Tasting Table's editorial director, Karen Palmer, is all too familiar with a jam-packed social calendar filled with hectic nights out and endless restaurant reservations. This January, the avid runner—and pasta Bolognese enthusiast—has vowed to boost her well-being while expanding her culinary horizons with a little more time spent at home cooking (and, of course, drinking some good wine). Here are her eight essentials from Crate and Barrel that balance form and function—and will help her actually keep those New Year's resolutions.
Pick: Herb Scissors, $9
"Not only are they packed with antioxidants, fresh herbs add punch and flavor to a dish in a healthy way," Karen says. These expedient snippers, which group together five blades, will come in handy for prepping dishes like these Vietnamese-inspired crab cakes with herb salad.
Pick: French Wine Glass, $5
Could this sturdy spin on "vintage Parisienne style" give new meaning to Beaujolais, she wonders? With studies showing that red wine boosts happiness (something TT has known for quite some time), she'll be having some friends over to help her find out.
Pick: Hue Blush Bowls, $19 for a set of four
Perhaps the key to more mindful eating is these utterly calming pale pink bowls. "Sometimes, it's just about turning the TV off from the bad reality shows I watch a little too often and slowing down a little to savor," Karen says.
Pick: Zing Anything Water Bottle, $16
"I love to go to my dance workout class 305 Fitness before heading into the office—but I fell off a bit during the holidays," Karen, who likes to quench with a twist of lemon or lime, says. This sleek bottle with a built-in citrus squeezer offers a convenient way to take water from standard to spa worthy (grapefruit, anyone?).
Pick: J.K. Adams Heritage Serving Board, $100
Handcrafted in rural Vermont, this gourmet serving board is made with "driftwood" tinted teak oil to bring out its natural grains. Karen considers it her incentive to have friends over for cheese and charcuterie, like a homemade chicken liver pâté. "It'll look pretty hanging up on the wall, too," she says, noting its leather loop.
Pick: Le Creuset Cherry French Press, $65
"Working in Soho in Downtown NYC, it's a blessing and a curse to have so many fantastic coffee places around, like La Colombe and Everyman Espresso," she says. This cherry red Le Creuset French Press isn't just pretty, it also makes a deliciously rich cuppa that you can sip while you get ready for work (translation: caffeine fix before you have to suit up in your winter gear and savings that add up). Plus, its dense stoneware construction with a glazed, nonstick interior means easy cleanup.
Pick: Cuisinart 4 qt. 3-in-1 Cook Central Multicooker, $130
This stainless steel multitasker allows you to sear, brown, sauté and slow-cook with one vessel (fewer dirty dishes!). "I'd love to start making a big batch of something like this pineapple braised pork on Sundays, so I have dinner ready for few days," Karen says.
Pick: Sheridan Mint Kitchen Cart, $400
"I don't have lot of storage space in my tiny Manhattan kitchen," she says. This charming rolling cart in a subdued mint hue will come in handy for hiding stress-inducing clutter and double as extra counter space for chopping piles of greens to toss in this breakfast salad.
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