If your mom is a foodie, we’ve got you covered.
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In case you haven’t been bombarded enough with TV commercials and radio ads, Mother’s Day is coming up (FYI, it’s on May 13th this year). If you’re stumped on what to get your mom (or the person who’s like a mom to you), we get it. There’s a lot of information out there, and it can be totally overwhelming—especially when it comes to finding something in a decent price range!
To help you out, we’ve scoured all of the major online sales for the very best kitchen finds any home-cooking mom would love.
Eating healthy should still be delicious.
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From stand mixers to coffee makers to gorgeous cookware, we’ve got you covered. Just be prepared: After giving her one of these gifts, your mom might finally admit you’re her favorite child (don’t say we didn’t warn you or your siblings!).
Photo: Courtesy of Nespresso
If your mom is a coffee lover, we have *breaking* news: All Nespresso machines are up to 40% off at Williams-Sonoma right now. Plus, when you purchase one, you get $20 in coffee credit (so go ahead and buy mom some fancy coffee, too). We love the Nespresso Vertuo Coffee & Espresso Maker because your mom can switch it up—one day she can brew American coffee, and the next she can make an Italian espresso. Buy it here for just $130 (originally $200).
Sur La Table
Sur La Table is currently running specials on some seriously big-ticket items, so if you really want to spoil mom this year pick up that KitchenAid stand mixer she’s been eyeing. They’re deeply discounted—the 5-quart Artisan model is valued at $460, but it’s on sale right now for $304. We love that it comes in dozens of colors—from pink to pistachio—to match your mom’s kitchen. Buy it here.
Is your mom a smoothie lover? Vitamix blenders are also on super sale, and you can save up to $150 if you shop now. The E310 Explorian Blender is currently discounted from $450 to $300. Buy it here.
Staub Heritage 3-quart braisers are almost HALF OFF right now (seriously, they were $457, and now they’re only $256—that’s a 43% discount!). This is an item your mom will use for years to come. Buy it here.
Want something a little less pricey, but that mom will still love? Sur La Table is still running their spring sale, with items in all price ranges. Our favorite mom’s day pick? This adorable floral embroidered apron (which, let’s be honest, is way cuter than the same, ragged apron she’s probably been rocking for the last decade).
Bed Bath & Beyond
Courtesy of Crate & Barrel
KitchenAid stand mixers are also on deep discount at Bed, Bath & Beyond. We like this deal *a little* bit better than Sur La Table’s because, like theirs, these are only $300—plus, you get that extra 20% off coupon when you sign up for their mailing list. Cha ching! Mom will never know you got such a bargain. Pick one up here.
Bed, Bath & Beyond also has a super sweet gift for the sentimental mom or grandma in your life: A personalized cookie jar! Customize with up to 21 names (we love the idea of using family members’ monikers) for a gift she’ll never forget. Buy it here for $33.
If your mom loves to entertain, you need to check out Anthro’s sale section—right now it’s full of cute finds, like this Nature Table Platter. We love the fun zebra and cheetah pattern, but we love the price even more (was $58, now it’s just $40).
If your mom is less “take a walk on the wild side” and more “I want to cozy up with a book,” there are plenty of gifts for her, too. This marbled blue teapot is exquisite, and it’s almost half off its original price (was $108, now $70).
Crate and Barrel
Weekend waffles have never been easier to make. We love the deep pockets in this waffle maker—they ensure perfectly fluffy, but still crispy, waffles, every time. Krups 4-Slice Belgian Waffle Maker is on sale from $84 to $60. Bonus points if you make mom waffles in the waffle maker for Mother’s Day. Buy it here.
Another mom-approved item we love? These gorgeous Aqua Dip Kitchen Canisters—they’ll keep mom’s kitchen organized, and look absolutely stunning displayed on her countertop. You can choose what sizes you’d like to buy—their sale prices range from $14-$18 each.
West Elm is currently running a sale for up to 25% off certain items in their Mother’s Day collection. We especially love this adorable marble and copper cheese board. It’s chic enough to serve charcuterie at parties, yet simple enough to break out for family night. Buy it here—it’s currently on sale for $40.
