Coffee Break: Convection Toaster Oven

I’m a bit of a weirdo in summer in that I absolutely HATE to turn on the oven — so if I need to cook anything I always use my toaster oven. Actually, if I’m being honest, I use my toaster oven whenever possible, at all points throughout the year, because it’s just so easy — it heats up quickly, cools down quickly, doesn’t make the entire space too hot, etc, etc. I’ve roasted veggies in it, baked casseroles, broiled fish and chicken — if you’ve been tempted by the popularity of air fryers right now it’s worth noting that a good convection toaster oven is just as good as an air fryer. I have an older version of this oven, I think — it’s a convection oven from Cuisinart that is highly rated and marked down to $182 on Amazon. (Dimensions: 14″ L x 20″ W x 11″ H.) Cuisinart TOB-260N1 Chef’s Convection Toaster Oven, Stainless Steel

Psst: I just did a search to see if RHONY castmember Sonja Morgan ever came out with her toaster oven, and it looks like no, she did not — but here are some of her favorite toaster oven recipes.

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Bring Your Lunch With These Environmentally Friendly and Stylish Office Lunch Containers

If you’re like us, you bring your lunch to work when you’re trying to save money, meal plan for healthier eating, or to be more eco-friendly and avoid all of those takeout containers. If you want to do those things, plus maintain a professional look — even if you’re just eating at your desk or on a park bench — we’ve rounded up a variety of stylish office lunch containers. We’re featuring adult lunch boxes, bento boxes, ice bags for keeping your lunch cool, insulated storage that will keep cold things cold and hot things hot, reusable storage bags and food wraps, and more, including the Mr. Bento Lunch Jar Set pictured here — along with a restaurant that serves takeout food in reusable bowls. Readers, how often do you bring lunch to work? What are your favorite environmentally-friendly and stylish office lunch containers? Compared to brown lunch bags, Ziplocs, and individually-packaged food, what swap do you think makes the biggest impact environmentally? What is the easiest swap to make?

Psst: You may want to see some of our older tips on saving money on lunch at work (even if you’re eating out all the time), what to eat when you have no time to eat lunch, and the best snack ideas for work

So start thinking about all of the meals you could take to work and how much waste you could save by making just a few changes to your routine with these items. Or, if you have your own lunch accessories that you swear by, feel free to share with us in the comments!

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Eating Late at the Office

Here’s a question for today: if you have to work late at the office, what do you eat? Do you have a budget from the office or the client that you can order food through an app like Seamless — in which case, what do you order? Do you consciously order enough food for leftovers (for the next day’s lunch, for example) or snacks (for later that evening)? Do you have a few dinners on repeat or do you order something new every night? Is there a culture of shared food at your office (for example, people eat dinner at a common area and then return to their desk)? Is it easy to get reimbursed for food purchases or is it frowned upon as a “it must be necessary” expense?

I’ve seen a ton of different approaches here amongst friends and coworkers, from the person who prefers to pick up a fast food sandwich or soup on their own dime, to the person who orders steak dinners every night and bills the client. (For those of you who are parents who have to leave the office at a set time to do daycare pickup or relieve the nanny, but have to work after the kids are in bed, does it feel like you’ve lost a major benefit or perk?)
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What’re You Drinking in 2018? (Open Thread)

best drinks for young professionals 2018Last week’s discussion of what to put on your wedding registry made me think fondly of all those crystal wine glasses I never use… so I thought it might be fun to have a discussion about what you’re drinking these days. What brands are your favorite for wines, spirits, and others? Any mixers you absolutely swear by? What’s your go-to cocktail if you’re ordering something fancy? 

If you mention anything that you think is regional, please do let us know where you are…

(We’ve talked in the past about tips for moderating your alcohol intake, as well as had discussions about how some professions seem to encourage a lot more drinking — as well as what to drink at an office cocktail party. Please always drink responsibly!)

Here’s what I’m drinking in 2018:

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Snack Ideas for Work: Great Snacks for the Shelf, Office Fridge & Freezer

snack ideas for work

It’s been ages since we talked about healthy snacks for the office — let’s hear about your favorite snack ideas for work, ladies! During my legal eagle days I spent so much time at the office that snacking was par for the course — I used to keep a banker’s box on my window filled with random snacks (mostly 100-calorie pouches and things like Fruit Gushers). I also splurged on a teeny fridge so I could keep cold water, a Diet Coke, a string cheese or two, and possibly sandwich fixings or yogurt nearby. I tried to avoid the office fridge where possible (things tended to… disappear in there…) but I kept a few things in the freezer on our floor, also. (My office weirdly kept the microwave on another floor entirely so I didn’t keep as much in there as I might have otherwise!) These are some of the best snacks I’d recommend you look into keeping at the office, both to keep your energy up for long-haul days, as well as to keep you from wandering to the local Starbucks (bad for your budget and your waistline)… I’ve never been much for packing a lunch daily, but I would bring several things in at the beginning of each week (yogurt, sliced cheese to add to bagels, etc). How about you, ladies — what are your favorite snacks to bring to work? What do you pack each day, each week — and what do you keep at the office? Do you pack a lunch regularly, or try to cut costs by bringing the “expensive” part of a lunch (e.g., meat, cheese, a more exotic ingredient like artichoke hearts, etc. to add to an affordable plain salad or bagel)? 

Shelf-Stable Snack Ideas for Work

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5 Super Slow and 5 Super Fast Recipes For Long Workdays

all day crockpot recipesIf one of your holiday gifts last year was a new pressure cooker or slow cooker (Instant Pot included), or if you just haven’t been getting enough mileage out of either or both of these kitchen appliances, we thought we’d round up some recipes for inspiration. Here are five all day crockpot recipes and five super fast Instant Pot recipes we’re interested in trying — slow for the long workdays, and fast when you want to make something quick (15 minutes or less) when you get home from work and can’t deal with another meal from Seamless or the freezer. Do you have a new pressure cooker or slow cooker that you’ve been trying out? What are your favorite sources of recipes (or recipes!) for them? Do you have any go-to fast or slow meals?

Psst: We’ve also talked about slow cooker recipes for working women, shared Instant Pot tips, and discussed the best cookware and kitchen appliances — and Kat’s shared some of her easy weeknight dinners in the past as well. 

Here are some workday-friendly recipes to try in your slow cooker or pressure cooker:

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