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Peek behind the curtain.
This post is part of our ‘Monthly Obsessions’ series, where we ask our writers and editors what products they’ve added to their kitchen that they now can’t imagine living without.
The kitchen is my happy place. It’s where I go to nurture my creativity, and myself, with savory meals and sweet bites. And, one of my favorite parts of my job as a Commerce Writer is testing out new products in the space.
This is especially true when they make an impact, whether they become a part of my morning ritual, or they end up as a weeknight dinner staple. This month, out of all the things I bought or tested, for myself and for work, a few products stood out the most. Keep reading to learn about about my new favorite coffee maker, or my new favorite cutting board for easy prep. Who knows? They might just be your favorites, too.
Fishwife Smoked Rainbow Trout Trio
To buy: $30 at eatfishwife.com
I truly never thought I’d be a tinned fish person. But, in all honesty, it was the packaging that got me. Fishwife’s mission is to make the tastiest tinned fish, with an environmentally conscious lens. I placed my first order over two years ago, and have since tried virtually all of the brand’s launches. Even after constant sampling, I’ve found myself replenishing my stash of the smoked rainbow trout, which I did earlier this month. It’s sustainably sourced, and prepared with the right level of smoke and salt, all with a bit of sweetness to balance it out. The texture is rich, and I like the size of the trout pieces, too. This is the tin you turn to for everything, whether it’s for a fancy toast, a quick pasta, or even a really good trout dip. Also, I totally wouldn’t judge you if you just ate it out of the can, because I do it too. I’m so glad Fishwife is here to stay.
Our Place Always Pan 2.0
To buy: $150 at fromourplace.com
Our Place relaunched the internet-famous multi-functional pan that put them on the map. It does everything, hence the name. Plus, it looks beautiful on my stovetop even when it’s not in use. I was lucky enough to receive it from the brand to test, and I truly appreciate the improvements. The pan is now made with recycled materials, which makes it even more appealing to me. They revamped the nonstick material to last even longer, plus it’s oven-safe now as well. I used the old pan often, nearly a few times a week. This one has still made its way into my weeknight routine just as often, and I can’t wait to make even more dishes in it for years to come.
Balmuda The Brew
To buy: $699 at williams-sonoma.com
This coffee machine is a steep investment, but it has become a special part of my morning ritual ever since the brand sent me one to test. I’m a huge proponent of drip and pour-over style coffee. It’s simple, there’s no fuss, and when done well, arguably more enjoyable than an espresso (yes, I said it).
This machine strikes a very interesting balance between the two methods. It’s essentially an automatic pour-over machine. But unlike a drip machine, it’s very methodical in the way it operates, taking care of the coffee you’re using to give you the best cup with no guesswork. There are multiple different settings from regular, to strong, to iced in multiple sizes. The water gets filled into a small tank in the back, then funneled out over the grounds. The coffee goes right into the carafe to keep warm for when I’m ready to take my first sip. It’s slim and sleek, and it’s the perfect machine for me.
Material The (grippy) reBoard
To buy: $40 at materialkitchen.com
Another brand new product launch I received to test was this new and improved reBoard from Material. It’s nothing crazy, but that’s why I love it. It’s a thin, flat board made with 75% recycled plastic and 25% renewable sugarcane with perfectly sized silicone grips at each edge. It doesn’t slide around when I use it, and I love that I can just flip it over to double its lifespan, since the other side is exactly the same, with no bottom grips or stands. Another perk is that I often use a cutting board to chop sweet and savory things, so dedicating one side to chopping aromatics is great, just in case the smell lingers. The good news about this product being plastic, it’s that it’s much less likely to absorb those smells, plus it’s a little easier to clean and maintain.
Heirloom Coffee Roasters Coopertiva Sacacli Coffee
To buy: $19 at heirloomcoffeeroasters.com
I’m a bit more environmentally conscious these days, and this coffee is just one more impactful notch in the belt for me. Heirloom Coffee is producing coffee from the first ever Regenerative Organic Certified coffee cooperative that’s commercially available: Cooperativa Sacacli in Jinotega, Nicaragua. In order to achieve this brand new certification, it means that the farm has to follow very specific practices that renew and rejuvenate both soil health and the environment’s ecosystem as a whole.
It’s a new certification from the Regenerative Organic Alliance, and, similar to organic labeling, it must fulfill strict guidelines to achieve it. Regardless of the certification, this brand makes tasty coffee, and the Coopertiva Sacacli is no exception. It’s super bold and nutty, with a hit of depth from cocoa and a brightness of a floral backnote. It’s a great blend to start the day. I love some of the others too, like the Paycal Honey Lot, which they’d sent over to try.
Kilne 6-Piece Knife Set
To buy: $240 at kilne.com
Knives were always a finicky thing for me. I often thought: Well, as long as they do the trick, that’s good enough, right? I was wrong. I’ve used a dull knife with the wrong balance far too many times, and it often resulted in a surprise knick or full blown cut. I was pushed over the edge years ago when I literally couldn’t cut through a tomato with a serrated knife because it was so old.
I have always wanted a simple set that looks nice, feels good in my hands, and cuts well. Then I tested the Kilne set. I’ve been using it for over six months, and I love it so much that I ended up buying a set for my sister. It’s sleek and slim, and takes up no space on the counter. There’s a great balance of knives too, since you get a paring knife, chef’s knife, santoku knife, a serrated bread knife, shears, and a sharpening steel. Plus, the German steel has lived up to my daily cooking over the past six months. I’m finally seeing an influx of fresh produce for spring, and I’ve never been more grateful for the set as I have been this month.
Love is a Pink Cake: Irresistible Bakes for Morning, Noon, and Night
To buy: $32 at amazon.com
Recently, I’ve started to collect more cookbooks. I think they’re a huge source of inspiration, in addition to being a life-long resource. Claire Ptak came out with her second book this month, and the theme really spoke to me. She’s the famous baker behind Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s lemon and elderflower wedding cake. That’s one reason many know her, but I’m mostly just inspired by the way she dreams up desserts.
This cookbook is all about her philosophy, since it strikes the perfect blend between seasonality, creativity, and just pure tastyness. It’s split up between two locations: California, where she’s from, and London, where she lives now. Each section is divided between morning, noon, and night, with bakes in each chapter to fit the time of day. I’ve started simple with her Whole Wheat American Biscuits recipe from the California Mornings section. They were so good, slathered with a bit of butter and strawberry jam. I can’t wait to see what other memorable bites I bake up from the book in the future.
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