Upgrade Your Kitchen With These 25 Gadgets

iStock
iStock

The way to anyone’s heart is through their stomach … but sometimes, you’ve got to step your presentation up to really make a lasting impression. Whether you’re entertaining new friends or breaking bread with family, these tools will have your guests talking all night long.

1. PASTA MEASURING TOOL; $15

Pasta Measurer Tool
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: Your eyes don’t have to be bigger than your stomach anymore. This handy pasta measuring tool is a fit for those with an itty-bitty appetite, or your pals hungry enough to eat a horse.

Find It: Amazon

2. SPICE RACK WITH GLASS SPICE TUBE SET; $27

Why You'll Want It: Muggles, rejoice! This 10-tube spice rack, meant to be filled with the seasonings of your choice, looks like it came straight from a shop on Diagon Alley.

Find It: Amazon

3. CIRCULAR ROLLING KNIFE; $12

Why You'll Want It: Those Friday night pizza parties just got a very special plus one. This wheel blade doesn’t just slice into your favorite pie—it also cuts cakes, veggies, and meats with ease.

Find It: Amazon

4. FRITTATA AND OMELETTE PAN; $28

Why You'll Want It: Have a hunch for brunch? Try preparing your eggs in Nordic Ware’s nonstick pan, built with a hinge that makes your breakfast dishes easier to flip.

Find It: Amazon

5. HERB SAVOR; $30

herb saver
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: Lookin’ fresh. Extend the life of your basil, rosemary, thyme, and other garden go-to’s by placing them in the device’s pod and sealing them tightly, and they’ll last up to three weeks.

Find It: Amazon

6. INSTANT POT DUO MINI; $70

Instant Pot
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: Talk about an all-in one. Instant Pot is only 8 pounds, but does a host of tasks: It’s a pressure cooker, a rice cooker, a slow cooker, a steamer, a yogurt maker, a warmer, and it even sautés.

Find It: Amazon

7. MONKEY PEELER; $13

Amazon

Why You'll Want It: This bright orange peeler is a perfect fit for all of the party animals out there. So perfect, in fact, that your little ones will actually want to help with the kitchen prep.

Find It: Amazon

8. ELECTRIC FOAM MAKER; $15

Electric foam maker
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: For less than the price of two Venti dirty chais, you can make your own froth with the help of this handheld electronic device. Just pour your milk, whisk, and sip.

Find It: Amazon

9. SPIRALIZER; $28

Vegetable spiralizer
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: Quitting pasta cold turkey is a tough feat for most, but making your zoodles doesn’t have to be. This spiralizer has three blades to slice your fruits and veggies thin enough to trick yourself.

Find It: Amazon

10. PASTA MACHINE; $93

pasta maker
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: Everyone needs a cheat day (or two). Create your own spaghetti, fettucini, and lasagna noodles at home—and transport yourself to the Old Country without leaving your kitchen.

Find It: Amazon

11. BAMBOO CUTTING BOARD

Amazon

Why You'll Want It: You’ll geek out over this periodic table cutting board, which fuses the elements and your ingredients. It can also double as a serving board for game nights or dinner parties.

Find It: Amazon

12. EGG COOKER PAN; $36

Egg cooking pan
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: Over easy does it. Your kitchen burners will breathe easier, as this three-cup pan allows you to make eggs, and pancakes at the same time.

Find It: Amazon

13. BURGER PRESS; $25

Burger press
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: Prepare for your friends to rave about all of the homemade dinners you’ll get out of this press. It doesn’t just shape burgers—you can also use it for pasta, rice, and other side dishes as well.

Find It: Amazon

14. BREAKFAST SANDWICH MAKER; $24

breakfast sandwich maker
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: Go ahead and empty your Uber Eats cart. With one machine, you can warm your bread, prepare a sunny-side-up egg, and heat the breakfast meat of your choice for a sandwich that’d make Ronald McDonald green with envy.

Find It: Amazon

15. MANDOLINE SLICER; $19

Mandoline Slicer
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: One appliance, endless possibilities: This slicer chops cucumbers, grates cheese, spiralizes veggies, and dices ingredients.

Find It: Amazon

16. STAND MIXER; $280

Kitchenaid stand mixer
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: Whip your baked goods into shape with the help of this holy grail appliance. The 10-speed KitchenAid, equipped with four attachments, is what your baker’s favorite baker uses to bring life to their batters.

Find It: Amazon

17. DACHSHUND DOG-SHAPED ICE CUBE TRAY; $20 AND UP

Ice cube tray
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: Impress guests with these adorably-shaped cubes. Some buyers have even used the trays as molds to make soap.

Find It: Amazon

18. TORTILLA PRESS; $34

tortilla maker
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: Taco Tuesdays will never be the same. After making your masa, simply press down to create your own tortillas and taco shell rounds—as well as roti, dumplings, and even plantains.

Find It: Amazon

19. RAVIOLI MAKER; $14

ravioli maker
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: Let the carb loading commence. This gadget is a perfect mold for pasta as well as dumplings, stuffed cookies, and mini pies.