The 10 Best Gas Grills to Buy in 2021, According to 100+ Hours of Research
Get your propane ready, &lsquocause it&rsquos grilling season!
Although we love the flavor that charcoal grilling provides, the convenience, precision, and speed of gas grills simply can&rsquot be beat. They're perfect for firing up in any season.
Even if you don&rsquot have a porch or backyard, the size of your outdoor space shouldn&rsquot prevent you from getting a gas grill. In this guide, we&rsquove included a portable grill and an apartment-friendly pick that&rsquoll work on a small balcony. And if you&rsquore creating an outdoor kitchen, we&rsquove featured a built-in model and a handful of mammoth-sized grills that&rsquoll make even a Food Network star jealous.
We sifted through hundreds of gas grills to help you find the best ones for your budget and your backyard. Read on to learn about what factors you need to consider when purchasing a grill and to see how we chose our top grills.
The Best Gas Grills
- Best Overall:Weber Spirit II E-310 Gas Grill
- Best Budget Grill:Dyna-Glo DGB495SDP-D Gas Grill
- Best Large Grill:Weber Genesis II E-310 Gas Grill
- Best for Grill Masters:Napoleon Prestige PRO 825 Gas Grill
- A Reasonably Priced Large Grill:Weber Summit S-670 LP Gas Grill
- Best Flattop Grill:Blackstone 1554 Flat Top Gas Grill
- Best Portable Grill:NOMADIQ Portable Propane Gas Grill
- Best for Apartments:Char-Broil Performance 300 Gas Grill
- Best Features:Nexgrill Deluxe 720-0896E Gas Grill
- Best Built-in Grill:Napoleon Built-in Prestige 500 RB
What to Consider
When purchasing a new grill for your backyard, the first thing you need to decide on is what type of gas grill you want: a natural gas grill or a propane gas grill. If you have a natural gas line in your home, it&rsquod probably make more sense to opt for a natural gas grill so you don&rsquot have to worry about purchasing and exchanging propane tanks. The biggest plus of a propane gas grill is that it&rsquos more mobile, since natural gas grills typically connect to your home&rsquos gas line by a short hose.
Next, you&rsquoll want to decide on a built-in or freestanding grill. Freestanding gas grills are much more common and is probably what you picture when you think of a grill. They&rsquore typically placed on a movable cart that has space for your propane tank and grilling accessories. Built-in grills, on the other hand, have a more premium-looking aesthetic and are a better choice for an outdoor kitchen. They&rsquoll also add significant value to your home.
How We Chose
When selecting our top picks, we made sure to include grills of multiple shapes and sizes to account for your space and how many mouths you need to feed. In order to find the best gas grills, we did hundreds of hours of research to narrow down the list. We sifted through consumer and editorial reviews at sites like AmazingRibs.com, and relied on the expertise of our Test team and sister-site Good Housekeeping who have been testing grills for years. Besides factoring in price and features of the grills to determine our top picks, we also took into account the following:
- How easy (or hard) they are to assemble
- How durable they are
- How quickly the grill heats up
- How evenly they hold temperature
- The grill&rsquos searing ability
- How easy they are to maintain
Our advice: get a grill with at least three burners. Two-burner grills feel a bit more cramped, but may be needed for apartment dwellers, so we still have a two-burner pick for you. Also, if you plan on cooking sides on your grill, you&rsquoll want a model that has a side burner. Bottom line, we have a grill here for you whether you&rsquore a novice or a grill master. Read on to learn more about our top gas grills.
What makes a good paper towel?
Paper towels are made up of ground-up plant material called cellulose, which can include wood, cotton, and other plants. The molecules of cellulose are actually sugar &ndash but not like the sugar we eat &ndash which attracts water molecules. Therefore, paper towels are great at picking up liquid spills. Fun fact: a paper towel's design is actually made of small crevices that help the paper towel have a better grip.
