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10 Kitchen Items We're Obsessing Over This Month

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1. This no-hull popcorn that won't get stuck in your teeth.

My boyfriend and I make popcorn literally every night as a "healthy snack." We used to buy microwave bags, but stopped because we weren't sure about all the artificial butter. So as an alternative, we started cooking it on the stovetop. I saw these red popcorn kernels at the farmers market and was curious because the packaging said they basically have no hull (that scratchy part of the popcorn that gets stuck in your teeth), and now I'm hooked. It's so easy to make, too: Just add some olive oil to a pot, throw in a handful of seeds, move the pot around when they start to pop and then top it off with some of Trader Joe's garlic salt! —JJ JueGet it from Amazon for $13.66.
JJ Jue / BuzzFeed

My boyfriend and I make popcorn literally every night as a "healthy snack." We used to buy microwave bags, but stopped because we weren't sure about all the artificial butter. So as an alternative, we started cooking it on the stovetop.

I saw these red popcorn kernels at the farmers market and was curious because the packaging said they basically have no hull (that scratchy part of the popcorn that gets stuck in your teeth), and now I'm hooked. It's so easy to make, too: Just add some olive oil to a pot, throw in a handful of seeds, move the pot around when they start to pop and then top it off with some of Trader Joe's garlic salt! —JJ Jue

Get it from Amazon for $13.66.

2. A multiuse food scraper that also functions as a bread cutter, leveler, and spatula.

Ciera Velarde / BuzzFeed

A food scraper might seem like an unnecessary kitchen gadget, but it has changed the way I cook in my tiny NYC kitchen. I'm always chopping lots of veggies, and I use the food scraper to easily pick up all the food off of the cutting board and put in whatever pot or pan I'm actually cooking in. It makes meal prep so much easier and cuts down on prep time because you're not using your hands to scoop up much smaller amounts food at a time. Plus, I always feel like a professional chef when I use it, so it definitely gets you in the cooking mood.

This food scraper can also be used to easily cut bread dough for rolls, as a really wide spatula for easily scraping the sides of big mixing bowls, or for picking up a few cookies at a time off of a sheet pan.

And since it has inches marked on the side of it — I repurposed it as a ruler to make sure my dough is rolled out to the correct thickness. This scraper has seemingly endless uses in the kitchen, and any home chef or baker would benefit greatly from using this inexpensive, durable tool! —Ciera Velarde

Get it at Sur La Table for $10.

3. A cookbook that'll teach you how to bake artisanal bread so crispy, moist, and delicious you could basically sell it.

instagram.com

Last year I went through a phase of making bad bread — like, really bad. I didn't know what I was doing and just started baking up random bread recipes I found online. They would come out flat, dense, deformed. I never seemed to get the technique right.

Fast forward to just a few months ago when my coworker started to bring in stunning loaves of bread every week. They were perfectly chewy, deeply browned, and exactly what I wanted my bread to look like. I asked her how she learned to bake bread, and she pointed me toward this book.

Flour Water Salt Yeast is not really a cookbook, and it's not necessarily not a cookbook. The first 80 or so pages walk you through every step of the bread-baking process, from what kind of tub you should proof the dough in (he actually gives the exact SKU number) to what temperature the dough should be. After only spending 20 minutes or so reading the book, I realized exactly what went wrong in all my previous attempts (which was basically everything).

If you want a book that not only gives you recipes, but teaches you how to make bread, check out this book. —Jesse Szewczyk

Get a hardcover version from Amazon for $27.70.

4. This creamy AF cashew butter that goes perfectly with every fruit in existence, and is Whole30 compliant.

I'm a huge fan of nut butters. I'm such a big fan, in fact, that I've had the same breakfast (oatmeal with a spoon of peanut butter) every morning for the last two years. But this month I decided to try out Whole30, which meant I couldn't have any peanuts and had to get my nut butter fix some other way.Enter this beautiful spread. I'm generally not a fan of fancy, all-natural nut butters because I find them bland, but I instantly loved this one because it was super creamy (none of that oily all-natural stuff you have to stir for like, five minutes before you eat it) and ever-so-slightly sweet. It just has two ingredients — dry roasted cashews and sunflower oil — but thanks to cashews, a flavorful nut, I found this butter tasty on its own or as a perfect complement to fruit. My favorite way of enjoying it is by slicing up a banana, microwaving it for 10 seconds (I know it's weird but TRY IT), sprinkling it with salt (again, I KNOW!), and drizzling some cashew butter on it. I'll never give up peanut butter, but I'll definitely be adding this to my spreadables rotation. 😍 —Michelle NoGet it from Amazon for $12.
Michelle No / BuzzFeed

I'm a huge fan of nut butters. I'm such a big fan, in fact, that I've had the same breakfast (oatmeal with a spoon of peanut butter) every morning for the last two years. But this month I decided to try out Whole30, which meant I couldn't have any peanuts and had to get my nut butter fix some other way.

