Spring is here! That means everyone—from our editors to our Test Kitchen pros—is refreshing their homes for the season.
This means cleaning the house, stirring up new recipes and getting ready to entertain loved ones for holidays like Passover, Easter and Mother’s Day. Whatever your sunny-day plans are, our pros have the tools and decor that you need for a wonderful season.
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Sarah’s Spring Cooking Essentials
Taste of Home
While Executive Culinary Director Sarah Farmer loves a cozy one-pot meal or hearty soup for cold weather, she loves the freshness that spring brings to the kitchen.
Spring produce is so refreshing after a long winter. The second spinach, radishes, peas and rhubarb start appearing at the farmers market, Sarah starts browsing our recipe catalog for new dishes to share with her family. Air-fried radishes, rhubarb flatbread and green smoothie bowls are all on the menu this year. And to make all these fresh finds possible, Sarah relies on these kitchen essentials.
Sarah’s Spring Cooking Picks
- Always pan: Sarah isn’t alone in loving this Internet-famous pan (read our Our Place pan review). With an easy-to-clean surface and stunning exterior finish (who doesn’t love a pretty colored pan?), this large skillet can go from stovetop to tabletop. Use it to make this springtime prosciutto and pea pasta.
- Air fryer: Sarah admits that an air fryer is a must-have at her house all year long. In the springtime, though, Sarah uses this countertop appliance for asparagus, carrots, kale chips and so many more air-fryer recipes.
- Vacuum sealer: No matter the season, a vacuum sealer is a handy gadget to have on hand. Use this to prep proteins before freezing them. You can also vacuum-seal veggies and fruits to enjoy after the season has passed.
- Magnetic measuring spoons: “These are some smart measuring spoons!” Sarah says. These magnets nest together for easy storage.
- Squeeze bottles: Once you outfit your kitchen with a few of these bottles, you’ll wonder how you operated without them. Sarah explains that these work great for everything from cooking oils to pancake batter to condiments to syrups.
- Fun kitchen accessories: Take it from Sarah—running a Test Kitchen isn’t all business. Include a few fun extras in your kitchen like this funny and functional crab utensil holder from OTOTO. The brand also makes fun extras like this mushroom funnel, grizzly bear trivet and Loch Ness monster ladle.
- Cutting boards: “I’m typically a wooden cutting board person,” explains Sarah. “But these have converted me!” These non-porous, dishwasher-safe boards come in a set so you can have one designated for proteins, one for veggies and another just for onions and garlic. Plus, the non-slip corners keep the boards secure as you work.
- Over-sink colander: Everyone loves to stock up on fresh goodies at the farmers market or grocery store. When you bring them home, this colander makes washing berries or spinach so simple.
- Swedish dishcloths: “Once you start using Swedish dishcloths, you’ll be hooked!” says Sarah. Use these in place of sponges or paper towels. When they get dirty, just toss them in the wash.
- Glide mat: This little mat is a genius solution for moving countertop appliances. With a gentle tug, you can easily move your stand mixer or espresso machine out from under the counter and where you need it.
Stephanie’s Spring Entertaining Essentials
Taste of Home
No matter the season, Executive Director of Visual Production Stephanie Marchese is ready to entertain. She outfits her home with details that put you at ease but also let you know that gatherings there will be extra special.
Whether it’s book club or Easter dinner, you’ll find Stephanie has set the stage (and the table) perfectly for the event at hand. So pull up a chair, grab a glass for some lemonade or a splash of rosé, and get ready to be charmed by Stephanie’s top decor and entertaining picks for spring.
Stephanie’s Spring Entertaining Picks
- Linen tablecloths: Fresh linens of all kinds are always welcome this time of year. To celebrate spring, Steph suggests opting for light hues like lilac, sage and buttery yellow.
- Seasonal dinnerware: Stephanie likes to keep her linens simple so accents like fun Pioneer Woman dinnerware can really stand out.
- Beverage dispenser: “Make entertaining easy on yourself,” suggests Stephanie. Rather than mixing up drink after drink, she serves up a big-batch cocktail from a dispenser.
- Vintage-style drinkware: The delicate touches on this glassware give it a special touch. Bring them out for Easter brunch, then use them all spring and summer.
- Marble tiered tray: A tiered tray like this is a versatile piece of decor and serveware. It can serve as a platform for small springtime decorations (what better place to nest ceramic chicks and bunnies?) or as a place to serve up homemade scones and springy cookies for friends.
