Upgrade Your Kitchen With These 25 Gadgets

iStock
iStock

The way to anyone’s heart is through their stomach … but sometimes, you’ve got to step your presentation up to really make a lasting impression. Whether you’re entertaining new friends or breaking bread with family, these tools will have your guests talking all night long.

1. PASTA MEASURING TOOL; $15

Pasta Measurer Tool
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: Your eyes don’t have to be bigger than your stomach anymore. This handy pasta measuring tool is a fit for those with an itty-bitty appetite, or your pals hungry enough to eat a horse.

Find It: Amazon

2. SPICE RACK WITH GLASS SPICE TUBE SET; $27

Why You'll Want It: Muggles, rejoice! This 10-tube spice rack, meant to be filled with the seasonings of your choice, looks like it came straight from a shop on Diagon Alley.

Find It: Amazon

3. CIRCULAR ROLLING KNIFE; $12

Why You'll Want It: Those Friday night pizza parties just got a very special plus one. This wheel blade doesn’t just slice into your favorite pie—it also cuts cakes, veggies, and meats with ease.

Find It: Amazon

4. FRITTATA AND OMELETTE PAN; $28

Why You'll Want It: Have a hunch for brunch? Try preparing your eggs in Nordic Ware’s nonstick pan, built with a hinge that makes your breakfast dishes easier to flip.

Find It: Amazon

5. HERB SAVOR; $30

herb saver
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: Lookin’ fresh. Extend the life of your basil, rosemary, thyme, and other garden go-to’s by placing them in the device’s pod and sealing them tightly, and they’ll last up to three weeks.

Find It: Amazon

6. INSTANT POT DUO MINI; $70

Instant Pot
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: Talk about an all-in one. Instant Pot is only 8 pounds, but does a host of tasks: It’s a pressure cooker, a rice cooker, a slow cooker, a steamer, a yogurt maker, a warmer, and it even sautés.

Find It: Amazon

7. MONKEY PEELER; $13

Amazon

Why You'll Want It: This bright orange peeler is a perfect fit for all of the party animals out there. So perfect, in fact, that your little ones will actually want to help with the kitchen prep.

Find It: Amazon

8. ELECTRIC FOAM MAKER; $15

Electric foam maker
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: For less than the price of two Venti dirty chais, you can make your own froth with the help of this handheld electronic device. Just pour your milk, whisk, and sip.

Find It: Amazon

9. SPIRALIZER; $28

Vegetable spiralizer
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: Quitting pasta cold turkey is a tough feat for most, but making your zoodles doesn’t have to be. This spiralizer has three blades to slice your fruits and veggies thin enough to trick yourself.

Find It: Amazon

10. PASTA MACHINE; $93

pasta maker
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: Everyone needs a cheat day (or two). Create your own spaghetti, fettucini, and lasagna noodles at home—and transport yourself to the Old Country without leaving your kitchen.

Find It: Amazon

11. BAMBOO CUTTING BOARD

Amazon

Why You'll Want It: You’ll geek out over this periodic table cutting board, which fuses the elements and your ingredients. It can also double as a serving board for game nights or dinner parties.

Find It: Amazon

12. EGG COOKER PAN; $36

Egg cooking pan
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: Over easy does it. Your kitchen burners will breathe easier, as this three-cup pan allows you to make eggs, and pancakes at the same time.

Find It: Amazon

13. BURGER PRESS; $25

Burger press
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: Prepare for your friends to rave about all of the homemade dinners you’ll get out of this press. It doesn’t just shape burgers—you can also use it for pasta, rice, and other side dishes as well.

Find It: Amazon

14. BREAKFAST SANDWICH MAKER; $24

breakfast sandwich maker
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: Go ahead and empty your Uber Eats cart. With one machine, you can warm your bread, prepare a sunny-side-up egg, and heat the breakfast meat of your choice for a sandwich that’d make Ronald McDonald green with envy.

Find It: Amazon

15. MANDOLINE SLICER; $19

Mandoline Slicer
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: One appliance, endless possibilities: This slicer chops cucumbers, grates cheese, spiralizes veggies, and dices ingredients.

Find It: Amazon

16. STAND MIXER; $280

Kitchenaid stand mixer
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: Whip your baked goods into shape with the help of this holy grail appliance. The 10-speed KitchenAid, equipped with four attachments, is what your baker’s favorite baker uses to bring life to their batters.

Find It: Amazon

17. DACHSHUND DOG-SHAPED ICE CUBE TRAY; $20 AND UP

Ice cube tray
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: Impress guests with these adorably-shaped cubes. Some buyers have even used the trays as molds to make soap.

Find It: Amazon

18. TORTILLA PRESS; $34

tortilla maker
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: Taco Tuesdays will never be the same. After making your masa, simply press down to create your own tortillas and taco shell rounds—as well as roti, dumplings, and even plantains.

Find It: Amazon

19. RAVIOLI MAKER; $14

ravioli maker
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: Let the carb loading commence. This gadget is a perfect mold for pasta as well as dumplings, stuffed cookies, and mini pies.

Find It: Amazon

20. TEMPERATURE CONTROL CERAMIC MUG; $160

temperature controlled mug
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: In this cup (that comes with a charging saucer!), morning coffee, afternoon tea, or after-dinner espresso stays at your desired temperature until the last drop.

