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It’s been a few years, a few moves, a few life changes, and a global pandemic since I stepped foot in a restaurant kitchen. But, somehow it feels like just yesterday I was setting my alarm for 3 a.m., suiting up in clogs and chef’s pants, and heading out into the early morning. And, even though it’s light out when I wake up these days, there are tons of habits leftover from my time as a pastry chef that have stuck with me. For example, I seriously invest in countertop appliances (you can snag my very stand mixer on sale right now, lucky you!) and always wear an apron when setting out on involved culinary adventures (I practically sleep in my beloved Hedley & Bennet when the holidays roll around). I mean hey, you can take a girl out of the restaurant, but you can’t the restaurant out of the girl.

For those of your unfamiliar with professional kitchens, there are very strict rules and regulations surrounding how, where, and why certain foods are stored. In restaurants, we use Cambros and deli containers to keep things up to code, but at home, I utilize stackable, label-friendly storage to keep my pantry nice and tidy — or, at least I want to. Since recently moving, I’ve got somewhat of a motley crew of containers crowding my baking cabinet and I’ve been in the market for a sleek, aesthetically pleasing, and restaurant-worthy solution. Well folks, I’ve found it, and it’s on sale right now at OXO: the 5-Piece POP Container Set! (In other words, I’m adding to cart ASAP.)

Why is this set the single most exciting find I’m buying this Black Friday? Let’s start simple: This five-piece collection is BPA-free and entirely dishwasher-safe, not to mention extremely durable, airtight, and compatible with the brand’s scoop accessories. These factors are non-negotiable when storing baking essentials such as flours and sugar which otherwise may be susceptible to leached chemicals from plastic and are some of the most easily infiltrated by cabinet pests (yuck!). Plus, I love that OXO’s helpful scoops slide right onto the bottom of the container lids, which is world better than the banged-up metal scoopers buried under cups of brown sugar I’m used to from my restaurant days.

The set comes along with four different sized containers, ranging in size from just over a cup to 11 cups. The variety of different dimensions caters perfectly to my baking needs; the smallest containers can hold baking soda, sprinkles, nuts, and the like without wasting space, and the largest containers are big enough to house essentials including flour and white sugar without leaving any leftover in the original packaging.

I love that they can easily stack atop each other too, regardless of their size, making for modular display of easy-to-identify contents. The added bonus: OXO makes removable labels they won’t leave any sticky residue on the containers if you happen to peel them off, which are about a 1,000 percent upgrade from the blue tape we used back in the restaurant. And, if you happen to have more pantry room than I do in my small NYC apartment, you might opt for the 20-piece set, which is also on sale. Just imagine opening your cabinet to a complete set of modular, labeled pantry essentials — sounds like a dream.

Long story short, at nearly 30 percent off its original price, I stumbled across the solution at the perfect time. Having a pantry that’s organized and space-efficient, I save lots of precious baking time. You won’t catch this gal digging around her kitchen cabinets anymore! I’ll know exactly where the cornstarch is from now on. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got come containers to purchase.

Stella Totino

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