- Wood bowl: This elongated wooden bowl has a permanent home on Stephanie’s kitchen island. It can be filled with anything from fruit to decorative items like Easter eggs (faux, of course!).
- Iced tea pitcher: At Stephanie’s, you’ll always find a pitcher of iced tea at the ready in the fridge. It’s an easy way to have something special on hand for unexpected guests.
- Linen napkins: Fabric napkins seem fancy, but really they’re easy to care for. Practice a few napkin folds and get into the habit of using them daily. And if they stain after enjoying one of these spring recipes, don’t fret. Our favorite stain removers are able to remove everything from chocolate to red wine from linen.
- Fresh flowers: Floral arrangements are a must at Stephanie’s home anytime she entertains. However, spring brings a fresh host of new flowers and greens to enjoy. It’s time to think tulips, ranunculus and daffodils.
- Ceramic vase: Fresh blooms call for an elegant vase for flower arranging. A white ceramic vase like this lets the flowers really shine.
- Floral door decor: “Don’t let your door go bare after the holidays,” says Stephanie. When the temperatures warm up, swap out evergreen wreaths for a floral door hanging. This faux citrus and greenery basket will last spring after spring.
- Bunny succulent plant: Besides the flowers on her kitchen island, Stephanie enjoys adding greens throughout her home. This fun bunny ear succulent (or Monilaria obconica for those that want to be scientific) is on her sill this spring.
- Cushioned kitchen mat: Function meets beauty in Stephanie’s home. This kitchen mat is a pretty way to add texture and color to your kitchen while the foam construction is easy on your feet.
Ellie’s Spring Cleaning and Organizing Essentials
Taste of Home
Taste of Home Content Director Ellie Martin Cliffe loves the fresh start that spring provides. As an avid gardener, that means tilling, weeding and planting outside with her family. Inside, though, it means giving her home a good old-fashioned spring clean.
Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be overwhelming or tedious, though. Instead, Ellie focuses on efficient ways to say goodbye to grime. Armed with a caddy of hardworking tools and a cleaning checklist, Ellie and her family can tackle a deep clean fast so there’s more time for picnics, hikes and grilling outside.
Ellie’s Spring Cleaning and Organizing Picks
- Cleaning caddy: When you’re doing a deep clean of the house, you’ll want all your gear at the ready. This caddy keeps all the essentials handy as you move from room to room.
- Dish gloves: “When I’m wearing gloves, I do a much better job of cleaning,” Ellie says. “I’m not worried about touching anything icky or toxic.” And Ellie says don’t opt for just any gloves: “These Casabella gloves are sturdy and last for ages.”
- The Pink Stuff: This TikTok-Made-Me-Buy-It cleaner lives up to the hype. “The Pink Stuff works on so many different surfaces and on so many kinds of messes,” says Ellie. “I couldn’t stop saying wow! the first time I used it.”
- Grout and tile brush: To get into all the nooks and crannies of a kitchen and bathroom, get the right tool for the job. This Grove Collaborative brush gets into all the hard-to-reach places like corners and cracks. It’s also a great partner for the Pink Stuff.
- Pumice stick: There are some stubborn stains that won’t come away no matter how many times you spray. That’s when you need a pumice stick. “It makes quick work of removing tough stains in odd places like rust stains in a sink or stuck-on oven grime,” says Ellie.
- Keurig cleaning pods: Cleaning a Keurig isn’t quite as straightforward as cleaning a regular coffee maker—until now. Pop one of these pods into your machine and set it to brew. It’ll take care of the inside where grime can really build up over time.
- Power mop: “I did a mop test years ago and this Bissell is still my favorite,” explains Ellie. “My tile and hardwood floors are shinier than ever and this mop-vac works on all kinds of messes.”
- Room and linen spray: Here’s Ellie’s trick to making her home smell fresh between cleaning days. “I give kitchen towels, throw pillows and my duvet a light spritz,” she says. This Caldrea spray is a splurge-y favorite.
- Fridge organizers: Sometimes two produce drawers just aren’t enough to corral all the a fridge contains. “I like these extra drawers to store other items like my kid’s snacks,” Ellie says. “He knows right where to reach for juice boxes, string cheese and the like.”
- Airtight canisters: “I’m a huge fan of OXO’s stackable pop-top canisters because they come in so many sizes,” says Ellie. “You can fill them with practically anything from snacks to craft supplies to toys.”
- Two-tier lazy susan: We all know that lazy susans are a convenient way to store and serve, but Ellie says the double-decker version is twice as nice for organizing cupboards.
Want more? Check out our team’s must-have items for the holidays.
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