Lobster luxury - from the microwave

It was not without serious skepticism that the Inquirer's Food department put a plastic-wrapped, deep-frozen lobster tail in the microwave, especially considering the price - about $30 for two. Even if it was endorsed and developed by blast-from-the-past Alison Barshak, the former Striped Bass celeb chef. Three minutes later, though, after slicing open the pouch and letting that tail baste in a froth of hot seasoned butter, we were in for a surprise. The meat was shockingly moist and sweet - not rubbery and fishy like most frozen tails. It's pricey for a relatively small portion (two 4 oz. lobster tails) But for those who need their lobster fix at any cost for the holidays, this new product is hard to beat for consistent quality and convenience.

- Craig LaBan

Absolutely Lobster, $29.99 (classic), $34.99 (truffle butter), Di Bruno Bros., 1730 Chestnut St., 215-665-9220.

If I had a hammer . . .

This clever tool works for opening a bottle of wine, opening a bottle of beer, breaking up ice, or even hanging a small picture in a pinch. A fun housewarming gift for a new apartment dweller, or someone who has each of these three things, but can never find them when they're needed. In antique brass or silver finish.

Corkscrew hammer, $29, order online at www.markandgraham.com.

- Maureen Fitzgerald