Keep in mind when shopping that each brand has a different number of sheets per roll, and that the size of a full sheet differs brand by brand, so comparing price can be tricky. While smaller sheet sizes can make it easier to use less, you are getting less product for the price. No matter the mess, these paper towels are ready. Shop the best paper towels you can buy:
The Criteria: What We Look for in a Great Coffee Grinder
To understand the importance of a good coffee grinder, you need to have a basic understanding of what happens when coffee is made. Generally speaking, when we brew coffee, our goal is to extract a sufficient amount of desirable soluble molecules from the beans while leaving the undesirable ones behind.
If we don't extract enough of what we want from a bean, the resulting coffee will taste "underextracted." Underextracted coffee is not necessarily weak coffee rather it's coffee in which an insufficient amount of the desirable soluble molecules have been pulled out of the beans and dissolved into the water. If you brew a high ratio of coffee beans in water, but underextract them, you could end up with coffee that is both strong and underextracted, a seemingly contradictory concept. Underextracted coffees tend to taste more sour—and not in a good way.
Overextracted coffees, on the other hand, have pulled too much from the beans, including unpleasant things we don't want in the cup. Those coffees often taste harsh and bitter. And just like the seemingly antithetical possibility of a strong underextracted coffee, you can have a weak overextracted coffee, say by brewing a small amount of coffee relative to the water for too long.
It should go without saying that you can also have weak underextracted coffees, strong overextracted ones, and everything in between.
A grinder plays a pivotal role in coffee extraction because it determines the grind size of the coffee. Grind size can affect extraction in two ways. The first is perhaps the most obvious one: Finely ground coffee has far more surface area than coarsely ground coffee, and that increased surface area makes what's in the beans more immediately accessible to the hot water, speeding up the rate of extraction.
The second thing the grind size determines is the flow rate for certain methods of coffee brewing, such as pour-over, which, in turn, affects extraction levels. The smaller the coffee particles, the more slowly water can seep down through them the larger the coffee, the faster. If you imagine two pipes, one of which is packed with sand and one that's packed with marbles, and you poured water through each, the water would pass much more quickly through the marbles than the sand, given all the empty space around them. With coffee, the water traveling more slowly through the finer grounds has more time to extract coffee molecules, while the water racing through a coarsely ground coffee will have less time.
Exactly how coarse or fine to grind coffee depends on a complex set of factors, including the batch size, the brewing method, and the coffee beans themselves. It's a moving target, and therefore takes some practice to begin to understand how to use grind size to improve your coffee.
As you are probably starting to see, given the ways in which grind size can determine surface area and flow rate, and thus extraction, a grinder that offers a wide range of grind sizes and produces a uniformly sized result at each grind setting is desirable. The idea is that if a grinder produces coffee grounds that have too much variance in size for any given grind setting, results become increasingly difficult to control. A setting that's meant to produce a medium grind, for example, but instead gives that medium grind littered with fine powder and strewn with too-big chunks may under- or overextract, or both. At least, that's the theory.
Exactly how uniform coffee grounds need to be is open for debate, and it's something professionals in the coffee industry continue to explore. If we can say one thing with certainty, it's that we want a grinder that helps us produce a cup of coffee that we consider enjoyable and delicious. As Nick Cho of Wrecking Ball Coffee pointed out in a conversation I had with him a few years ago, the challenge is finding agreement about what that means.
Cho told me he'd done a taste test some years before our conversation, and that even the coffee professionals were all over the place in terms of their preferences. "No one has to learn to like strawberries," Cho said at the time. "Whereas with coffee or beer, the things that contain bitterness, it’s an acquired taste—so what kind of taste you acquire is everything."
Before diving into my review of coffee grinders, I decided to explore this question a little more deeply.
Alice Flynn celebrated a birthday on Friday. I won’t say which one, but it is not a milestone year. Next year will be a milestone year. (Hint: rhymes with Brady). Maybe we will throw a big party. Stay tuned.
My mother with her brother Jack. She was a cute kid. No wonder why her five older brothers and sisters doted on her.
Growing up, my mother’s mother (Nana Kelly) would mark the occasion of her birthday by making a hot water sponge cake. This year, I decided to honor the tradition with an old recipe shared by my cousin Sharon, who is a pretty amazing family historian.
