Feeling your culinary chops need sharpening after seeing Julie & Julia? Here are five kitchen additions that won't require a contractor or a significant amount of cash. Bon appetit!
SPICE UP YOUR LIFE: ...and your kitchen with delectably sinful spice grinders from the Cape Herb & Spice Company. Inspired by the Seven Deadly Sins, their common main ingredient, crunchy candy sugar, is crushed with flavors that meld to create a savory, aromatic, and nearly guilt-free infusion. You can't help feel smug when your secret ingredient is smoked with coffee beans and cardamon when you sprinkle on some Pride, or longing for more with ground ginger, lime oil, and rose petal in Lust. Pick up the set of seven grinders next time you're in Cape Town, South Africa, or order online ($30USD/set).
GET A GRIP: You never forget how to ride a bike, but unfortunately most people never learn how to hold a knife, properly anyway. Furniture designer, Adam Simha, combined the two efforts and created the MKS Knife collection. The highlights are their ribbed rubber handles, modeled after your every day bike grip in bacteria-resistant stainless steel. The professional-grade knifes start around $150-$200 each and can be found online or at MKS Design in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
GIFT WRAP: Grant your cupcakes a much more chic wrapper with Bake It Pretty's selection of novelty baking cups. From exotic Metallic Damask to quirky Poppy with polka dots, these whimsical wrappers are guaranteed to be just as cute as the cuppies that nest inside. Impress your friends and disguise a box mix when your order online from Bake It Pretty.
HOMEMAKER'S HARDCOVER: Remember your mother's old recipe card box of overflowing, hand-written, batter-smudged recipes that had been copied by hand from Good Housekeeping? Remember your mother's mother's version of this? Well since we're in the tech-savvy future, whether it's a gift for your mother (or your mother's mother) or yourself, the Internet has a whole wide world of self-publishers to digitize and organize your favorite recipes. Create and print your own hip version on Blurb, with super simple software and full-color glossy books start at $12.95.
BUBBLES OF FUN: Italian Soda is an easy and elegant way to entertain when you're handling an under-aged set. Tall crystal glassware bubbling over with seltzer water and crushed ice are just begging to be sweetened with a multitude of colorful sweet syrups to delight foodies and teens alike. Tonari offers traditional syrups stemmed from the recipes of the family's Lucca, Italy relatives, circa 1920. It has since developed into a brand with over 80 flavors. From the traditional, like Hazelnut and Blood Orange, to the more unusual White Peach Honeysuckle and Toasted Marshmallow. Find Tonari at Omar Coffee Company in Newington (800-394-2267).