Find It: Amazon

21. PRE-SEASONED SKILLET; $11

pre-seasoned skillet
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: Spend less time soaking and more time tasting during dinner. Vegetable oil is actually baked into this pan, ensuring that all of your recipes slide right on out.

Find It: Amazon

22. FOOD PROCESSOR; $35

Amazon food processor
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: Let’s not mince words: Any chef (professional or not) needs this tool in their kitchen. From chopping fresh fruits and veggies to blending smoothies, this Ninja topseller saves you half of the effort with full results.

Find It: Amazon

23. INDOOR GRILL; $59

Amazon

Why You'll Want It: Even though it’s freezing in most parts of the country, that doesn’t mean that you should sacrifice your cookouts. Bring the barbecue inside with an electric grill that delivers A+ sear marks—no charcoal required.

Find It: Amazon

24. EGG COOKER; $22

Smart egg cooker
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: It doesn’t matter if you like your eggs hard-boiled, soft-boiled, poached, scrambled, or in omelette form, the Dash Rapid has you covered.

Find It: Amazon

25. ECHO SHOW; $230

Amazon's Echo Show
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: Buyer’s remorse, begone. Aside from making hands-free calls and blasting your favorite tunes, Echo (which is the visual component of Alexa, with a video screen) helps you see your shopping lists.

Find It: Amazon

These Atlases Map Out the Unique Histories of New York City, New Orleans, and San Francisco

University of California Press / Amazon
University of California Press / Amazon

When thinking of a map, your mind most likely pictures a seemingly unruly network of colorful lines showing roads and city limits. But what if a map could go beyond geography and show just what makes a particular place so unique? For over 10 years, author Rebecca Solnit has compiled three unique atlases of New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans, with each one giving readers a look at these distinct cities that goes far beyond tourist attractions and subway lines. Now, for the first time, you can buy all three atlases in a set at Barnes & Noble ($68) or Amazon ($51).

In Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas, Solnit, along with artists, writers, and cartographers, created 22 colored maps of the city, with each one focusing on a different aspect of its character. For example, the "Poison/Palate" map displays the dichotomy between the artisan food shops and restaurants that exist alongside the toxic mines and chemical factories found in the Bay Area. The "Green Women" map, on the other hand, celebrates the women of the city that have fought for the environment. You can find the first of the series on Amazon for $21.

The second in the series is Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas, written by Solnit and co-authored by Rebecca Snedeker, a native to New Orleans and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker (Witness: Katrina). Alongside 22 maps, this atlas features more than 20 essays written by musicians, prison activists, and many other local experts. Readers can see the aftermath of the BP spill in the “Oil and Water” map, while “A City in Time” allows viewers to see how New Orleans has been settled over a period of 300 years. Find this edition for $21 on Amazon.

Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas is the last in the series, and you can find it on Amazon for $22. Written by Solnit and Joshua Jelly-Schapiro, a geographer and writer, this edition has 26 maps, highlighted by “City of Women.” At first glance, it looks like a typical subway map, but when you look closer, you’ll see the stop names have been replaced by those of women who have impacted the city in some way, including Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and Dorothy Parker. If you buy the set, you'll receive an updated fold-out poster of this popular map, which includes more recent names like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Alongside the many women that have shaped the Big Apple, readers can see a mapped-out version of the different languages spoken throughout Queens and much more.

The set also includes two other color fold-out posters of New Orleans and San Francisco and an essay by Solnit reflecting on this project.

Once you're done looking through these unique maps, check out some of the most important ones in history.

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Wrap Yourself in the Sweet Smell of Bacon (or Coffee or Pine) With These Scented T-Shirts

adogslifephoto/iStock via Getty Images
adogslifephoto/iStock via Getty Images

At one point or another, you’ve probably used perfume, cologne, body spray, or another product meant to make you smell like a flower, food, or something else. But what if you could cut out the middleman and just purchase scented clothing?

Candy Couture California’s (CCC) answer to that is “You can!” The lifestyle brand offers a collection of graphic T-shirts featuring scents like bacon, coffee, pine tree, strawberry, and motor oil. If you have more traditional olfactory predilections, there are several options for you, too, including rose, lavender, and lemongrass. There’s even a signature Candy Couture California scent, which is an intoxicating blend of coconut, strawberry, and vanilla.

candy couture california bacon shirt
Candy Couture California

According to the website, CCC founder Sara Kissing came up with the idea in 2011 while working in the e-commerce fashion industry, and her personal experience with aromatherapy led her to investigate developing clothing that harnessed some of those same benefits. The T-shirts are created with scent-infused gel, which “gives off a delicate, mild smell—just enough to boost your mood.”

So you don’t have to worry about your bacon shirt making the whole office smell like a breakfast sandwich, but you yourself will definitely be able to enjoy its subtle, meaty aroma whenever you wear it. The shirts are also designed to match their scents—the chocolate shirt, for example, features chocolatey baked goods, while the coffee shirt displays steaming mugs of coffee.

candy couture california chocolate shirt
Candy Couture California

The fragrances don’t last forever, but they’ll stay strong through 15 to 20 washes before they start to fade. CCC recommends using unscented detergent so as not to conflict with the shirt’s aroma, and you can further prolong its life if you’re willing to wash it by hand.

Prices start at $79, and you can shop the full collection here.

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