As I have mentioned before, I like to cook but my skills are limited. My mother and I joke that more than three ingredients puts a recipe into the “complicated” category for me. I also like to bake, but I tend to bake brownies and banana bread by following the directions on a box. I think it’s still baking if you have to add eggs. My daughter Elizabeth says that is not really baking if it’s not from scratch. Technicalities. She’s such a stickler.
This sponge cake recipe, though, did require baking from scratch. I also had to take a late-night trip to Target to buy a new bundt cake pan and a flour sifter. (Didn’t I get these as bridal shower presents? Where did they go?)
I woke up early Saturday morning to bake the cake in time for my sister Kathleen to bring to my mother on Cape Cod. (We celebrated her birthday the week before and took my mother to see Hidden Figures, which is inspiring, if you haven’t seen it yet.) Around 6:30 am, I discovered my can of baking powder had expired. I found another one hidden in the cabinet, which was also expired, back in 2014. Then a third can (I kid you not) also expired. As I said, I don’t bake in the traditional sense that much.
All expired. Tip: Clean out your pantries people.
A quick trip to our neighborhood supermarket that opens at 7 am and the first crisis was averted. I also had to separate the egg whites from the yolks, four times, which is a queasy undertaking for me so early in the morning. But whipping egg whites into stiff peaks is great fun. I want to do that again. Meringue recipes anyone?
The beaters are a yard-sale find thanks to Alice Flynn. My fancy new sifter. Who knows what next adventure we will take together?
The cake took one hour to bake. I warned my husband and daughter not to make any loud banging noises and cause the cake to collapse. I am not sure if that really happens, or is more of something I saw watching Lucille Ball or Mary Tyler Moore, but the concern justified my decision to sit and drink coffee instead of unload the dishwasher as I waited for the timer to go off.
As soon as the masterpiece came out of the oven, I jumped into the car to drive to my sister’s house a half hour away. It smelled delicious. Later that afternoon my mother, father and sister all confirmed it tasted delicious too. I told them it wouldn’t hurt my feelings and I could handle the truth if it was really otherwise. But they insisted.
Before they took a slice, my mother sprinkled the cake with confectioners sugar and placed it upon a blue glass pedestal serving plate to improve the presentation. Have I mentioned that she makes everything look better?
Just like she did as a little girl, my mother celebrated her birthday in church by having her throat blessed by a priest in honor of the Feast of Saint Blaise, and then enjoyed the sponge cake that her mother used to make. It was a nice re-creation of a memory for my mother, and the making of a special new one for her daughter.
Here’s a video directed by Kathleen Kelley of my mother blowing out her candles. My favorite part is watching my father struggle with the lighter and hearing my mother suggesting, subtly, under her breath that “Matches work.”
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 3/4 cups sugar
- 3 1/2 cups milk
- 1 cup vegetable oil or 1/2 cup vegetable oil and 1/2 cup applesauce
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
- 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 package (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding
- 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
To prepare starter: Place 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk in a 1-gallon resealable plastic bag. Seal bag and knead mixture until well combined. Let stand at room temperature overnight.
For the next 4 days, continue kneading mixture once a day keep at room temperature. On the sixth day add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk to bag. Seal and knead to combine let stand at room temperature overnight.
For the next 3 days, knead mixture twice a day. On the 10th day, transfer mixture to a large bowl. Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk mix until well combined. Measure 1 cup of the mixture into each of 3 resealable plastic bags. Seal plastic bags and give each bag of starter mixture to a friend to make their own friendship bread.
To make bread: Preheat oven to 330 degrees. Add oil to bowl with remaining starter mixture along with eggs, remaining 1/2 cup milk, and vanilla extract. Stir until well combined set aside.
In another large bowl, mix together remaining 2 cups flour, 1 cup of sugar, baking powder, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, salt, baking soda, pudding, and nuts, if desired. Add dry ingredients to starter mixture and stir until well combined. Divide batter evenly between two 8-by-4-by-2 1/2-inch loaf pans.
In a small bowl, mix together remaining 3/4 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon sprinkle evenly over batter. Transfer to oven and bake for 1 hour. Let cool 15 minutes before removing from the pan.
