up to 300 feet away. It has dual probe capabilities as well, so he can monitor both the chicken and burgers while chatting away with the neighbors. Find it:Amazon, $61
4. SELF-WATERING HERB PLANTER
This planter will surely add some spice to your dinners. The planter’s self-watering qualities require little attention and it will only be an arm’s length away the next time he wants to grab some fresh basil or cilantro for dinner. Find it:Amazon, $67
5. PROPANE SMOKER
Your dad may already love barbecuing, but a high-quality smoker will take the experience up a notch. This smoker in particular has four racks of shelf space—plenty of room for full birds in addition to sides of potatoes or veggies. And the sleek design looks great in the corner of any deck or patio. Find it:Amazon, $154
6. FRENCH COFFEE PRESS
Any coffee connoisseur needs a French press in his arsenal. This press will hold a full liter of coffee or tea without him having to worry about finding grounds in his favorite brew. Find it:Amazon, $21
7. BREAD MAKER
A gift like this rises to the challenge of finding the perfect present for Father's Day. The machine can hold up to two pounds of bread and has 12 settings, including letting you know when to add mix-ins and kneading the dough itself. Plus, with a timer delay, dad can get everything set in the evening and wake up to freshly baked bread in the morning. Find it:Amazon, $60
8. CUPCAKE CORER
Help your dad’s sweet tooth by allowing him to add extra icing or jams to his cupcake creations: This corer works on both cupcakes and muffins, and it’s also dishwasher safe, so cleaning up will be a piece of cake! Find it:Amazon, $12
9. DARTH VADER WAFFLE MAKER
Let your dad indulge his geekiness early in the morning: This waffle iron has five temperature settings, which will ensure his waffles don't end up on … the "Dark Side." Find it:Amazon, $40
10. HIMALAYAN SALT PLATE
Give the gift of flavor! Salt plates like this one give a more mild and rich flavor to food than regular ground salt and can be used for cooking on a stove or grill, or as a presentation plate for chilled dishes. Find it:Amazon, $19
11. CAST IRON SKILLET
If your dad appreciates versatility and functionality in his cookware, a cast-iron skillet is a must-have. This one comes pre-seasoned with vegetable oil baked into the mold, so he will be able to sear, sauté, simmer, and cook to his heart’s content as soon as he opens the box. Find it:Amazon, $13
12. GRILLING TABLE
For the times he needs to grill on the go, get dad a collapsible grilling table. His mobile grill can sit on top of the cooking rack, and the built-in paper towel rack and trash bag holder will make cleanup easy and hassle-free. Find it:Amazon, $52
13. CHEF’S KNIFE
Give dad a gift that's truly sharp. This chef's knife is 8 inches of stainless steel and is essential for cleanly mincing, chopping, slicing, and dicing, and any other prepping he needs to do for dinner. Find it:Amazon, $129
14. DUTCH OVEN
Your dad will be able to conquer an endless number of recipes with a Dutch oven at his side. The cast-iron body and lid allow for evenly distributed slow-cooking, and the classic piece can work at home on the oven or stove, or at his next woodsy campfire. Find it:Amazon, $36
15. GUY FIERI LIFE-SIZE CUTOUT
For the dad who loves a good, greasy meal (and has a great sense of humor), find him a sous chef who understands the importance of adding some extra tang to that barbecue sauce. Who better than celeb chef Guy Fieri to help your dad take his food all the way to Flavortown? Find it:Amazon, $80
Rosacea, a skin condition characterized by redness and swelling, is incredibly common: A recent study found that an estimated 300 million people worldwide suffer from it. Here’s what you need to know about the condition.
1. IT HAS A LONG HISTORY.
According to the National Rosacea Society (NRS), rosacea was first described in the 14th century by a French surgeon named Dr. Guy de Chauliac; he called it goutterose (“pink drop” in French) or couperose and noted that it was characterized by “red lesions in the face, particularly on the nose and cheeks.”
2. SCIENTISTS AREN’T SURE WHAT CAUSES IT ...
But they have some theories. According to the NRS, “most experts believe it is a vascular disorder that seems to be related to flushing.” Scientists also think that because rosacea seems to run in families, it might be genetic. Other things—like mites that live on the skin, an intestinal bug called H pylori (common in those who have rosacea), and a reaction to a bacterium called bacillus oleronius—could also play a role in causing the condition. One 2015 study suggested an increased risk among smokers.
3. … BUT SOME PEOPLE ARE MORE LIKELY TO HAVE IT THAN OTHERS.