Enter this beautiful spread. I'm generally not a fan of fancy, all-natural nut butters because I find them bland, but I instantly loved this one because it was super creamy (none of that oily all-natural stuff you have to stir for like, five minutes before you eat it) and ever-so-slightly sweet. It just has two ingredients — dry roasted cashews and sunflower oil — but thanks to cashews, a flavorful nut, I found this butter tasty on its own or as a perfect complement to fruit.

My favorite way of enjoying it is by slicing up a banana, microwaving it for 10 seconds (I know it's weird but TRY IT), sprinkling it with salt (again, I KNOW!), and drizzling some cashew butter on it. I'll never give up peanut butter, but I'll definitely be adding this to my spreadables rotation. 😍 —Michelle No

Get it from Amazon for $12.

5. An Italian moka pot that does the job of a coffee shop espresso machine.

When I got into the rhythm of cold-brewing coffee in a French press every night before bed, I thought I was set for life. But then I lost the habit, until I found a thrift store moka pot for five dollars. They had always looked outdated (using a stove for coffee?) from a distance, but it turned out to be insanely simple to use. This little piece of metal puts out the quality of a really expensive pump espresso machine and makes something that's hot (but easily iced), rich, smooth, and powerful. I haven't skipped a day since I bought it. —Max BrawerGet it from Amazon for $26.36.
Max Brawer / BuzzFeed

When I got into the rhythm of cold-brewing coffee in a French press every night before bed, I thought I was set for life. But then I lost the habit, until I found a thrift store moka pot for five dollars. They had always looked outdated (using a stove for coffee?) from a distance, but it turned out to be insanely simple to use. This little piece of metal puts out the quality of a really expensive pump espresso machine and makes something that's hot (but easily iced), rich, smooth, and powerful. I haven't skipped a day since I bought it. —Max Brawer

Get it from Amazon for $26.36.

6. This Instagram filter app that is the reason why everyone's food photos look better than yours.

Marie Telling / BuzzFeed

I'm one of those people you probably hate on Instagram. I only post pictures of food, I document pretty much every single one of my meals in my Instagram stories, and I think about my captions for waayyyy too long before posting (and tbh, they're never even that good). But that also means there is one thing I'm pretty good at, and that's making my photos of food look good and appetizing.

The first thing you need to know is that you should, whenever it's possible, use daylight for your pictures (it costs me to admit this, but I've carried my plate to the nearest window to get better light several times). But when the light is shit or when you still want to give your photos an extra *something*, the VSCO app is your best friend.

In the free version of the app, you can edit the light, exposure, contrast, white balance...You also have access to a limited selection of filters (honestly these are enough for me). I've been using this instead of Instagram's editing tools because VSCO allows you more precision and you can better correct issues of white balance with this app. Anyway, now you know the secret. Go forth and become everybody's worst Instagram nightmare! —Marie Telling

Get it free for iOS.

7. A heavy-duty baking pan that you can bake or cook off without parchment paper or foil.

I've been using this baking pan for 11 or 12 years now — ever since I was a teen making batches of chocolate chip cookies — and I still don't like to bake cookies on anything else. I swear that cookies bake more evenly and consistently on it than any other pan, the cookie bottoms NEVER burn (unless you *really* over cook them, then yeah, burning might happen), and it's always easy to get the cookies off once they're done with their first short cool. It doesn't have a nonstick coating, but rather builds up ~seasoning~ as you cook over time, much like a cast-iron skillet. That seasoning lets you skip the layer of parchment paper, so you use less of that. Also like a cast-iron, you don't clean it with dish soap: It comes with a little plastic scraper, and you simply run the pan under hot water and scrape off all the excess crumbs. I even use it to roast chopped veggies, or make a veggies-and-chicken sheet pan dinner. One small warning: If you don't spread the food evenly over the sheet per the directions (i.e., try to do what I did and roast two halves of a big spaghetti squash right in the center of the pan) the temperature difference between the cooler part of the pan (under the squash) and the rest of the pan as it heats up in the oven will make the pan crack in half! But that wasn't a deal breaker for me, and I definitely got another one — I have other pans that'll happily roast my spaghetti squash, like the cast-iron skillet — but I need the bar pan for cookies! —Natalie BrownGet it from Pampered Chef for $37.
Natalie Brown / BuzzFeed

I've been using this baking pan for 11 or 12 years now — ever since I was a teen making batches of chocolate chip cookies — and I still don't like to bake cookies on anything else. I swear that cookies bake more evenly and consistently on it than any other pan, the cookie bottoms NEVER burn (unless you *really* over cook them, then yeah, burning might happen), and it's always easy to get the cookies off once they're done with their first short cool. It doesn't have a nonstick coating, but rather builds up ~seasoning~ as you cook over time, much like a cast-iron skillet. That seasoning lets you skip the layer of parchment paper, so you use less of that. Also like a cast-iron, you don't clean it with dish soap: It comes with a little plastic scraper, and you simply run the pan under hot water and scrape off all the excess crumbs.

