Remember when we used to go to parties? Yeah, that was fun. Every Christmas, three of my girlfriends gather and exchange gifts. The tradition grew into a “favorite things” party. These parties are relatively small because this could get really expensive, but you also keep the price point relatively low.
We’ve had themed years (kitchen, beauty products, home goods) and other years when we all just brought wine. The best part – you get to introduce your friends to hidden gems that you thought everyone was already doing. (Trader Joe’s Coconut Oil as eye makeup remover, anyone? Oh just me? Cool, cool, cool.) And you get to take home cool things you’ve probably never heard of.
Here are five of my favorite things from our kitchen themed exchange… and they are all under $25 (ish)!
Picture this – you baked a great dish in the oven with a delicious sauce. You ask a kid or partner in your home to wash it. You pick it up to dry it and realize roughly 40% of the sauce you cooked is still inside the pot. These are tiny rectangular shaped tools with a slanted edge, made entirely from bamboo. They make scraping away caked on foods so easy, they are environmentally friendly, and they’re so affordable. If you keep them dry, each one lasts for several months. Bamboo is tough!
These make me feel straight up Little House on the Prairie in the best possible way. A butter bell is a small porcelain dish where you store an entire stick of butter, softened, on the countertop. The “bell” part that holds the butter sits in a shallow bit of water in the base, keeping the butter cool and safe to eat. It’s immensely more spreadable than refrigerated butter. Which is good and bad because then it’s easier to eat.
I love to bake and until this little disc came along, I found myself banging the hardened brown sugar against the counter trying to get an accurate ¼ cup for my cookie recipe. Just soak this disc in water, pat dry, then put it in your brown sugar container. It slowly releases the moisture to keep brown sugar from clumping. MAGIC!
Muffin liners may not seem like a game changer, but my theory is, if I took the time to make it, I’d really prefer to eat it all rather than 1/3 of it to get stuck to the paper. With parchment paper liners the food literally falls out. So dreamy.
This is another one that you probably could spend a lot of money on, but don’t need to. I’ve had this one for a while and it works great. Here’s the beauty of a garlic press. You put the bulb in, without peeling it. It squishes the garlic meat right out of its papery shell into nice little minced up pieces. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, I love garlic, so this is a non-negotiable in my kitchen!
Ever been to a favorite things party yourself? Tell me about the best ones you’ve attended. We should all start planning parties, for you know, when parties happen again.