Though people of all ages and skin tones can get rosacea, fair skinned people between the ages of 30 and 50 with Celtic and Scandinavian ancestry and a family history of rosacea are more likely to develop the condition. Women are more likely to have rosacea than men, though their symptoms tend to be less severe than men’s. But men are more likely to suffer from a rare rosacea side effect known as rhinophyma, which causes the skin of the nose to thicken and become bulbous. It’s commonly—and mistakenly—associated with heavy drinking, but what exactly causes rhinophyma is unclear. According to the NRS, “The swelling that often follows a flushing reaction may, over time, lead to the growth of excess tissue (fibroplasia) around the nose as plasma proteins accumulate when the damaged lymphatic system fails to clear them. Leakage of a substance called blood coagulation factor XIII is also believed to be a potential cause of excess tissue.” Thankfully, those who have rhinophyma have options available for treatment, including surgery and laser therapy.
4. THERE ARE FOUR SUBTYPES.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), rosacea “often begins with a tendency to blush or flush more easily than other people.” All rosacea involves redness of some kind (typically on the nose, cheeks, chin, and forehead), but other symptoms allow the condition to be divided into four subtypes: Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea is characterized by persistent redness and sometimes visible blood vessels; Papulopustular rosacea involves swelling and “acne-like breakouts”; Phymatous rosacea is characterized by thick and bumpy skin; and Ocular rosacea involves red eyes (that sometimes burn and itch, or feel like they have sand in them [PDF]), swollen eyelids, and stye-like growths.
5. IT’S NOT THE SAME AS ACNE.
Though rosacea was once considered a form of acne—"acne rosacea" first appeared in medical literature in 1814—today doctors know it’s a different condition altogether. Though there are similarities (like acne, some forms of rosacea are characterized by small, pus-filled bumps) there are key differences: Acne involves blackheads, typically occurs in the teen years, and can appear all over the body; rosacea is a chronic condition that occurs mainly on the face and the chest and typically shows up later in life.
6. YOU CAN FIND IT IN CLASSIC ART AND LITERATURE.
Both Chaucer and Shakespeare likely made references to rosacea. Domenico Ghirlandaio’s 1490 painting An Old Man and His Grandson seems to depict rhinophyma, and some believe that Rembrandt’s 1659 self-portrait shows that the artist had rosacea and rhinophyma.
7. IT MAY BE TRIGGERED BY CERTAIN FOODS AND ACTIVITIES.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) [PDF], people report that everything from the weather to what you eat can cause rosacea to flare up: Heat, cold, sunlight, and wind, strenuous exercise, spicy food, alcohol consumption, menopause, stress, and use of steroids on the skin are all triggers.
8. THERE ARE A NUMBER OF MYTHS ABOUT ROSACEA.
No, it’s not caused by caffeine and coffee (flare ups, if they occur, are due to the heat of your coffee) or by heavy drinking (though alcohol does exacerbate the condition). Rosacea isn’t caused by poor hygiene, and it’s not contagious.
9. THERE ARE SOME PRETTY FAMOUS PEOPLE WITH ROSACEA.
The NRS reports that “nearly 90 percent of rosacea patients [surveyed by NRS] said this condition had lowered their self-confidence and self-esteem, and 41 percent reported it had caused them to avoid public contact or cancel social engagements.” Dr. Uwe Gieler, a professor of dermatology at the Justus-Liebig-University in Giessen, Germany, and one of the authors of the report Rosacea: Beyond the Visible, said in a press release that "People with rosacea are often judged on their appearance, which impacts them greatly in daily life. If their rosacea is severe, the symptoms are likely to be more significant also, from itching and burning to a permanently red central facial area. However, even people with less severe rosacea report a significant impact on quality of life."
Which makes it all the more unfortunate that there’s not a cure for the condition. Thankfully, though, there are treatments available.
There are no tests that will diagnose rosacea; that’s up to your doctor, who will examine your medical history and go over your symptoms. Doctors advise that those with rosacea pay attention to what triggers flare-ups, which will help them figure out how to treat the condition. Antibiotics might be prescribed; laser therapy might be used. Anyone with rosacea should always wear sunscreen [PDF] and treat their skin very, very gently—don't scrub or exfoliate it. The AAD recommends moisturizing daily and avoiding products that contain things like urea, alcohol, and glycolic and lactic acids.
If you’re an American fan of The Great British Bake Off you probably know it better as The Great British Baking Show (though its most devoted fans simply call it GBBO, which saves a lot of time). While its ninth season just kicked off on England’s Channel 4, American audiences are only now just getting caught up on season eight via Netflix. And with new hosts Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig taking over for Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins, plus Prue Leith taking over for Mary Berry as host, the latest incarnation of the show looks a lot different.
