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Gadgets: Decorating Pen by Cuisipro

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[Photograph: Cuisipro]

It's hard to find the right way to say "I love you" on the year's sappiest holiday, but what if you could say it with Sriracha? Steak sauce? How about some good ol' marshmallow fluff? With the aid of my new Cuisipro Decorating Pen ($9.99 at Amazon.com), I've started to find ways to make completely un-dainty foods entirely romantic.

The decorating pen is admittedly meant to accent cutesy cupcakes and spell out "Happy Birthday" in chocolate sauce, which is all fine and nice, except that I'd like my decorating tools to do a whole lot more than that. It functions like a syringe, but rather than pushing from the top down to get liquids out, you simply squeeze the barrel, making it easy to control your motions and get smooth results. It's nice for entertaining, should you want to add a little pizzazz to your plating—say a stripe or two of a reduced sauce to make your homemade meal feel a little more fancy-shmancy.

Conveniently for my needs, the pen has two tips: one for thick and one for thin sauces. Obviously you get better definition with the thin tip, but not many sauces fit through it, and you don't want runny sauces either, since they won't stay in place on your plate. Thankfully, the thick tip works just fine, even for writing.

Sucking up liquids with the syringe is usually pretty straightforward, and is certainly easier than pouring stuff in, but there are two issues that I found here. If you're sucking sauce out of a bottle and the bottle's already half empty, the pen simply won't be long enough to fit its way in. And if there's not a good inch and a half of sauce to draw from, the syringe just doesn't work very well.

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But getting back to Valentine's Day: I couldn't think of a better way to tell my beau how much he means to me than by spelling it out with barbecue sauce. And declaring it to the world? Uh-oh; your gadgets columnist has just given in to the holiday sap. Feel free to follow suit—I certainly won't judge!

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