A List of Temptations for Spring Shoppers

Times Staff Writer

Doing some spring cleaning? The kitchen, often crowded or cluttered, is a good place to start. And if you're thinking of updating your kitchen collection, now's the time to make room by rolling out those old goods that are collecting dust on the shelves.

Meanwhile, you could be thinking of exciting replacements from our spring shopping list:

Are you getting tired of the looks of your old buffet servers, or just getting tired of having to clean and polish them? Something new for your party table is the Chantal Chafing Dish set ($150), the latest addition to Lentrade's attractive collection of buffet serving ware.

They're Dishwasher-Safe

What's great about the whole series--which includes fondue sets, buffet server, glass stand and tea server--is the easy care. Engineered by Chantal president Heida Thurlow, who says she creates "for people who demand elegance without the fuss," every dishwasher-safe-piece is designed to eliminate the time usually wasted polishing and cleaning serving dishes.

The new Chantal Chafing Dish is made of 18/10 stainless steel but soon will also be available in enamel on steel in Chantal's cobalt blue, almond, red, black and white.

Included in the set are a 3-quart baking pan that goes from oven to table, a domed glass cover with stay-cool knob and a water pan that fits securely onto a stainless steel base. The paste burner in the base accommodates Chantal's own burner paste cartridge (a cartridge is included with the set) or other solid heating fuel, such as Sterno canned fuel. What's advantageous about the burner paste is that it is nontoxic, virtually odor-free and burns longer and hotter than standard American fuels.

Some Things for Bakers

To complement the chafing dish, a 3-quart Chantal Flambe pan insert ($70) is available as a separate item. Made of stainless steel with a heavy aluminum alloy-clad bottom, the insert also is a full-function stove-top skillet. In addition it features a long, heat-resistant handle.

If you're constantly replacing your cookie sheets, baking pans and other bakeware because they warp, don't bake evenly or are just plain worn out, rusty and therefore uninspirational, try investing in some CushionAire Insulated Bakeware from Rema. Made of two sheets of high quality aluminum with an insulating cushion of air, the baking pan prevents burnt cookies. Although we have found that some baked goods need a few extra minutes baking time to brown, baking is even and the pans always look clean and smooth and do not warp. Furthermore, cookware shop owners favor the insulated goods because of repeat orders and good consumer feedback.

Our recent test of the new Rema pans resulted in even baking from edge to edge. Tested were the Insulated Brownie Pan ($14.95 and $18.95 with cover) and the 13x9-inch Insulated Baking Pan ($15.95 and $19.95 with cover). Wonderful for potlucks and picnics, these covered pans have a see-through plastic cover that fits tightly.

For a wedding or shower gift, Rema also offers a five-piece set ($48.95) that includes an insulated baking sheet, a 13x9-inch insulated cake pan with cover, and a Perfect Crust Pizza Pan that's perforated with 900 holes to prevent soggy crusts and comes with a convenient red serving tray.

Cooking for one or two? Living in a dorm . . . or traveling? The 32-ounce-size Handi-Pan Electric Skillet from Toastmaster ($29.95) may suit your needs and limited space. Contemporary looking, the unit consists of a square, non-stick black skillet with thermostat and removable handle. For convenient steaming and slow cooking, it also has a cover with light gray finish and black knob.

Our last item may be the solution if you're considering a new blender but countertop or shelf storage poses a problem. The Storable Drink Blender ($34.95) from Sunbeam Appliance Co. stores in half the space of a conventional blender. It is equipped with a full-size, 34-ounce capacity jar that can be turned upside down to store on the blender's white base. Easy to use, the sleek-looking 175-watt blender unit features a six-sided stainless steel blade and a two-speed selection plus pulse control.

The Chantal Chafing Dish and buffet serveware collection are available at Buffum's, Bullock's, Robinson's and Williams-Sonoma.

The Rema CushionAire Insulated Bakeware is available at Gelson's, Broadway, Bullock's and May Co.

The Handi-Pan Electric Skillet are available at Long's Drugs. The Sunbeam Storable Drink Blender is available at Adray's.

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