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16 Pick-Me-Up Purchases We Bought During the Pandemic

Our staff has been spending more time in our homes than ever before. These are some of our favorite items we've bought in 2020 to make life just a little more comforting—and delicious.

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links.

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Libbey Acaciawood Footed Round Wood Server Cake Stand with Glass Domevia amazon.com

Cake Stand

“To make the most of staying indoors, I took to baking! Especially during the early days, it seemed like there was always a layer cake or loaf of banana bread on my kitchen counter. This cake stand helped me preserve my bakes and acted as a chic little piece of décor, even when not in use. The best bit is that the glass dome serves as a barrier—it prevents me from taking nibble of dessert every time I walk by.”

Nicole Doster, Deputy Editor

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Yeast Measuring Spoonvia kingarthurbaking.com

Yeast Measuring Spoon

“Since I’m baking more bread than ever, I’m now buying way more yeast. I’ve said goodbye to the packets and now go straight for the jars. To make measuring the right amount of yeast (1/4 ounce or 2-1/4 teaspoons), I bought a measuring spoon that measures that perfectly. It sounds silly, but it’s a nice little tool to have.”

Lisa Kaminski, Associate Editor

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AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker with Tote Bag - Quickly Makes Delicious Coffee Without Bitterness - 1 to 3 Cups Per Pressvia amazon.com

AeroPress Coffee Maker

“I wanted to be able to make lattes at home, but without the commitment of a giant, expensive appliance. This AeroPress was my solution. I LOVE it! I can make either a cup of coffee or shot of espresso in minutes. Amazing!”

Shannon Norris, Senior Food Stylist

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Weck 743 3/4 Mold Jar - Box of 6via amazon.com

Canning Jars

“Like many others, I’ve spent a lot of time baking bread these past months. I find mixing, kneading and shaping the dough to be very comforting and there’s nothing like pulling that glorious loaf out of the oven. And the house smells great, to boot!

In my quest to conquer a perfect sourdough loaf and develop a tangy starter, I purchased these Wek canning jars for my starter. I love the way they look and I use them without the rubber gasket or clips so that the lids fit loosely on my starter which allows natural yeast in the air to get in. I also purchased these bannetons in different sizes to give my sourdough loaves the classic ring pattern on the crust.”

Catherine Ward, Prep Kitchen Manager

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Sweese 304.103 Porcelain Butter Keeper Crock - French Butter Dish - No More Hard Butter - Perfect Spreadable Consistency, Navyvia amazon.com

Butter Crock

“With all the homemade bread, muffins and scones I’ve been baking over the last seven months, I dug out my butter crock so I could have smooth, spreadable butter at the ready during my morning coffee and pastry break.”

Emily Racette Parulski, Senior Editor

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Home Decor Subscription Boxvia @habitationbox/Instagram

Home Decor Subscription Box

“I already have all the kitchen stuff I need, but I have gotten some little things to spruce up my apartment and make living/working here for extended periods more enjoyable, like this home decor subscription box.”

Christine Rukavena, Editor

7 / 16
Herbes de Provence in Ceramic Crockvia williams-sonoma.com

Herbs de Provence

“I bought my favorite Herbes de Provence. I love this stuff and put it in a lot of things. I whisk it into scrambled eggs, when I’m cooking rice and I’ll mix some into mayonnaise to spread on sandwiches. I haven’t found anything it isn’t good in.”

James Schend, Deputy Editor

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Magnolia Table, Volume 2: A Collection of Recipes for Gatheringvia amazon.com

Magnolia Table Cookbook

“After borrowing my sister-in-law’s copy of Joanna Gaines’ newest cookbook, I knew I had to pick up a copy for myself. I’ve been drawn in by the homemade breads and desserts in particular.”

Emily Racette Parulski, Senior Editor

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Woman in style apron holding pot with fresh organic basil, white kitchen interior design.j.chizhe/Shutterstock

Plants

“I’ve stocked my kitchen recently with real plants! I’ve been picking up smaller vases at thrift shops and giving them a makeover for a fresh, new look. (Thank you, TikTok.) I plant herbs like basil, chives and parsley in them and keep them on the countertop.”

Sarah Farmer, Executive Culinary Director

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Toasting with red winePressmaster/Shutterstock

Good Wine

“I am buying nicer Cabernet Sauvignons these days. My COVID grocery store wine splurges mean I give myself permission to go up from the very bottom shelf to the higher priced bottles—no more than $20! I tend to prefer California wines, especially those from the Napa Valley region. The Napa soil, weather patterns and exposure to the hillsides are pretty ideal for grapes.”

Sarah Farmer, Executive Culinary Director

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 Cold Brew Mason Jar Coffee Makervia amazon.com

Cold Brew Mason Jar Coffee Maker

“One of my favorite things pre-quarantine was stopping to grab coffee in the mornings. Without a commute, I’m not stopping as frequently, so it’s nice to replicate a comforting routine at home. I bought this Mason Jar cold brew maker back in April and haven’t stopped using it since! It’s super easy to use. I put one cup of course coffee grounds in, top it off with water and let it sit 48 hours and boom: cold brew! Plus, I like how I can have one brewing and another Mason jar full of coffee.”

Lisa Kaminski, Associate Editor

12 / 16
via amazon.com

Coffee Frother

“I’m still obsessed with my coffee frother. I also got this French Press and I love it. Having some fun coffee-making items makes me feel like I’m back at the office again.”

Christina Herbst, Assistant Editor

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WOMEN'S DOUBLE STRIPE ANYTIME COZY WRAPvia lifeisgood.com

Cozy Wrap

“I bought this wrap and absolutely love it.”

Sue Stetzel, Community Cook Coordinator

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Seat Cushionvia duluthtrading.com

Seat Cushion

“This seat cushion from Purple has totally changed my workdays. It’s transformed my basic wooden chair into a work station that I can stay at all day. It is pricey, but I have to say it’s been worth every penny.”

Lisa Kaminski, Associate Editor

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Blue Cypress & Snow Classic Candlevia nestnewyork.com

Candles

“I’ve been buying scented candles for when I’m in the kitchen, living room and at my at-home desk. It’s not a kitchen tool, per se, but it’s a comfort purchase that makes each day a bit more comfortable!”

Sarah Farmer, Executive Culinary Director

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Bourbonvia flaviar.com

Bourbon

“I bought a really nice bottle of bourbon.”

James Schend, Deputy Editor

Emily Racette Parulski
Emily Racette Parulski is a Senior Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in email newsletters. When she’s not writing about food, she’s baking something sweet to feed her chocolate obsession.
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