I even use it to roast chopped veggies, or make a veggies-and-chicken sheet pan dinner. One small warning: If you don't spread the food evenly over the sheet per the directions (i.e., try to do what I did and roast two halves of a big spaghetti squash right in the center of the pan) the temperature difference between the cooler part of the pan (under the squash) and the rest of the pan as it heats up in the oven will make the pan crack in half! But that wasn't a deal breaker for me, and I definitely got another one — I have other pans that'll happily roast my spaghetti squash, like the cast-iron skillet — but I need the bar pan for cookies!Natalie Brown

Get it from Pampered Chef for $37.

8. A set of knife guards that'll keep your fancy (or cheap!) knives as sharp as the day you bought 'em.

I admit, when I cook at home I don't always take care of my knives the way I should. I shove them in crowded drawers, don't always dry them properly, and (~cringes~) rarely hone them (I KNOW, I KNOW). But one thing that has honestly saved my precious knives from my laziness are these beautiful knife guards. They are made of sturdy plastic with a felt interior that slides right over the blade of your knives preventing them from banging into each other. I bought a set of six so I could cover all of my knives, and I truly think they are going to make them last twice as long. They prevent scratches, dents, and chipping and make you look like a ~legit~ chef. —Jesse SzewczykGet a set of 6 from Amazon for $17.86.
Jesse Szweczyk / BuzzFeed

I admit, when I cook at home I don't always take care of my knives the way I should. I shove them in crowded drawers, don't always dry them properly, and (~cringes~) rarely hone them (I KNOW, I KNOW). But one thing that has honestly saved my precious knives from my laziness are these beautiful knife guards. They are made of sturdy plastic with a felt interior that slides right over the blade of your knives preventing them from banging into each other. I bought a set of six so I could cover all of my knives, and I truly think they are going to make them last twice as long. They prevent scratches, dents, and chipping and make you look like a ~legit~ chef.Jesse Szewczyk

Get a set of 6 from Amazon for $17.86.

9. A mini mandolin that'll let you slice uniform, thin slices of cucumbers, carrots, and other vegetables.

JJ Jue / BuzzFeed

I don't really like having a lot of kitchen gadgets (tiny NY apartment) but sometimes I'm craving sunomono and it really does come out better when you can get thin, uniform slices. I slice up a few of those mini cucumbers, add some sesame oil and rice wine vinegar, and have the perfect healthy side dish done in minutes. —JJ Jue

Get it from Amazon for $12.99.

10. A biography cookbook that'll teach you how to cook Audrey Hepburn's favorite recipes (in her own handwriting!)

I had an Audrey Hepburn phase in high school. I would watch her movies, read everything about her, and try (and mostly fail) to imitate her famous style. Those years are long gone, but I still have a fondness for the star. So when a friend told me about Audrey at Home, I immediately ordered it on Amazon. The book, written by her son, Luca Dotti, is a mix of anecdotes about Audrey, her family pictures, personal recipes, and handwritten notes. It's a lovely and heartfelt window into the private life of an exceptional woman. It's also a great opportunity to learn more about Audrey's love for food and cooking. With each recipe, you get a story about what that dish meant to her, when she would cook it, or why she loved it so much. Nothing is crazy complicated and you can definitely tell these are beloved family recipes that have been made time and time again. My most recent fave is her recipe for pasta alla puttanesca (Audrey spent a lot of her life in Italy and the recipes in her book reflect that), an easy but very flavorful and satisfying weeknight dinner that I'll definitely make again. —Marie TellingGet it from Amazon for $18.17.
amazon.com

I had an Audrey Hepburn phase in high school. I would watch her movies, read everything about her, and try (and mostly fail) to imitate her famous style. Those years are long gone, but I still have a fondness for the star. So when a friend told me about Audrey at Home, I immediately ordered it on Amazon.

The book, written by her son, Luca Dotti, is a mix of anecdotes about Audrey, her family pictures, personal recipes, and handwritten notes. It's a lovely and heartfelt window into the private life of an exceptional woman.

It's also a great opportunity to learn more about Audrey's love for food and cooking. With each recipe, you get a story about what that dish meant to her, when she would cook it, or why she loved it so much. Nothing is crazy complicated and you can definitely tell these are beloved family recipes that have been made time and time again.

My most recent fave is her recipe for pasta alla puttanesca (Audrey spent a lot of her life in Italy and the recipes in her book reflect that), an easy but very flavorful and satisfying weeknight dinner that I'll definitely make again. —Marie Telling

Get it from Amazon for $18.17.

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