A bona fide global sensation, the baking competition has the power to cause otherwise rational human beings to immediately run to their nearest supermarket in search of obscure ingredients like psyllium or Amarula cream liqueur. It’s a charming, retro, warming hug of a TV show. But how much do you know about what goes on behind the scenes? Without destroying any of your illusions, here are some secrets about how the producers whip up one of the world's most beloved cooking shows.
1. THE REASON WHY IT HAS TWO DIFFERENT NAMES IS SIMPLE.
If you’ve ever wondered why the series is called The Great British Bake Off in England and The Great British Baking Show in America, the answer is simple: Pillsbury. The Pillsbury Bake Off, which kicked off in 1949, is probably America’s most famous baking contest. And the company didn’t want there to be any confusion among viewers, hence The Great British Baking Show.
2. THE OVENS ALL HAVE TO BE TESTED EVERY DAY.
It’s difficult enough to make a cake that Paul Hollywood won’t declare either under- or over-baked without having to worry about whether your oven is working properly. So for every day of filming, every oven has to be tested. And because this is a baking show, they’re tested with cakes. Yes, every day every oven has a Victoria sponge cake cooked in it, to make sure everything’s working exactly as it should be.
3. EVERY TIME SOMEONE OPENS AN OVEN DOOR, THERE'S A CAMERA WATCHING THEM.
To make sure they catch all the drama, GBBO producers insist that every time a bake is put into or taken out of an oven, the moment must be caught on camera. So whenever a baker wants to put their goodies into an oven, or check if they’re ready to come out, they need to grab someone to make sure the moment gets captured on film. (Which must be a hassle for the first couple of weeks, when there are more than 10 bakers all trying their best to produce a perfect bake at once.)
4. THE CONTESTANTS HAVE TO WEAR THE SAME CLOTHES ALL WEEKEND.
It’s a minor thing, but have you ever noticed that the bakers wear the same clothes for an entire episode, even though it’s shot over two days? For continuity purposes, the contestants are asked to wear the same outfits for the entire weekend. If you’re the kind of baker who ends up with flour all over your shirt whenever you bake up a loaf of bread, the second day of filming could be a bit of a nightmare.
"Luckily they change the aprons so we don't look like a Jackson Pollock painting by the end of it," 2013 champion Frances Quinn toldCosmopolitan. "I think layers [is the answer], but even then you still have to wear what you had on, on top. Difficult."
5. THE CONTESTANTS DON’T HAVE A LOT OF DOWNTIME.
Having any time to spare is not something that season seven contestant Jane Beedle remembers happening regularly for the contestants. "Maybe once or twice, and when they did we would just sit and have a cup of tea and chat with the people around us,” she told the Mirror. "They don't like it if you have nothing to do, so they try and make the challenges as difficult as possible to keep you busy."
6. THE TEMPERATURE IN THE TENT CAN MAKE OR BREAK A BAKE.
Forget setting the oven to the correct temperature—the temperature inside the tent is just as important to a bake. "It's completely alien to your own kitchen at home,” Quinn toldCosmopolitan. “The temperature fluctuates—you'd be making a meringue and it would start raining, or we'd try and make pastry and it would be 27 degrees outside. The technical challenges and lack of time and lack of fridge and work space are the enemy on that show."
7. THE ILLUSTRATIONS ARE CREATED BY TOM HOVEY, AFTER THE EPISODE HAS FILMED.
You know those fun illustrations of the confections that pop up when each baker explains what they’re going to make that day? Those are all drawn by illustrator Tom Hovey. He was working as a video editor on the first season of GBBO when the producers realized they needed an extra visual element—so he offered his illustration skills. And while we see the illustrations on screen before the bakers attempt to make them a reality, Hovey told the BBC he draws them “a pack of photos of the finished bakes from the set after each episode has been filmed … I sketch out all the bakes quickly in pencil to get the details, form and shape I am after. I then work these up by hand drawing them all in ink, then they’re scanned and colored digitally, and then I add the titles and ingredient arrows. It's a fairly well streamlined process now.”
Even if a bake goes horribly wrong, Hovey said his “illustrations are a representation of what the bakers hope to create. Even if the bakers don't produce what they’ve intended to I have a degree of artistic license to make them look good.”
8. THE CONTESTANTS DON’T INTERACT WITH THE JUDGES VERY MUCH.
“They very much tried to keep it unbiased,” Quinn said about how the bakers don’t spend much time interacting with the judges. “We saw a lot more of Mel and Sue. Mary and Paul would purely come in to do what we called the royal tour—where they'd come in and find out what you were making, and then they'd come back in for judging. You're not in the same hotel having sleepovers! You form more of a relationship after the show when you see them at things like BBC Good Food or whatever—but they need to keep their distance [on the show]. They're there as judges."