We Would Cover and Label The Bread
We would then cover the bread tightly with Saran wrap, and place a sticky label on the top telling what kind of bread it was𠅌hocolate Chip, Pecan, or Walnut. Also, we typed on the label this bread is perishable! Keep refrigerated or freeze until you are ready to eat it. It cannot be left out on the kitchen counter! It will spoil quickly! We included our phone number so people could call and order more of the bread. We sold it on a money-back guarantee, and no one ever asked for their money back.
2-in-1 Snack Mug + Gourmet Grilled Cheese Recipe
A cozy cup for your favorite snack duos! Perfect for the go-to lunch combo. The white bowl with raised dotted pattern can hold your favorite soup and sandwich and more. Order your 2-in-1 Snack Mug online today for just $9.99 — These also make a great gift!
• Has a larger component (square shaped) and a smaller component (rectangle shaped).
• Approximately 5 1/4″ W x 6 1/2″ L (including handle) x 3 3/4″ H x 3″ base.
• Small cavity: about 270ml/9.1oz / Large cavity: about 560ml/18.9oz.
• Dishwasher safe.
December 24, 2011
A vintage reading of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas
In a season whirling with traditions, one that has long stood out for me as a particularly treasured favourite is the memory of my mother, her voice as sweet as a celestial angel, reading A Visit from St. Nicholas to my siblings and I each year when were were growing up.
Once the pale December sun had set and a night that would see little (if any) slumber for us youngsters had taken up residency in the frosty world outside, my mom would open the thick book of Christmas carols that adorned our glass topped coffee table, gather us to her side, and proceed to bring to life each of the words in Clement Clarke Moore's perpetual holiday classic.
Penned nearly two hundred years (1823 to be exact), A Visit from St. Nicholas, often known 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, is as endearing a symbol of the holiday season as snowflakes, candy canes, or elegant Christmas trees.
While some of the groundwork for our modern day Santa Claus was certainly in place long before Moore penned his beautiful holiday piece, it is from this festive poem that the world largely developed the character of Santa that is most familiar to those of us in many parts of the world today - that of a jolly, busy elderly gentleman soaring through the air with his team of enchanted reindeer to deliver gifts to sleeping children everywhere.
And it was that, that enthralling picture painted out in words, of St. Nick's impending visit that helped to make my mother's reading so incredibly special for me, fueling as it did, my wide-eyed childhood excitement of the seemingly magical night that would transpire before dawn broke on December 25th.
Even long after I realized the truth about Santa, I continued to adore my mother's traditional reading with the same joy and excitement, for now it encompassed both fond memories of the past and the jubilance of Christmas morning, no matter who had placed the packages beneath the tree.
Though I do not have children of my own to carrying on this sweet, deeply special tradition with yet, that does not stop me from making a one man audience out of my husband each Christmas Eve, hefty carol book in hand, as I recite A Visit from St. Nicholas aloud for both of us to enjoy.
Should you be in the mood today to hear a reading of this beautiful classic yourself, take a page from the vintage Christmas book and spend a few minutes listening to Perry Como's wonderful rendition of this marvelous early 19th century holiday poem.
If you're like me, you'll find it impossible to soak up the joyful words of this Christmas masterpiece and not be transported back to your youth, while at the same time delighting in the increased sense of excitement it creates for December 25th deep in your soul to this very day.
May visions of sugar plums dance in each of your heads this evening, dear friends, and may you know that I'm sending out countless wishes for a Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!
Lemon Almond Shortbread
Spring is officially here and I couldn&rsquot be happier! Warmer weather normally means I get to pull out my favorite flavor profiles. Think lemons, basil and edible florals&hellipI could go on but I am most pleased with LEMONS and all things citrus. You could say I am OBSESSED and not just with citrusy desserts: grilled steak with bright, zesty Chimichurri sauce or Fish En Pappioltte (in parchment) with lemon wheels and garden-fresh Tarragon&hellipI digress. Now turning to these delightful little Lemon Almond Shortbread cookies. So easy and delicious. The flaky, buttery crust paired with the bright zest of the lemon and crunch of the almond leaves you with the perfect little Spring cookie. Voila!