Find It: Amazon

20. TEMPERATURE CONTROL CERAMIC MUG; $160

temperature controlled mug
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: In this cup (that comes with a charging saucer!), morning coffee, afternoon tea, or after-dinner espresso stays at your desired temperature until the last drop.

Find It: Amazon

21. PRE-SEASONED SKILLET; $11

pre-seasoned skillet
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: Spend less time soaking and more time tasting during dinner. Vegetable oil is actually baked into this pan, ensuring that all of your recipes slide right on out.

Find It: Amazon

22. FOOD PROCESSOR; $35

Amazon food processor
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: Let’s not mince words: Any chef (professional or not) needs this tool in their kitchen. From chopping fresh fruits and veggies to blending smoothies, this Ninja topseller saves you half of the effort with full results.

Find It: Amazon

23. INDOOR GRILL; $59

Amazon

Why You'll Want It: Even though it’s freezing in most parts of the country, that doesn’t mean that you should sacrifice your cookouts. Bring the barbecue inside with an electric grill that delivers A+ sear marks—no charcoal required.

Find It: Amazon

24. EGG COOKER; $22

Smart egg cooker
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: It doesn’t matter if you like your eggs hard-boiled, soft-boiled, poached, scrambled, or in omelette form, the Dash Rapid has you covered.

Find It: Amazon

25. ECHO SHOW; $230

Amazon's Echo Show
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: Buyer’s remorse, begone. Aside from making hands-free calls and blasting your favorite tunes, Echo (which is the visual component of Alexa, with a video screen) helps you see your shopping lists.

Find It: Amazon

This Convenient, Comfortable Travel Pillow Doesn’t Wrap Around Your Neck

Manuel-F-O/iStock via Getty Images
Manuel-F-O/iStock via Getty Images

If an angry bit of airplane turbulence has recently whammed your forehead into the window, you probably have the bruises to prove that sleeping on the go can be a dangerous game. Though neck pillows can offer some security, not everyone’s a fan—some people can’t sleep totally upright, some don’t think it provides enough support, and others simply don’t like the feeling of a plush toilet seat curled around their necks.

For those people, there’s the Ostrich Pillow Mini, a tiny, oblong pillow into which you slip your hand, forearm, or elbow, depending on what’s most comfortable for you. It will stay in place and protect your head from airplane turbulence in a way that no balled-up, threadbare hoodie ever could, but it’s not just for those lucky winners (or purchasers) of window seats. You can use the pillow wherever you might be inclined to rest your head on top of your arms, including plane or train trays, piles of library books, and office desks. One Amazon customer even used the pillows as elbow pads to protect himself from unforgivingly hard arm rests.

Ostrich pillow mini
Amazon

Since the Ostrich Pillow Mini essentially works as an extension of your arm, you don’t have to stay stone-still while you sleep. As Travel + Leisure’s Claudia Fisher puts it, “Sometimes, I even wake up from a nap to discover I’ve shifted in my sleep but brought my little arm pillow with me to support my head in its new spot.”

In addition to its main opening, the pillow has two other holes. One is a small, finger-sized opening through which you slide your thumb if you’re keeping the pillow on your hand. The other is a larger hole at the other end, through which you slide your hand if you want the pillow to stay on your forearm or elbow.

Ostrich pillow mini
Amazon

It’s compact enough that you can easily fit it into your carry-on bag, backpack, or briefcase, and understated enough that you can power nap in public without drawing attention to yourself. The outer layer is light gray, and the inner layer comes in Midnight Grey, Blue Reef, or Sleepy Blue. You can order it for $35 from Amazon.

Check out some other ways to make flying more comfortable here.

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Attention Movie Geeks: Cinephile Is the Card Game You Need Right Now

Cinephile/Amazon
Cinephile/Amazon

If you’ve got decades worth of movie trivia up in your head but nowhere to show it off, Cinephile: A Card Game just may be your perfect outlet. Created by writer, art director, and movie expert Cory Everett, with illustrations by Steve Isaacs, this game aims to test the mettle of any film aficionado with five different play types that are designed for different skill and difficulty levels.

For players looking for a more casual experience, Cinephile offers a game variety called Filmography, where you simply have to name more movies that a given actor has appeared in than your opponent. For those who really want to test their knowledge of the silver screen, there’s the most challenging game type, Six Degrees, which plays like Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, with the player who finds the fewest number of degrees between two actors getting the win.

When you choose actors for Six Degrees, you’ll do so using the beautifully illustrated cards that come with the game, featuring Hollywood A-listers past and present in some of their most memorable roles. You’ve got no-brainers like Uma Thurman in Kill Bill (2003) and Arnold Schwarzenegger in Total Recall (1990) alongside cult favorites like Bill Murray from 2004's The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and Jeff Goldblum in The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984). Of course, being a game designed for the true film buff, you’ll also get some deeper cuts like Helen Mirren from 1990’s The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover and Sean Connery in 1974's Zardoz. There are 150 cards in all, with expansion packs on the way.

Cinephile is a labor of love for Everett and Isaacs, who originally got this project off the ground via Kickstarter, where they raised more than $20,000. Now it’s being published on a wider scale by Clarkson Potter, a Penguin Random House group. You can pre-order your copy from Amazon now for $20 before its August 27 release date.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

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