For most of my adult life, I’ve generally enjoyed cooking — particularly recipes that a) yield tons of leftovers, and b) don’t require too much active work or hovering over the stove. I
leaned into these go-to dishes — slow-cooker split pea soup, shrimp scampi nestled over orzo, turkey chili with beans — when the pandemic first hit last year, but in the hopes of breaking up the monotony (one can eat only so much soup) I also decided to embark on some more Serious Cooking Projects. I tried my hand at a red wine beef stew that braised in the oven for hours, and on one particularly ambitious afternoon, my family’s Sunday gravy recipe. (I did manage to avoid hopping on the sourdough bandwagon.)
My Serious Cooking Projects, unfortunately, lacked many of the proper kitchen accessories to match those ambitions — a fun fact not realized until I found myself finely (oh so finely) mincing carrots, celery, and onion for a Bolognese sauce without the aid of a food processor, and learning that maybe dish towels aren’t the best makeshift potholders. It was time, at age 33, to finally give my little studio kitchen the glow-up it so deserved — and to my surprise and delight, I unearthed plenty of accessories that happened to be useful, cute,
and affordable. Here, my favorite finds under $50. 1 The Bright Dish Towels
These kitchen towels evoke Insta-worthy sunsets and have ultra-soft and fluffy fringe trim, to boot.
2 The Sleek Canisters
Tupperware, whomst? These canisters are made from a bamboo blend and feature a beechwood lid with silicone to keep food extra fresh.
3 The Whimsical Stovetop Item
A spoon rest can feel like a “Do I
really need that?” kind of item. And the answer, unless you relish scrubbing off drippings that dry and crust onto your stove, is a resounding yes. 4 The Chic Apron
The bright print from this Finnish brand is definitive proof that wearing an apron doesn’t have to mean looking like you’ve stepped out of a 1950s cooking magazine.
5 The Minimalist Serving Bowls
Throw guac and chips in these when you have friends over, or use them for side dishes during a sit-down meal — the world is your oyster. You can also nest them inside each other, meaning they won’t eat up precious cabinet space.
6 The Elegant Cheese Board
For the indecisive entertainer wavering between a wood or marble cheese board, this one lets you have both.
7 The Grown-Up Corkscrew
Yes, $40 might feel pricey for a corkscrew, but you’ve probably already spent that — and then some — on cheapo versions that have a knack for breaking the second time you use them. The rose gold finish adds an elevated touch.
8 The Moody Coasters
Glam up your next cocktail hour with these navy constellation coasters, which inevitably will spark discussions about astrology,
Mercury retrograde, and your guests’ Saturn return. 9 The Summery Napkins
Cloth napkins send the subtle message, “You have entered a grown-up apartment.” They’re the mark of someone refined, someone mature, someone who’s Got It Together. This cotton and linen blend will transport you to the tropics even in the dead of winter.
10 The Trendy Cookbook
This new-ish release from
Pepper Teigen (aka Chrissy’s mom) includes many of the former restaurateur’s favorite Thai recipes, plus a few twists on American classics. Mediocre takeout will become a thing of the past.