9. MAKING SURE THAT THE TECHNICAL CHALLENGE IS ACTUALLY POSSIBLE IS ONE PERSON'S JOB.
Another vital behind-the-scenes role is that of the food researcher. It’s down to them to make sure that the elaborate concoction the judges have decided the bakers have to whip up is actually possible, given the ingredients, instructions, and time the bakers will be allowed.
The tent presents its own challenges, too, because it could be hot or cold, depending on the weather, and it tends to have quite a wobbly floor, which can make delicate decorating work trickier than it might otherwise seem. “The tent is just mocked up, so the floor is really bumpy and bouncy because you’d got so many camera guys running around,” Quinn told the Irish Examiner.
10. THE SHOW GOT INTO SOME TROUBLE FOR ITS PARTNERSHIP WITH SMEG.
Part of GBBO’s homey charm has to do with the setup of the tent where the bakers do their cooking, and few appliances spell “retro” as well as a colorful Smeg refrigerator. A viewer fed up with what they described as “blatant product promotion” wrote to the Radio Times to complain, and an investigation was launched into the series’ agreement with Smeg. As BBC guidelines state that a series may "not accept free or reduced cost products" in return for "on-air or online credits, links or off-air marketing,” the broadcaster ended up having to write the company a check for all the times their product got some screen time.
11. THERE ARE NEVER ANY LEFTOVERS.
The judges only take a mouthful of every bake, which seems to leave an awful lot of leftover pastries, cakes, and ridiculously complicated bread sculptures. But don’t worry—none of it goes to waste. “The crew eats all the leftovers," Beedle toldThe Mirror. "We get some brought to us in the green room so we can taste each other's bakes, but it's only slithers."
12. HUNDREDS OF SEASON FIVE VIEWERS WROTE IN TO COMPLAIN ABOUT “SABOTAGE.”
Midway through season five, contestant Iain Watters had a bit of an issue with his Baked Alaska. Realizing that his ice cream had not yet set, he threw the entire dish into the trash rather than serve the judges a subpar dessert and was sent home as a result. Footage from the episode made is seem as if fellow contestant Diana Beard had removed his ice cream from the freezer. Beard left the show at just about the same time due to health issues, but some viewers (811, to be exact) smelled sabotage—and wrote in to the show’s producers to complain. Media watchdog group Ofcom looked into the matter, but said that they had assessed viewers’ complaints and “they do not raise issues warranting further investigation under Ofcom’s rules.”
Paul Hollywood took to Twitter to clear up what became known as “bingate,” tweeting: “Ice cream being left out of fridge last night for 40 seconds did not destroy Iain’s chances in the bake off, what did was his decision BIN.”
13. MARY BERRY WATCHED BREAKING BAD BACKSTAGE.
Although it looks pretty nonstop on screen, there’s quite a bit of downtime during the show’s filming days. Especially for the show’s judges and hosts. Former judge Mary Berry had one unique way of passing the time: binge-watching Breaking Bad. “It’s shocking,” Berry toldThe Telegraph. “Then you get into it and you think: ‘Have I seen episode four or five?’ You get hooked. It’s better than motor racing, which [my husband] Paul watches—though I’d prefer Downton Abbey.” She’d apparently rope former hosts Mel and Sue into watching it with her on occasion. What better way to relax during a long day of baking than by watching Walter White, umm, baking?
14. THE APPLICATION FORM IS NO JOKE.
Fancy your chances in the Bake Off tent? If you’ve been inspired by the show and reckon you could nab a couple of Star Baker titles, brace yourself: The application form is a whopping eight pages long, and it’s full of probing questions. As well as giving details of your hobbies, lifestyle, and level of experience with various types of baked goods, it also asks applicants to describe their baking style, and answer a couple of existential-sounding questions.
"It's a long application form. I think it's designed to put some people off, essentially," fourth season contestant Beca Lyne-Pirkis said. "It asks you about everything you have done, good and bad. It's designed to get information about your character, stories, mishaps and successes."
Still fancy applying? Though submissions are not open at the moment, you can keep your eyes open for when the next batch of contestants are being accepted here.
15. THE AUDITION PROCESS IS EVEN MORE GRUELING.
If you happen to make it through the application process, the audition process is even more difficult. “Every person who makes it into the marquee has passed a rigorous series of tests,” GBBO creator and executive producer Anna Beattie toldThe Telegraph. In addition to the application form, The Telegraph reported that there is “a 45-minute telephone call with a researcher, bringing two bakes to an audition in London, a screen test and an interview with a producer. If they get through that, there is a second audition baking two recipes … in front of the cameras, and an interview with the show psychologist to make sure they can cope with being filmed for up to 16 hours a day.”