Cork Board

Handsome insurance for your best baked dishes

Moment of truth: It defeats the purpose of having quality–and gorgeous–cookware when you bring it to the table and set it down on a neon pot holder that your sister made in summer camp two decades ago.

That said, it's still necessary to protect surfaces from intense heat. So what to do?

The answer has come in the form of a new line of casserole dishes and baking vessels ($25 to $40). Each one is equipped with a formfitting layer of cork, eliminating the need for displaying mismatched trivets and singed pot holders.

The line currently offers rectangular, square and oval dishes, ideal for everything from lasagna to mussels. Simply use each dish according to recipe directions. Then nest the finished product in its cork lining (which also protects the handles for easy transportation) and carry it straight to the table for serving.

Best of all, the cork carriers were fine fits for our cookware as well, so now all of our dishes are centerpiece-worthy.